Sometimes it’s really easy to be cynical…like, when I sit back and look at the world, how far gone it is, not in comparison to myself, but in comparison to what God says the world should be, what it will be, I can sometimes be really miserable and really cynical about the world, about how it works, about how women just throw themselves at men and how men just expect them to do so, about how people just don’t care about other people like they used to, about how people don’t help each other, how they’ve completely forgotten that all men are brothers…
But then, when cynicism seems to reign over my mind and relationships seem hopeless and life seems very bleak and rather pointless, I’m reminded of the fact that life does have purpose, that even though things are pretty gross, pretty weird, and pretty, well, just plain wrong, life is not purposeless. Jeremiah 29:11 talks about God’s purpose for man; John 16:33, Romans 8:28, and Romans 12:12 are only a few times in God’s word when He shows us we can have hope, despite everything.
So that was one struggle of day one of the second semester. The other struggle was, well, loneliness.
It’s kind of silly, to be plagued by loneliness, especially when God is always with me. I didn’t think not having a roommate would bother me this much but…it does, surprisingly. Regardless, God will get me through it; it’ll just take a little getting used to. After all, when I’m done with college and end up moving to the Irish countryside to live in a log cabin and write books I’m going to be alone, so I guess I might as well get used to it, right? (disclaimer: that’s my plan, though I’m pretty sure, but of course I don’t know, that’s not God’s plan for me).
The next struggle wasn’t classes, or people, or anything physical exactly. Actually, the day, overall, went pretty well. My outfit was awesomely sophisticated. My first class went great and everybody was pleasant despite the fact it was a Monday. People asked me to pray for them which was a big deal to me because I feel really honored when people ask me to pray for them; it’s like, “I trust you to talk to God about me, to use the power of prayer to lift me up and encourage me.” I love it when people do that. Also, it’s been snowing all day and my afternoon classes were canceled because apparently snow days happen here in the City, which I didn’t know about…no, I didn’t think they had snow days in the City…in fact, I was completely ignorant enough to believe they didn’t even get enough snow to call a snow day. Alas, as I look out my window, there’s about two inches covering the parking lot, the sidewalks, and even more covering the lawn and the cars, and it’s still snowing in large gusts…but I digress.
The next struggle was the interview.
I walked up to the admissions office and sat down to wait as the receptionist went to talk to the head of admissions, the man who was to conduct my interview. She came out and told me I could go in, so I did just that. The moment I walked in the room, however, I had a terrible feeling. As I sat down across from this man who I’d just shook hands with and exchanged “how are you’s” and “I’m good’s,” the feeling worsened. I knew the interview wasn’t even going to happen, regardless of my qualifications.
“I’m so sorry, but I didn’t realize you were a freshman until after I called you in for the interview, but if you want to come back in the late summer or early fall, and you’re still interested, we could hire you then.”
I thanked him and accepted his apologies with grace, keeping a smile on my face and talking to God the entire way out of the building. Surprisingly, I was okay…yeah, I was really bummin’, in fact, I was tempted to grab a handful of snow and rub it in my own face to keep myself from getting upset, but God reminded me that this was just another opportunity for me to see Him work…and I honestly can’t wait to see what He’s going to do 🙂
I went grocery shopping in the C-Store, using my meal points because I have way too many (which is a total blessing because that means I don’t have to spend actual money to get groceries, so I can use that money for books and subway fare and laundry…just another example of God taking care of the ones He loves), and bought a jar of Nutella and a pint of strawberry cheesecake ice-cream because I’m a girl and I needed comfort food. I went back to my dorm and put the groceries away before heading to class.
When I arrived at my classroom, it was preoccupied by another class, so I sat outside, listening to the soundtrack of Armageddon and working on I Am El until that class ended and I was able to walk into the room. As I sat there, alone, and as the time for class to start drew nearer, I began to wonder if I had missed the memo. I was texting Karly and Charlene while I was writing and both of them were telling me about how afternoon classes had been canceled.
I wasn’t upset though; I’d gotten in some really good writing and talked to God and felt a little better. I went back to my dorm and ate Nutella and ice-cream and carrots and cheese and sushi until I finally felt like myself again. But then I started thinking about cynicism and about the world and how messed up it is. That’s how I got to the whole conclusion about cynicism. Again, while it can be really easy to become cynical, especially as a Christian, it’s much more worth it to push through your hopeless and remind yourself of the God you serve, of the God who loves you, of the God characterized by grace. I’m reading Andy Stanley’s The Grace of God right now, simultaneously reading The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien (STILL), and whatever other book I just randomly want to read. I feel like my brain is going to fall out of my ear. But at the same time, I love reading, and it balances my brain while also giving it a work out. The point of bringing up The Grace of God is that Stanley talks all about how, even though the futures and circumstances of biblical characters seemed bleak and hopeless, there was still obvious though overlooked and taken for granted evidence of God’s amazing (AMAZING) grace, and it’s the same for me, right now, in 2014. Even though I don’t have a job, God has given me food, clothes, a way to get to church, a way to communicate with my friends and family, and friends and family to communicate with. He’s given me a home to go back to, people who really love me even though it’s hard to let people love me (even though I really have no control over that at all). He’s given me life; He’s given me the light of day! Oh my gosh He’s given me so much!
The grace of God is so incomprehensible that I’m getting a headache just thinking about it, mostly because I just can’t understand the why of it all: why on earth would God love me and extend to me His grace, when all I do is worry about the future and doubt His unfailing plan and promises and rationalize love away? Even if I never get the answer, I will always, no matter what I do, no matter what I’ve done, get the grace, because God is grace and mercy and everything that humanity seems to lack. God is the real in a world of fake.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” —2 Corinthians 3:17