When I was in seventh grade, I really struggled when it came to my friends. One of my worst experiences was planning for my eight grade Washington D.C. trip with my junior high school. The day before all the forms were due, I got into a fight with a few of my friends and ended up not having anyone to room with. That whole summer was agony for me because I felt so lost and hopeless. I didn’t have any friends to turn to, and that made it really hard for me.
When eighth grade came around, I started off by eating lunch with a different crowd of people every day. I was struggling but I had no one to turn to.
And worst of all, I knew it was my fault. Even though I’d apologized to my friends, I couldn’t help but feel like I was worthless and unwanted.
The only place where I felt like I was worth something was at the barn. I had been training a horse named Sam, and I put everything into working with him. He was a young horse who had been abused, and I was small and shy. We got along, and I could ride him better than 99% of the people there, solely because he liked me. I was a beginner and had no idea what I was doing, but he was patient and helped me learn everything. Of course, because I was really the only student who could ride him, my lesson barn couldn’t keep him up as a lesson pony. And on June 28, 2013, he was sold, and I haven’t seen him in person since. My faith was really shaken by this, because I couldn’t understand how God could leave me so alone, and so isolated from everything. I had no friends, and I had no horse. If He existed, I didn’t want to know him. A God like that wasn’t worth getting to know, right?
One Monday morning a few months later, I was sitting in science class watching a movie. Now, science was my favorite class. At the time, I wanted to be a veterinarian, so I was a complete teacher’s pet when it came to science. I never contradicted my teacher, I never spoke out of turn, and I always did exactly what I was supposed to. But that particular morning, the teacher put on a video about the Big Bang Theory to introduce our evolution unit.
I was preoccupied during the first part of the video, so I honestly couldn’t tell you who was in it or what science they were using to prove everything. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t belong. But I remember that as I was sitting there, a woman said in the video, “It’s hard to believe that all of this was just a random accident. None of it’s supposed to be here, but somehow it is.” And she smiled as she spoke. Then this overwhelming feeling hit me; I spent too much time listening to the world. I spent too much time caring about what my friends thought of me. I didn’t care enough about who God told me I was.
The video ended soon after, and my teacher told us we’d be learning about how the earth was made. I don’t really remember standing up, but I do remember staring my teacher in the eyes, and saying quite possibly the meanest thing I’ve ever said to a teacher: “What if I don’t want to believe in your stupid atheism?”
I immediately freaked out. I mean, how many of you would say something like that to a teacher? How many of you would have no problem contradicting a teacher in the middle of class? I was sure I was going to get a detention or a call home or suspended or maybe even expelled. The teacher looked so angry. And I think I would have gotten punished if a boy hadn’t stood up and said “yeah, she’s right” leading the class into a chant. I sat down, but something had changed inside of me. Little did I know that this was the beginning of my call to follow God, my call to write, and my call to ministry. But, God can work in mysterious ways.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” – Hebrews 4:12
I love this verse, and have loved it since I read it. It can be easy to be discouraged in the world we live in. I mean, the world is depressing. It is isolating, and it becomes easy to doubt. I’ve had several friends who were atheist over the years, and I often get asked how a God who is good can exist when there is so much bad in the world. How can God be good if evil exists in the world? The answer is simple; the world is dead. The world we live in is lost to sin. It is depressing, discouraging, and isolating.
But the word of God is alive and powerful. And that’s not some good-Christian-church-answer. I was alone, without faith, and God still managed to penetrate all of that. He still managed to chase after me, find me, and bring me back to Him. It was through His word that I found my faith again. It is through His word that I can praise Him every day.
I said I loved this verse, and part of the reason is that it serves as a reminder that I’m not built to last in this world. Notice that small part, “between joint and marrow.” My joints don’t work. They never have, and they never will. There isn’t a way to fix my collagen. But, God’s word is deeper than that. His word is deeper than my worldly troubles. I’m not made for this world. I’m made for something better. EDS is just a reminder that the best is yet to come, and that God’s word is still waiting to be fulfilled. I am still waiting.
Doubt by Twenty One Pilots
“Gnawing on the bishops, claw away at the system
Repeating simple phrases, someone holy insisted
Want the mark he’s made on my skin
To mean something to me again
Hope you haven’t left without me
Hope you haven’t left without me, please
Don’t forget about me, don’t forget about me
Even when I doubt you, I’m no good without you, no, no.”