Being Real in Your Faith
Perry – a 17-year-old high school student in Colorado – has been bringing his Bible to school a long time – ever since he was in middle school! But it wasn’t easy for him at the beginning. Like any student, he felt the pressure to fit in. “It was a struggle for me to try to impress people or be something that I wasn’t.”
After a while, Perry felt God leading him to be open about who he was as a believer in Jesus and he decided to be more public about expressing his faith. So he started bringing his Bible with him every day. “I want to be real at school, and at church, and with my friends.”
Opening the Door
It didn’t take him long to see the impact of his decision. “I knew this girl…she was really the reason I wanted to start bringing my Bible to school because she was just really curious. Nobody would really even acknowledge the fact that I had my Bible on my desk because when I started bringing my Bible…but then, out of nowhere, she was asking questions and starting a conversation. And then other people started joining in.” Because Perry had his Bible with him, the door was opened for him to share his faith.
Perry said that God showed him that there was more to going to school every day than to go through the motions. He could have an eternal impact on his peers. God used his willingness to share his faith to impact those around him. He even started a Bible study before school hours. “Being [at school] five days a week, seven hours a day… God was showing me that this was an outlet – an opportunity to share the Word with everyone around me.”
“All My Expectations Falling at Once…”
Even though going to God was his first option, Perry faced significant challenges in high school. “Coming into my junior year, I had a lot of expectations. A lot of those expectations failed.” But the hardest challenge was yet to come.
“My mom got diagnosed with cancer and it was really hard. It was really sudden.”
His mother’s diagnosis rocked him to the core. “All my expectations falling at once, it kind of just led me into a hole. It’s hard to get back up again after disappointment… And I kind of just wanted to drop it all. If God would drop my expectations, I’m just going to drop all the responsibilities that he placed in my hands.”
Fortunately, Perry’s dad saw his struggles and came to him with some practical advice. “He said, ‘I can tell that you’re not reading the Bible. You need to wake up in the morning, read 10 verses a day. If you read 10 verses a day and you become interested you might read past that you may read 20 verses. You might read the whole chapter. And if you don’t have enough focus [that day], just read those 10 verses.’”
Depending on His Word
Perry said it took him awhile to get in the habit, but once he did, he saw positive results. “Everybody seemed little bit nicer. I didn’t need to fight against anything that day. Everything seemed to kind of flow in order and that doesn’t happen because of circumstances. That happens because of God.
“If I just depend on Him, depend on His Word, then all those other things seem to fade away. And the only thing I need is Him and He [is my] my top priority. And that’s what really got me through that – is just practically digging in to God’s Word.”
Perry has continued to bring his Bible to school with him and has been able to have conversations about it with friends and teachers. Taking strength from God’s promise in Matthew 7:7, Perry wants other students thinking about participating in Bring Your Bible to School Day this year to know one thing: “You’re not by yourself.”
Watch Perry’s video story above!