August / September 2015 - Vol. 81
 Finding Peace Through Christ
“God has affirmed me as His son and helped me to grow in so many ways
by Jerel Merrill

I grew up on the east side of Detroit about 2 miles from downtown. I am an only child and my mother raised me by herself. I have never met my father, but, thankfully, this has never produced any anger or bitterness in me. My mom is the greatest woman and raised me with much love and encouragement. She is truly a blessing.

Transitioning from middle school to high school was a big struggle for me and was the first time that my faith was tested. I had been a part of the same school for nine years. Now I was moving to a new building with new people. Nothing was the same. I used to be a part of a group of friends and teachers that I had known for a while and had grown to love. In high school I didn’t know anyone and didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. 

                            prayer meeting

I remember being outside my high school after class one day, waiting for my mom. As was customary for the time, I was crying and wondering what I was doing there. I was pacing back and forth praying and trying to make myself feel better. At the time, the sky was very dark and grey. It looked like a storm was coming. But as I continued to pray, something amazing happened. The sky went from dark and stormy to bright and clear. It seemed to happen really slowly, but in reality it probably only took a few minutes. As the sun came out and the blue sky returned, I was met with a greater peace. I knew that God had cleared that sky for me - to show me that I was where I needed to be and that good things were coming. Things weren’t perfect after that, but they slowly started to get better.

Well, that was 6 years ago… and since then life has been a wild ride. In a lot of ways it’s actually gotten much harder since I’ve decided to live for the Lord. But God has shown me so much love and grace. He has affirmed me as His son and helped me to grow in so many ways. He has seen me through very difficult times and shaped me through those times. My life has gone from being about being “good enough” to accepting The Lord’s goodness to me. I’m excited to see things come full circle by serving on the same Detroit Summer Outreach (DSO) staff the led me to the Lord.

See other recent stories from Detroit Summer Outreach and YouthWorks-Detroit:

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