You Are Not Alone
1 Kings 19:13-18 (NIV)
13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus… 18 I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
I am not the type of person to open up to people. I don’t want others to feel burdened by me, and I always think that they wouldn’t want to listen to my problems. I have a friend whom I’ve known for a very long time. I was always with her at church. Even to her I was unable to open up completely.
One day, I found out that she was moving to a different church. I was devastated. That was the hardest period of my life, because she wasn’t the only one to have left me. A few months before, my dad passed away and many of my other close church friends also left. Eventually, I stopped coming out to church because I hated being alone. Not going to church felt nice because I didn’t have to worry about anything. This was my way of coping with all the loss.
When I came back to church, it was like nothing ever happened. I made a new friend and everything was okay at least at that time. I received news that my close friend was coming back and I was really excited. The thing is, I was still unable to open up to her, because I wasn’t sure if I could trust her to stay.
Last winter retreat, I felt a strong presence of God again in my life. As a servant leader, we were asked to pray for the retreat and the youth group. Not only did I pray because I was asked to do so but I also had a strong desire for God to perform miracles. I wanted our youth group to have the desire to know God and to develop a relationship with Him.
But during the first two days of retreat, I forgot about my conviction and I was just looking to have fun. It was the second night of retreat when God revealed something to me, which I have never seen before. I didn’t really know what to pray about, but I just kept praying anyways hoping that something will come to me. I started looking back at my life – all the pain and suffering I went through and how God was with me through it all. I realized how selfish and unworthy I was. He is so good and I don’t deserve His love but He loves me nevertheless.
Later on, my teacher came up to me and started praying for me. He knew everything that I have been through because he has been there for me. He said something that opened my eyes. He asked me if I have forgiven my father for leaving me so soon. I haven’t even thought about this. I didn’t think I needed to forgive him. I mean, I just believed this was God’s will and I just accepted it. Maybe I did resent him a little and I haven’t quite made peace with his death.
This also made me think about my friend. The reason I still felt distant from her was because I never forgave her for leaving. It took me so long to even realize why I felt so lonely. Even though she didn’t leave with the intention to hurt me, I have been deeply affected by it. After realizing that, I felt peaceful and I could finally let go of my painful past and move on. He was leading me to forgive and find rest.
However, this wasn’t the end of God’s miracles during the retreat. The following night, we had another prayer session (probably the longest one out of all the retreats that I have been to). It was absolutely phenomenal. I haven’t prayed this loud and this passionately before in my life. Even as I was praying, I was stunned. Having that little breakthrough the night before, I was in a much better state.
During prayer, all the juniors gathered together to pray for each other. I was moved by how God was working so powerfully within us. I am a very shy person and I would never yell out during prayer but I did. I didn’t care that people would hear me like I would normally do. As we were praying, our teacher encouraged us to keep praying even though we ran out of things to pray about. The thing is, I wasn’t tired at all from standing and praying for that long. That’s when I thought, “This is God. He is working in us. We couldn’t possibly pray like this for so long on our own.” I was just so grateful and so amazed by what God can do.
I have known those friends since eighth grade, some even longer than that, and I have never felt this close to them. I always thought I was all alone. I felt like everyone was close with each other except for me, and I felt kind of out of place. I didn’t think that I had a friend who I could freely talk to about all of my problems. I realized that God gave me not one but close to fifteen friends who have always been there for me. He allowed me to see that these people were my friends and that I could trust them.
Now that God has healed me, I believe that He will use me to do His will. It truly is the best feeling ever when you know God is on your side and He has your back. There’s no greater feeling and no better security in this truth. I am going to continue to build my faith in Him, so that I am able to let go of all my hurts and worries. I want a relationship with God that I can rejoice in despite the sufferings I may go through. I am excited to see how God will continue to transform my life and hopeful to see Him transform others so that they will experience Him the way that I did.
For Your Reflection
There are times we feel alone. It feels like no one loves us and cares for us. It seems as if we are on our own to fight the battles that are set before us and we have to struggle by ourselves. That is exhausting and even depressing. But let me remind you that you are not alone. Not only is God Himself always with us, but He has also sent His people into our lives to be with us. We just haven’t been paying attention. I pray that God may open our eyes for us to see the relationships that He has blessed us with.