I struggle with my faith sometimes... okay, more like a lot of the time. Sometimes, I just get so caught up with life that I try and put off prayer for a night or two-- but then that one night turns into several nights, then weeks, and before I know it, I'm telling myself, "I'm not even a good Christian anyway, so what's the point of trying?"
Here's the thing, fam: we're all pretty messed up people.
It's super sad, but it's super true. Howard preaches to us every week on how "messed up" he is (lol trust me Howie, we know), HAHA just kidding, but I think we can all agree on how difficult it is to believe that a guy who's done so much for God's kingdom is "messed up" or could ever feel inadequate. Even though Howard's stories encourage me to believe that there is always hope in any dark situation, I still find myself feeling like I could never experience such life-changing scenarios like the ones he always tells us about.
I listen to the sermons every week, I do my daily devotional, I try and listen to as many podcasts as I can, but I still find myself saying,
"These people are so much wiser and older than me, how am I supposed to do crazy and awesome things like them?"
And this brings me to the point of this post.
We are so blessed to have such an awesome community with awesome youth pastors; it'd be impossible to look up to Howard or Mr. Kimm and not be amazed by all the work they do-- they basically run the youth group, organize all the mission trips and outreaches, and the list just goes on and on. But what I think we often take for granted is what we can do for each other. We often let our "wiser" and "older" role models share their stories of struggles, when sometimes hearing the struggles of our peers can be equally as powerful. Even though we may not all have ground-breaking experiences that make us look like "super-Christians," we can still help to build each other up by being vulnerable with each other and by sharing how God has shown up in our lives.
When I approached Howard with this idea of starting a student devotional series, I was (and still am) super scared and insecure. What encouragement could I, a young student who has hardly experienced anything ground-breaking, possibly be able to give to anyone else? But the more I thought about how unqualified I was, the more I realized how normal it is to feel a sense of inadequacy. I figured that since we all go through this feeling at some point, it wouldn't hurt to share my own stories and experiences that some of you can also relate to.
Scripture of the Day: James 5:16
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
When debating whether I wanted to pursue this devo series, this verse kept appearing in my mind. I've experienced firsthand with my friends how amazing community can be, and it's taught me that as Christians, it's imperative that we open ourselves up to each other so we can learn to grow through each other's struggles and burdens. Keeping that in mind, I really hope that we can build stronger community through sharing and being vulnerable with each other, and that this series can be a first step to that.
That being said, I am by no means a professional writer, nor do I claim to be a "super Christian." What I hope to accomplish with this series of devotionals is to figure out what I as a student, think other students struggle with the most and to tackle these struggles with as much biblical research and context as I can. I'm going to try to be as open, vulnerable, and personal as possible because even though I'm going to feel super uncomfortable, I know that this kind of raw sharing is often the most encouraging. Honestly, I'm just a student who's stumbling through life and trying to figure everything out, but I hope that you will follow along with me as I take this journey in discovering more about my faith.
Thanks for reading & sleep easy fam.
Prologue > On the Grind