Sometimes I wonder how my soul made it over and I just know it was God. This is true with all my hardships in my life. I feel like once I started to get older, went to college full time, working while attending school, and facing more adult issues, I realized how true this was and how much I really needed Him.
When I was younger and even to this day my grandfather would always say, “Pray without ceasing.”
As a kid and a young teenager, I scrunched my face in confusion, because I had no clue what that actually meant. I wondered how it was possible to pray all day without stopping. I prayed when I woke up in the morning and before I went to sleep, but that was about it. As I got into high school, I prayed more often throughout the day. I realized I needed help, and I couldn’t handle everything on my own.
I felt like life wasn’t as easy as middle school.
I felt like everything I was doing from here on counted,
I felt like everything I did was observed through a microscope by colleges across the country.
The thought of that added a new level of stress I never felt before. I cared about my future, and thought that the key to my success would be working hard, getting an education, and eventually landing my dream job. I wanted so badly to know that my own efforts of working hard would give me the future I had imagined for myself.
When I would close my eyes and picture my life as an adult, I saw this sophisticated woman dominating the business world. I had an office with amazing views of some beautiful, sprawling metropolis, living in a luxury high-rise, going out with my fabulous friends, vacationing to elite destinations, and living with my significant other.
Once I started college and was away from home, my family, and any form of familiarity: I felt alone. Towards the beginning of my freshman year, I didn’t feel comfortable so I didn’t talk to people often or go out of my way to be extremely social with others. I had no clue know WHAT was wrong with me. I got into the college that I had worked so hard to get into, and it even fit the bill of the place I had once envisioned for my older self.
My dorm was centralized right in downtown Chicago —
What else could I want?
What was I missing?
Why was I not feeling like myself?
The frank answer is that I was missing Jesus.
I was missing Jesus.
In the midst of going to college; living my day-to-day routine of going to class; job-hunting (which took way longer than I expected); making real life decisions; and trying to take care of myself, I lost sight of, and stopped communicating with Jesus. I was too focused on what I wanted that I started doing everything on my own.
In the pursuit of me seeking out this life that I imagined for myself, I got lost in “my world”. I lost communication with the only person who can take care of me, and give me everything I need. Because God promised He would never leave me nor forsake me, I never had to handle things on my own, despite how ‘old’ or ‘sophisticated’ I thought I was.
Why would I want to handle this life all on my own anyway, when He promised He would always be there to help me?
I was just way too focused on MY plan for my life, that I neglected the plans God had for my life. I took action without including God or remembering His plans.
After I went through MONTHS of stress and feeling alone, I turned back to my heavenly Father by taking the appropriate actions. I looked for a home church and sought out community. In this, I realized I was growing spiritually and that is something I could NEVER do on my own.
I also FINALLY realized the importance of praying without ceasing, and even though when I was younger I didn’t quite understand why my grandfather reiterated it so much, I do now; and I am so grateful that he said it as often as he did.
I now know that Jesus is the key to authentic success.