By: Mia Sigmon
It’s pretty easy for me to believe that God exists. I was raised in a church-attending home, where God has been a part of our daily conversations. This becomes a different story when I ponder the thought of fully believing in Christ. In John, chapter 14, Jesus offers us HIS peace. He promises this to his disciples when he says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). He speaks this to his disciples as he informs them that he will be leaving for a little while to be with the Father and “prepare a place for [them],” but the disciples have a hard time understanding and believing in Jesus’ words because they think they have not seen the father (John 14:4-5). Jesus reminds, however, that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. He has to leave, so that the disciples can practice faith and better glorify him. The most challenging thing about faith is that it requires us to believe even when we cannot see.
Last year, as a freshman, I attended faith-based organizations like CRU and, on occasion, CAM because I believe that God exists. I also wanted to find peace and comfort in being known and being loved by others. I was searching for comfort in this world. I faced many challenges and struggled to feel God’s presence both in and around me. This year has been quite different. I decided to join the leadership team with CAM, at first because I felt that it would help me fit in and feel comfortable. I thought that having a leadership role would fulfill me because then I would be known, seen, and noticed. I needed to find a sense of belongingness and while this indeed happened, this is not why I lead now. I lead because I want to love. I’m here because I believe Christ is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). I am grateful for how this year has allowed me to grow. Here’s the thing though: At times I still fear; I still doubt; I still have trouble pausing in my day to reflect on Christ. And I wonder why the heck it is so hard for me to put my full trust in God. If we believe Jesus exists and we read His word where he clearly tells us that he is with us and that we should not be afraid, why do we still fear?
Entering college, I searched for connection yet continued to feel lonely. I chose to go to MATC and live at home for the first two years of college. This was not easy for me because it’s not the norm. It’s not exactly the status quo. It carries no clout. Looking back, I know this was the right decision for me. I have seen God in this journey and have grown closer to him as a result.
Now people ask me about how I feel about going to UW Whitewater in the fall and for the longest time, my answer has been, “I don’t know. I’m not excited right now. I’m just nervous.” I was nervous because I was afraid of having to start over again. I was afraid of feeling lonely again. I was afraid of being uncomfortable.
In all of this, God has been by my side. Yet, I’ve been ignoring him. God says I love you and I give you “my peace”…I have been saying I love you too, but I’m not sure I trust you. Every time I worry and fear, I am saying to God, I don’t trust you.
I wasn’t trusting God with my life because it’s so easy to fall in the trap of finding strength in worldly things.
Everyday, more and more, God has been teaching me that it’s not in this world that I should be searching for strength and answers but it’s in Him. Believing in Christ takes commitment and effort. Jesus did not promise us that our lives here on Earth would be easy, but he promised us His peace if we remain in him as he has remained in us (John 15:4-5). When you place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you will never be alone. Even when you don’t recognize it, Jesus is there for you in the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows and everything in between. Jesus says, come to me; believe in me; and receive me. Throughout my journey with Christ, he has been using my life experiences to pull me closer to him and he’s been preparing my heart to read his truth and hear it, absorb it. He works this way in all of us. He continuously opens our hearts to hear his words, “I am in my father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:20). God did not leave us; he sent his son, and when Jesus went to be with our father, he sent the Holy Spirit. I choose to believe and have come to know that he is always present.
**I am in no way a writing major of any sort, but I wanted to share with you a little poem I wrote about my walk with God. It’s short and simple and was fun to write.
So…here it is:
I used to be a Church Sleeper
Not exactly eager to hear the preacher
I called myself a Christian but under what condition?
I was treating God as a religion and not thinking about his mission
You see I used to be a Church Sleeper
I didn’t read his word simply because I didn’t think to need his word
Because you see I was already a Christian.
But I was a Church Sleeper
I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t satisfied
I cried out in prayer, always asking God to do things for me
Not stopping to see who He is
I struggled to find connection while I strived to find perfection
But here’s the lesson: there is no such thing as perfection in the human race but there is a thing called grace, God’s grace
You see Jesus sees us
God woke me up
I am in awe of him because there is no flaw in him
I am awake
Not only do I want to hear, I want to listen because I want to fulfill his mission
Not as a Christian but as a Christ follower
In every hour I am wide awake, living to pursue his mission