Experiencing God in the Midst of Challenge

By Frank

Student at Simon Frasier University

When I think about 2021, a lot of emotions run through my head. Everyone has gone through so much pain and suffering, myself included. However, God has continually been pushing me to stay rooted in his word and lean into who he is as our loving Father. That is honestly something that has given me a lot of happiness over the past year, as I’ve felt very empowered by God to share my life with others.
Most of my year was shaped through eight months of internships from January through to the beginning of September. Time at work allowed me to reflect and think a lot about trying to find God through the midst of work. There were several interactions that helped me to realize that God was at work in me and putting things on my heart.

Learning that joy comes from sharing my faith with co-workers

For example, I got to share one conversation with a co-worker about how God had been very much present in my life over the past year and how I believed that certain events that greatly impacted me were not mere coincidences. Several conversations like this helped me to understand that I could share freely with others and have discussions that were very fruitful.
There was an instance in the middle of a work meeting where the other individual just broke down because she was going through some tough times. We ended up having a long conversation and I offered my perspective along with some prayer, which she greatly appreciated. Through all this, God taught me how to share my faith with people in different contexts and showed me the impact it can have on them. It was a joyful and unforgettable experience.

Experiencing the joy of going back to school in person

As I went back to school this fall, I was extremely excited. I love the feeling of walking on campus and interacting with people, and I had missed that dearly. This gave me a newfound energy to invest in ministry with InterVarsity at Simon Fraser University.
I started an application book study that was focused on helping students to learn how to reach out to their neighbors. God is definitely working in this group as people are learning well through discussions, and people’s mindsets are shifting.
I have also found I’m more eager to help out in other ways with InterVarsity, so I am leading some large group sessions and am more present on campus. I feel that God has helped me to use the loneliness and boredom experienced while crammed in my room last year to impact people that I see now, as I’m able to share and relate with others who have gone through similar things throughout the past year. There have been many conversations about mental health, why humans are meant to be in relationship, etc., which have really allowed me to process my own experiences well while sharing.

Reflecting on God’s promises in anxious times

Looking forward, I’m heading into my final semester as a fifth-year business student, with lots of uncertainty ahead about my future. In the past, I have typically spent time overthinking situations and being too focused on what I could control or change, while God has constantly invited me to rest with him and be content with what I have at the current moment.
As I have been sharing about my life throughout the past year and how God has been present and working, I feel that he has helped me to really understand how His presence in my life is positively affecting me in pretty much every facet
I have been reflecting on Philippians 4:4-9, which talks about lifting our requests to God and letting him handle it, along with focusing on thinking about and putting excellent and praiseworthy things into practice. I have found that stepping out of my comfort zone to share has helped me to offer up my worries and anxieties to God and trust him to handle it. His promise that his peace will come as a result of that is really comforting, and it’s something that I will continue to receive moving forward.

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