Finding My Spiritual Home

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As a child, attending church was a regular part of my life. However, I often struggled to find a place where I truly belonged. I faced bullying and felt like an outsider in different church communities, causing me to question why God would allow such hardship in my life. In my early years of school, I experienced bullying in a church where I didn’t fit in. The feeling of not belonging led me to resent the idea of going to church, and I questioned why God would allow such misery. My parents made the decision to move me to a larger church, hoping for a better fit. While things seemed to improve initially, I faced bullying once again, this time due to my epilepsy. I couldn’t help but wonder, Why me? It felt like God was orchestrating a life filled with hardship and pain. Seeking a fresh start, we moved to a smaller church closer to home. However, tragedy struck when my beloved grandfather passed away. This loss deeply affected my father, who had a strong connection to this church since his own childhood. During grief, doubt crept in, and I began to question God’s existence. The loss of my grandfather shook my faith to its core. By the time year 7 rolled around, I felt like an outsider once again. I stopped attending the youth group, feeling like I didn’t fit in. Despite the challenges, my family and I continued attending church services. During this time, my best friend from primary school invited me to his youth group in another church. Stepping into that youth group, I finally found a community where I belonged. My family and I started attending regularly, and it felt like we had discovered our spiritual home. Here, I experienced love and support in my relationship with Christ, and it helped me realise that my late grandfather would have wanted me to lead a godly life. During my struggles, I battled with numbness and turned to unhealthy habits. Seeking help, I visited doctors and psychologists, but it was with the support of a psychiatrist that I began finding some relief.  

Throughout this period, I questioned God’s intentions and wondered why I had to suffer. But in year 7, a remarkable teacher entered my life. He understood my pain and drew me closer to God. Our heartfelt conversations brought joy and meaning, guiding me through the challenges of the pandemic and personal chaos. 

I discovered that my teacher had passed away last year. The grief was overwhelming, but his lessons on unconditional love for God stayed with me. In the face of difficulty, I discovered that faith and belonging can be found in challenging circumstances. I learned to trust that God has a purpose for my life. In late year 7, I started serving in the church, and now I am a coffee cart leader. I find joy in serving and worshipping God, knowing that I am loved and supported by a community that truly embraces me.  

My journey has been a testament to the resilience of faith and the power of finding belonging during challenges. Despite the doubts and struggles, I have discovered that God’s love and purpose shine through when we open ourselves to Him. Today, I continue to seek strength and solace in my relationship with Christ, finding joy in serving and worshipping Him.

Phoebe is a Wahroonga Adventist School student.

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