Although I am only 15 years old, I have experienced some tough times. Fortunately, the good times have far exceeded the bad ones. I am blessed to have a loving family, close friends, and a creator who desires nothing but the best for me. As a Christian, I am convinced that God provides all the strength and comfort that I need to handle difficult times.
Throughout my life, I have struggled with fear and anxiety. When I was a child, I had “night terrors” where I would cry and scream as if I was fully awake, while actually being in a deep sleep. As I grew older, I experienced panic attacks and a racing heart. I have learned that fear and anxiety are not unusual emotions. I have also learned to cope with these feelings. First, I discovered that my parents have struggled with these feelings. They taught me that a good way to relax is to read scripture and pray. I took their advice and soon noticed that praying and reading the Bible helped me to relax. Reading God’s word and communicating with Him in prayer gave me the strength and comfort to overcome my anxieties.
Another example of God’s provision for me relates to this football season. I injured both of my knees during summer “two-a-days” before the regular season began. Initially, I continued to practice and deal with the pain because I wanted to impress our new football coach. Eventually, I realized the need for medical attention. Weeks of physical therapy improved my condition but did not completely resolve the problem. As a result, I have been unable to give one hundred percent during the season. God has used this disappointing experience to teach me patience and to improve my work ethic. Once again, I found that God gives me strength and comfort to deal with difficult situations.
My latest experience of God’s comfort and strength took place as through the emotional and physical loss of my grandfather. My siblings and I called him “Granddaddy”. He was ill for many months and died less than two weeks ago of lymphoma. During these past months, I have felt a strength that I never expected. I enjoyed my time with him talking about past experiences. I also had the chance to help with his care. I cried when he died, but at the same time I knew that he was free of pain and disease. God has helped me put the loss of my grandfather in the right perspective.
God has proven that He is reliable in every circumstance, whether in the physical injury to my knees, the emotional struggle with fear and anxiety, or the emotional and physical loss of a loved one. God has given me every ounce of strength and comfort needed to handle these difficult times. In fact, it is through these life experiences that my faith in God has grown stronger and has prepared me for the struggles I will face in the future. The Apostle Paul said it best when he stated, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)