I am 16 years, 4 months and 4 days old, and I had this idea that fulfilment and peace would come from adulthood; that I would grow up and magically everything would fall into place… I’m sorry, not to be depressing or anything, but boy was I naïve. My 16th year in this world has given me a taste of adulthood that both excites me and scares the heck out of me… I’m not a little kid anymore. I mean, I make my own doctor’s appointments now and I actually have to remind myself to drink more than a sip of water per day, you wouldn’t think it, but staying hydrated is no easy task. Anyway, my point is, this thing we call ‘growing up’ it’s challenging. And the idea that someone knows the ins and outs of me, well, it makes me a little nauseous, especially now that I’ve reached a point in my life where I, myself, don’t quite know who I am or what I’m doing. This year, I’ve had to come face to face with God in a way I’d never experienced before. I have had to let God lead me. You see, I kept telling the people around me, “I trust in God. Wherever God leads me, I’ll be happy”, but I wasn’t actually living that out in my day to day life. When I was stuck in moments of doubt and confusion, I would pray for about a minute and then set out to look for a quick fix, a solution to all my problems – but that’s not how God works. God won’t offer us a ‘quick fix’. All our problems won’t go away just because we want them to; we need to be patient, we can’t talk over the messages God has for us. Oh, I know how hard that is; those who know me would not describe me as particularly patient, but the plans God has for us are worth waiting for, I truly do believe that.
Trust me when I say I’m still trying to figure out how to live out my faith. I am passionate about young people using their words to make a difference, over the past few years writing has allowed me to become more comfortable in who I am, not only as a person but also as a Catholic. I found a piece of scripture recently that really impacted me and lead me to understanding more of how I can live out my life.
Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven – Matthew 5:16
God gave us all a light. He made us shine with His love so that He could heal the broken and the lost through us. It doesn’t matter how young we are; God is calling us to share our faith. He wants us to share our struggles and our joy and our experiences. He shines His light from within us and calls us to share that light with others. Our world really needs us to shine. Just turn on the news or listen to the radio; it’s become so common for people to witness and experience violence in society that people merely acknowledge it, as though they have just accepted it as a part of our culture. I’m embarrassed to say so, but I have found myself questioning whether our world could ever be healed? But God is calling us to leave a mark on history and if we don’t put our best foot forward, how will we ever create change?
So you see, we cannot dim that light inside of us, we must use it. God did not make us to stand on the sidelines and watch. He did not make us to live ignorantly and selfishly. God doesn’t want us to merely exist, He wants us to live. When we lay down our lives, open ourselves up to God and allow Him to guide us – that’s when we’ll find peace; it may not be instant, God will lead you to it.
God made me to be passionate about everything life has to offer. So like me, you may only be a teenager, or you may feel that your life is a little mess; you may have no idea who you are or what you’re doing – but that doesn’t mean the light inside of you shines any less. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a purpose. Don’t run from your struggles! Instead, stop, slow down, and walk with God and ask him, “how am I being called to change the world?”.
By Diahann Pasquill