Highlights of a Teenage Life

Have you ever gone through a time of such deep darkness that you forgot what the light looked like? I have. Anxiety, depression, black anger, hurt, frustration, and grief all accompany this tragic state. If you were ever a teenager, you likely can emphasize with this.

Teenage life is, after all, a trying time. We grow at a rapid rate between the ages of 13 and 20, often maturing so quickly (or slowly, at times) that we become different people almost overnight.

The first such period in my life took place in the summer of 2019. This summer was highlighted by several unique events, including the death of my dog and the God-ordained removal of a destructive relationship in my life. At the end of this summer, many of my closest friends noted the changes that had taken place in me. Some were obvious; my voice had deepened, I had grown three inches and my mustache had finally appeared before being mercilessly removed.

On a deeper level, I had found peace in many of the difficult struggles I had gone through as a Christian. God had strengthened my faith as He challenged me to pursue him whole-heartedly, and He continues to confront me every single day.

“You’re being passive again, Elisha.”

“You’re not pursuing me or my Word.”

“You’re not praying.”

“You’re hurting people.”

I continue to struggle to walk the walk set before me. For some reason, I had a picture of my future walk in my mind as easy and carefree. This could not be further from the truth. One of the biggest lessons I have learned recently is that true Christians aren’t the ones that have their lives together; they’re the humans that struggle the most but know how to admit it.

Darkness envelops this world and encroaches further into our lives every day. There’s no way around it- I’m a sinful, depraved man. Yet God, in His eternal love, continues to pursue me. He doesn’t let me walk down the dangerous paths. He confronts me on the deepest heart issues and continues to do so. My pride, my anger, my hurt, and my depression are all seen and known by God. Nothing hides from His sight.

When I, a human, am confronted by God’s truth, my first reaction is to make an excuse or point the finger.

“I can’t read my Bible because school and sports are taking all my time.”

“I’m hurting people because they hurt me first or because I’m tired and not thinking.”

“I failed to lead because they failed to be leadable.”

If I accepted these lies as truth, how could I hope to live with myself? Better yet, how could I hope to grow in God beyond that of a mind-numbing crawl? Sometimes receiving God’s confrontation of my own sin requires making an incredibly painful decision. I cannot afford to have regrets.

Rambling aside, I continue to find my perception growing and shaping my worldview. My understanding of humanity, fueled by a deep longing to find the truth in this lie-ridden world, has grown in ways I could never imagine. I finally begin to understand, in whatever form this takes. School topics? The human heart? Sin and its consequences? All have been dissected by my perception, judged by my experience, reviewed with philosophy and logic, then stored for future application. Whether correctly or incorrectly, this process moves forward.

I’m sinful, yes. I screw up, make mistakes, hurt people, allow sin and temptation into my heart, and reflect it out onto those I love. I’m hypocritical in most regards and foolish in more. Still, I acknowledge these as from Satan and continue to humbly beg for Christ to mold and shape my heart. I will not stand by and passively allow sin to control my life. There are too many examples of this in the lives of those around me for me to see first-hand.

Christianity has been corrupted far more than any of us realize. American Christians are, to most regards, spiritually sleeping, perpetually brain-dead without any chance to grow faster than a snail’s pace. Cultural syncretism is the new norm, and any Christian that doesn’t want to be “cancelled” conforms or allows himself to be conformed to the things of this world. This is the reason we have Christians who believe abortion is appropriate, same-sex marriage is good, and pre-marital sex is appropriate (see my note below).

Please, dear reader, continue to challenge yourself. Christianity isn’t a singular goal to be reached, a finish line to pass and then relax after. It is a lifelong marathon coupled with temporary sprints. Ask questions, challenge yourself, and be challenged by those around you, no matter what station of life they may be in. Pray for those around you (myself included, please), especially teens, because you don’t know what darkness can lie beneath the surface.

In the meantime, walk with me. This blog has evolved from an “Elisha’s thoughts” blog into “Elisha’s journey” journal. If you’ve read my older writing, you know what to expect. If not, well, don’t worry too much. I intend to confront myself more than I attempt to confront others. Yet without Christ, neither of us can hope to be confronted. But the question still remains: will you let Him?

-Elisha


Author’s note: My post on Pre-Marital Sex was controversial to say the least. Many did not appreciate someone of my age/station writing about such a topic. The truth of the matter is that while some of what I wrote on that day was not appropriate for my reader base (hence why the post was edited), much of what I wrote was a summary of my recent school lessons on that topic. Because I am deeply disgusted with the actions of my peers related to that topic, that post was written towards these people that believe pre-marital sex is appropriate. If I hurt or angered you in any way, you have my most sincere apologies. Again, much of this post was written on the back of my recent lessons and disgust towards my peers. The experiences I wrote of are not my own and they should not have been included for this reason.

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23 thoughts on “Highlights of a Teenage Life

  1. Amen, amen Elisha. Thanks so much for writing this. I think that everybody goes through at least one hard, depressing time in life…I know I’ve had some hard times. But I think that if we keep remembering that God has an amazing purpose and plan for us, and we strive to remain content in Him, we will come out the darkness, stronger than before and more in love with God and those around us, than we ever were.
    Thank you for writing!! And, I thought your post on pre-marital sex was really good. I think a lot of times when younger people write on topics like that, they get backlash because (1). we’re young, and (2). we can be inexperienced in the area we write in. And I know from experience (writing on transgenderism and homosexuality…) that it can be hard, writing about something you are passionately against, but not seeming hateful. I’ll just say, I think you’ve done great, so far. Just let God guide you and let Him work through you. And your blog will be a place where others (no matter what some say…) will find hope, truth and strength in what God gives you to write.
    Pardon the long comment….keep up the good work!!
    -Keziah

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, that backlash was rather difficult and grieving to deal with. While experience should play a large factor in a writing topic, it does not DICTATE the writing of that material. Very grateful for your comments, and I feel very encouraged. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, absolutely!! And of course. I know sometimes it can be rather hard in the writing world… But if we just go with what God wants, we know that we’re doing the right thing, even if it’s not easy. Keep up the good work!! You’re doing awesome. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful thoughts, Elisha! I’ve struggled with the thought that life can be easy and carefree, both now and later. I thought that I had forever to grow up and the things that I fail in or struggle with, would disappear in five or ten years. I thought I could mature without trying. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and I learned (and still am learning!) that what I do now will affect my life in the long run. Whether it’s the good decisions I make or the bad ones, they’ll make an impact on me for the rest of my life. So now is the time to start living with maturity in mind, with the end goal in front of us. What do I want to be in five or ten years? If I’m going to be that person, I have to start now.
    Anyways, great thoughts!
    Keep livin’ for Jesus!
    Grace

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Matthew Black

    Another excellent post! Thanks Elisha for your open heart. I’m glad you are learning not to be an excuse maker! That’s true manhood!!! Also your post on pre-marital sex was not offensive to me. It was a bold statement in a wandering and lost generation. We are so grateful for you dear brother!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. makaylajesalyn

    I really identify with this post … I’m also feeling the grind of being both a teenager AND a Christian! I’m rooting for you, in your “marathon with temporary sprints”! I absolutely agree with the analogy you presented – I do think that the sleeping Christians don’t even know what they’re missing until they wake up and PURSUE a life of faith. Then comes the testing, not just once, but continually, because we live in a sinful world – but those who seek God’s Will through it all will come out of it victoriously every time. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Heyyy Elisha , I am regretting the fact why didn’t I get to read this before , I mean the way you have written it , it just hits home , its sooo relatable maybe because I am a Christian and a teenager. Sometimes it’s a tough choice and things become difficult to manage when we see that every other person is soo lost and has such weak moral fibers.
    Thank you soo much . Hope to read more amazing posts soon.
    Love from India .

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: What Does It Mean To “Not Conform to the Ways of This World”? – Elisha McFarland

  7. Thanks for bringing this up ! I’ll turn 20 after a few months, and I can feel how teenage shapes our lives and how we undergo drastic changes in us. I used to think that the changes in my thought process and my habits are normal. But with time , I felt they are faced by others as well. Indeed, this is the time when we feel the most vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: A Christian View on Political Corruption- A Collab – Elisha McFarland

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