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Lighting up the Darkness

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One of the worst fears of any human is being or feeling alone. No one likes the thought of not having someone to lean on during hard times or not having a friend to talk to when you need advice. I never dreamed that I would have to experience this feeling until June 28th when I said my last good-byes to my family for five weeks. This past summer God blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of the Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) at Bellarmine University. GSP is a pre-college program focused on inspiring and teaching students of Kentucky. Each high school junior goes through a lengthy application process in order to be accepted through their school and state.  Several thousand students apply and only 1,100 students are accepted.

After hours of working on my application and sending it in through my school, I figured out I had been chosen from my school and accepted by the state. Many emotions were going through my head when my mom read my acceptance letter aloud to me in the car!  Would people accept me? Could I be away from my friends and family for five weeks? Did God really want me to go? For weeks I didn’t stop thinking about the what if’s because everything was unknown to me. All I knew was it was God’s plan for me to be accepted and I was to let Him lead the way!

Opening day of GSP was absolutely heartbreaking. My family had to leave me on a college campus with the brightest students of Kentucky, many of whom had accomplished much more than me.  I kept reminding myself that God had a plan for me to be there. The first couple of days I was trying to make friends and find people who had my similar interests and beliefs, but I felt so alone when it came to my Christian faith. After a few days, I was spiritually struggling because I didn’t have fellow believers with whom I could share the Christian walk.  I was feeling alone and helpless until I went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meeting one night. Right when I walked in, the presence of the Holy Spirit was overpowering!  I saw around one hundred students who were eager to learn more spiritual knowledge and were thirsty to dig deeper into the Word.  All this time I thought I was one light in a dark, dark world.  Little did I know there were other believers going through the same feelings!  I was able to have deep discussions about a grace-based faith instead of a works based faith with fellow students.  We all confided in one another the struggles that we Christians have to face on a daily basis.

Towards the end of the meeting we all held hands in a circle and each prayed about what God was laying on our hearts. All I could say was WOW!  Hearing everyone speak gave me hope that there are other lights in this world and God calls us to come together and light up the path of Christ. It doesn’t matter the physical or spiritual age when it comes to worshipping God. After that night, God placed many Christian friends in my life who I was able to grow close to and walk with in Christ. GSP gave me the opportunity to share with other believers and minister to those who were lost. Many Christians believe that other countries are the ones who need to hear the good news of Christ, but in reality the people who are closest to us are the ones who need to hear it the most. Some days you will feel alone like I did, but remember God always has a plan and sometimes His plan involves you to step out of your comfort zone and let him lead the way. I challenge every one of you to step out of your bubble and go share the Gospel to those around you. Never be afraid to pray or talk about your faith around others because you never know when someone is in the same boat as you.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16