Everyone has a story, and there is something so incredibly inspiring about a person sharing their story truthfully and authentically.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to build an immense connection with God by doing daily devotionals. I decided to pursue the Bible in One Year 2019 with Nicky Gumbel to help me with this goal of mine, 150 days later, and I haven’t missed a day. This is a pretty big milestone for me! Within the past year and a half, I went from being far from Christ to spending 150 consecutive days with him. This journey of mine has led me to think a lot about how much I have grown and has encouraged me to share my story with all of you.
I have always considered myself a Christian. I was baptized when I was a baby, I went to church on Christmas and Easter, and I thought that there was a God. I spent my entire childhood and teenage years telling myself that I was a Christian, but I never fully understood what that meant. I especially didn’t understand the importance of having a relationship with God.
Throughout High School, I liked calling myself a Christian. I thought to be a Christian was a way to be part of something bigger than myself, plus, a lot of Christians I knew were nice. So, I surrounded myself with friends that were also Christians. These friends had similar values to me and were very encouraging when I questioned my faith. Looking back, I believe God put those people in my life for a reason and I am thankful for them. To this day, they are still some of my closest friends.
My freshman year of college, I knew I still wanted to consider myself a Christian, but mostly to stay out of the party scene. With that being said, I still tried to surround myself with friends with similar values. Pursuing Christ was never my top priority, I put most of the things above my faith such as school, work, relationships, and my sorority. I soon found myself feeling overcommitted, and struggled to keep up with everything.
By my sophomore year, I had overworked myself to the point that depression and anxiety had overruled my thoughts. I was stretched so thin that I could snap at any slight inconvenience, which, surprisingly, did not make me a fun person to be around. Being busy made it extremely difficult to develop meaningful relationships, I was frankly too busy to hang out with anyone. Every once in awhile I would find a small moment to devote time to others, but I would often find myself anxiously complaining to my friends about what I had to do next.
Eventually, all my relationships had had enough. I found a lot of my friends drifting away from me, and who could blame them? I had nothing to offer in the relationships. I started living my life completely alone. I would walk to class alone and I would sit alone at all the dining halls. I rarely spent time outside my dorm. There were days where the only person I talked to was myself, and I was not a joyous person to talk to.
I came to a realization one Friday night in my dorm. I had been alone for so long that I had hit rock bottom. That evening I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, crying, and telling myself that I was the reason I had no friends. That I was the reason no one invited me to hang out or go to parties or get dinner or watch movies or do facemasks, or whatever else I scrolled through that night. I felt like I was physically forced to live a life of loneliness. I threw my phone at the end of my bed and cried into my pillow. And then a miracle happened.
Minutes later I grabbed my phone from the end of my bed and went to open the Instagram app, I remember wiping away my tears while waiting for the app to open. When it opened, I didn’t see my Instagram feed, I saw this:
I didn’t open Instagram, I had opened the Bible app. I realized at that moment that opening the Bible app was not an accident, it was God seeking me. Almost as if he was stopping me from comparing myself to other people on social media. He knew that scrolling through Instagram was only going to hurt me more. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 was not a coincidence either. It was God telling me that through Him, I would never be alone. He would always be there to help me up.
Before that moment, I was living in pity. I was the one who had pushed so many people away, including God, and that was why I was living my life alone. When you live your life without God, you find yourself falling with no one to help you. That night I cried out to God and asked Him to never let me live my life alone again, and ever since that night, He has been by my side.