Do you ever have those days where the majority of the day was awesome, but then you realize you did something totally idiotic and the whole day is suddenly a lesson in humility? I haven’t had one in a while…but boy, did I have one today.
I slept really well last night. I don’t know why, but I always sleep better when I’m staying over with Jenny and Rebecca. I think it’s because I’m surrounded by Christians and feel more able to let my guard down. Granted, God protects me always, but I can’t be as open to the topics of discussion on campus as I can when I’m talking to people who love and trust in Him, which is a bummer and it’s difficult to discern sometimes what’s worth listening to and what I need to tune out. But I’m learning.
Anyway, I woke up this morning, fully rested and totally comfortable. It was insanely sunny this morning, amazingly so, and I was reminded of just how much Jesus loves me. I took my time and pulled out my Bible Study: today was about desiring to live happily ever after.
The gist was a reminder that God gives enduring hope and joy, which are both eternal, while happiness is only temporary. It’s okay to be happy, but happiness, as a goal, is a bad idea. Having happiness as a goal is what causes a lot of divorce, a lot of abortion, a lot of problems all over the world, because people are constantly scrambling for something that’s not meant to last.
I’m sorry, I’m not trying to sound pessimistic. There is something that lasts, and that’s the joy given by Jesus Christ. This joy and this enduring hope is what enables Christians to tolerate difficult circumstances. God does, on top of joy and hope, give us moments of happiness. Like this morning, when I woke up and felt refreshed and saw the sunshine and realized I had time to do my Bible Study, I was really happy. In fact, the majority of today I was really happy 🙂 all because God cares enough about me to give me not only everything I need but also sometimes things that I want. He’s a romantic God, who sends flowers to me unexpectedly in the form of a word of encouragement or a sunny day or a good night’s sleep.
I found something that I’d never seen before in the Bible. Song of Songs 2:10-11, which says “My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, My love, My beautiful one, and come away, for behold the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.” Just think about that for a moment. There are two ways that I know of to look at the book of Song of Songs: a conversation between God and the church, and a conversation between a husband and wife (or groom and bride respectively), which is symbolically the relationship between God and the church. The church, along with the individuals who make up the body of Christ, is also the bride of Christ, which means each of us are the bride of Christ. I know I’ve said that a few times lately, but I just get goosebumps thinking about it 🙂 So God is speaking to us when He says, “My love, My beautiful one.”
It was just so amazing, reading those words and realizing He was talking to me. To me! My heart just jumped out of my chest at those words and I didn’t know what to do with myself. God, the Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings, thinks I’m beautiful. He calls me ‘beloved’ and His ‘beautiful one.’ What girl doesn’t want to be called beautiful? The best part about God’s vision of you is that it’s pure and real and He’s the only one who can truly appreciate you and love you. His love lasts.
I left the house and headed to campus. It was freezing outside, but the sun was bright and warm. I got to campus and to my dorm with an hour and a half to spare before class. As I put things together in my dorm, I thought about one girl in my class. She struggles with discouragement and uncertainty.
I really wanted to tell her about how much Jesus loves her.
I was just so absolutely excited and happy and joyful that I had to tell her. I don’t know why she specifically came to mind, but she did. So I went to first period class, praying that God would give me the courage and the opportunity to tell her what was on my heart. I wasn’t going to witness to her, I just wanted her to know the Truth about how Jesus sees her. I walked up three flights of stairs to the lecture hall, and the girl and Bree were sitting outside of the hall. Just them. No one else.
So I went for it. I told her that Jesus loves her, and that even though she might not believe in Him, that doesn’t stop Him from loving her beyond all comprehension. I told her about times when I could’ve been discouraged, but because I knew that Jesus loved me, I didn’t feel that way, but instead felt joy and peace. And she smiled. She thanked me for telling her.
Class began and we received back our midterms. A-. I was happy 🙂
I had sushi for lunch (I know, you’re shocked), and I had it OUTSIDE. It was so nice and wasn’t too cold, since I had an extra jacket on. I sat in the sun, eating my sushi, drinking water, and just enjoying God’s creation. He’s just so cool.
Critical Thinking & Writing came around and we pulled out Descartes. Descartes proposed that reaching atheists would be done better by explaining the goal of the Catholic Church via philosophy instead of using scripture. When my professor asked our thoughts on it, I talked about how, if Descartes had been truly in the faith, he wouldn’t dare try to use anything other than scripture to communicate. I also said that, at least from what I’ve witnessed, when people cater their beliefs to someone else’s disbelief, the unbeliever usually loses respect for the believer. It was nice to be able to make these kinds of observations in context instead of being in danger of just preaching.
After class I went and worked out. I NEEDED to run something fierce. I got in three miles and I did arms until I was reminded of rock climbing last night, painfully exposing the blisters on my hands and the tightness of my forearms. But it felt good nonetheless.
Anyway, when I got back to my dorm after working out, Bree told me about how the girl I’d talked to that morning had talked to her about it later. She’d said it was really cool of me to say that to her and some other things. As Bree spoke, my head swelled with pride and about an hour later I felt like an idiot for thinking I had anything to do with what happened this morning. While I did tell her about Jesus’ love for her out of sheer joy, I know felt really stupid for thinking the joy came from me in that moment talking with Bree.
I present to you, the bunny facepalm.
So I started the day off on top of the world and I ended it with being brought down very low from a momentary pedestal. Ugh. Well, even though I messed up with my reaction to Bree’s news, God still used me today. Can I just once again say how glad I am He uses me even though I can be a total stooge-face?
As Bree and I continued talking, we began to talk about housing for next year. Looks like the two of us are going to be roommates next year as well 😀 which I find really exciting because I like Bree 🙂 she’s not a Christian, but she is a huge blessing to me.
So, at the end of the day, God is still good, I’m still His child, He still loves me, and I’m still human. But I was reminded by Hannah that God is working on me every day to bring me to a better me, to change me into a greater version of myself, to grow in Him and be fulfilled in Him. And I’m so glad He’s persistent 🙂
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”
—Ephesians 1:7, ESV