I am so excited to bring you my beautiful (and young) friend Samantha Seal. She is wise beyond her years. Although I have known Sam and her family for many years, I have only recently come to know her well and let me tell y'all, she is oh so wise. She is a University of Texas sophomore (we won't hold that against her) and she interned for my husband at the Capitol this spring. She was such a breath of fresh air and I enjoyed every conversation we were able to have together. I cannot wait for you to read her story of believing God when it would have been way easier for her not to.
When asked what she feels her calling is, Sam replied, "Ever since I was a junior in high school, I have felt God calling me to use my gifts for writing and communication to be a beacon of truth in a world full of lies. I want to apply the skills learned from my Public Relations degree to Political Communications. There is a great need for Christian men and women to take a stand for freedom, truth, the family, and the church, so I want to be a light for Christ in the political world."
Believing God Has Purpose in Your Pain: (written by Samantha Seal)
In March of 2017, I suffered from a mild traumatic brain injury after a hard fall. Immediately, I was isolated from my friends and favorite activities and left in physical, mental, and emotional pain. Every day I woke up with an excruciating migraine and a foggy brain, and every night, I went to bed in tears, crying out to God to end my pain.
Months later, my medicine cabinet began to overflow with ineffective medications. I was angry and bitter. The fall brought three new characters into my life—anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Constantly changing medications dangerously increased my stress levels, so I spiraled into a toxic pattern of panic attacks and bouts of depression. I was tired of being in pain all the time, so instead, I wanted it all to end. I tried to push my suicidal thoughts away because the Christian girl in me knew I was not supposed to have them, but bottling up those thoughts made everything worse.
I finally reached my breaking point one night and angrily told God, “I don’t think you’re a good God anymore. You don’t understand my pain.”
I felt I didn’t deserve what I was going through. I knew he could take away all my anguish in an instant, and because I was still suffering, I thought he didn’t love me. (Wow, was I wrong!)
At that moment, I decided to walk away from God.
Soon after, joy—which comes from the Lord—had left my eyes, and a wise friend noticed I was acting differently. I broke down and told her and, later, my parents about my suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression. We then worked with my doctors, trying new medications and therapy to break the cycle of migraines and improve my mental health. However, my foundation—my relationship with the Lord—was cracked, so none of it worked.
I didn’t tell anyone for a while about my doubts and my decision to take a break from God. I thought my relationship with the Lord needed to be perfect—always trusting Him and never doubting Him. I mistakenly believed that questioning God’s character made me less of a Christian. (Spoiler alert— that is so far from the truth!) But even in my darkness, God slowly softened my heart, and I shared my doubts and questions with a few people I trusted.
They spoke God’s truth in my life like Romans 5:8, “All good things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Telling someone about my doubts was the first step, but a true heart change was between me and the Lord.
Easter of 2018 rolled around, and I heard the amazing story of the Gospel again. I had listened to it countless times by that point, but something finally clicked in my brain.
Perfect Jesus loved me so much that He endured the worse pain imaginable by dying on the cross for my sins. Then He miraculously rose again three days later, so that I may have eternal life with Him. I realized that God deeply understands my pain because He suffered for me. He did not deserve to die such a gruesome death FOR ME, so who am I to tell Him that I did not deserve my temporary pain?
I began to look at the Bible with fresh eyes. Heroes of the Bible doubted God while suffering, but there was always a purpose to their pain even if they had to wait a while to see it.
A few weeks later, I dared to believe God, even though my suicidal thoughts were telling me not to. Day by day, I traded the suicidal thoughts, the anxiety, and the depression for life, peace, and hope in Jesus Christ. After I fully trusted Him with the healing process—a year after the initial accident—the doctors finally found the right medication to heal my brain, and they cleared me to return to “normal life.” But I didn’t go back to being the “old normal Sam.”
The “new normal Sam” knows that it is human to doubt God and that her Heavenly Father wants to help her work through her questions. She doesn’t try to convince others that she has the perfect relationship with God. Instead, she openly shares her story with other young women who are doubting God’s goodness or are struggling with anxiety, which she continues to wrestle with today. She believes 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” She knows that walking through a trial with an all-loving, purposeful God is better than walking through it alone, without Him.
No matter what you are walking through right now, I hope you dare to believe God. Dare to believe that God is good no matter the circumstance. Dare to believe that God can turn your test into your testimony. Dare to believe that God is always fighting for you even if you can’t see Him or feel Him.
Samantha Seal is originally from Plano, TX, but currently living in Austin, TX, beginning her Sophomore year at the University of Texas at Austin. She is passionate about being the voice for the voiceless and connecting with those who are different from her. Sam is pursing a major in Public Relations, a minor in Spanish, and a minor in Business and Public Policy. God has blessed her with opportunities to use those passions in internships at a religious non-profit and at the Texas House of Representatives!