I remember a time, back in high school, where I thought God had completely abandoned me. I had lost the presidency for our high school band. In one class period, I went from being president, where I felt like I belonged, to nothing (or so I thought). I had prayed for Jesus to help me win, it was my desire to belong, so God would grant me the desire of my heart. Well, God did not grant me my desire, nor did it feel like he was involved. How wrong I was.
I remember being completely crushed, I wanted to quit, I even tried to transfer schools, and I felt betrayed and abandoned by God and my classmates. However, God was in the process of granting my desire, while I thought I needed that position to belong, God was preparing me another place, in his kingdom. But of course, I slowly drifted away from going to church (I was very young in the faith), I went back to being with my friends who were “cool”, but the feeling of belonging was not fulfilled. Thankfully, my youth pastor noticed and invited me to go on a mission trip. I had one requirement, my friend Nicole would go. The short story is that Nicole got in trouble and couldn’t go, so I went because I had already paid the non-refundable deposit. At this point though, I was sure God was not answering any prayer because now the one requirement I had was removed.
I went on that mission trip, to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. I also discovered that this was the place God wanted me to belong (I didn’t really make the connection until months later, hind sight is always 20/20). Since I was one of the oldest I quickly took on a leadership role, and eventually I became a co-leader of that group. Had I become band president my senior year, I know I would’ve had no time to help with the youth group, which was something that not only prepared me in many more areas of life and faith, it also had a more influential effect.
While I thought, that God was just standing there letting me make mistakes, in reality he was reaching out to me. Through my youth pastor, to-be friends in the church (albeit I wasn’t not very open to hearing from them since I was not a part of that group) God was reaching me. They wanted to help, and this was God’s way of reaching me. I’ve learned over the years God uses people to reach people. I am very honored to be on the other end now, it is also a very humbling experience and if I am not careful, I can be discouraged. While I miss my friends very much and the deep relationships that are built on Jesus, I know I am here to serve and experience God directly now that I know he is always with me. None of this is because of who I am, it is all because of who God is.