Growing up, I lived in a religious household. Being raised Catholic, I attended Sunday school and mass every Sunday with my family. Once I got into middle school, I started getting involved in Southland’s middle school ministry and got plugged into a life group with several different girls; this continued as I entered high school as well. Life was great! I was succeeding in school as well as soccer. I had a great group of friends and even started dating this awesome guy junior year. I didn’t know what a hardship remotely looked like. Once senior year was close to being over, I was a little apprehensive going into college since none of my close friends were coming to UK with me, but I still stayed positive and was excited to see what freshman year had to offer me.
The first couple of weeks were great as I was getting to explore campus and had a new sense of independence away from my family, but as the months went on, I started realizing there was a heavy sadness within me. Essentially, I wasn’t finding that friend group I had in high school and just held a deep longing for acceptance by others. I was lost and kept questioning God… “God why are you putting me through this… these are supposed to be the best years of my life… everybody else is so happy and I’m not.” I would lay in bed at night and cry, pleading out to God to make the situation better and to put these close friends into my life. I even had suicidal thoughts and thought about completely abandoning my faith. The only person I felt like I really had and could open up to was my boyfriend at the time.
As the semester went on, I kept trying to hide the fact that I was so broken and hurting inside; putting on a happy face for the world was a lot easier than opening up to anyone. Most people in my life had no idea that I was struggling so bad. I didn’t know how to handle such a situation because I was always the happy, easy going girl.
One night I drove home to have dinner with my mom and finally reached my breaking point. I completely opened up to her and told her everything that I was feeling and going through. She immediately suggested I start going to see a counselor, which initially I was reluctant to do since that was damaging to my pride. Alas, I agreed to going to seeing someone and it was the best decision I could have made. My counselor encouraged me to start opening up with others, which was something I hadn’t done with anyone except my boyfriend, so of course I was scared to do just that. I also started journaling every day, which provided the perfect way to get all thoughts out and hand them over to God.
As freshman year passed by, I continued going to a counselor and created many godly relationships with some amazing Christian girls. Instead of letting Satan fill my mind with lies, I trained myself to fill it with God’s promises: I am loved, I am wanted, and I do matter. Life was starting to turn itself back around and I was becoming the happy person I used to be, but God decided to throw another curve ball my way. My boyfriend of 2.5 years and I broke up over summer, and I was tempted to fall back into my old depressed state. I was confused as to why God would put me through yet another difficult trial, but looking back, I know God put me through my first trial to help me get through the breakup. So instead of hanging my head and feeling bad for myself, I sought out God more and more each day to help mend my broken heart. Even though it was, and still is, extremely difficult, I knew God had a better plan for me.
Through these different seasons of life, I have come to learn that God’s plan isn’t always my plan. God already has my future laid out and wants only the absolute best for me. I have learned that, in times of pain and sorrow, God is there to listen to my cries and is willing to help me if I’m willing to pursue a relationship with Him. It’s not always the easiest to trust Him, but in the end it’s the best choice to make. God has always been faithful to me
and will forever continue to.