Shifting from Confusion to Clarity
December 24, 2021
Student at the University of Ottawa
This year I have felt more confused and overwhelmed then I am happy to admit. Actually, this year, I lost a lot of my joy and hope for the future. I desperately wish that I could say that my faith in Jesus was so strong that the trials that came with this year didn’t affect me, but that simply isn’t true.
I have spent most of this year sad and overwhelmed. I’ve been sad to see so many people (especially people within the Church) arguing and the world dividing, and I have been overwhelmed because I couldn’t see a way out. I guess I knew the answer was Jesus but because I was so plagued with the complexities of the issues, it didn’t give me any reassurance.
So, I stopped going to God with my feelings of hopelessness and confusion. I continued to pray but I wasn’t truly opening up to God about my fears and worries because I was afraid that he couldn’t solve them. I couldn’t bring myself to give it all over to the evermore capable hands of Jesus because I had lost trust in His abilities to change impossible situations. Therefore, I hid away from the issues, avoiding them at all costs, which was pretty isolating actually, because I didn’t want to keep arguing over what felt like a hopeless situation.
Throughout this confusing and overwhelming time, I had a bible verse that kept reappearing to me. Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” A simple yet incredibly powerful verse.
Unfortunately, this verse had to come up what feels like a million times over several months before I could really understand what God was trying to say to me. One night, I heard him tell me these problems are too big for you to carry. Let me take care of them for you and finally the significance of this passage became clear to me. I realized that beyond my greatest efforts, I could not resolve these problems, not between my friends and family, and certainly not for the world. So that night, I gave my worries, my confusion, and my sadness to God and decided to let him resolve them for me
Another gift that God gave me through this confusing and isolating time was the understanding and welcoming InterVarsity community. They encouraged me to stay connected to God even when I wanted to hide away from Him. One of the leaders from the group would meet with me every few weeks so we could talk through whatever I had going on. Those meet-ups were some of the only times I felt I could unload some of the heavy thoughts I was holding onto because I was scared to bring them up elsewhere
My leader graciously listened to me, offered me unbiased and godly advice, and gave me the freedom to be honest without fear of judgement. On top of that, when school opened up again, I went to the worship nights and was so encouraged to see that I wasn’t the only Christian in the world anymore. I was encouraged to see a bunch a young people simply worshiping God despite the state of the world. Worshipping along side my classmates, reminded me who God was and what His promises were for this world. It also reminded me that God never leaves us alone.
A Heart Shift
Something began to change in my heart after this revelation from God and the encouragement of the InterVarsity community, because now I don’t have that tension in my mind or that knot in my stomach anymore. I’ve realized that I need to surround myself with other Christians whose faith and hope in Jesus will encourage me to continue relying on Jesus for everything. This year, I learned that Jesus is carrying my burdens, and He is fighting my battles, and that I need to continuously strive to rest in Him