*Written by my beautiful daughter, Faith. In this, she shares her genuine, transparent and wise heart to inspire and encourage other teenage girls preparing for the new school year. (She also hand drew each image shown below- yep, she's pretty amazing.) Enjoy His love flowing through her pen. You'll be blessed.
High school is where your life begins to go full-force.
It’s the starting line to figuring out who you are, your future, and the type of crowd you “flow” with.
High school also comes with many feelings and emotions. Excitement, anxiety, stress, all-time highs, rock bottoms, happiness, feeling loved, feeling rejected, loneliness… the list goes on and on. And no matter who you are or what grade you’re in, we’ve all experienced at least one of these emotions in our own ways, with our own stories, and through our own storms.
As daughters of God, possibly one of the most common emotions is rejection. We enter high school at the start of the year after a rejuvenating and refreshing summer, feeling ready and confident in our faith to spread the gospel to our peers. Suddenly, our eyes are open widely to the realization that realty did not read the script to the scenario we have placed in our heads.
Being bold can be very frightening, for many reasons, but the biggest reason is because we know that, more than likely, people will have an attitude of rejection towards any subject that involves faith.
Another fear could be persecution. The start of my freshman year, I wasn’t afraid to spread the love of Christ, also never knowing what it’s like to be persecuted. That quickly changed. Not only was I hurt, but I was confused. If God called me to be bold, then why would he be allowing this to happen? Why would he allow me to feel like I was entering a battlefield every day as I walked through those front doors? Why would he allow me to feel this rejected and lonely?
-“Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Mark 13:13
-“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
-“If anyone would come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34
-“Whoever loves his life will lose it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25
God clearly showed me with these verses that being a Christian isn’t easy. Every single day, we will have to carry our cross, we will be talked about, and life will be hard. Yet, our reward is far greater than our sacrifices, and sometimes our greatest victories come from our greatest hurts.
We can be joyous through the persecution, holding that smile on our face, showing our persecutors love, because we know we’re doing exactly what God has called us to do.
I can’t tell you that being bold gets easier, or that it gets more comfortable, or even that it doesn’t still hurt; because I’d be lying. Talking to people about my faith still makes me very uncomfortable, but accepting Jesus into your heart doesn’t mean you are automatically in a comfortable position all the time.
Realize these hardships and don’t fade from God.
Instead, cling tighter to Him, and ask what He wants you to do or see in the situation. God put you in this, He will get you through it. Your bond, love, and trust with Him can strengthen significantly during this.
It can also be challenging with the things that seems so minuscule in our eyes. I struggle with this, especially such as the way I dress or how I speak. I have to constantly remind myself that my body is a temple and perfected by God. I don’t need to use it to seek the wrong attention from guys because God already loves and adores me, and He is all I need.
We are the hands, feet, and yes, tongue, of Christ. What we say to others or even our light that we shine could be the only example of God in people’s lives.
You are not alone in your persecution; people all around the world are fighting through exactly what we are. Pray for one another. Pray that we'd have the strength not to shrivel back just because that’s what the world demands of us. Instead, that we'd climb this steep mountain with our eyes locked on God. Pray for each other because we understand how hard it is to go through persecution. God is worth it all.
In Love, Faith