Have you ever been through a hard time and felt like no one understood what you were going through? Well, I think we have all been through a time like that. We like to think that we are completely alone, drowning in our sorrow. But years later, when you look back on your life during that situation, you realize that you were never alone and you never will be.

I grew up in the Catholic Church and my family and I attended Mass every Sunday. It was instilled in me to attend Mass and pray before every meal, but I never felt like I had a true relationship with God. While I knew that my faith was important to me, I never truly understood the gift of grace until I came to college.

During my junior year, I struggled with depression and feelings of loneliness. Softball and school were not going well and I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. I no longer enjoyed my sport or even hanging with friends. I remember feeling a sense of unfulfillment throughout my entire life. That was, until God spoke to me.

That fall, I went on a retreat with one of the local churches in Iowa. I met a lot of women who were on fire for God and, to be honest, I was jealous of them. I didn’t understand how they were so happy and fulfilled. I wanted what they had and I felt completely behind.

Cheyenne Pratt running the bases.
Photo Courtesy of the UI Athletics Department.

That weekend, God spoke to me through a sermon about grace. During the sermon I remember everything clicked in my head. Although I had always known about grace, I never truly understood its full meaning. In that moment, I realized that all of my past failures and sins didn’t matter because God has forgiven me and has mercy on me. God knows everything about me, and while I am a sinner, Jesus gave up His life for me. He even knows how many pieces of hair I have on my head. I realized that He created me uniquely and had a plan for my life before I was even born.

When I look back on my life, I realize that even though I felt completely alone during those hard times, I never was. God was there, always.

Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is a verse that has been with me ever since I decided to let God into my life. I now know that God is always there for me even when I feel alone.

I just graduated from the University of Iowa and am heading home to start a new job. I am nervous and confused about where God wants me to be, but I need to remember that God is always there and leading me in the direction He wants me to go in. I just need to stop and listen.

Cheyenne Pratt throwing the ball in from the outfield.
Photo Courtesy of the UI Athletics Department.

God is always speaking and leading us, just as He did in Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

This is an extremely powerful verse to memorize as we go through hardships and our lives change as we leave college.

It is important to be fearless when change happens and remember to stay true to yourself and God. I challenge you to never lose sight of our Lord, who has prepared a place for you in Heaven.

Nothing can separate you from God, so remember during those hard times that God is walking through life with you, holding your hand and whispering in your ear, “I love you and will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Give it all up to God and trust in Him, knowing He is always there!

With His love,

Cheyenne Pratt

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