Struggling together

I would like to tell you that I do not struggle with my faith. That I go to church every Sunday and really worship while I’m singing and that I listen intently to the sermons and how I can apply the teachings to my own life. I would also love it if I could tell you that every day I live a life that represents the love of Christ toward others, that before every decision I make I think about what God is leading me to do in that situation.

But I do struggle with my faith. I get distracted during worship and my mind wanders during the sermon. More than that, though, I struggle with my faith in everyday life. There are sometimes that I go days without praying. Not because I am purposely avoiding prayer, but because there was a time in my life where I did purposely avoid it and it is hard to pray every day now.

There are times when I am faced with a difficult decision and instead of turning to God I rely on my own understanding of the situation because that is what I have done for so long.

And as much as I hate to admit it, there are still times when I wonder if anyone is actually listening when I do pray or if anyone is there when I am struggling.

I know God is real. I know His love for me is beyond my understanding, and even when I feel like no one is listening His hand is always on whatever situation I am in. But when I am in the midst of a difficult time or having to make a hard decision it’s not my first instinct to turn to God. It is my first instinct to try and fix it myself and then blame God when it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.

Last week I wrote about friendships and how important they are in your life, but how friends come and go. Well friendships in general are extremely important, but having someone in your life that you can look up to spiritually and who can help your spiritual journey is even more important. Everyone needs someone who they can tell anything and everything to without fear.

I never had a person like that. I had good friends and I was happy with my friendships but I never had anyone that I could really talk to about the hardest parts of my life. And I didn’t realize how hard that was on me until there was someone in my life who I could tell anything to.

It took 22 years for me to find that person, but now I realize how very important that person is.

I knew when I moved in with my current roommate that we could be close. Our personalities suit each other and we grew up in similar families with the same values. We are different and the same simultaneously and she is easy to talk to. But it wasn’t until we were sitting on the couch one night at midnight and I was telling her things about my life that I hadn’t told anyone else that I realized how important she had become in my life.

Now I could make a long list of reasons why she has become one of the most important people in my life, but I’m not going to do that. I am going to tell you one reason. Spiritually I look up to her. She is not perfect and she makes mistakes and it makes it a whole lot easier for me to tell her my mistakes because of that. She tries to make decisions that show that God is first in her life even when those decisions are some of the hardest choices she has ever made.

I know all of this because she shares her struggles with me and in turn I feel comfortable sharing mine with her. She is the kind of friend everyone needs. Someone who isn’t perfect but who does everything in their power to honor God with the decisions they make. Someone who listens without judgment but who also holds you accountable for your decisions.

I struggle with my faith and she struggles in other areas of life and we help each other. God has shown Himself to me through her and I’m not even sure she knows it. But I have never been so grateful for a friendship in my life and, once again, even though I sometimes doubt Him, God always shows that He knows exactly what I need.

Do you have a friend like that in your life? Share your story with us, either by commenting below or shooting an email to therope@thealabamabaptist.org.


By Caitlin

Editor’s Note: Caitlin is a contributor to this blog, but isn’t the only writer whose words you may see here. To read more posts by Caitlin or to see the other writers, visit the authors’ categories in the menu at the top right corner of the screen.

 

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