Finding Your Light

Just a few months ago my life was almost perfect. My freshman year of college was going great. My family and church life were growing and connected. Even my walk with God seemed steady. You know life’s good when you smile that genuine smile you forgot existed.  
Well, I found out it’s all great, until it’s not.  
A warmer Sunday of that bitter February, the 10th to be exact.  
That was the day my world flipped upside down, along with my faith.  
We’d had an enriching service with a powerful message delivered by my father. I just didn’t know that when he walked out of the sanctuary that day, it’d be the last time I’d see him breathing. He left our church, our safe space, in an ambulance.  
So often we don’t get to say goodbye to those we love, and the world expects us to move on within a week or two, but as Christians, our journey is tougher than others may think.  
1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that God won’t ever put more on us than we can handle, and it’s hard to remember those types of promises when we feel so far from God’s light. Losing my father so suddenly made me push myself into the dark. I was the one that lost sight of God’s light because I didn’t want to see it.  
Many of us go through all types of grief and lose touch with our faith, not seeing God’s presence. It’s important to remind yourself that even if we don’t see God’s presence or feel his love and protection, He is ALWAYS there.  
Sometimes unfortunate situations come into our lives unannounced, but to overcome them we have to continue to walk in faith and let God’s light shun our darkness. Letting God guide us in our healing process builds up our faith and allows us to see His grace.  
Standing on faith in dark times allows us to see that through God’s grace and mercy, He gave up His only Son, for us to be saved. If God is willing to sacrifice his Son for us, I find it hard to believe that He won’t also heal us day by day through His unchanging love.  
Each day our hearts get lighter until we feel the change from within. That is only by God’s grace. He speaks to us in Jeremiah 29:11 saying, 
 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” 
God does not, by any means, want to see us broken. But the enemy is everywhere, so God offers us his promise to take care of us when evil comes into our lives. He constantly reminds us that even though to us the plan seems like a blur, He has it under control if we trust in Him.  
I know I haven’t seen the end of my journey in grief yet, but I can tell you the journey so far has been full of progress. God’s love truly does heal broken hearts, and His promise to take care of us is solid.  
There’s plenty of ways to let God heal us.  
Today we have so many opportunities to get out of our darkness, whether you go speak to your pastor, a friend, a therapist, or a special group. I even got a pin created from my dad’s tie, to wear to church on special Sundays, to honor him. You can serve God, grow in faith, and honor your loved ones all together. Think of the one thing they loved or loved to do and expand on that. I encourage you to make a long-lasting mark that honors them the way you and God see fit.  
Take all the steps you need to process changes like these and know that greater is always coming. When you finally reach a place of peace in your life, people around you will ask you how you made it through. I encourage you to speak to them your truth and tell them you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. 

Ciara Franklin serves at 95.1 SHINE-FM as a Community Engagement Intern.