When I was younger and in high school, I had a lot of trouble making and maintaining strong friendships. I always felt like I was different from everyone else and that I never really quite fit in with other girls my age because of my faith and my personality. This was incredibly hard for me and I went through some really rough patches of loneliness, self-confidence issues and feeling forsaken by God, and I blamed him and my faith for never being able to feel like I could fit in with others. I was terrified that I would feel like an outsider for the rest of my life, but I was incredibly blessed to have grown up in a Christian family, and to have a mother who constantly reminded me to be faithful in God’s promises, and that he would never leave of forsake me, even if at the time, I found this very difficult to understand.

I was incredibly close to my family growing up, so when I started University in a whole new city away from them, I had never felt so alone, and the few weeks before I arrived at Hope church were some of my hardest. But even in that time, I continuously felt God urging me on, reminding me that he is always faithful, and not too long after that, I accidentally stumbled upon Hope Church, and UQ2, who quickly become like a second-family to me. I had never felt like I belonged somewhere more, and after so many years of doubting God and his plans for me, I was reminded of Matthew 14:31, When Jesus’ disciple, Peter becomes caught in the rough waves; ‘Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”’.

Because I did doubt God, but looking back now, I can see that I never should have, and that I was never actually alone. Not once did God forsake me or leave me, but rather he was just preparing the way, and I was always surrounded by people who loved and accepted me for who I was, I just never saw it. Over my childhood and my teenage years, God spoke to me through my mother and taught me to be patient and faithful in him. I know now that I should never have doubted what he had in store for me, and I praise him every day for giving me the family I have found in UQ2 and in Hope Church.

God is so good and he is so faithful. His timing is perfect and he always keeps his promises. I never used to understand these things until this year, but I have been through and learnt so much in the past twelve months, and I praise and thank him for all he has done in my life, and that I have seen him do in the lives of others around me.

Liberty Leah
Bachelor of International Studies, UQ
UQ2, St. Lucia Afternoon Service