I have a very special guest writer this week- my beautiful sister! Lexi is one of the wisest people I know and has always had her head on straight. I knew she could inspire you all in a way that maybe I couldn’t. So here is her fabulous writing encouraging you all that no matter what- God’s got you!
Hey guys! I am the amazing Brianna Arsenault’s younger sister, Lexi. I am a sophomore at Northern Kentucky University studying Psychology. Brie asked me to talk to you all about overcoming. Why did she ask ME? Well, I think it has something to do with the fact that I have more health issues than you can count on your ten fingers. But truthfully, my health issues have been the smallest of my giants.
In elementary school, I didn’t have many friends. I thought it’d be smarter to do my homework during recess and on the bus ride home rather than hang out with others so I could do whatever I wanted when I got home (aka Webkins and ICarly). Ever since, though, I have struggled with making friends or, more honestly, keeping them.
My church does an annual fast in January for 21 days. In 2013, I decided I was going to commit to fast sweets, pop, coffee, and limit television. I fasted for friendship, which the Lord blessed me with the same year. I gained four amazing friends that I share the best of memories with. Unfortunately, my relationship with them weakened only a couple of years later because of silly high school stuff. After watching my friends slip away, I became very angry with God. “Why would you bless me with four amazing people and take them all away at once?” I wished I would have never had friends. It’d be better than heartbreak, right?
I swore I wouldn’t let anybody get close like that again so I wouldn’t have to deal with friends leaving my life. I became very depressed and my mental health rapidly declined. I spent all summer of 2015 binge watching The Office TWICE in my dark basement. In the midst of all of this, I was dealing with constantly being placed on a new medicine or higher or lower dosages for my epilepsy. I was so lost and I began to quickly learn that nothing grows when it is in the dark. Don’t hide yourself away when you’re upset. Take a walk outside and listen to worship music or whatever music cheers you up.
I also remember walking through the halls during my sophomore year of high school, completely isolated and alone. There were many times I felt like I had no purpose on earth because I had fallen so far away from God. Once I realized I had lost my relationship with the Lord, I knew I had to fix myself. My goal for 2016 was to get back with God so He could do something through me. This situation of mine reminds me of Job. In Job 1, Satan and God have a conversation. God explains how faithful Job is to Him and Satan thinks he wouldn’t be so faithful if his life wasn’t so blessed. God allowed Satan to bring destruction into Job’s life to show Satan how faithful Job was. Job lost EVERYTHING including all of his children. When he heard the news he said, “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!” How amazing is that? Don’t you want to respond to destruction like Job? God gave me those friends and removed them all for His good and time.
For there to be hope in your life, there has to be hardship. How can you know God can deliver you if you haven’t been through something to be delivered from in the first place? I’ve learned to be thankful for experiencing all of the lonely seasons in my life. I’m thankful that God allowed me to have epilepsy and all of my other health issues because my competitive spirit has driven me to prove that I can pull through. When you overcome, you become who God has meant for you to be.
Every time I hit a new storm or battle in my life I force myself to pray, “God, you’re doing something new in me. Through this, I will become wiser, stronger, and more confident in You. THANK YOU, Lord, for trusting me with a new storm. I will keep my eyes on You and praise you through it all for You are my strength, my guide, and my shield.” You aren’t going through your battles for no reason. God has a plan. I know you don’t know the reason, I know it’s not fair. The bigger the storm is, the more you’ll learn how big your God is. Overcoming storms isn’t easy and I know I’ve downplayed hardship but that’s because I have an amazing God that has pulled me through everything. I’ve seen Him do it once and I know He will do it again!
Brie here! I am so beyond lucky to live life every day with this woman as my sister. She is only 18 and has already taught me more than some of the biggest name preachers. She reminds me to never forget where I have come from and to always remember that God is not finished and will always be there. My sister has dealt with far more than she even shared with you all and she is a true warrior. Thanks, sis, for providing us with some amazing wisdom to go into our weekend. x