Today was all about trust.
This morning I had to face the daunting monster (yes, that is an ominous pun referring to the upcoming holiday) that is my World Literature midterm. I studied all weekend and I reviewed this morning. I was sitting at my desk in my dorm room, reading my Bible and talking to God and worrying over this test.
“God, I just don’t want to worry about this test.”
Oh right, I didn’t actually have to worry about the test, and I’ll tell you why. Other than the fact that God will use my life to further His kingdom regardless of how I do on a test, I believe that the information I study and apply to my life can be retained by the Holy Spirit. This particularly refers to scripture and spiritual information (John 14:26). However, this morning I told God that I had studied, so the information was in my mind. I prayed that, like He uses the Holy Spirit to retain scripture, He would use my mind to retain the information I studied.
Everyone sat down to the midterm. Throughout the course we’ve gone through eight works of literature, give or take, and on the test we had to answer six questions for six different works of literature. Well, I .being the intelligent human being that I am, totally missed that little piece of direction and I began answering all twelve of the short answer questions instead of only six. Half way through the test I realized my error, did a mental facepalm, and moved on.
Well, at least I know all of the information! I thought enthusiastically.
Once I finished the test (two and a half hours later) and was walking to the post office, I concluded that midterms should be used in place of capital punishment. There was a letter from my best friend in the mail, which made my brain feel a little more relaxed. I wish more people wrote letters these days. I realize how old I sound when I say that, but think about it. Wouldn’t you feel special if you got a letter in the mail from someone you could easily text or email? That means they took the time to sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, organize their thoughts, write them all down, fold the paper, put it into an envelope, address and then mail it. Compared to typing and then pressing send on a text message, that’s a lot of effort just to get a message to someone. I love writing letters and I think more people should write letters. Also, letters are romantic. If a guy I liked wrote a letter to me and sent it to my mailbox, I would just fall right over. What girl doesn’t want to get a love letter from her sweetheart in the mail? Just sayin’.
I learned, after getting my mail, that a very beloved member of my hometown community passed away….and I’m in New York City. This man coached alongside my father for a large number of years; he fist-pounded me every time he saw me and always asked how I was with genuine interest; he loved all of the kids he taught and coached and he was a great man….and now he’s gone. I never know how to react when the people I love leave this world. Normally, when something like this happens, I laugh or smile, not because I think any of it’s funny, but because I don’t know how else to react. I just….I don’t know what to say. This is one of those things that robs the words from the pen of the writer. All I know is that I hope that this man held so dear by so many was saved, that I’ll be able to see him again someday. It hurts…but I’m sure it hurts many others a lot more than it hurts me. I just wish I could be home, as if that would help someone somehow.
My Critical Thinking & Writing class was actually kind of meaningful today. We basically talked about the reading assignment we were to complete over the preceding weekend and we completed an in-class assignment that was just a series of questions about our lives as writers and about our feelings towards critical writing and the literature that we’ve explored over the past half-semester. As always, class time took a lot of brain power, but it was good exercise.
Tonight was the Compassion Dinner at church. The church supports a pair of missionaries that are currently trying to plant a church in China but do not have the funds to do so. Therefore, our church (that feels so cool to type :D) put on a Compassion Dinner to raise funds for this church-planting project. All week I’ve been battling over whether or not I should go because it was scheduled for seven at night which means I wouldn’t get back to the dorm until ten or eleven and I didn’t want to have to ask for a ride. Also, I only had a twenty-dollar bill and I wanted to save my cash (because I don’t have a job, I’ve adopted my mom’s rule of thumb, which is to give whatever is in my wallet to the offering. I knew that the bill was in my wallet, but it was the only money I had left cash-wise). Well, yesterday (Sunday) in church I was led to give. I gave fifteen dollars as an offering and paid the five dollars for the dinner. I’m not sure how God is going to provide, but I have to believe He will. Without cash I don’t have money for laundry. But He led me to give that money, so I’m going to trust that He’s going to provide.
As I was getting ready for the dinner, I was reminded of where I come from. I am a country girl. I am a wrestler. I am the daughter of the King of Kings. So, not only do I know how to defend myself and have a means of defense, but I am also protected by the greatest defense known to man. So why am I so afraid of the streets of New York City?
The dinner was great. I had a fun time with my friends and was privileged to listen to Dr. Clayton Schumpert speak again. When I got up to leave, finally, after talking to Maria, Melinda, and everyone else I knew, it was almost 10:00pm. I was tempted to ask for a ride home, but then I decided that I was done being afraid. If God could protect me in every other situation in life, He could protect me on the way back to campus.
I got lost once (I went a mile in the wrong direction and then turned around) and got on the wrong train, but I never panicked. I was aware of my surroundings, but I didn’t doubt my Savior’s protection for one second. It was the most secure I have ever felt. When I was on the wrong train, I got off the moment it stopped. Stepping into the station I was greeted by crowds of people in a brightly lit space. I climbed up two flights of stairs until I found myself on the street in front of the Barclays Center. My breath was taken away at the sight of New York City lit up in the night.
And just think, if I was paranoid and frightened and worried, then I wouldn’t be able to appreciate this. This is amazing.
I did the whole tourist thing (even though I’m technically not a tourist anymore) and took pictures. Target is right across from the Barclays Center, and I’ve been to Target countless times, so I knew exactly how to get home. I practically skipped on the way to campus and I smiled every time I thought about how foolishly afraid I had been.
Even with something as real and touchable as being out on the streets of New York City, as a young girl, alone, God can keep me safe. How cool is that? Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to make a habit out of being out at night alone, but that does mean I can walk without fear and trust God to take care of me no matter what my situation. I am no longer afraid of being on the streets of New York City at night. God seems to be slowly chipping away at my fears. My fear of the future is dwindling; my fear of the night is now vanquished; my fear of failing has evaporated; my last fear, well, that one will take a little more time than the others, but I don’t doubt God will destroy it as well.
I submitted a chapter from my wrestling novel to one of my professors, who also happens to be an editor for the New York Times. He read my chapter and said he enjoyed it and wants to talk about it tomorrow after class. Hopefully this will show me where I need to go with this particular novel. Wednesday I have to submit the spiritual allegory. Thursday I don’t have to do anything 😀 which means I’ll probably work out, because I can.
I hope you all have a super sunny week! I know that sounded ultra peppy, but I just can’t get over how cool God is for totally proving me wrong about being afraid…but really, have a good week, smile at people, make eye contact, and say hello 🙂