In between In-between “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.” - John 15:18-21 I was born into a Christian home and gave my life to god when I was around 15. There have been ups and downs as everyone has within their faith, but I have been blessed enough to have always had a relationship with my farther, even if its sometimes on uneasy grounding. Keep It secret keep it safe. However, a lot of the people in my life ether don’t understand why I have a faith, why I want a faith or flat out don’t like that I do have one. and that’s no longer an anomaly for a lot of young Christians. I know many of my friends now feel they need to be silent about their religion and faith or feel scared to share that part of themselves, even feeling uncomfortable saying the declaring the littlest of things like “I go to a church.” Out to fear. I know I’ve experienced this and I’m sure a lot Christian’s irrelevant of age have probably also experienced this in one form or another. But we should not be made to feel like our beautifully unique and incredible relationship with God is anything to hide, something i struggle to remember when I get asked what I’m doing on a Sunday morning or on a Wednesday before a I go to my life group. “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” This verse in John is one that is so relevant in my life at the moment, but understanding it and accepting it seems like quite a big deal, it’s saying to me that because I chose God and I chose to follow him I’m not going to be able to fit in to the world around me. I’m never going to fully be a part of the people who have yet follow God. In ways this feels like a blessing but it also feels confused. Everyone can see the awful and unjust happenings that exist in our world, and I’m not just talking about the awful tragedy’s that occur, but also, the smaller yet still impactful side of humanity, Bullying and gossip, Anger and hatred, jealousy and fear. I don’t want to partake in that, I don’t want to be a part of a people that inflict hurt, and i think very few rarely do. Yet when we are continually surrounded with these things, can we become blind to them? Do the ugly parts of the world; the things that used to make us hurt become numb the more and more we take in. In my experience the answer is yes. I’m Confused I surrounded myself with people that although yes I love, also gladly took part in all the thingsI talked about Gossiping and jealousy, anger and hatred where present in a lot of conversations and actions, and as I took a part in them I knew I had become desensitised to what they talked about and what they did. I began to see myself change, I saw less of who God wanted me to be and more of a person I didn’t like. But within that I was more accepted and more understood by the world. But i became confused because I understood myself less and accepted myself less because at the end of the day what God wanted for me was always the best thing for me. I had to try (with his help) to become that. To become less like the world around me and more like him. I am not good at it let me just say, but because of God and because of the other amazing Christians around me I’ve been blessed with each day I try to be more like what he wants me to be, and I found clarity in that. But... During that time, I so often had that feeling of being in-between to groups. that it sometimes felt like I was standing between two worlds and trying so hard to bring them together and exists in both. But I no longer think that’s possible. So then how do you continue to be in the world and maintain those relationships with you friends and family that don’t know God? How do you continue and enjoy those friendships, because I don’t think God wants us to hide away in churches and block out the world. He wants us in it and changing it and helping it. So how do we as a younger generation when we are faced with so many of our own generation who do not want to here about God, Who do not want to understand, how do we have relationships with them to show them what following God, what being a child of God really is. Without becoming like the world. How do we be in the world and not of it. I’m still learning myself but i'v surrounded myself with Christians that can share my confusion and my load, I found a church to throw myself into and in doing so found a family to help me both within my relationship with God but also to help me in life. We live in this world with fear and ugliness but we have God and we have his family and his church to support us, we are not in this alone. Even if it can feel like it sometimes. Gods always been with us and we have millions of brothers and sisters though him. Its okay to feel confused and to struggle but don’t struggle alone, because it becomes easy to get lost.