Meet AbbeyAn unexpected blessing helped Abbey’s faith grow.
We were made for community. From the very beginning of time, it was understood that it’s not good for us to be alone; we were made for relationships. The reality is, though, that it’s not always easy to make friends; sometimes community seems like this great concept that feels unattainable. This can be especially true when you move around a lot. Just when you make good friends, you’re off to the next place.
This was the reality for Abbey. As a daughter of Salvation Army officers (pastors), Abbey is used to moving from place to place. While moving has its perks (you get to see and experience all kinds of places), it also has its downsides. Following her sophomore year of high school, Abbey and her family moved across the state. Because the move took place in the summer, Abbey was working at summer camp in another state and her family made the move without her. By the time camp ended, it was time for school to start. There was no time to get to know any of the teens at church or in her neighborhood. At school, Abbey, who is friendly and extremely extroverted, found that it was hard to make those connections she craved. During this time, instead of leaning on her faith, she began to stray. Abbey says that she knew she was drifting away from God, but her heart was stubborn, and she resisted doing what she needed to do to get back into a good relationship with Him.
Then COVID hit. Lockdown and not being able to go to school were not easy for her extroverted heart, but it came with an unexpected blessing. It gave her time and space to process and work through things in her personal life. Abbey says that she felt like she was at her lowest point and had tried everything to get out of that pit. She realized that she had been too dependent on her family and her friends for her happiness and for her own growth with God. After using the time to process, she understood that faith is personal. It’s an individual decision. She couldn’t grow from the faith of her family and friends; while that helps and encourages and builds up, the faith of others can’t save you. It must be a personal decision.
From that point on, Abbey began really investing in her faith, taking the time to pray, read the Bible and get more involved with her corps (church) family. Now a senior in high school, Abbey is preparing to preach her first sermon at her corps (church) and is getting ready to attend college, where she will major in Christian ministries.
Abbey’s goal is to live out her favorite Scripture, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”