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by Trever Carter
Tired, anxious, weary, worn out, beat down: all are characteristics that are not typically true of me; lately, though, they have come to define me. Usually, I am all of the opposite. Be it resilient in the face of trial or positive when things don’t go my way, I am traditionally the one to climb out of the other side of the valley fairly unscathed. But the thing is, this is not the first time in the past two months that these foreign traits have been true of me.
Last month, prior to the WinterXtreme retreat, I had gone through one of the hardest weeks of my high-school career to date. I was so busy with school, sports and the people around me that I quickly became overwhelmed, boiling over to a state of complete helplessness and apathy. After a few failed tests, horrible practices and big arguments with my family, I went into the retreat weekend crying out to God. And I think that is just what He had intended for me in the week leading up to WinterXtreme.
After the circumstances and events of this past weekend, I have felt I’m in a similar place. Beginning last weekend, one of my best friends started what has been a rough few weeks full of pain and emergency room visits because of a concussion. One midnight phone call about a hospital visit had kept me up all night, and an after-practice text had nearly left me in tears as I worried. At the same time, a friend had shared with me that a family member’s illness had progressed to unfathomable extremes. Not to mention, practice for a spring sport has been running me into the ground and school work has kept me there. I’ve barely had time to take a breath.
As this all ensues, I have been learning what it means to love a close friend in need when I myself am struggling. Sometimes, there are no words to say, nothing more I can do, even though all I want is to do more. I am realizing that sometimes you just need to be there for someone. That may mean being there for them in constant prayer or being there for them to talk to. Frankly, it could also mean sitting in complete silence, lending them your presence and letting them know you love them and you care. The support system of my friends has truly left me in awe. Prayer and comfort have flooded in, going all directions, and people are there for me when I need them, just as I hope to be there for others when they need me.
At the end of it all, I am left crying out to God for help, possibly louder than I did in February prior to our retreat. I cry out because I need Him. I’m in dire need of Him to refill me with His presence, to give me the words to say and to comfort those around me. I need Him to lift me off of the ground and restore me. As I learned last month, God allows me to become beat down when I can grow from the situation. So I am on my knees, ready to listen to anything he has to tell me. God is in charge. He has his plan, and we all just need to trust it.
I pray we all realize that God has His reasoning for everything, and maybe we just need to lend Him an ear to hear what He has to say. I pray that we all, especially myself, find a break in the clouds and busyness of life to spend time with our Creator, to slow down and be replenished.