When everything around you seems to crumble..
I picture myself calm in the eye of the tornado, the most chaotic and disastrous place to be, yet I am at peace.
That was me at the end of my Fall 2017 term in college, but it didn’t start out that way.
In beginning of the semester, late August, I was on fire for God. He had just given me another piece to my purpose, starting this blog. I knew that once He told me that, and once I returned to my college campus, which was five hours away from home, that my faith would be tested. I just didn’t know how much..
September 22nd, around 2am is a night I will never forget. Prior to this day, I had found out that a peer of mine had just lost his mother. This entire week, I had heard the Holy Spirit tell me to be real with Him, and I was so confused, until the middle of the night on that Thursday. My mind began to whirlwind on thoughts about my own mother, who had been deceased since I was two years old. As anger and confusion began to wrestle within my chest, I began to weep and scream into my pillow.
“Why did You have to take her away? Why did You bless her with a child, then another, and rip her away from us? Why didn’t she go to the hospital sooner? I want my mom!”
This began the two-month darkness period where God began to dig up issues of mine that were poisonous to my soul: low self-esteem, negative mindset, pornography, masturbation, and people bondage. During these two months, I began to isolate myself from my friends, my Christian Campus Organization; and, more importantly, God. But, prior to this, I told my friends the signs that I wasn’t okay and the first and most obvious is isolation.
See, I had gone through this season of darkness almost every semester before (I was a Junior during this time), so I knew how the cycle went: I would get far away from God, my grades would suffer horribly, and I would begin to think very negatively and isolate myself from everything and everyone that brought me peace.
After having multiple conversations with some friends of mine, they convinced me to go back to therapy, where my counselor and I worked on cognitive therapy to retrain my negative thinking cycle. In another post, I’ll touch on the importance of prayer and counseling.
It wasn’t until the last two weeks of December that I finally broke down and cried to my cousin, telling her there was a possibility I could be suspended from the college. She then begin to tell me all of the things I knew deep down inside, but my heart was too hardened to accept:
It’s okay. God is with you. He is good, and He is good at being your Father. He has not brought you this far to leave you. Don’t worry about your mother nor your dad’s reaction. You are fine. God is good and He is with you. Keep repeating that until you believe it.
I had to force myself to sit up in my bed and grab my bible that seemed unfamiliar in my hands. It was through reading this amazing book called Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst, and the Bible, and writing down spiritual affirmations that I could see God leading me out of the tunnel. In those two weeks, I tried my best to redeem myself in my academic career, but it was too late..
“Shamari, the SAAS denied your appeal..”
Find out in Part 2 the rest of my journey with following God in the midst of the storm!