Through the eyes of a college student is a life with a faith that cannot be shaken. Going through life’s ups and downs with God in the midst.
What’s up, Child of God community!
My name is Kristen Zarelle, and I’m a 20 year old, third year college student at San Diego State University.
As a ministry leader at Chi Alpha Campus Ministries SDSU, I am delighted to share insights on how God has shaped and is shaping my life today.
One of the most common misconceptions of the Christian faith is the saying “if you follow God, all of your problems will go away.”
As blissful as that sounds, that is clearly not the case. This sermon has been passed down from pastor to pastor, from church to church, leading astray a legion of new and old Christians, convincing them that their suffering is irrelevant, that their feelings are sin, and that the only reason why they are going through hardship is because of their lack of faith.
I know for sure that God does not want us to push away our feelings or pretend that they don’t exist.
In fact, I strongly believe that He does the exact opposite.
I think the term “Jesus Our Savior” has even been lost in translation.
Yes, He came to save us from our sins, and yes He wants to save us from all of our trials; however, this does not mean that following Jesus exempts us from life’s trials.
This does not mean that He forbids us from feeling low. This simply means that leaning on Him will strengthen us to go through these trials, and know that when we feel weak,
He will give us comfort and peace. It is time to stop preaching this misconception of a life of bliss, and start preaching Jesus, our comforter and our strength.
These past few weeks, I have been in a rut. The weird thing about this rut is that absolutely nothing is causing it, or at least anything I’m aware of.
I hadn’t been sleeping much lately, and when I did, I overslept until about midday the next day; along with that, when I woke up, I would lay there for hours, not wanting to get out of my blanket.
I had given up on all motivation
to exercise, lost all interest in cooking full meals for myself, lastly and very unlikely of me, I began to exclude myself from most community and ministry activities, and felt the need to be alone all of the time, even if I felt lonely.
I had all the symptoms of a really bad funk. I began to question why I was in this mysterious funk, and even tossed around the doubt of whether or not God was really there.
Again, nothing was causing this sudden decline of happiness, nor was there anything too drastically stressing me out.
Because of this, I began to think that maybe this was happening because I had done something to cause it, and that maybe I had sinned so much that I lost touch with Jesus’ voice.
I decided to bring this up to my mentor and confessed to my mysterious funk, feeling really guilty for the lack of care I had for myself, as well as wondering what I had done wrong.
I was just tired of feeling tired, and wanted some way to fix it or make it go away. Fortunately, my mentor is so loving, and she has a way of reminding me of who I am in Christ.
She reassured me that my feelings were valid, and that I was not the only Christian feeling this way.
She also reminded me that Jesus hadn’t abandoned me in this time of unexplainable darkness, and that He loves me so much.
She then asked me how many times a day I had taken a moment to recognize his presence.
This is what made me pause and think...
Christians get into these common, unexplainable funks, just like me, and yes, they happen a lot.
It’s through these funks, or “in-betweens” where we lose touch with God—where nothing too horrible or nothing to interesting is happening—just simply
I think that these are the moments where we mostly tend to forget that God is there, mainly because there is nothing reminding us of his power, such as a huge problem, or a spiritual high.
It is up to us to recognize his presence during this time, and rid ourselves of the thought that these ruts happen because of something we did wrong.
They just happen.
It’s life on earth...
We get tired and worn out, and sometimes the wind is a little too cold or the sun is a little too hot.
Sometimes the chemicals in our body becomes imbalanced, or our food doesn’t mix well with our mood, and none of it is our fault.
We just have to accept that it’s happening, know that Jesus is there, and move forward until we are ready to get back on the horse.
Going back to my talk with my mentor, one of the things she told me was to take little moments of my day to say hello to Jesus, or even comment on something you’re doing as if He were doing it with you.
I began to do this a little more, and found myself talking to Jesus in the most casual ways.
“Man, Jesus, these dishes are filthy,”
“Jesus did you see that flash of lightning? Wow that was trippy,”
“I think I need a break from this homework, Jesus. We both know I need it.”
I sit with Jesus, I eat with Jesus, I watch Netflix and Hulu with Jesus, I slow dance with Jesus and I sing to Lifehouse with Jesus. ( not a plug...)
If you’re reading this and you’re in a funk or even in a serious problem, take the step and bring Jesus into it, He will be there with you through it.
I’ll admit, the funk hasn’t completely gone away, but it has definitely gotten easier and it’s all because I took the time to recognize that Jesus was, and always is with me through it.
Verse of the Day: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Written By Kristen Zarelle