One if the earliest memories I have of my family is going to church. My family, all my cousins, aunts, and uncles, would all pile into our cars early Sunday morning and drive to Vancouver. Or, when it was just my immediate family, we’d go down by the new middle school to the Presbyterian church. For me, this religion of Christianity has always been somewhat of a part of my life, but it hasn’t been until fairly recently until I knew what it meant to be a part of my church, versus just going to church. But now, there are a plethora of reasons why my faith is vital to me.
The first and foremost reason why my faith is such an important part of my life is the hope. One of my favorite songs is Wasteland by NEEDTOBREATHE. A lyric from the song is, “ In this wasteland, where I’m living, there’s a crack in the door filled with light, and it’s all that I need to get by,”. When I first heard this, it automatically became one of my favorites because it fit into my life so well. My life has, to say the least, had it’s down moments. But because of that little bit of “light” that I got from my relationship with God, was enough. That hope is why I’m still here. My church, New Heights, has a camp for middle schoolers called Getaway. My first year, I was in 6th grade, and I was terrified. Starting with the first lesson during chapel time (similar to a church service), flipped my situation upside down and around. All the fear that I had been feeling melted away, and I actually started to enjoy my time there. Camp is where I first learned who Jesus was to me, and it gave me hope and taught me that I didn’t have to live miserably; everything would be alright. I dedicated my entire life to Christ on the third day of camp. That started the ongoing journey of my faith. Because hope would make it possible to continue.
Furthermore, camp laid the site for the foundation of my faith. Going to go to church again and continuing to go to camps gave me plenty of opportunities to build my relationship with God. I was like a sponge soaking up anything and everything I could. I started building the foundation and just kept going from there. Even since 6th grade, there has definitely been a ton of hard times that required help from the One Higher than I. My stepdad left, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I had problems with people at school. Everything seemed as if it was our to destroy me, and for a while, I actually let it get to me. What I learned in those times was that when I allowed myself to get broken, I had completely forgotten about my faith. I had subconsciously walked away from my God when I needed it the most. The theme of my last middle school camp was this: no matter when I walk away, God will always still be right there for me. I took that to heart and turned back to my foundation, which has become the foundation for my entire life. I look to God every single day because faith is the most important part of my life.
Then, after returning to my faith, I had to take a hard look at why I had walked away in the first place so that I could make sure I didn’t do it again. I’m not perfect, but now I can catch myself and return to the best part of my life. I decided to include this paragraph because staying with my faith is essential to me, and when I walk away, I need to come back so that I can continue to move forward in my life. Anyway, I did during the time I didn’t have my faith is important, because what I was doing was not important. When I had walked away, I was looking anywhere but the cross to take away my pain. I hurt myself in ways I never should’ve, exhausting myself out in sports, starving, staying up late to finally finish my school work, and eventually practicing literal self-harm. But none of it satisfied me, I was still broken. The only thing that could save me was God. Because I ignored the foundation I had built, I looked for fillers in my life; all of them temporary compared to life in Jesus Christ. Jesus says in John 15:5-6 that, “ ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then we will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned.’”. He was right, I was like the branches talked about, withered and dried up. When I came back to the church, I was made new again, and I got myself back. The church satisfied my soul, just as Jesus said it would in John chapter 4. When I learned this lesson, I knew that I would be able to use it for the rest of my life.
Continuing further in my faith, the church became my chosen home. When things at home got rough, I knew I always had the church. That’s what Jesus wanted for us, to remain in him, and I learned to. At my house, there was brokenness, fighting, and darkness. What I found in the church: healing, love, and support. The hope, foundation, and satisfaction I was learning about all came from the church, and it was always there to pick me back up. The lessons that I recently learned were being put into play, and it worked. I grew in my times of struggle, instead of being beaten down. I found a secure place physically, emotionally, and mentally in the church. At church, the healing process for me began, which I took back home, and things have drastically changed. The place where I spend a good portion of my time was being rebuilt, along with the people in it. Like a contagious disease, my attitude from church spread like wildfire. Now the church is part of my house, and my house is my home away from home. That’s another reason why my faith is so crucial because, without it, I wouldn’t be able to live at my house.
In effect, we come to the most recent, this summer. From the summer before 6th grade to the summer before freshman year, everything has changed. This year, I got to go to Black Lake, the high school camp through New Heights. What I learned there has become the basic idea for what I and to do for my future, what is what we’re supposed to do in high school anyway! When God says to listen to him, you should, so that God has the most time to be able to use you. When I was really little, I always wanted to be a missionary pastor. As I got older; I lost sight of that and wanted to be an engineer, or scientist, or even an astronaut. I didn’t realize that a pastor was who God wants me to be; so for years I hadn’t listened and tried to do what I wanted to do, which has obviously worked out great other times too. At camp, there was a speaker who talked about what God called her to be when she was really little, and how she thought that she was just crazy. He told her again when she was a teenager, and it’s worked out great for her. That’s how I remembered that when I was little I wanted to be a pastor because God told me again that I was going to be a pastor. This time, I’m listening. My faith has become the center for everything I do, it’s what I’m going to do with my life. I’m going to give up all my ambitions in trade for His plan, and I know that’s it’s going to work out. I’m going to inspire people, change their lives, and as an ultimate goal, bring them to Christ, so that they may do the same. Again, and again, and again.
To conclude, my faith is my life. As I mentioned, my faith is the center for everything I do, and I’m going to listen to God. While I may try to put off listening, eventually I come to my senses. That’s why on Friday in class I was still attempting to write about conspiracy theories, and now I have my entire essay done in a few hours; because it is easier to write about something that is truly important to me, my faith.