Looking back on the past four years of my life is overwhelming. All the big events of moving away from home, going to college, joining a sorority, finding my career path (after a few detours), new relationships, heartbreak and new friendships have shaped the person I am today. These big steps not only changed me, but have also completely transformed my relationship with God.
Growing up I lived in a God fearing household. I was in church almost every time the doors were open and I knew the Bible stories forwards and backwards.. But even with all the faith I had in my life, my relationship with God was full of fear.
I’m almost embarrassed to say that the fear of God’s punishment was the only thing that lead me to serve Him. That kind of relationship distanced me from feeling close to God and was a chore for me to keep up with. When I went off to college and I no longer had people in my life expecting me to go to church, I stopped going. I didn’t focus on what God wanted of me and I completely distanced myself from him. I didn’t want to be burdened with the chore of serving God anymore.
After a tough semester and a big breakup with my high-school boyfriend, I found myself in a new relationship that to this day I know happened by God’s plan. I had never met anyone who challenged what I had known about God before or introduced me to a different view of God. Having been sick for a period of his life, it was amazing to me to see how much trust he had in God when he had more of a reason than me to distance himself from faith.
When that relationship ended, I knew I needed God. My best friend invited me to go to church with her, and even though I had hesitations in the past I knew this time I needed to go. That Sunday I felt like God told the preacher what to say so that I would listen. Every word hit home for me. Not only did the message relate to me, it was also a side of God I had yet to discover. It was a side of God that WANTED to take my heartaches and offer me peace instead.
After that service, for the first time in my life, I wanted to go back to church because I wanted a relationship with God. I wanted to feel that love he had for me, because for the first time, I realized that my relationship with God didn’t have to solely depend on fear.
The deeper I got in my faith the closer I got to God. I could talk to Him and I felt Him near. I no longer wanted what I wanted because I knew HIS plan for me was what I needed. All those times where I felt like God wasn’t listening to my prayers and my hopes all of the sudden made sense. He closed those doors to lead me where I am now, in a transformed relationship with Him.
When I look back on those years, I’m truly amazed that His plan for me was perfect. From the city and dorm He placed me in where I met my best friend, to the random chance that I met the guy I would begin dating. Then the breakup that would lead me into a relationship with God. Through all of this I have discovered a quote that defines my story perfectly:
God sometimes leads us into troubled waters, not to drown us, but to cleanse us.
Sometimes when we feel like we can’t do life anymore, it’s just God putting us where we need to be and guiding us to let go of our plan and let Him take over.
Check out more stories like Kailen's on our Stories Page