Life has changed in many ways. Over the course of the past year, a pandemic has ruled our world. We have been living according to rules and regulations, not how we lived just a year before. This pandemic has made things difficult for families, schools, occupations, etc. Personally, nothing has helped me get through this pandemic more than friendship, both with my classmates and with God.

Most schools this year forced their students into a hybrid form of learning, giving them a day to come in and a day to stay home. However, at my school — Catholic Central High School — we were given the option daily to choose either way. This felt like a weight off of our shoulders because when we went into school it was almost like everything was normal. Despite the masks and social distancing, I became overwhelmed with joy when I got to see my friends daily.

Friendship is the kind of relationship that can last forever, but which can also end over time. There are so many pieces that go into building a solid friendship which makes it difficult to keep such a close relationship with someone. But no matter how many friends you have and who you are friends with now, you will always have one friend who loves you far more than anyone else ever could. That friend is God.

I have always looked up to God as a friend, even during the more difficult times in my life. For example, when our family dog passed away recently, I really struggled. I am someone who understands death but wishes death was not real. When our dog died, I just sat there and asked God, “Why?” I felt as though God had gone against me and my friendship with Him was tested. However, as time went on, I realized it was all part of His plan for us here on Earth. Trusting in His plan, I rekindled my connection with God through prayer — the most powerful way to talk with God. I am inspired by the words of Job 22:27: “You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.”

I was always taught that prayer is very important. Any prayer counts, whether it is a quick, simple prayer or a long, deep prayer. Prayer can be difficult at times, though. Sometimes, we do not understand our beliefs. We may think we do not have enough time to pray or we might be unsure of what to say. But no matter our circumstances, God will always be there to listen. As Jeremiah 29:12 says, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

God is ready to stand by you at any cost. You just have to reach out to him, knowing he is the best friend you could ever have. He knows you, all your weaknesses and all of your strengths. He is always there for you.

Margaret McDade attends Catholic Central High School and will be entering 10th grade this fall.