A few things that I learned this summer that have stuck with me: do not hide behind your sins, do not go through it alone, bring it to the Lord first, and it is okay to grieve and honestly lament.
This past year has been extremely challenging for me, yet the most spiritual growth has come from it. The beginning of this new spiritual walk started when I was called to do something (for the first time!) by God – go to Honduras. This was a huge step for me because I had never been even on a mission trip let alone out of the country. Although this was way out of my comfort zone, I listened and I went, thinking that was going to be the hardest part.
While prepping for evangelism I realized I truly had never understood the gospel. Simultaneously, I was brought with a wave of excitement and shame; how could I say I was a Christian and not know what it really means to be one? I hid this for a long time, until this summer at LT. Surrounded by Christians and non-believers who were all in different stages of life and faith, I was able to see our differences and not put one person above or below me on this weird hierarchy of “how good of a Christian are you” that I had made in my head in the past. It really does not matter what step we are at with our faith or how much we know about the Bible, what matters is our love for Him and His love for every person regardless of our faults. Nothing you ever do or think could ever make God love you less. He meets us with love and grace every time we falter and fills in the holes of our mistakes, all we have to do is let Him in. [Ephesians 2:8]
And let him in I did, with my decision to get baptized at the end of the summer. Not for salvation (because we are freely given this) but because I wanted to outwardly profess the internal change that has happened over this past year. I am excited to finally let God in and walk with me everywhere: in my victories and in my hardships.