Hey everyone. My name is Luke. A few years back this website was what I lived for. Life used to be really simple for me. I loved being able to journal out my thoughts and ideas on here and being able to express my feelings in such a safe community. A lot changed for me however.
I hit high school and life became different. Temptation was everywhere, sin was everywhere, and life got messy. I changed a lot. I stopped caring about my faith, and I began to pursue a “fun” and “exciting life”. I started hanging out with the wrong group of people, and got involved with the wrong type of things. In the moment I never realized how much I had actually changed, and how much I actually strayed away from God in the whole process.
In grade 11 I hit rock bottom. I felt lonely and I felt empty. I hadn’t really actively pursued my faith with God in a long time, and I had nothing left to give me hope. I had some friends, but they weren’t the people I could talk to about this kind of stuff. I felt like everything around me was falling apart and I had nowhere to go. I went through a really rough time. I found my identity in sin, and I felt like God was just setting me up for failure. I gave up on faith completely. I felt as though if God was really a loving and caring God like everyone says he is, then how could he possibly allow me to go through such a dark path all alone. I got quite depressed for a bit of time. I was so wrapped up in this idea that God had given up on me. I felt like I was too far gone for him to ever love me again. If he knew half the things I did, thought or said, he couldn’t possibly want me back.
This was the darkest moment of my life.
In March of grade 11 I went to Jamaica for the SCA missions trip. Going on this trip, I felt completely out of place. I had not a lot of friends in the class, I was extremely distant from God, and I had absolutely no desire to make a difference. I wanted to run away from the whole idea and drop out of the class and never look back on it, but something kept drawing me into it. I felt this force that wouldn’t let me do that. I can’t explain how it felt or even what it was, but I knew that I had to be there.
Well, March came around and before I knew it I was on the airplane flying to some country to go and tell people about this guy named God; a guy that I struggled to believe even loved me. The first few days were hard. I felt useless, lonely and ridiculed. Why did God bring me to this place where I felt even more different and distant than I already did.
Hopeless, angry, depressed and scared, I took a huge leap of faith. One night at devotions I prayed. Not just a simple meaningless prayer, but a prayer that sounded a bit like this: “God I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know why my life is so dark right now. I don’t know where you are or even who you are. I have all this doubt and sadness in me, and I don’t know what to do. Im not the kid I used to be. The cold reality of this world changed me. It made me someone who I actually fear. God i’m out of hope. I need you. I can’t do this on my own. I’m yours… use me to help make a difference Lord. Change me please.”
Life for me changed. Not instantly, but God provided me with a sense of hope. He replaced my anxiety with the hope of Jesus Christ, and he took away my sadness and filled it with joy that could only come from he. He loved me for who I was. He saw the darkest parts of my heart and my mind, and he renewed me.
I met some amazing people on the trip. I put aside my fears, and put my trust in God. I prayed for a blind man, I worked with orphans, and I talked to random people on the street about what it actually means to follow God, and how much he can change lives.
I worked with the most broken children who still smiled like they were living a perfect life. I was inspired by a four year old, a disabled lady, a homeless man, and a man with no limbs.
God changed me. He lightened my heart, and he put my broken pieces back together. I was made new in his image, and I will forever remember that.
This past summer I spent most of my weeks working at summer camp. I was able to use my story to really make an impact on others. Lives were changed this summer. I watched children come to know God for the first time, and the childlike faith that they possessed within their hearts gave me such a sense of hope.
God works in the most strange ways. I still don’t understand why he allowed me to stray down such a dark and dangerous path in life, but I have learnt so much through it. God will never ever stop loving me. He was there in the beginning and he will be there in the end. The God who knows all knows me. He knows YOU. The big guy upstairs who created everything and anything knows YOU specifically and he wants nothing more than the use you to further his kingdom.
Guys, life is an incredible journey. There’s gonna be some messy patches. I promise you there will be. Life get’s hard, and life gets dark. But don’t up on your creator. He is there for you. Everything in your life happens for such a specific and divine reason, and I can’t even begin to explain how amazing it feels to figure that out.
I know a lot of you guys on here are jr high, and you are honestly the perfect age to really understand how much you are loved, and how much you will always be loved. No matter what choices you make in life, or not matter how far you may stray away from God, he will never leave you, and he will never give up on you.
Have childlike faith. Go explore his wonders. Live your life to its fullest. Search within your heart, and ask God what he wants from you. Put your fears aside, and put your trust into the big guy who created the heavens and the earth, the mountains, the stars; the one true king who know you for who you are and loves you no matter what.
Life’s a journey, and Im glad I ended up back to where my faith all began.
“I loved you at your darkest”