“Sometimes it takes a mountain, Sometimes a troubled sea; Sometimes it takes a desert, To get a hold of me.” – (Gaither Vocal Band, 2014). Reflecting upon those lyrics, I cannot help but wonder if it had not been for a monumental event which occurred in my life five years ago, where I would be today?
Five years ago, as I was making plans to continue my undergraduate collegiate studies, a tragic event occurred. On the summer day of August 1st my mother was hospitalized, and exactly seven days later, she passed away. Up until that point, I knew, or at least I thought I knew what my purpose in life was. However, after that summer day of August 8th, everything which I had been working toward, both professionally and personally, no longer felt worth pursuing. And no matter what I did, I could not help but feel an emptiness inside. But God had a plan!
As I spent the following months of that year processing everything that had happened (many times in solitude), my conversations with God started to increase. Having grown up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church as I like to jokingly say, from birth, I knew about God. From a very young age I was actively involved in church. I sang solos, recited Bible verses commonly known as memory verses, was an active member of both the adventurers and pathfinder clubs and even went on missionary trips. Sadly, if you were to ask me to explain my relationship with God prior to the Monday evening of August 8th, I would have answered by saying that my relationship with God was an acquaintanceship.
After approximately twelve months had passed, my then undergraduate plans were revived when God opened an opportunity to enroll in an overseas Adventist college. Even though the selected college was not my first choice, I somehow knew that it was a part of God’s plan. As my first semester progressed, I recalled many nights in the stillness of the dark shedding silent tears as I struggled to overcome the death of not just a mother but also a best friend. It was in those most vulnerable moments, that for the first time ever, I felt God’s Presence drawing closer to me. Soon I found myself reading my Bible more often and with the help of courses such as God and Human Life as well as Friday night vespers services, my overall time spent with God continued to increase.
Although my relationship with God had grown, there was still that feeling of emptiness inside. But God had a plan! After completing my first year, which happened to be my junior year as I had transferred into the college, I opted to do summer school while working at a summer job. And well…ever been in a situation where everything worked out but you still do not know how it did? That summer of 2018, as I struggled to balance full-time work life with an intense summer school schedule, I saw God’s love and grace radiate in every aspect of my life, so much so, that by the end of that summer, not only did my relationship with Him become personal, but the feeling of emptiness was not as noticeable.
Entering the final year of college, I somehow knew that my relationship with God was going to be tested. Sitting in front of my financial advisor probably for the first time, I was nervous because I knew that there were not enough financial funds in my account to be cleared for my final semester of classes. As I waited, I recalled constantly praying in my heart to God for a miracle. After spending a considerable amount of time waiting, all I remembered was the feeling of relief as I walked out of the administrative building knowing that God had made a way.
In short, even though the final weeks of that semester leading toward graduation were a challenge, Jeremiah 29:11 constantly reminded me that God had a plan. God has a plan for all of our lives, and He wants to establish a personal relationship with us so that He can give us hope and a future. Why not give Him a chance today?
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 NKJV