Talking about God with a friend is lovely, isn’t it? Its a blessing to be able to sit around and tell someone where you’re at and what is going on in your life and what God is doing in your life.
I am very blessed to have friends like that.
While I was talking with a wonderful friend the other night, that I trust and confide in, I was reminded that I was not always here. It wasn’t always easy to have conversations like that, and I wasn’t always in this place where I was happy and excited about what God was doing in my life.
Two years ago, my sophomore year, was a year I struggled with empty happiness. If you had asked me if I would relive that year on that last day of sophomore year, I would’ve told you, “Not in a million years”. I was very lonely, depressed, lost, and confused. School was something I dreaded. Not a lot of people know this about me. Freshman year, I was also very depressed. And I was having a hard time with the friends I was close with. No one seemed to understand when I wanted to talk about God and where I was at. No one wanted to talk about God. I loved church. Some of my friends didn’t want to hear about my experiences at church.
When you get to high school, life is all about where you are in the food chain at school. Are you at the top or the bottom? Who do you hang out with? Who is your group of friends? I found so much identity in my group that I was struggling to find it in my relationship with Jesus. Who I was in Him was not what I was reaching for. And I didn’t want to chase down the boys like a lot of my friends did. I wanted to chase Jesus. But I wasn’t. It was an empty place. I wasn’t chasing what my friends wanted but I also wasn’t chasing Jesus. I wanted to, but I was caught in this middle ground.
God really tugged at my heart for those two years. I tried to talk to my friends about it, but I didn’t have the people around me that I trusted to tell them what I was feeling. Thats a hard place to be in. You’re a Christian and your friends may or may not be too, but they’re not chasing Jesus. And you see that. What do you do? Well you talk about it. Invite them to church, talk about Jesus…
The number of friends I had that year slowly decreased and I lost contact with a lot of people I saw everyday. I’m sure not a lot of them noticed because it was something that happened over time. Sometimes you just lose contact with people. But there was this invisible wall that grew between me and a few people. You can’t see it, but you can definitely feel it. Sometimes, you run right into that wall and it hurts.
It really did hurt.
I was lonely. I felt forgotten. But in that time, God shouted loud and clear,
“I’m here with you!”
And He was. He was there. God walked with me through this empty time of my life. Even when I sat alone in class or sat home alone on Friday nights, knowing that God was with me outweighed the loneliness.
It was never easy, it was always difficult. But its truly beautiful when you can go through something like that with a friend. And I did have a friend in Jesus.
With that being said, I want to clarify that there was never a time in my life where I didn’t have friends. I talked with friends from church and I met new people when others stopped talking to me. But everyone had their “group” of peeps. I understood. So I floated around. Then God did something amazing.
He brought me my best friend. A person who was going through the exact same thing I was. And she was distanced from her friends as well because she was chasing Jesus. For some reason, we started hanging out. At lunch we sat by each other and shared what God was doing in our lives.
My best friend was one of the first people I talked to about Enlightened and she stood beside me to get everything together and set for what God did that night. She shared her story that night, about her lonely path during her first two years of high school. It was amazing how we realized that God has been calling us to great things and we needed to pursue Him to do that. We knew that pursing Him instead of that empty happiness was worth it. And He brought along a friend to encourage the other during the journey.
I now have a group of really close friends in my life that love Jesus and are chasing Him. Ones that I can share with about what God is doing in my life and they can share the same with me. I share this because I’m thankful. Thankful that God provided me with these friends to talk to, get to know, and spend time with.
Even if I didn’t have these friends, I am still thankful that I went through that lonely period of my life. God taught me so much. He taught me how to rely on Him and spoke to me in those quiet, peaceful times.
I want to encourage you. If you are a Christian, there are times that your life is going to be really lonely. You may be all by yourself or you may lose friends when others make decisions that you don’t agree with. High school is all about “memories with that group of friends you hung out with”. That’s great, but that’s not why we’re here. We’re not here to be comfortable and find our identity in a group. I am thankful that I have a group of friends that knows that and doesn’t want to chase an identity in something other than Jesus.
You can find those friends. God will provide those friends. He doesn’t want us to do this alone. But it’s important that we were never alone in the first place. At the start, He was there. In the end, He’ll be there.
In the times that you feel lonely, seek Him. Don’t sit in that middle ground where you’re not chasing anything. Chase Jesus.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”