By Adrianna La Tortue
Growing up is not easy, especially when you’re a military kid. My dad was in the Army. People always call us Army (military) brats, but I never understood that because I don’t see how being a military kid would make me a brat. On the contrary, I started to figure out who I was earlier than expected, at a younger age than non-military kids. I had to grow a backbone, and at 14 years old, I always wondered what was happening in the world, constantly worried. I began to wonder if there was something or someone who could help me. It all came down to what I learned in school at the time. Now, the funny thing is, I went to a catholic school. So, imagine a teenager trying to discover herself in a school filled with catholic reverends and sisters. I’ll admit, there were times when I doubted everything. The first lesson I learned was about God. Who is He? What is He? Why did He make everything? Those were my top three questions when I sat in that class and my teacher started talking.
Truthfully, I knew about God before high school because of my family. My mother’s family is from the Caribbean, and I would spend all my summers there before high school. My grandmother had me go to church every Saturday and Sunday. I would always ask, “why do I have to go?” It was a valid question for a kid who wasn’t even in middle school yet. However, the answer was always the same. “It’s good for you.” That was always the end of the conversation. Of course, I became resentful because I was forced to go. I didn’t have a choice. I just wanted a straightforward answer, though. Curiosity is the principal strength and weakness of any child. Now, here I was in a catholic high school, trying to figure out myself while also trying to be an adult for my mom. In the meantime, my dad was stationed somewhere in the United States.
I thought maybe if I prayed, then things would look up. Let’s say I began to understand patience. I kept asking for one thing, a place where I could feel secure. I desired not to worry about anything, like my family and the scary stuff in this world—a place where I could have peace even for a few seconds. A place where I wouldn’t be forced to do anything, and someone would provide me with comfort and reassurance.
As I continued through high school, I hated attending church. I was not too fond of it mainly because I had no choice whether or not to go. Perhaps, it was teenage rebellion. I then began to question if God truly cared about me. My life felt like it was falling apart at the seams, and it was like no one was talking to me. My dad was away, so my mom struggled with being a “single mom.” She became distant and cold toward me, and my grandmother gave me no choice about going to church.
However, I felt like someone was there during my darkest moments. I don’t know how to describe it, but I suddenly had a place to go. It was a refuge for me. All I wanted in life was to feel protected. Jesus gave me a safe haven. It took time and faith, but I recognized it. Even now, the answers may still be coming together for me, but I’m glad I heard from the Lord.
I’ll leave you with this, Psalm 16:1 says,
“Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.”
“Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.”
Put your trust in the Lord, take refuge in Him, and He will provide a safe haven amid your struggles and doubts.
Scriptures quoted from the New International Version and the New King James Version. Photo by Nathan Dumlaoa on Unsplash
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