Content in Him

Content in Him Hero Image Content in Him Hero Image

“I was born in a Christian family with parents and incredible sisters who love the Lord. As I watched my parents’ faith and joy in the Lord throughout my life, I became curious about my own faith at a young age.

“I began to try to read the Bible exactly how any mature believer would not recommend: flipping through to open a random page and pointing to a random verse. I landed on Psalm 119:9, ‘How can a young man keep his way pure?’ As a young sixth-grade kid, this question blew my mind.

“I took the verse as a challenge. I tried my best to live in a way that would glorify God, but looking back, I realize I was focused on pursuing purity instead of pursuing a relationship with God. Pridefully, I became consumed with how to be better. With a strong desire to be impressive and great, I wanted to be the ideal kid, and I took pride in doing things differently than my peers.

“When COVID hit in 2020, everything seemed to go downhill. I had no friends around me, and I experienced a lot of loneliness. I had my parents, but I had no friends or community. In isolation, I went for six months without praying even once. Quickly, I became controlled by sin in the absence of a relationship with Christ. I was consumed by frustration with myself, living in slavery to sin. In my anger, I pleaded, ‘God, where are you? I am so alone. I want you back in my life.’

“Immediately after that prayer, my dad walked into my room for his usual, ‘Good night! Say your prayers!’ Then, unexpectedly, he popped his head back in and said, ‘Seriously… say your prayers!’

“I took the perfect timing of that simple reminder to show me that God was calling me back to Him.

“Again, I spent my time and energy trying to pursue a life of purity and aiming to be sinless. I began to keep a tally count in my journal of how many days I could go without the sin I desperately wanted to quit. Any time I would struggle, I’d restart my count. Each time, I felt like a failure to God. I was trying so hard to overcome my sin with my own strength, but it wasn’t working.

“When I look at my journal now, I see the frustration and battle I felt. I would write to myself, ‘You’re so dumb. What are you doing? Hold yourself to a higher standard. Stop slipping!’

“I finally hit a breaking point. I knew I had to surrender even this to the Lord. I no longer wanted to prioritize my satisfaction over Christ. God doesn’t see our mess-ups and sin the way we do. Scripture told me that He does not hold our sins against us – Romans 5:8 says that ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’

“I tried so hard to pursue a sinless life on my own, but through His Word, God revealed to me that a relationship with Him should be my top priority. As I surrendered and learned more, I started to understand and pay attention to the second half of Psalm 119:9, ‘by guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!’

“No amount of pursuing purity or His law will draw me closer to Christ if I am not seeking Him. Christ developed in me a desire to learn Scripture, and I finally understood that learning His Word would drive me into a deeper relationship with Him and produce good fruit in my life.

“For other people and students who are struggling with loneliness or feel stuck in sin, I want to remind you that Christ is our most faithful friend. He will always be there. Even in our loneliness, if we trust Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can be in constant communion with Him.

“I am so blessed to have found peace, rest, and satisfaction in the Lord. As I grow and I’m experiencing new hardships – like a second back fracture that ended my football season – I am continuing to see God’s sovereignty over my life. I learned that my joy and my suffering are ordained by Christ, and He is using that to sanctify me. Therefore, I can rest content in Him.

“I’m thankful my parents led by example, and my leaders in Watermark Students have been there to talk through life situations. They want me to grow and mature in my faith instead of just going through the motions. When I think about the future and going to college in a few years, I see that it’s been a blessing to grow up at Watermark and be a disciple of Christ with a community around me. I don’t want to waste this opportunity.”