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by Trever Carter
I get easily discouraged. Really, really easily discouraged. Part of the reason that is true, I think, is because I’m a chronic people-pleaser: when someone says jump, I ask how high. It’s a blessing and a curse, really. Because of it, I pour my heart and my all into everything I do—if I’m doing something halfheartedly, it’s taking away from where I could be investing my time elsewhere, and, therefore, I should not be doing it. The thing is, when I’m giving my everything to everyone, I get spread a little thin. And when I’m spread a little thin, I get a little tired. And when I get a little tired, I start to falter. And when I falter, I get discouraged. And therein lies a vicious cycle of wanting to please everyone and ending up disappointing myself and others.
For example, I play Varsity lacrosse at Grayslake North High School, which I love and have loved ever since I started playing freshman year. Sure, it’s time consuming, sure it’s tiring, but it’s been a great way for me to make friends and build relationships with people. This year is my first year playing varsity, and it’s a whole different game. I don’t get much playing time, it’s a new group of people, and we’ve had a rough start. But I’ve been putting my all into it since November, and I’m getting a little discouraged that something I’ve invested so much time in isn’t paying off. Plus, it’s detracting from other areas of my life.
And in that, I think God has something to say. I think that He believes that if I’m putting my all into a sport for Him, he’s crazy about that. He’s crazy about me being a light for Him on and off the field, no matter the worldly outcomes of the practices or games.
That is the mindset I have to keep- an audience of One.
And it’s the same for all areas of my life. I have to give Him my all in my friendships, my relationships, my schoolwork, my anything. If I do, then He will be pleased.
So I take my trials and all. I embrace the struggles and the hard times and the disappointment, because I know if I’m living for Him, He’s content, and He will use it all to form me into me.
My favorite verse, and the most life impactful, is John 16:33.
“In this world you will have tribulations, but take heart, for I have overcome the world!”
How encouraging! In everything that life throws at you, in the struggles and discouragement, God promises to be with you through it.