You know what I didn’t realize? On the other side of the world, all of those people are in the future, while all of us here on the East Coast are living in the past. That is a weird thing. But isn’t it cool how God has made the world so perfectly and inspired man to be so wonderfully creative that everyone has a meal in the morning and a meal in the evening, no one having to eat breakfast in the dark or dinner when they wake up, and yet our planet is warm and cold in ways that are necessary for life to live and to thrive? That’s kind of a cool thing 🙂
I have absolutely no idea what to write about. There are so many things going through my head right now that it’s hard to pick one out and tie to the ground so it doesn’t go anywhere. The ultimately important things are still the same: God is good, He has a plan, and His love for me is not dependent on circumstances or on my failure or on my past, present, or future.
In the beginning I started this blog, thinking the four years to follow would be only about my adventures and God’s glorious activity through my being at Pratt, “a small town girl going to the big city.” But as I sit here trying to figure out how to describe all of the things God is doing, all that He’s done, and how hopeful and terrifying and magnificent are the things He will do in the future, I’m beginning to realize this blog is much more than that. I mean, it’s still a blog, but it’s not just about my being on a secular campus anymore. There’s no doubt that God has done and will do and is doing amazing things on campus; there’s no doubt I’ve grown because of my time there, and there’s no doubt His word will not return to Him void. And I still have two and a half more years for Him to do even more, for me to be stubborn and then be obedient, for me to fall flat on my face only to have God get the glory when He picks me up, for me to grow and pursue, to run and fail, but to be reminded that I live in the victory of Christ, the war that’s already been won…But I’m beginning to see that God’s plan was never just for me at college, but for everything else in my life as well. He wasn’t planning on growing me only in college and in the areas I struggled with or needed to grow in there, but in every area of my life. God is too big and too great and too awesome to be confined to one area. No. He was planning on nailing everything that wasn’t fully surrendered to Him, which, I’m also beginning to learn, is His ultimate goal for my life.
And is it weird that it’s been one long uncomfortable but amazingly wonderful experience? And to think it’s not even close to being over. I can certainly say that God never does anything half-way, and that He always finishes the things that He starts, including the work He’s begun in me. Looking back on just this year alone, thinking about everything that happened, the whole time I thought I was moving very slowly, not growing as fast as I should or becoming frustrated because I had to learn many lessons more than once, and yet the entire time God was working things together for my good and His glory that I couldn’t even see and didn’t even know about.
Like camp. None of that was supposed to happen. My being a counselor at a Christian summer camp, specifically at BaYouCa, was totally God clearing out everything and opening every door and moving things without my having to do anything. I learned how to be a mom, a friend, an accountability partner, a child, and a spiritual leader, and this experience drove me absolutely insane but drove me to be changed forever. I was reminded that God is bigger than whatever I feel, stronger than whatever I’m carrying, and more powerful than whatever I can’t conquer.
Then there’s school. I learned first semester, after learning all the things I’d learned over the summer, that I wasn’t at school for school alone. I was there because it’s where God wanted me and there are people on that campus that are desperately searching for Him. I learned that it wasn’t just about making the A grade, but about the relationships I build with people there and the relationships they form with Christ. I know I say this all the time, but it’s about learning to love and learning to fight and learning to depend on God when it would be easier, though detrimental, for me to try and depend on myself. I don’t know how God will use these things in the future, but I see how He’s using them now, and even though my execution is flawed and my heart is selfish and many of my desires are out of sync with God’s, He’s far from finished with me.
And then there was that infamous trip to Fort Campbell where God used Jacob and Hannah and Beth and Christina and everyone that I traveled with to show me just how little I know about how God works :). And the wonderful relationship that happened as a result of that never should’ve happened because of my past and what I’ve been through. While God has definitely grown me past that and continues to work through it with me, where I am right now is still an absolute miracle.
So, yeah. 🙂 This is bigger than I am, bigger than just one story. It’s an anthology of testimonies and struggles and triumphs, victories and failures, love and loss, and God, always God, in all of it, bringing things together and seeing them through to the very end.
Have a Happy New Year everyone 🙂
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.” —Romans 8:28-30, ESV