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Light Through the Darkness

I didn’t grow up like the rest of you. My childhood was decent. I had a mother, a father, and a younger brother. We lived on a cul-de-sac less than a mile from the elementary school and had bonfires with our neighbors. We attended church on Sunday morning, went shopping afterwards, and made it home before the next big football game. I was a Vikings fan through and through. But, I had no idea what I was missing.

When I was thirteen, my parents got divorced. Our family was torn in two. But, life goes on. Although, it’s weird to wrap your head around the idea that your mom is seeing someone other than your dad. Nevertheless, God still shines His light through the darkness. An older gentleman came into our lives and he introduced my mom, brother, and I to a church that worships on Saturday. I personally had never heard of such a thing and it was very intriguing. I began to study for myself and question everything I knew about religion. The crazy thing was, it all made sense! So, we went to church on Saturday and began to honor that as a day of rest. However, it wasn’t that simple. My entire family is Assembly of God and when I told my dad that I wasn’t going to church with him on Sunday anymore, he still required that I go with him. I tried to explain my new beliefs, but he just couldn’t see.

Then COVID hit. And you know what? God used the pandemic so that I could keep Sabbath and not be stuck fighting with my dad. Since then, we’ve come to terms on believing different things. It’s still hard being the odd one out at family gatherings and holiday celebrations, but I know that Jesus endured for me, so I can endure for Him.

Later on, my mom, brother, and I were invited to an event called camp meeting. Friends from church spread the word to us and let us know that we could pitch a tent on their campsite. We only stayed for a few days, but I can say that it had a lasting impact on me. I was shocked by how many Seventh-day Adventists there were. It was so encouraging to know that I wasn’t the only one out there that believed this way. Soon enough, my brother and I were attending Camp Wakonda’s winter retreat in January and working at camp the following summer. God placed such wonderful people in my life that summer. People that I still call friends to this day. People who I’ve been able to confide in, even through the roughest times. Camp had such an influence on me that I couldn’t say no when I was asked to come back the next summer. And those few months changed my life. My friendships got stronger, my confidence increased, and I started talking to a guy who later turned into my husband.

Needless to say, had God not introduced me to the truth, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Through learning about the Sabbath, I’ve become a new person, I have a deeper, stronger relationship with Christ, I’ve got the best friends anyone could ask for, and I now have my other half. God knows exactly what He’s doing, even when it seems like we’re in the dark. Trust and obey. His plan is far greater than anything we could ever conjure up in our feeble minds. I thank God for His guidance and for showing me a better way of living. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Psalm 119:105).

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