Micha Cohen, 17, St. Louis
The hardest thing I’ve faced in the past few years was having to move from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Louis right before my junior year. I was so angry with God and my parents for making me do this, but eventually I had no choice but to accept the move.
Comfort came from a surprising source—my sister Sarah. As we commiserated together about having to move, we grew closer, and today I can proudly say that she is my best friend. Last year in marching band we won the Most Loving Siblings” award. I can’t praise God enough for putting her in my life.
Sometimes it’s been easy, and sometimes it’s been hard to find God. But I have found that when I surrender to Him to do what He wants, He never fails to help me. I just need to surrender more often. Life will go much smoother if you don’t go against God’s will. The best advice I can give other teens, or anyone who is struggling, is find at least one good believing friend—even a sibling—and don’t let go!
Rachel, 19, Honolulu
I grew up in a typical Christian family. We worshiped every Sunday, prayed over every meal, watched only “G” rated movies, and tried to be kind and love each other. However, when I was 16 my nice world unraveled and I watched my greatest nightmare unfold: my parents got a divorce. God was not very real to me right then; I had grown cold—almost frozen—in my faith, and it was difficult to believe that He loved me.
Fortunately, my sister and I changed churches at this time. I met a whole new group of friends who were different, who seemed to love God with all of their heart. And they loved me so much. God was able to melt the frozen stump of a person that I had become and caused me to fall madly in love with Him. Thanks to my youth group and a few close friends, I renewed my commitment to Yeshua and my faith became stronger than it had ever been.
Sometimes I wish I were still a child and could play with Legos all day. (Boy, did I love Legos!) I still have problems with trust issues, and I have become a very independent person who would rather take care of things myself. But if there’s any advice I could give, it’s that God can be entrusted with what you’re willing to surrender to Him. The hard part is the surrendering.
Miriam Ellegant, 18, Chicago
This past year has been very difficult for me. My mother got breast cancer, my brother fell into a depression, and my little sister was in a bicycle accident and ruptured her spleen. My own personal battleground has been school: It requires more faith, diligence, and hard work than I usually want to give.
What I usually want from God and from life are instant answers. I grew up in a home with two Jewish believing parents and was always taught that Yeshua loved me and died for my sins, but I’ve needed to find out what that means for myself. I think that the greatest strength for me has been my Christian friends. They seem to understand what I’m going through because their lives are also difficult. Sometimes I just need advice, not pat answers.
One thing I’ve learned through all this: God is always there for me. Whenever I question why things are going a certain way, or why something bad has happened, He finds a way to answer me. No one has all the answers—not your parents, not your friends, not your pastor. Sometimes it seems that even God is withholding the answer. But if there’s any advice I could offer it would be that you shouldn’t get hung up on how you feel at the moment—let the moment pass. In God’s time, every impossible situation meets its resolution and every impossible trial comes to an end.