This weekend was Conference Finals for Bible Quizzing (for those of us in the Genesis Conference, anyway). Our theme for the weekend was: I’m Convinced. . . that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God.
Throughout the weekend, we discussed ways we are convinced, or ways we doubt, that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God at the Campfire Testimony Service, which is the best part of the weekend, in my opinion, because it is so great to hear what God is doing in the lives of the Bible Quizzers.
And even though I’m no longer a Bible Quizzer, I still felt God telling me to stand up and tell the group what was on my heart. So, I did, but I fear it was a mess, because I am much better at writing than speaking. I have decided, therefore, to write out and share again what I said this weekend, because I hope it will make a difference in someone’s life.
My name is Kaleigh, and I’m not a Bible Quizzer. But, I was for a long time, so I think that should count for something. I’m sharing tonight, because I feel as though God has placed these words in my heart to share with you tonight, and I’ve learned it is best not to ignore God.
I have suffered with Depression for so long, I cannot remember what it’s like to not feel a sense of inadequacy all the time. I have been through many things in my life: I was sexually assaulted, I struggled with an eating disorder and with self-harm, and I’ve struggled with the idea of an all-loving God.
If God loves me, why has He allowed me to experience hurt?
Is God real?
Does He care?
Doubt is easy; faith is hard: It’s easier to doubt in the existence of something than it is to believe fully and completely in something. And I wanted easy. I was so tired of getting up in the morning and trying to fight my way through life. I had little faith, and it was all used up by the time I placed both feet on the floor. I had faith that the floor would not collapse under my feet, but I couldn’t have faith in God to carry me when I needed Him most.
Doubt is easy; faith is hard.
I can see the floor, but I didn’t think I could see God.
And then I went to Guatemala this past August.
And it changed my life, but I almost didn’t go.
You see, I’m not a big fan of crowds of people I don’t know. So, when God told me that I was going to Guatemala, I laughed. There was no way I was going to board a plane with 20-some-odd people I barely knew, fly to a country that spoke a different language, and show the love of a God I didn’t think cared to people.
It was like Jonah all over again: God said, “Go.” Jonah said, “No.” I was Jonah in this situation (I didn’t get swallowed by a whale, thank goodness).
Ignoring God doesn’t get you anywhere, and neither does arguing. So, I went.
And a transformation began to occur within me. I began to become convinced of the power and love of God. I shared my Testimony with a group of Junior Highers in a mountain village in the middle of nowhere, Santa Cruz, Guatemala. What happened next reminded me that God has a plan for everybody.
One of the Junior High Girls came up to me in the afternoon and asked if we could talk: “Podamos hablar?”
I said, “Por supuesto,” which means “of course.”
She asked me how I found the strength to get up in the morning. And I told her I had God. I opened up my Spanish-English Bible to some verses I remembered studying while I was in Quizzing.
And then I read her Philippians 4:13: “Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece.”
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
I helped this Junior High Girl accept Christ, and at that moment, everything began to fit together. I realized everything I’ve been through has a reason. Had I not gone through my trials and my hardships, I wouldn’t have been able to help this girl find God.
God has a plan for my life, and I don’t know what it is, yet. But God’s timing is perfect, and it will be revealed soon.
God has a plan for your life, too.
So, I don’t know what your struggling with right now. But, we’re all struggling with something. I don’t know what you’ve been through. I don’t what God has in store for your life. But I know it’s great. He has great plans for all of us.
There’s a reason for your struggles. Everything has a purpose (even if right now, in this moment, the struggles you’re going through seem like more than you can bear). God has a plan for you, and I promise you, one day, your life and experiences will start to make sense.
I’m going to leave you with two thoughts:
The great philosopher Winnie the Pooh, once said, “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 states, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
I am convinced God exists because of what He has brought me through.
I hope one day you are convinced, too. Because doubt is easy and faith is hard, but life is so much more wonderful when you have faith.
God has great plans for your life, and when your suffering seems like too much for you to handle, God is strong enough to carry it.