my freshman year of college is done (*insert praise hands*) — well, it was done a couple of weeks ago. but, I am just now getting a chance to reflect on the year that, in countless ways, changed my life.
honestly, I was not sure I was going to like college, & I completely pushed the idea aside until the last minute, when I had to make a decision. the Lord led me to east tennessee state university (that’s another story for another time) & gosh, am I glad he did.
the best decision I made my freshman year was the decision to get involved with a campus ministry. that was something I told myself that I needed to do from the get-go, & something I forced myself to do when the time came. God was faithful in leading me to The Well.
joining an on-campus ministry gave me forever-friends, it led me to the church I now call home, & it helped affirm my faith and beliefs, for myself.
I know what I believe in now. I feel as though I am at a point where I am walking in my own faith. not mimicking my parents faith. not doing exactly what the pastor says & hoping it works out. I am learning more about God’s being everyday, & I am learning to love his people more fiercely.
here are my (recently established) truths:
first & foremost, I believe with my whole heart that the Lord sent his only, perfect son to the earth to die on a cross for
my everyone’s sins. I believe that you should love everyone, but that doesn’t mean compromising your faith. I believe you can love people without approving their decisions.
I believe you have to hold your brothers and sisters in christ accountable. & I believe you should have someone in your life to help keep you accountable. the only way to make it through this journey is to have a community of authentic, raw, encouraging, praying, loving people surrounding you & cheering for you.
I believe that kindness is everything.
no one will want to listen to your story — or your beliefs, for that matter — if you aren’t kind & genuine. people are good at sorting through the fakers & the real guys. I believe every person is equally worthy of love. I don’t care what ethnicity, gender, or age they are — they deserve to be loved.
I have discovered that people will love you for who you are — scars & all. if they don’t? you don’t want those kind of people in your life anyways.
I believe in forever-friends — the kind that drop everything & pray for you.
the kind of friends that walk you home at night, so you don’t have to walk alone. the sort of friends that make you cry (in the best way possible). & know just how to cheer you up. I believe in the kind of friends that know every dark secret & still choose to accept you. those kind of friendships make the world go ’round.
I believe that in all relationships, the common ground should be Jesus, end of story.
there should always be room for him in your conversations. if there isn’t, reevaluate. accordingly, I believe in “the triangle” — if two people are moving toward God, they are simultaneously moving toward each other. I believe there is a man out there for me that loves the Lord and serves the church well. & I believe God will show me that man in his timing (because, it is always better than my timing). also, you can’t force a relationship to work when it is clearly not going to — you will end up hurt. communication is key.
I believe it is alright not to have it all together.
Jesus is perfect so we don’t have to be. give yourself grace. grace, when you don’t get an A on the test. grace, when you don’t feel like you can do it all. grace, when you don’t feel worthy. lay it all down at the foot of the cross. let Jesus’ blood cover it all. it is okay to have mud on your hands and scrapes on your knees. God says come as you are.
I wholly believe prayer is one of the most — if not the most — powerful things in the world.
I have seen prayer do some pretty amazing things. & I discovered this year that the Lord wants to hear our hearts – our fears, our desires, our prayers that go somewhat like eh, I’m not so sure about that God. He is a jealous God. He wants every part of us — good & bad. One of the best things I started doing this school year was just talking to him before going to sleep. I tell him about my day, & he listens (God is a really good listener, by the way).
wounds heal & things change.
let it be okay if things don’t go the way you pictured them in your head or planned them on your pinterest board. just because it kept you up all last night, doesn’t mean you have to let it control your tomorrow. I can’t tell you enough — give it to God. my dad always tells me to let go & let God. it is about time I started listening.
college has been a learning experience.
learning to manage my time. learning to juggle school, work, & relationships. I am learning what it means to live recklessly abandoned for God. learning to let him write my story. I am learning that friends can become family. & that I need to call my parents more. I am figuring out how to be the best friend I can possibly be. I am finding out that people are my love language & I want to fiercely love them & cheer for them when no one else will.
remembering & reflecting on the fact that in the end, God wins. he always wins. nothing I do will change that. but, I do have the capability to plant seeds. to serve passionately & love wholly. to make people wonder why I am different. I want them to see Jesus in me.
here’s to planting seeds & letting the holy spirit do his thing.