This is a guest post from David El Sabawy - a student from Mississauga, Canada who has guest posted here before. If you want to follow David and read more of his writings, you can check out his blog, BY HIS LOVE. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
It hasn’t been a long time since I’ve begun to write, but it has been long enough for me to truly notice and witness God’s grace in my life.
Most people who help me with my writing pieces, know that my favorite topic to write about is the grace of God. The all-knowing, all-merciful and all-loving God. His love extends so far into every facet of my life that I find it so difficult now to understand how blind I can sometimes be, and how much better I need to be every single day.
My opinion on what your true purpose in life is has shifted in the last year. Ask me a year ago, I would have told you many aspiring things about my future and all the greatness that it will bring. Ask me today, and I will tell you that I want to never be outside God’s love, so wherever that may take me, I want to be always there.
It was hard for me to deal with my first year of university, it took an immense toll on my physical and mental well-being. I was running out of ideas on how to curb my fears and doubts, running out of ways to pile up my excuses in a way that fit MY desires. I was running out of ways to deal with this adversity, and I decided to just go full-force at it. Come second semester, I was the most dedicated student you could find, 8:30’s and everything. I was going to give my best effort, and I was going to see where it led me.
My efforts brought forth results. After all, God doesn’t discredit a single ounce of effort. I was so thankful and so motivated, and finally felt like things were figuring themselves out. As the semester went on, things were going well now, I was starting to feel so much better, but something still felt off. Something in my life had been missing, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it was filled with all my studying and school work. I couldn’t help to question why my school work was in this space, but it was occupying it, and I was unhappy with that. I was happy I was doing better, but something about the way I was doing things felt off.
Exams came around, it was time to buckle in and make sure it went better this time. However, there was one weird hurdle that I was approaching. It was about to be exams, and I was a student living away from home, and the Great Lent was coming up. I sat and questioned whether I could study effectively while restricting myself so greatly and concluded that it wasn’t a good idea and I would fast right after my last exam.
Just like before, something felt off about this decision, but I pressed forward. Exams started to approach, but I woke up one day with an insanely nagging feeling that I had to fast. There were no questions asked, I had no inner debate, I was just going to fast and that was that.
Believe it or not, this minuscule decision is what led me to the understanding of what it meant to do everything “By His Love”. I had finally figured that God needed to occupy every space in my life and I really wasn’t giving it any thought before that. I was so preoccupied with how terrible things were, that all my efforts shifted over.
Being in communion with God made a very hard period in my life, just that much lighter. It wasn’t easy, but Lent offered me a great blessing. I subjected my body to a severe regimen, and it slowly helped me learn to articulate my mind as well. That one small feat from God’s hand, helped me realize how subtle He can sometimes be, but how hindsight really is 20/20.
The key to recognizing God’s blessings is never to dismiss anything as too small or a coincidence.
God is a deity who is deliberate and doesn’t spend a moment away from your care and your well-being. If you believe this, it makes it that much easier to continually realize how many blessings you already have, and see new blessings coming your way.
I came to such an incredible realization that God’s love is so much more than any hardship I could have ever encountered.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I learned so much about His love for me, in such a small period, that I am so glad that it happened this way.
To be in His love is exactly where I want to be.
And I will continually grow by His love for me.