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studentLife Blog: God is _______. - Week 3

by Bailey Mallo on June 09, 2021

God Is Purposeful.

My Journey with God started from the minute I was born. I was dedicated at a month old. I invited Jesus into my heart around 6. When I was 10 I was baptized. However, I didn’t really start to figure out who God was until I was 12. I’ve grown up in a very religious household. I always kind of just went with it. Go to church Sundays, sing some songs, learn a lesson, do a craft, go home. Pray before meals, Pray before bed and call it good. Right? No, that would be incorrect.

In May of 2019 my dance teacher suffered from a stroke. My dance studio is super close and this hit us really hard. A couple months afterwards, she actually passed away from complications of recovery. As I was dealing with that about a month and half later my Dad announced my Mom and him were getting a divorced. He was going to leave us. Shortly after that my youth pastor at the time moved to another state. I was also incredibly close with them. It felt like I kept getting kicked backwards. I was seriously struggling. I continued to struggle up until January of 2020. This is when I finally decided to ask for help.

This also happened to be the first time I came to a Community Church event. I attended the Camp 180 retreat. I signed up the weekend before because a bunch of my friends encouraged me too and I’m so glad they did. I almost didn’t come but we made it work and it slid right into my schedule.

I believe God is purposeful because of what happened at that retreat. I told people my story on that retreat, leaders and friends. The amount of support I got from people was overwhelming! One by one it felt like the rocks were being taken off my back and put back on the ground. I no longer had to carry them.

After the retreat things worsened again. My relationship with my Dad became strained and I felt like I was being kicked down again only harder. I had the support now though and I used it. This is what got me through, the people God placed in my life and also my outlet. Dance played a huge role in helping me release frustration.

A few years prior to all of this craziness, I came across a bible verse at my family camp and it really stuck with me. I didn’t know why and I just decided to always keep it in the back of my brain. At the end of 2019 I revisited it and the verse gave me a sense of purpose and energy. That verse was Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” I still always know this verse and always revisit it.

All in all, 2019 and 2020 were some of the hardest years I’ve encountered and I’m still dealing with some after effects of the events. However, God used those events to bring people into my life and teach me to be strong. I’m much closer with God now and feel his presence more than I ever did before 2019. Everything in the moment may not make sense and it may feel like chaos, but I guarantee, a little while later you’ll take a step back and everything will fall into place. God gives everything a Purpose!