The Tests of Summer 2014

Hi, all. Or none. Depending on whether or not people actually read this.

It’s been a busy several of months since I last posted. My summer has been full of ups and downs, rights and wrongs, happiness and sadness, excitement and whatever the opposite of excitement is. I hope you all have had a summer full of excitement just as I have had. And not to forget, the summer is still ongoing.

On thing that has stuck out to me during the summer of 2014 thus far is the test of my own personal strength. Not physical strength. Because by all means I would be very much lacking in that category. What has been tested is my ability to stand strong with myself mentally and spiritually – two tests that I believe are much more influential and important than any physical test.

Mental testing. 
During the first part of my summer, I attended a week long mental disciplinary course that tested how mentally capable I am. Haha. Just kidding. That would not be fun at all.
All joking aside, something I have really struggled with this summer, and something I think we will always struggle with in some form or fashion, is fitting in. I’ve come into contact with many teenagers of my age this summer, perhaps more than I would like to. Among all of the peers I have met, the majority of them have dramatically different personalities than I do. Of course I want to fit in. I want to feel accepted into groups of people that I think are cool and hip. I want to feel like a part of the cool crowd. With that mindset, I found it hard to maintain my own identity.

I think struggling to fit in is a universal struggle. We want to fit in, but lose ourselves in the process. God made us a unique being, Psalm 139 beautifully explains that. He doesn’t wish for us to be something else other than what He created us to be. Because too much of the time, we lose our relationship with Him in the process.

Always stay true to yourself, it’s really not that fun to do the opposite.

Spiritual testing. 
Lord knows He has tested me spiritually this summer. I won’t go into the details, just because it would take much more time than I have, and frankly, I’d like to go to sleep soon. Beside the fact, I really have been tested spiritually this summer. I’ve had to take stances on issues I never thought I would have to. This spiritual struggle has made me laugh and cry and everything gross and unattractive action in between.

But isn’t that the beauty of the spiritual tests God puts us through? God doesn’t put us through things knowing that we would not grow closer to Him by the end of the process; that would be cruel and mean of God, but isn’t that what we deserve as selfish, filthy sinners? God’s grace is truly amazing.

The highs and lows of my spiritual tests this summer have really put me in awe. But you know what has made me more awestruck than anything: God’s beautiful grace and His willingness to test us so that we may come closer to Him. Because without struggles, how would we become closer with Him?

I’m preaching to myself as much as I am to you. Hey, I’m not even preaching, it seems I’m just venting. But I hope you gain as much from this as I do. Don’t ever lose yourself – your beauty of creation in God – in trying to impress others. And don’t ever let your spiritual struggles discourage you. If the summer of 2014 has proven anything, it’s that God will always prevail. And your relationship with Him will grow stronger and stronger with each second, minute, hour, and day.

Until next time, keep smiling.

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