The Best Friend I've been Longing for

John 15:13 "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."

Growing up as a child, my family and I would go to mass very often and have family prayer everyday. However, I did not like it at all because I thought it was a waste of my time and I could be doing something more interesting. During my 8th grade year, my life began to change. I noticed how my school and church friends started avoiding me, and this really hurt me. As a result of that, I had a deep desire to be popular; therefore, I tired my level best to get other people's approval for me. At one point, I changed into a completely different person so I can be "cool" or "popular". Even after doing this (until 9th grade), I found out that I'm getting nowhere, so I would isolate myself from society because I felt like an outcast. I would always question God and questions like, "God, why did you even create me?" I believed I was so worthless, because I felt like people treated me so poorly. I thought the only people there for me was my family, but at that age I didn't realize how important they were. I would be the only kid without friends, and no matter how much I tired I would never make any. I remember at one point I thought there was something wrong with me because of my lack of friends. Psalms 27:10 "Even if my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me in." By God's mercy, he entered into my life through my cousin and an Anointing Fire Youth Retreat in Atlanta a couple of days before 10th grade started. As I was having a conversation with my cousin, she was telling me how she had an life changing encounter with the Lord, and I saw so much joy in her that I also had a desire to experience Christ. I decided I will give this retreat a chance, and that was one of the best decision I had ever made! Through that retreat I was able to encounter Christ for the first time! I finally knew life is worth living and that I am precious in the eyes of God. From that point on, I decided to never trade Christ for the world because all this world can offer us is misery or happiness

for a short while, but what Christ offers us is love, unconditional love; regardless of who we are, how we look, and what we've done.

Praise the Lord! God is alive!!!!!