Letters to God

Faith

Letters to God

I'm Ariel!

I'm a garlic-obsessed New Yorker with a serious passion for dogs, cheese, and fizz sticks. Welcome to my world where I share personal growth + self care tips to help you become more self aware!

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Gimme that

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This is probably the most vulnerable thing I’ve ever posted on the internet. My journals.

Growing up, my way of talking to God was through writing. I had my journal and would write away with my thoughts and prayers.

Today, I’m sharing a collection of those journal entries with you – in hopes that it reminds you that you’re not alone in your struggles. I hope you resonate with some of what’s written here.

12/28/14

I’m gonna be honest – I don’t really know how to start. I guess a simple “Hi” could work.

Hi! My name is Ariel, Ariel Yasmine Richard to be exact. I’ve always wanted a journal to write to you with; but every time I got one, I’d forget all about it. I can talk to you as if you’re actually here. This is gonna be great.

1/8/15

They said he was going to be okay.

1/26/15

It’s been two weeks since my grandpa passed away. I felt alone at first, no one understood. No one even told me that he was sick in the first place. I found out days before he died, not to mention, no one made it seem serious. I never even had the chance to say goodbye…or to tell him that I loved him. I can’t remember a single time that I said, “I love you, grandpa.”

1/4/16

It’s crazy how it’s been a whole year since I’ve written in here. The only new thing that I can think of is that I’m graduating early. How crazy is that?! I’m super excited and couldn’t be happier; it’s going to be a lot of work but I’m 100% confident that I can do this. I’m graduating when I’m only 16!!!!!! I’m sure you already knew that though.

Onto the serious stuff…I think I might be struggling in my faith. I’ve never had an actual encounter with you, God. That’s what’s making it hard for me to defend my faith. I mean, I grew up praying and all that but do I ever actually get a response? And here I am writing to you but I don’t think that does anything either.

Last Sunday my youth leader, more like my sister, asked us to defend our faith. Guess what? I couldn’t. Better yet, today my Bible teacher asked me the same. exact. question. I couldn’t do it this time either. Why am I struggling so much? How can I call myself a Christian when I can’t even defend my faith? Why do I believe in what I believe? What makes other religions, or no religion wrong and mine right? No one can answer these questions for me, but I can’t even answer them for myself. I mean, where would I start?

Why am I a Christian?

1/16/16

I went to Jasmine’s youth group last night and watched “War Room.” It was AMAZING! It made me wish I had a spot to clear out and make my own war room, but this journal and some notecards will have to suffice. I can feel like I’m actually talking to you through here, so why should it matter? Rather than sitting and praying, I sit and write. Or is that weird…?

I’ll be honest though, I haven’t sat down and thought about having an encounter with you. I actually remember a chapel during school last year and the speaker spoke about having moments with you. He said we need to get to know you before we can just expect moments to happen. I want to get to know you. I want to have a personal relationship with you. But what’s preventing that from happening? Why aren’t you helping me know you? What does knowing you even mean…it’s not like you can just tell me your favorite color or anything like that. I’m confused.

I realize that writing in this journal is more about me than you. I’ve been consumed in myself I guess. God, please prove to me that you’re real. Help me get to know you on a personal level. Amen.

1/22/16

Have we responded to the Lord Jesus’ invitation of friendship by opening our hearts to Him with nothing held back?

9/29/16

Here I am in the middle of an open field, desperately trying to hear your voice. I don’t even know what I’m doing, to be honest. I thought I had figured it out that week, yet here I am completely lost. I realized that I hate thinking about my relationship with you, God. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to hear your voice. How can I call myself a Christian when I can’t even build a relationship with you? I came out here in an attempt to have you speak into my life, answer my questions, be my God. I really want to hear from you and I don’t understand what I could be doing wrong.

I feel completely void. There’s an empty hole in my heart.

Have we responded to the Lord Jesus’ invitation of friendship by opening our hearts to Him with nothing held back?

3/28/17

I don’t even know what to say, God…I’m so ashamed and can’t look you in your face. I haven’t been right with you for way too long and that needs to change. I want to do right by you. I want to bring glory and honor to your name. I want to make the most out of every day living the life you’ve called me to live. I’m going to make myself accountable.

You know my heart God, and my heart longs to praise your name. I wrote a question on the last page – have I responded to the Lord Jesus’ invitation of friendship by opening my heart to Him with nothing held back? The answer is no.

Yes, I’ve accepted his invitation, but I’m holding back. No more. No more holding back. You’re more than a thought or figure drifting in the clouds somewhere. You are God. You know everything I can possibly think or do; yet, it is necessary for me to lay it all down before you. I need your guidance and your wisdom so much – in everything I do. This is me emptying my mind and clearing my heart to allow your voice. Only your voice.

N.D.

It seems that I only write to you when I’m sad or have questions.

I’m tired. Tired of not being enough. Tired of not achieving more. Tired of feeling left out. Tired of feeling convicted. Tired of not knowing what to do. I am tired of living in such a horrible world. Maybe I’m just tired of living.

I wouldn’t kill myself. I see value in life for whatever reason, but maybe I shouldn’t. My parents are divorced. I barely see my dad. My mom hates me. My stepdad barely pays me any attention. My peers are cruel. I have no friends; quite frankly, I’m all alone. And somehow, I still see value in life. What’s the value of my life anyway? What’s my purpose? I can die and it wouldn’t make a difference.

I’m like a tree getting chopped down. With every swing of the ax I get cuts and bruises, but no one seems to notice. Eventually, I’ll be cut down completely, but it wouldn’t make a difference. There are plenty of other trees – some even in my own backyard.

3/18/18

Nearly a month has gone by since I’ve written in this journal. That means that nearly a month has gone by since I’ve actually spoken to you – to God. I’m challenging myself. Challenging myself to do a devotional each night and actually
grow in my faith. I found one on the Bible app called, “Is your gospel big enough?” So here goes day 1.

The scripture references were 1 John 4:9-10, Jeremiah 29:11, and Psalms 139:13-16. This felt more like an introduction to the actual devotional. But it’s funny they used these verses because those exact verses, every single one, were used by Hannah Desantis when our team went to Haiti. I was tempted to go ahead and read tomorrow’s devotional to see
if it gets any better, but it’s probably best to actually wait until tomorrow.

I actually started another devotional tonight. It’s called “Less of Me/More of Him.” It’s a 21-day fasting study. I’m committed to quiet prayer and intense focus during this fast. No distractions. I am fasting because I know that I am missing out on something truly beautiful. I want a real relationship with the person who loves me most in this world. With the person who laid his life down for me without even giving it a second thought. I want to be a source of light to others. I want to live my life knowing that I have a purpose – just like Rachel Joy Scott. She was the first to die in the first school shooting in U.S. history – and she was a Christian. I want to have faith like her, faith that can move mountains. I want to believe in something so much that there’s not even an option to look back. I know I barely have a relationship with you, God, but I desperately want one.

I know that there’s more out there. There’s more to life than cramming for tests and going to class. There’s more than getting a job, having kids, and being married. There’s just no way it could end there. What’s the purpose of that?

God, please help me grow closer to you through these devotions. I want to be on fire for you and know you – truly know you. Please help me be a light to others. I know I’m not perfect; but through my imperfections along with the qualities you’ve given me, please help me become a light to those in the dark.

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GARLIC OBSESSED, ENNEAGRAM 1W9, CHRONIC PERFECTIONIST, JESUS LOVER.

Hi, I'm Ariel.
Your Hype Girl +  Self Awareness Coach.

I'm a Starbucks lover, fizz dealer, master chef, creative baker, worship leader, dog mama, crisis counselor, cheese connoisseur, and passionate writer.

I've never been one to limit myself to a single title, and you shouldn't either. I bet you're more than a daughter, more than your age, and more than your job.

When I was in college, I noticed people around me lacked vision for their lives. They felt so restricted by society's expectations that they weren't living according to their own passions. And I wanted to help.

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