I’ve been taking the past few days to reflect on my semester. I haven’t had time to think about the whole of 2011 yet, but that post will come tomorrow (technically still 2011 central time).
This Fall ’11 was the best semester so far, I think. It was a time of growth and love and community. The two main things God taught me was the power of honesty and the necessity of community. The two go hand in hand really.
When I was honest with myself and what God was really trying to teach me, it allowed my heart more room to expand and grow into the heart of Jesus. I really tried to focus on His face this semester instead of my surroundings, and I think He rewarded me. Though I had questions about pre-med and academics, He gave me hope for the future of my academic career with my new child development major that truly gives me joy. ”Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” -Psalm 105:4. I was nowhere near perfect in maintaining that goal though. Every time I got distracted by ministry/friends/things people said/situations, I got discouraged and hopeless. Looking away from His face is simply no good. That was an essential lesson. I would say that wraps up the first part of the semester.
Now the epitome of honesty was my No More Hiding post. It got an incredible 300+ views in like 3 days. Every day since October 31st when I first posted it and I take a look at my site stats, it seems like at least one person clicks it every day. It’s crazy awesome. I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised to get a random 75 views on my blog one day when I have made changes to make this blog really public. Just go to
. [it's an incredible site about God and progressive culture, I highly recommend it] Scroll down the main page until you get to community: member blogs on the left. Yeah, I’m sure a lot of you reading this right now got my link from there. It’s been great to get comments from people I have never met who are telling me how blessed they have been by it and how they want to forward it to their friends. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! Plus, he even connected me with a friend who graduated last year from another school through that relevant magazine link. God’s body (Romans 12:4-6) is so cool.
That brings me to my next big lesson: the importance of community. A huge portion of my classmates were abroad, but that didn’t seem to matter (thanks to technology). Whether they were across the world or 2 doors down, my family was there for me. He had prepared me in the first part of the semester to remember how important it was in every situation to focus on Him…nobody else. I found the reward in that and reminded myself to never forget it. However, He doesn’t just give me Himself, He gives me a family of brothers and sisters too! It’s hard for me to trust people, but after I opened up to everyone with that post admitting the true nature of my academic situation, it gave me such deeper fellowship. As I was honest with them, they were more honest with me. Yet again, God was preparing me to really find those who I could count on, who were willing to stick by me no matter what came my way. Guess what? Something came my way. I found myself in a extremely trying situation. It didn’t take me more than a second to turn to those who I knew I could cry with, process with, anything. “I love people who can make me laugh, even when I don’t want to smile.” That defines these people. They were willing to do anything to support me. How blessed am I to have them!
Academics, spirituality, friendship> all things that seemed to bless me more than I can seem to understand right now despite the hard times. To gain success in each of those spheres, I had to endure much pain and confusion. Something beautiful came from each though. ”These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” -1 Peter 1:7. Academic probation/bio major/general academic struggles led to me finding more value in my identity as God’s daughter, not in my grades or successes. I managed to find a passion for children that God put in me along the way too. Spiritually I became a stronger, more faithful woman of God. I found friends I can trust and lean on. I’d have to say that was a great semester.
My semester’s testimony is wrapped up in this verse:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
All thanks and glory to God. My Teacher, My Savior, and My Friend.
“You are everything You’ve promised
Your faithfulness is true
And we’re desperate for Your presence
All we need is You…and it’s You we adore”