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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reflections. . .

Life is full of seasons and changes.  Nothing stays the same.  People come and go from your life; they grow up and move on.  Physical, material things rot and fade away.  Everything in life will eventually be touched by the fingers of change; nothing and no one can escape.

The last few months have been a painful, scary and yet exciting time.  I've experienced so many changes and been thrown so many curveballs recently that at times I feel that if life doesn't slow down, I might suffocate.  In one day, my circumstances can change one, two or even three times.  But I guess that's what happens when you grow up.  You get to see and experience everything from the front lines, because mom and dad are no longer standing as a barrier between you and the "real world".

Here I am, sitting in my dorm room.  All grown up and on my own at a college a little less than three hours away from my hometown.  I've been here since August and now, for the first time in two months, I finally feel like I have a moment to breathe and just be.  As I sit and allow myself to simply exist, I am hit by the weight of all that has happened in the last few months.

I'm at college.  I don't think the reality of this fact has really hit me yet.  For as long as I can remember, college has been the distant dream.  Something I wanted, but doubted would happen.  I figured that by the time I had been out of high school for two years,
 I would be married - or at least in a serious relationship.  Even if I wasn't (and I'm not. . .) there was no way I was ever going to be able to afford the amount of money it costs to go to the kind of school I wanted to attend.  Yet here I am.  Lying on my bed in my dorm on the campus of one of the best schools in the country, receiving the best education I could imagine.  The impossible has happened; God blessed me with a miracle.  I should be the most content and happy person in the world.  I thought I was.  I was on top of the world, life couldn't get any better.  And then. . . 

God decided a few months ago that He wanted to bring me to a breaking point in my life.  He threw everything at me at once - an identity crisis that I think really is the root of most of the other issues; tension between me and my family; friendships that changed and/or became complicated and messy; moving to a new city to attend a new school and all the fears, insecurities and craziness that goes along with that.  All of this, everything, got thrown at me over the course of a couple weeks.

I might as well admit it, in many ways, I'm still a child at heart.  One of the best examples of this is the fact that my favorite question is why.
Why is the sky blue?
Why do I have to learn algebra?
Why do college professors give so much homework?
Why did I let my heart get broken . . . again?
Why do all the relationships I have with other people have to get so complicated?
Why did God let every single aspect of my life fall apart and go crazy all at the same time?
Why can't He just fix it?
These are the questions that ran through my mind day and night for about a month.  (Except the first two, I don't really care why the sky is blue and I already took algebra.)

Then a funny thing happened.  God began to give me an answer.  Really, all of these questions have the same answer.  He is God and He is sovereign, holy, righteous, perfect and pure.  As His child He wants me to be sanctified - made holy and perfect - like Him.  Because I'm a stubborn, thick-headed, strong-willed woman, it takes more than a gentle prodding to get through to me.  More often than not, it takes a smack in the face and a kick in the pants and maybe, just maybe, it'll get through.
God threw all of this at me to drive me to my knees.  To draw me closer to Him.  To remind me that while I may be strong and independent and like to think that I don't need other people to help me survive, I do need Him - and I always will.  He reminded me that even though everything around me, my entire world, is unstable and changes like the seasons, He is constant.  Unchanging.  Eternal.  Forever. 

Just like that, things got better.  God drove me to my knees, and once I surrendered the things that I had been holding on to for stability and comfort, He refilled my peace and joy and allowed my life to calm down a little bit.
My identity is in Christ, as His child.  My life and past, though complicated, confusing and at times painful, is part of who I am and every single detail was planned by God to bring me to where I am today.  All of the complicated relationships have gotten significantly better and my heart, which was broken and bleeding, has been put back together and is mostly healed.  I'm mostly settled in here at school.  I have a routine; I'm in the groove of classes, work, homework and friends.

Things are not perfect.  I'm still struggling with and working through things.  But that is life.  As long as I am breathing there will be something that I need to fix.  But I can rest in the fact that it's not me who has to do the work.  It's God.  He's got this.  

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