Every year my youth group goes to church camp. Last year I was able to meet someone who had experienced similar circumstances and had a personality like my own. We had so much in common that we immediately became friends. Our sarcastic nature and realistic outlook on life made it very easy for us to talk, but we also shared a similar walk in our faith, which allowed us to talk and share advice on how to get through tough situations. High school is tough as it is, but having someone who understands what you are going through makes it much easier.
Since camp we have grown to be more like sisters than anything, we are always there for each other and hold each other accountable in all situations. One day, a few months ago, I was having a really bad morning. It was just one of those mornings where nothing seemed to go right. I had been up late the night before studying for some major tests, and then I overslept, so I just threw on whatever was clean. I ended up not having enough time to put on my makeup until I got to school, so of course I stabbed myself in the eye with my mascara.
Later, while I was sitting in my car trying to salvage what was left of my appearance, my phone goes off. I check my phone and it’s my friend from camp! My friend had sent me a random verse, Colossians 3:17, which reads: “and whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Along with it was a message that said, “Hey I dont know if this applies to you, but I just really needed some encouragement so I wanted to share.” I started laughing because I could not believe that had just happened! Only God could have planned something so amazing to happen right when I needed it. The message sent to me made me put everything into perspective, helped me realize how blessed I am to serve such an amazing God, and be thankful for my friends who always are there when I need them.
Paul tells the Romans that he is thankful for them and that he wants to see and strengthen them “that [he] may be encouraged together with [them] by the mutual faith” (Romans 1:12). This verse reminds me that hanging out with fellow Christians will encourage me and also help my faith to grow. The youth group at my church is vital to my faith. I would not be who I am without those people. They are always there for and I can’t imagine where I would be without them. Realizing how much my faith has been influenced by my youth group made me recognize the importance of surrounding myself with people who build me up and make me a better person. I encourage you to watch who you hang around with and make sure they help lift your faith up instead of tearing it down. And remember that no matter how bad your day seems we serve an amazing God, and as long as we serve Him our lives will be on the right track. Don’t forget that you are also an influence on other people’s faith, so be the kind of influence you want in your life and encourage others!