Life Update: August

How do you describe seven months of growth and pain? How can the human mind, advanced as it is, convey such powerful emotion, dreadful turmoil, and difficult growth?

As always, this post is a life update. Given my lack of time, I have to resort to publishing these but rarely. Before I begin: I pray for wisdom as I write. I do not want to defame or insult anyone, and thus I will take extreme care in my descriptions of the past months.

At the end of February, I suffered the loss of a friendship. I believed this step away from friendship to be temporary, but I discovered that it was permanent (against my desires), mere days after my eighteenth birthday and graduation date. This loss sent me into the deepest time of depression I had ever experienced. For once, I knew what it was like to battle dark and even suicidal thoughts.

Yet God brought me out of this in the most unlikely of ways: through baseball. I am a basketball player, and had hardly touched a glove/bat in well over a decade. Thankfully, one of my friends was wise enough to see through the darkness I battled, and he suggested a new sport.

I took to baseball quite well, started in a few games, but the real joy was in the companionship. This filled the void left in my soul, and restored my heart and mind to a place of joy while the loss of my friendship was still believed to be temporary.

I graduated and turned eighteen towards the end of May. Shortly thereafter, my family prepared to return to Uganda for the very last time (due to unfortunate circumstances, we are in the process of leaving Ministry). Covid is, unfortunately, a reality, and our plans were abruptly cancelled when Uganda announced a country-wide lockdown.

By this time, it was the beginning of June, and the time had long since passed for the relationship I had briefly put on hold to be restored. It is in deepest grief that I say that this did not go as planned. The relationship was lost for good. It was an incredibly difficult loss of friendship, and this loss was made more difficult because I had to process the discarding of my expectation of return to relationship. Yet despite the difficult time, my respect for this person remains as high as possible. Hurt and deep pain exist, but they are a child of God and deserve to be treated as such.

Needless to say, it was a difficult time. I cried for a week. This was my best and closest friend, after all. As always, however, God is incredible, and He worked some incredible things in me. He used this time to further expose root heart issues that would have remained hidden otherwise. He showed me the truest depths of my sin and idolatry, and taught me that the only times He has to remove something from my hand is because I refused to give it to Him open-handedly.

I bounced back quicker than I had personally anticipated, much to my relief. I returned to college prep, and for several months, I believed I would be attending Moody Bible Institute. I even paid a deposit to the school.

Again, quite unfortunately, Moody Bible Institute released new Covid protocols for their students, and I, an unashamedly unvaccinated adult, was not willing to deal with these restrictions. I then shifted my attention to Boyce College in Louisville, to which I was accepted promptly a week before move-in day.

I have now been at Boyce for two and a half weeks, and I have loved every single minute of it. This campus is stunning, and the atmosphere is like no other. It is now incredibly clear to me that God had this place intended for me. I am majoring in communications and may consider a minor in Business.

I am incredibly grateful for the presence of an older friend of mine, Amanda York. I attended high school with her, and although we had not known each other quite well, we became friends over the summer. She helped push me towards Christ, especially as I battled grief.

I am increasingly grateful for my lifelong best friend, Josiah Kegg. Josiah was, by the grace of God, my neighbor for two months during the time I was in mourning. He kept me grounded in the Word and in Truth, constantly challenging me in my spiritual walk.

Another friend I am grateful for is Drew Mehall. Drew was the first to push me towards baseball, and he constantly kept me true to myself. He saw through my depression and called me to something greater. He pushed me to place a higher emphasis on my relationship with Christ, rather than with Man.

I’m also grateful for my parents. They stood by me through thick and thin, literally keeping me from falling (as I wept) or overthinking my own issues (as I worked through my grief). Without them, I would (obviously) not be alive and I would not be even a tenth the man I am today.

Finally, I am grateful to God. He has revealed Himself to me in ways that blow my mind. He is my gracious Father, my caring King, and loving Judge. I owe everything to Him. May the praise and glory go entirely to Him, for He is the only one deserving of glory.

God has meant so much more during this journey. He has worked in my heart, growing me in ways I never could have dreamed. He has never left me and has always stood by my side. He has revealed Himself to me in so many ways, and I feel as if the last year has grown me enough for three. To Him be the glory, the majesty, and the praise.

Soli Deo Gloria

-Elisha McFarland

28 thoughts on “Life Update: August

  1. grace

    Wow Elisha! Sounds like seven months of amazing growth through pain and hardship! The Lord is always with you and that is evident in your post! That is so great that you found a college and are loving it! I will pray for that transition and a heart set on God!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathleen Milligan

    I experienced two similar losses within a few months when Covid began and was in much the same place. The way God brought me out of it is literally a miracle. Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you’re doing better now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, this is amazing. Thank you for sharing. God works in mysterious and beautiful ways. I am glad He was able to get through to you. Glad to hear that through the hardships, you had those to help you remain strong in your faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grace

    Your story sounds similar to mine in that you lost a friend. My closest friend moved across the country a few years ago and I cried for weeks about it. I knew that we wouldn’t be able to keep our friendship like it would was and I also knew (and perhaps selfishly mourned more) that there were no other “friend” options. No one was around me that could take that position. It was during a very hard time in my life and I will say it was the hardest year and a half of my life so far. But looking back it is the year I am most grateful for. God brought me so close to Himself because I had no one else. He showed me that my friend was holding a position higher than God in my life. He showed me that He only can provide true satisfaction and joy. Anyways, thanks for sharing how God was and is at work in your life! Keep living for Jesus!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Grace

        True, no one should go through it, but sometimes (I believe) we have to, in order to see things from God’s perspective. And yes, there is so much hope for the believer in the midst of suffering. He is the God of all comfort! (2 Corinthians 1:3-11)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing your story, Elisha! Recently, a dear and close friend of mine left to be an exchange student in Germany, and my family has started attending a new church. It’s been pretty hard for me to leave my old youth group as it felt like family, and I’ve never really experienced that before since my family has moved a lot in the past. Starting over has been really scary and daunting to me, but this post was super encouraging to remember that God has a perfect plan in my life and that I can trust Him. So thank you for sharing, and I’m praying you have an amazing year and continue to draw closer to God at college!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wow, praise God for what He brought you through and did in you! I know this testimony is for a reason and God wouldn’t have brought you through it if it wasn’t somehow for His purpose, even if it hurt. And props for being an unvaccinated adult haha

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I suppose I should be an ashamed vaccinated minor now (lol). Incredible to hear God moving in your life man! I absolutely love the humbled dependence God has placed in you. Nice to hear an update! Stay strong in Christ! (Also baseball, that brings me back to my 7th grade experiences with baseball. Fun times!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry you had to go through such a painful loss of friendship. That is so hard, even more so as TCKs, since it’s difficult to find friends who understand you. But I’m glad God taught you valuable lessons through that. I hope college goes well, and I’ll be praying for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. makaylajesalyn

    This is such a difficult thing to go through; at one point, losing a bucket-full of friendships was hard for me as well. Some grow back, but some sink down forever. I’m so sorry for the heartache and the sadness you went through, but at the same time I’m so glad for you that you were able to see something good come out of it, and learn and grow through your pain. May God continue to strengthen you.
    (Also, congratulations on getting into Boyce! Isn’t it wonderful how God works in our lives to give us HIs directions?)
    God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

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