14th grade: ship in the waves

As I sit here watching the storm clouds roll in, I submit my last final for sophomore year of college and a wave of emotions washes over. It’s been a year of walking timidly, unsure for what’s next, and grieving such hardships for those close to me. It was a year full of grief, and am honestly still in the thick of it; yet the Lord provides. He pursues the runaways. This year was full of change, being stretched in many areas, seeing how true of a shelter God is for His ship-wrecked children and swimming into even deeper waters with the Lord.

I imagine each person being a ship in the waves. As a ship sails through the ocean called life, God uses waves to crash into the ship; stripping away the accessories, glamour, glitz, man-made idols, and false-identities that we so easily create or depend on to survive.

This year included a heavy fall semester of 22 credits, spring with 14 credits and so much more packed into the midst of it. I watched as both my boyfriend, Jon, older brother, Kelvyn, grandparents and mom handled health conditions. Kaden graduated High School, Wynter got married, and I found a group of girls who are sweethearts and pursue the Lord so faithfully, such an answer to prayer.

The storm clouds were a reminder that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the current turmoil and darkness that’s engulfing this season of life; but when we can look past the darkness, the heaviness that this season holds, there is going to be such growth, colorfulness and refreshment after the storm.

It’s been a year that’s stretched me like Elastigirl from the Incredibles, made me see where my confidence was wrongly coming from and seeing that my worth is in Christ alone.

In the midst of hardships swirling around, I decided to have a physical change… so off went 11 inches of hair, briefly dyeing it hot pink and contemplating another ear piercing. I thought I was just trying for a fresh start, but was actually running away from being present to what the Lord was trying to teach me.

Thankfully no extra piercing occurred and the hair dye was only temporary… but it made me realize how much of the time it’s easier to swim to the shore, telling God I’m done with swimming in His unknown waters, then to brave the waters, and to trust that He’s swimming next to me.

I’ll be honest to admit that there have been moments through this past year I’ve wanted to jump ship and swim back to shore, telling God that the waves He’s having me swim through are too much, and I’m done with the uncertainty. Currently reading the Bible start to finish and I’m in Joshua right now. Crazy to see how much uncertainty occurs and yet, the Lord pursues.

It was in the chaos and grief of this past year, that the Lord pressed on my heart, a love for writing. So in all the craziness, I’ve decided to add on another year of undergrad to now double major in Exercise Science and Writing. No clue what this holds, but listening to God with this passion He’s given me.

This year felt like a swirling sea; and am learning that God loves me for the core of who I am. He strips away the false identities, the glitz and glam, for transformation and redemption to take place. Like a ship in a storm. He pursues all of us, even the runaways.

-Kyra Mariah

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