By Tyler O.
My life fell apart when I was a senior in my high school. Things weren’t going the way I had planned. Everything I did still came out short. I spent many nights trying to figure out why things were the way they were, what was happening. It seemed to me that if I were doing the right things then my life should be going well, but this was not the case. I felt sad and alone; nobody could help me with my struggles.
My parents noticed that I was acting differently and tried to talk to me. I was open with them but none of their advice helped. They really had no idea about what I was feeling. My good friend, with whom I shared my thoughts, tried but couldn’t help either. I finally decided that nobody could help me; I had to get through this. I knew of a foothill just a mile or so from my home. During this time of confusion I spent a lot of time hiking to that hill thinking about my life. I spent weeks thinking of everything I had done, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong that made my life the way it was. I tried to determine why I was so unhappy. I would always go back to the same hill so I could be alone to think. Every day I sat on a rock that overlooked the valley; I would sit there for hours trying to think of what I could have done differently. I thought about the past and the mistakes I had made that had caused me to be so unhappy. I thought about the things I did every day that had led me to where I was. Life went on like this for a month or two. I became mechanical. I did the same things every day with little or no change. I woke up; I went to school doing what I had to do. I would come home, drop off my stuff and go up into the hills. I would come back in time for dinner, then either go back to my rock or just sit in my room until time for bed. It bothered me that I couldn’t find answers that would explain why my life was the way it was.
Then one day, after feeling that nothing could help me, I took my problems to the Lord. Daily, I could be found sitting up on the rock vocally expressing my pain, concerns, and desires to the Lord. Weeks passed with no answers to my prayers, no feeling of peace, nothing. I was discouraged! I was even starting to feel that God didn’t even care or, for whatever reason, I just wasn’t worth helping. This process of hiking, praying and coming home just as lost and confused as ever lasted for another month. Then, after three months of sitting on my rock and picking myself apart, something happened. I was praying just as I had done one hundred times before, but this time a powerful feeling overcame me. The feeling was so strong that I felt it in every part of my body, and I heard in my mind a voice that said, “God loves you and He knows you.” For the first time in months I felt hope, and even more than that, I knew He loved me with the purest love I have ever felt.
My problems didn’t go away instantly, but I knew that I had a loving Father in Heaven who was watching out for me. That moment changed my life! Over the next few months, things came together. I found myself smiling more and more every day. I didn’t find happiness overnight but it did come. Many of my problems were still there but I knew that I didn’t have to take them on alone. I became myself again. I was able to enjoy life and finish off the school year excited for the future.
Ever since that day on that rock, I have never had any doubts about God’s love for me; I knew I mattered and that He had a plan for me. I knew that if I followed His plan, he would lead me to where I could be happy again. I started spending more time working on making myself better instead of thinking of all the mistakes I thought I had made. My life since then has been more hopeful and happy. I still have moments when things go wrong and sadness creeps in but I know where I can turn for help. I know that God loves me and wants me to be happy and if I listen to His counsel, happiness and direction will come even if I have to wait. He has never left me when I’ve needed him most, nor will he ever do so!