Following Jesus isn't easy.  I was 13 when I made the decision to give my heart to Jesus, while the song "You Make Beauti...

Following Jesus isn't easy. 

I was 13 when I made the decision to give my heart to Jesus, while the song "You Make Beautiful Things" by Gungor was sung at camp in Maryland. It was evident to me that I was loved and beautiful as I heard that song and shouted "YES!" at the top of my lungs, along with hundreds of other middle schoolers. Although that was the best YES I have ever said, it has been one of the hardest. 

People who follow Jesus tell you that when you make a decision to follow him, you are tested. I remember laughing at that, because how could anything test me once I had God on my side? I was wrong. In my first year of following Jesus, the enemy singled out my weaknesses and I found myself suffering from terrible depression and intrusive thoughts. As I walked through  7th grade, I was lonely and friendless but pushed on. I continued to pray, shouting my joys to the heavens but also screaming at God, "why am I so lonely? I thought you would see me!" I remember each of these instances like they were yesterday. While years passed, each of the insecurities I had were brought to the surface and I struggled with loving myself as I felt unloved and unwanted. I continued to turn to God.

Until this year or last, I could not comprehend what it meant to follow Jesus. Loving Jesus is easy. Following Jesus is not. In times of trials, the human condition is to push on for OUR desire and OUR plan. Reminding ourselves that God is God and I am not means realizing that tunnel vision clouds our plan. The creator of the universe is the only being that can see the full lan, all laid out in front of him. I find myself planning my future, believing the lie that I can make my plans work, if I just become a better person. A better listener. A better friend. A better decision maker. All too often I wish I could travel back, change a mistake, and return to my comfortable life. Faith isn't comfortable.

"So if you wanna live a comfortable life, make sure you never love nobody, be selfish and never sacrifice" -Andy Mineo

We all want to live comfortably, without hurt, failure, loneliness. Andy Mineo is one of my favorite Christian rappers and he is known for saying what others don't want to say, the "uncomfortable" stuff. When we walk down the street or drive to the store our gut instinct is to consume our thoughts with jealousy, wishing we could be as comfortable in our life as the man holding hands and laughing with his wife or the girl walking with her group of friends. Comfortability is praised so highly that if we aren't comfortable, we are looked down upon. Why did you stop hanging out with your popular friends? Was breaking up with your boyfriend worth it? You had such a great life, why'd you throw it all away for this "Jesus" you talk about? 

If there is one thing I have learned about following Jesus, it's that his plan is always greater than mine. We are like sheep. Sheep can mainly use their peripheral vision to see, but often cannot see what is literally right in front of them. Often we can see what is around us, what is behind us, and to the sides of us. We focus on our past and get caught on our mistakes, but cannot see what is right in front of us. 

"God is greater than our heart, and knows all things." 1 John 3:20

It's taken me years and years and will continue to press at me, to realize that God is the only one who can see what is good for us. Our friends, social media, or even family can't see the best for us. We can choose things that are good for us but God knows what is BEST for us. Something that will benefit our souls, not our feelings or hearts.

Loving Jesus is easy. He is love. Trusting him is almost as easy. Following through with that trust is hard. Whoever is reading this right now, I encourage you to walk with me and whatever that one thing is that has been on your mind, pray and fully surrender it to Jesus. You can be saved, but haven't surrendered. God will take that prayer, multiply it and put his path right in front of your feet. All you have to do is surrender.

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