God is just so cool. He’s just really blessed me with people to watch out for me as I wander outside of my comfort zone and through this unfamiliar place. Even after eight or nine months of being in New York City, of being part of my church family, of being a Christian at a secular institute, there are still things I have to learn, still things I have to work on here. There are many areas where I need to grow.
Knowing that I’m so inexperienced, knowing that I’m really only experiencing little bits and pieces of my God, makes me really insanely excited about the rest of my life. I have my entire life to spend with God, and then I have eternity after that 🙂 I get to learn about Him, grow in Him, learn to love by Him, learn how to heal, learn how to fight, learn how to be more like Him. I just can’t wait 🙂 And even now I can see that He’s working, that He’s growing me, and it’s really neat 🙂
This morning I woke up to a rainy day, and I was groggy. I actually didn’t feel too well this morning. My legs ached, I felt nauseated, and I was craving orange juice. It was an odd feeling. Regardless, I woke up and took my Bible Study into the lounge.
This entire week has been about God’s unfailing love. Today it was about the fruit of this love. I while back I talked about how, seeing people who love God and who allow themselves to be consumed by His love draws people to them. It’s a very attractive quality. Like, when a guy genuinely loves God and loves God more than anything, more than ladies, more than money, more than family and friends, when God is first, that is probably the most attractive characteristic I’ve ever witnessed. And to further that, when they’re able to further love those around them because of that love makes them even more attractive, in the purest way imaginable.
Reading this study reminded me of Galatians 5:22 and 23, which says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Sometimes I get really tripped up when I meet people who are not Christians but still have all of these characteristics. I begin to question why God is so unique if people can be this way without Him. But then I remember the importance of authenticity. It’s easy, I think, to act like everything is alright, to seem like you love someone, to appear peaceful, but when the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and you realize you can’t hold it up by yourself, there comes a moment when a spectator can see if someone is genuine or not. God is always genuine, and when someone breaks down and faces their brokenness, God’s love, the fruits of His Holy Spirit, is able to shine through with such magnificence that it goes beyond the human capacity and redefines what it means to be strong, to be capable, to be powerful, to be free.
After doing my Bible Study, I went out on a limb and dressed like a real college student: I had Pratt sweatpants on, converse, and a sweatshirt. I felt awesome…actually, I just felt really comfortable, but that’s kind of the same thing. I only had World Literature today (Critical Thinking & Writing was canceled). While I walking to class I rolled my left ankle, so I had a limp for the rest of the day and it was hard to walk. But after World Literature was over, I headed back to my dorm, grabbing all of my study materials and curling up in my covers. I began to actually write my term paper, since most of my studying has been research. I sat with my lap top on my thighs, my Bible next to me, and my World Literature textbook. I finished the introduction and part of the first third of the body. This thing is a beast. But I shall prevail!
I then took a nap before waking up and making myself presentable to go meet with Sam and Maria. It was a candid visit, but it was welcomed and I was excited to spend time with them 🙂 Maria introduced me to this magical thing called a chimichanga, which is Tex-Mex cuisine, basically a deep-fried burrito (filled with re-fried beans and shredded chicken) covered in sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, lettuce, and all sorts of other delicious nonsense. It was amazing.
After cleaning up the dinner dishes and grabbing bowls of ice-cream, the three of us sat in the living room and talked. We mostly talked about dating, about guys, about the differences between men and women, and Sam and Maria told me their story, as a couple. It was so encouraging and so reassuring. I’m just so blessed to have them in my life.
Sam drove me home after our conversation, and I stepped out into pouring rain. I guess they’re not kidding when they say “April showers.” I limped back to my dorm through the rain, smiling about my time with Sam and Maria, smiling about God, smiling about just about everything.
Then, while I was getting settled in my room, carefully pulling off my shoe so as to not further injure my ankle, my mom texted me and told me news about my counseling job that made me feel blessed even further. Overall, even though the weather was rather dreary and made me feel downtrodden, God blessed me in ways I hadn’t expected, He encouraged me through people who love me, and reminded me that, even when things aren’t entirely clear, He’s still holding my hand and leading me through the dark 🙂
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” —Proverbs 16:9, ESV