I have grown up in the church my whole life. My dad has been my pastor for 17 years. I get asked all the time ,” Are you that goody goody pastors daughter, or are you a rebel?” As if those are the only two options. It doesn’t even bother me anymore the stereotypes I have been placed in before even meeting that person.
I became a Christian when I was 7 years old. I have looked up to my older sister Maggie, literally since I was born. One night, I told my dad that I wanted to live for Jesus like my sister did and be happy and selfless all the time, like her. We prayed that night and that is when I became a Christian. I definitely think that being so young I could not fully comprehend the decision I made and what that meant for my life, however I knew it was something my heart needed. I have been determined to grow in my relationship with God ever since then.
My life has been pretty easy and I have been blessed beyond measures with the family I am able to live with. I look up to my parents more than anyone and they have taught me how to persevere through the challenges in my life.
July 26, about four months ago, my mom was admitted into Duke Hospital with severe pancreatitis. She spent about 3 1/2 months in the ICU fighting for her life. My mom missed every single one of my senior year volleyball games, college tours, and life events that happened while she wasn’t here. Life continued to go when I just wanted it to stop. My dad stayed bedside with her, so I was either house jumping or staying with my grandparents. Uncertainty is a very scary thing. And just when I heard good news about mom, something bad would pop up and the discharge date extended and extended. So I eventually gave up on thinking she’d come home this year.
On Thanksgiving of this year, my mom was discharged from the hospital and is improving at home. While the road to full recovery is still very long, I know that God has made our family so much stronger. I know that God has made me much stronger through this.
Amidst tragedies, fear, uncertainty, or grief, people tend to push away or question God. God uses these ‘bad things’ to draw us to Him. I realized that God was showing me how faithful and loving He is this whole time, even when it didn’t feel like it. God’s purpose to drawing people to Him is through the scary and sad times, because we are reminded how powerful He truly is. I could have never gone through this dark and scary time if I were not constantly talking to God and trusting Him every step of the way.
Uncertainty, fear, tragedy, grief, change, and evil will always be there. Do not let those things take control of your life. Exodus 14:14 reminds us that the Lord will fight for us. He is always fighting for you.