Everything I’ve been hiding about me is about to be written here for everyone I love, haven’t met, will meet, etc to read on this public blog right now.
So two major things I’ve struggled with that I don’t tell anyone but have had a major heart change to tell everyone: I am a junior at Tufts and I am on academic probation 2. I also have had a pretty long struggle with the sin of lust.
I’m not going to talk about lust here, but right now my heart feels like it’s going to explode with all the revelation about myself and of God that I have received this weekend. Some brothers and sisters heard me like an hour ago try to process everything out loud and I just sounded, I’m guessing, like a bumbling person who never properly learned how to construct a sentence. [I'm praying in my heart right now that God will write these words now and speak to all who clicked this blog link.] So I finished reading a book I’ve been reading all semester called The Final Quest by Rick Joyner. It’s basically a prophetic vision that Joyner had with God and of the heavens that reveal so much of our limited view of God, what being a part of His kingdom even means, what He wants for us and on the earth, and how incredibly BROKEN we are. I’ve been taking my time with it over the semester because it just has soooooo much in it that I had to take breaks to simply digest. However, I just felt like I needed to finish it on the bus ride to NYC this weekend. My words feel so insufficient right now to describe how much I’ve learned about God, the heavenly realms, truth, and myself in this book. Well one thing is that it led me to know that the immediate next step was to write a blog post as soon as I returned to campus. After I click ‘publish’, I know I am going to continue to feel overwhelmed and unsure of the next step in all these downloads I’ve received from God. For now, here’s what led me to this understanding to post everything about me for you to read:
“I pray that I [Joyner] can carry from this place [the heavens] the integrity and freedom that you [reformists Joyner talked to in heaven] now have. I am tired of trying to live up to projected images of myself. How I long for that freedom!”
“Truth is never found hiding in the darkness, but always seeks to remain in the light. Light exposes and makes manifest. Only when you seek to be exposed, and allow who you are in your heart to be exposed, will you walk in the light as I am in the light. True fellowship with Me requires complete exposure. True fellowship with My people requires the same.”
I hope that through what I’m about to write I can truly fellowship with you. Come with me in this place, please. It is what will unite the body of Christ and give courage and hope to those who do not yet realize who is living on the inside.
So if you’ve read all of my blog posts or if this is your first, you should know that I have had an intense academic struggle at Tufts. I’ve dropped or withdrawn from a class every semester I’ve been at Tufts and none of those decisions came easily or weighed lightly on my heart. As I read those quotes above, I felt like I’ve been belittling everything God has truly redeemed me from. By not telling anyone but my parents what I was really going through, I lost true fellowship. I lost true humility. It’s so valuable to have people there to support you in every struggle you have that I’m glad that I’ve at least learned this lesson now.
I thought God’s point of the freshmen year academic struggles was to humble me. I greatly needed that and still need humility in every moment of my life. What I didn’t understand was why it kept happening. I had to withdraw from genetics fall of sophomore year and I doubted whether the biology major was what God wanted. He said to stay so I did. Over winter break, I received an email from Tufts that I was put on academic probation because of the poor grade I received in chem along with the ‘W’ in genetics. I was in denial, shocked, confused, hurt, disappointed, etc. I’m glad that Tufts sent a letter to my house so I didn’t need to have the option of telling my parents or not. I was determined to change things in the spring and trust that God would see me through this.
Things seemed to get worse though. I had to drop Chem 2 and all the ‘plans’ I had for my pre-med requirements flew out the window. I was doing poorly in my bio class. I was getting absolutely annoyed at people who kept telling me that ‘God is with you’, ‘God will change things’, ‘this is for your testimony’ when I was in the midst of the storm. I wanted Him to fix it NOW. I’m so thankful He didn’t listen to me. I followed the recommendation of a pre-med adviser to take both genetics and general physiology in one summer session at Tufts. I am still working through not blaming her, but I absolutely could not handle that load. I struggled with God when I happened to overhear a girl talking about how the drop deadline was that day and asked God whether He wanted me to drop physiology. He just said: “trust me”. So I knew dropping one would indicate I didn’t trust Him. I tried my besttttt to balance the work. However, it was a Friday when I saw that my genetics exam indicated that I would literally not pass the class unless God gave me a miracle. I cried and begged God to tell me what the hell was going on. WHY WAS THIS HAPPENING AGAIN?! I was incredibly frustrated. One hour after I saw the genetics grade, I received an email from Tufts that I had been put on academic probation 2. ‘Crushed’ does not explain how I felt. I couldn’t deal with facing the reality of withdrawing from genetics, being put on AP 2, and being in a fight with my mom. I was feeling so much I didn’t know what to do. All I could do was weep into a friend’s shoulder and feel it. I cried myself to sleep a lot that summer. I tried to push everything away until I got home for the rest of the summer to duke it out with God, but instead it led to emotional explosions on Sunday after suppressing it that Saturday. I saw how God placed my co-teacher for Sunday school in my path to be with me in that moment. She’s now my mentor and I’m so blessed to have her. [side note: I'm like weeping right now as I write because all of these feelings are still very real but God has redeemed and rescued me from all of it]. She had a testimony and a love and a compassion that showed that God was with me. I wept as I told her everything I just told all of you and told her how I could not tell God that I would just trust Him that everything would work out. I had to know what was going on at this point. WHY was God doing this to me? WHERE was He in all of this? I’ve been SOOOO faithful in college by putting Him and His kingdom before my academics, so where are the results? Couldn’t He handle some simple grades?! w;aligsdkjv;cykaegj I was so upset at Him. I couldn’t handle it. To add on to that, I was feeling the reality of the fact that a bunch of my friends would be gone for a year or semester studying abroad. [I've never had such real, life-giving friendships until Tufts] To add on to that, I was in the midst of a rift with my mom who I normally never have problems with. She is my go-to for comfort, to talk to knowing she doesn’t care how much I go on and on, and I didn’t have her in that moment.
To make sure withdrawing was the right decision, I met with my genetics professor who didn’t ask me how I was. Didn’t ask me how my weekend was. Just straight up first thing: “I have no idea why you are still in this class and you should have withdrawn a long time ago.” Talk about a blow to my pride. I left his office and sat on the grass outside of a dorm and wept. I called my mom and asked for her forgiveness. I asked her not to be disappointed in me and told her how sorry I was that I just wasted so much money on that class. I begged her to tell me why God was doing this to me. Why so much pain? WHY? She told me to remember God was with me. God is bigger. Money is nothing in this case. She asked me if I still believed in God. That was no question. It was just why He would let me suffer like this.
I withdrew from genetics. I finished out general physiology. I went home and went through a 2-week ordeal of being in the desert. I love praying but I couldn’t talk to Him. Like when you’re mad at a friend and you don’t want to talk to them…that’s what was happening. I was lost, hurt, confused, broken…I was feeling everything. I wondered if God wanted me to leave Tufts. I wondered if He wanted me to stop going to college. I emailed some friends to pray for me through my questions about Tufts and that helped tremendously. I’m so blessed to have this family around me. Anyways, God showed me immediately that He was using this testimony after I wrote [this post]. Then all the truths I knew in my head moved to my heart after I had a long cry/talk with my mom: God is with me. He is good. He loves me. Just because the road changes doesn’t mean we’re not going the right way. [more here] I just knew it was going to be okay. I’d return to Tufts, follow my passion for children with a new major of child development, and it was going to. be. okay.
This semester, I was re-taking chem and then I had to drop that. Now I was hurt but in a different way. I was in a great place with God, but I was just confused/shocked why this was happening again. I just knew though that this was for my good somehow. He quickly rejuvenated me from that pain and I felt free. Just read my most recent testimony that came in 5 parts. I was seeing the fruit of change that people had been praying over me sophomore year. I finally saw it. The fruit of my faithfulness. My child development (CD) major was making me happy. Tufts is different now. I got an A on an exam in my major. I still don’t know how to react to that because I’ve always done poorly in classes for my major and for pre-med. I officially declared CD after I met with an adviser who agreed to help me along these next 2 years. I had been talking to him for about 40 minutes and he encouraged me more than he knows. He asked me if I had good friends. I said yes, but mostly thinking about God as my best friend. He basically listed all the fruit I felt inside that I was hoping was showing on the outside. After looking at my transcript, he said I had been through war but I didn’t look like I need rescuing. He could tell this process matured me and that I had a healthy perspective on my future. That I was confident in the future yet unsure about next steps at the same time. I didn’t look worn down or upset but rather at the top of life. ONLY GOD, GUYS. ONLY HIM.
I was so encouraged that that professor I had talked to for 40 minutes could see all of that in me. I started to pray for more fruit to show in my actions. For people to know God through my actions. The sermon at Hillsong NYC this morning was about the exact same thing. It confirmed everything for me. Do I show the symptoms of having the Spirit inside of me? Am I being consumed by the fire of the Spirit and being a light to those around me? I feel addicted to the Spirit inside, so I pray, Almighty God, may fruit come from you through me. I’m surrendering it all.
So this is probably the longest post I’ve ever written yet I have so much more to say. Watch out for more posts and watch out for this fire I feel in my heart to exude into everything I do. That is what I pray at least. May we be blessed with true fellowship and honesty. I believe that this will bless one of you. God is able to mend my broken heart. He’s healed me so much through this post. He redeems me from all this mess that isn’t over. I’m still on AP 2. However, I just know that He can do more than just overcome it but make it explode with goodness. My faith is about confidence in HIM. Not about my faith or about my abilities but about HIM. His promises remain for me and I believe in the greatness He has in store for me as long as I abide in Him. I’ve matured so much through this pain and suffering and I now know that I can truly relate to people with the same struggles. I can testify that God is good. Whatever struggle you’re going through, God is bigger. Don’t ever forget that. Find people to struggle with as you lift your eyes up to Him: the only person who will ever fully understand what you’re going through. That’s what the cross is about. We have the victory, just believe in it. Jesus felt everything (the agony, the suffering, the desperation, the need for God to do His will) for us so that we wouldn’t have to. He loves us THAT MUCH. A perfect, holy God died in such humility because He loves our filthy, impure, broken selves and wants us to know Him and love Him. Now that is a love that restores.
Of anything for you to take from this post, know that this is just the tiniest glimpse of the God I love. God, thank you for preparing me for this moment of vulnerability, but I’m also sorry for letting my pride stand in the way for my testimony to give you the fullest glory. all to You
I’m beginning to understand what this means: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” -Luke 9:24. I hope you will too.
In this picture, I wrote: “I love Jesus because He RESCUED me when I needed Him the most and held me TIGHT. <3″ *correction: I love Jesus because He rescues me when I need Him in EVERY MOMENT and HOLDS ME SO TIGHT that I can’t handle it.
God loves each and every one of you. I pray that I can love you as much as I can and be there for you if you need help lifting your eyes to Jesus who thinks you’re important. Thinks you’re worth dying on the cross for. Who loves you more than you will ever be able to understand.