Recently I told a good friend how God might be teaching me a lesson on the power of a memory after 2 of the things below happened…
1) That friend and I had watched Memento that has a main character who has short-term memory loss and cannot create new memories 2) That night I was distractedly moving pictures from my trip from my phone to computer and accidentally deleted like 60 photos….memories forever gone (though I prayed when it happened that God would make them appear again and some of them actually did…HAH Jesus! Technically cannot explain how that happened so has to be Jesus) 3) The next day I flew out after spending 3 weeks with her and couldn’t help reliving memories made and hoping for more to come 4) I saw a movie on the plane that had a dad with Alzheimer’s. 5) Then I slowly realized the reality that I am entering my final semester of college. That is absolutely crazy sauce.
I could sum up everything I’m about to say with: TIME FLIES. I’ll elaborate anyways :p
In a TV show my brother was watching today, a character said: “Stop reliving memories! Don’t be stuck in the past.” That got me thinking, maybe my sentimentality isn’t healthy. Maybe the way I treasure memories and the words people have said to me isn’t good either. I think if you solely dwell in those memories it’s probably not good, but I use memories to build my present and hope for my future in these relationships. There’s a lot of value in memories…they enable you to build a relationship of deep trust because of past experiences, unlike the guy in Memento was able to do. They help you recognize and deeply know a person, unlike the father who had Alzheimer’s. They help you know the value of the people in your life to be present to them today and be excited for how your stories will tangle and unfold in the future.
I surprised myself by my reaction to losing pictures. The reason being that I couldn’t even remember what went missing and those pictures helped me remember. They helped me share those experiences with others and they were gone. However, God showed me how stopping to think and be still could help and my friend and I were able to remember what all those lost pictures were. Remembering images and experiences in your own memory, never to be quite the same when captured on film or in words, is something no one can take away from me. So I guess that’s why I record things both on film and in words….I just don’t want my brain to fail me.
This friend I spent winter break with is very special to me. It’s pretty evident to both of us that we would have never met if God hadn’t set us up on the same missions team in Mongolia. We’re pretty excited to see where life will lead us. We haven’t known each other long, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The love I have for her can only be explained as God. I could go on and on about what she’s taught me, and I think that’s pretty incredible. We both couldn’t believe how fast 3 weeks flew by. So cliché but as we headed to the airport for my departure, we felt like it was just yesterday when I had arrived. Saying goodbye this time wasn’t full of so much crying on my part as when I left Mongolia, when I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever see those people again and couldn’t help missing the experience of serving God with those people. This goodbye was interesting….almost more difficult. It was that almost dreaded taste of what it will be like to say bye after Tufts. I know for a fact that I will see her again at some point but also know that it won’t ever really be the same as spending so much time together. I know that just as fast as 3 weeks flew by, it’ll be May before I know it. These are the thoughts I’m thankful to even be consumed by…that I have these opportunities to travel, to see the world, to learn, to love. That God has brought these incredible people and experiences to me. That He has even more to give! Good thing my heart is His heart because sometimes I feel like my heart can’t take the beauty of it all.
My pastor yesterday was explaining how he married his wife because he just couldn’t imagine a moment without her, how he would miss her every time he turned around. The solution? Marry her. This was affirmation of how I’ve been thinking about marriage and how it makes sense. Through special friendships of just pure Jesus love, I’ve realized what it feels like to just want to be with someone all the time and why missing them is so hard. I told God the other night how I was jealous He had the privilege to always hang out with ALL the awesome people in this world. Of course they’re awesome because He made them. He gets to know everything about them/their days and have intimate quality time all the time! That’d be cool. The thing is Jesus is in union with His bride, the body of Christ. So though it might not feel the same, because I’m in union with Jesus that means I’m in union with all these people too so it’s not so difficult to be apart. Because we’re united in Spirit and I think that’s pretty awesome.
I can’t wrap my mind around how it’s the 8th and final semester starting in 2 days. I think though by the time I absorb this fact, it’s going to be over. I want to savor every moment, create many new memories to treasure and hold. I’m just the kind of person who has been imagining all the “see you later”s and long goodbye hugs that will happen in May 2013 periodically since last semester and are already occurring more frequently though I’m not even on campus yet. I was the hugest skeptic about all the things I heard about college….PSH ”you’ll find your closest friends there,” “best 4 years of your life,” etc. but…they’ve been true. It’s so cliché but I can’t describe it any other way. I have so much life ahead of me, but I’m never going to forget the memory of freshman Anisha and how she grew into a beautiful, strong, rooted daughter of God during her four years in Jumbo land. I don’t want it to happen, but this semester is going to fly through my fingers. I’m barely going to be able to stop and think or I’ll miss something. Though I know I’m going to look back and be so incredibly proud of the footprints I left at Tufts, the impact I made on people, the experiences I’ve had, and ultimately, how I glorified my God.
Cheers to memories made and those to come. It’s going to be an awesome semester standing for the One who gave it all among a God-given family that means the world to me.
This post is dedicated to everyone who has believed in me, who has sincerely told me “I miss you,” and who has taken time to be present in my life.
Stumbled on this song again recently. It’s absolutely beautiful. No matter who comes in and out of my life, God is constant, is always my Best Friend, and is always rooting for me. He is for me.
My resolution for 2012 was to be obedient because God has definitely proven to me that He’s trustworthy.
As I think about it, my journey has been incredible and there are infinitely more incredible adventures ahead of me. When I look back on 2012, I think it’s a year that I won’t forget. I saw so much fruit not because I was trying to focus on growing fruit, but I just dwelled within the Vine and I couldn’t help but grow fruit. I’m connected, in union with the vine. I’m a branch. How can I NOT grow fruit?! A good friend asked me what the highlight of 2012 was for me. I said that though I’ve been a confessing Christian for 4.5 years, 2012 was when I truly understood the magnificence and power of the cross. It didn’t change everything, but it did. Of course I wouldn’t have confessed Jesus as my Lord if I didn’t understand the cross to some level, but man, everything HAS changed because now I do really get it. Grace. Cross. Alive. God is good. Jesus lives in me>>> all words and phrases that are thrown around in Christian lingo, but oh now so much more powerful and meaningful. Everything I experience in life has to do with my understanding of the cross. Crucial!
Another part of my year….I just found out that I got on Dean’s List for the second semester in a row. Why is this statement so glorious and humbling?
Short version: Freshmen year solid GPA–>Sophomore fall academic probation I–>Soph spring academic probation II–>Summer term just bad. GPA suffers and lowest ever–>change to child development–>Junior fall removed completely from probation–>GPA is steadily increasing–>struggle to stop doing pre-med at Tufts (will finish post-grad)–>Junior spring Dean’s List–>Senior fall complete CD major–>Senior fall Dean’s List #2 with an almost completely redeemed GPA.
Long version in this post. It’s seriously long but all the details of my academic testimony are there. It’s a cool story in my opinion. Evidence of a faithful God, no matter how we react and flail our arms childishly when one little thing goes wrong.
The thing is, when I look back on how God came through I’m even more thankful because I see how much I have grown. In that long post, I claimed that I got angry at God because I didn’t know why all the suffering was happening when He could definitely handle a few grades. I shook. I thought I was in a desert place, a wilderness. Now if this were to happen all over again, I would confidently say I would not react the same way. I’m in the lushness of a Garden now, Jesus experienced a desert so that I would not have to. I am not shaken, because I am found on the solid Rock who makes me unshakable. I have everlasting joy. Through my experiences of being on academic probation, doubting my calling, failing to live up to my own and my parents’ expectations, being humbled, realizing God is my Answer and my Dream, knowing the power of open humility and sharing in community, and learning to live day by day, I now know identity’s fundamental nature. I realized more of who I am….a precious, valued daughter of God. When I got shaken, I forgot who I was. I let my situation determine my joy. Now, I KNOW who I am. I will NOT be shaken because I have everlasting joy. When a situation becomes troubled or difficult, I will testify to the truth of this everlasting Savior, who is Mr. Joy. Storms come to both believers and non-believers, but as believers, imagine how powerful a testament to the power of a relationship with Christ will be if we don’t depressed/angry/whatever when the storm comes. I’ve wanted to say this about my own academic story for a while now to my blog readers. Not to discredit where I was then, but to enhance where I am now.
In 2012, I learned how important it is to let God just love me. When I just let Him love me, growth and change just naturally happen. I don’t have to try. It’d be too difficult. My resolution to obey Him was me trying at first. When I just let Him love me, I understood His love to a deeper level. Then when He told me to do something, I wasn’t consciously telling myself “oh, I must obey God because He’s God and I made that my resolution” but rather obeying was a natural response. It wasn’t ever deeply challenging or contrary to what I wanted for myself because He never asked me to do something that wasn’t already in my heart (which is God’s heart so it all makes sense). His desires for my life are my desires too, so obeying was letting Him love me and show me more of His awesomeness through experiences. Going to Mongolia for missions, praying for people on the streets, becoming a Freshmen Small Group leader are all examples of obedience now that I look back. When those things happened though, I wasn’t consciously making myself obey. I was just going with the flow. Doing things that would love people and help me know God more! Naturally, fruit came. It’s really awesome to see change. I guess I always know my obedience does something. Maybe I can’t always see exactly what that something is yet, but I know that something exists….It’s very freeing to live like this, not feeling burdened or responsible to see the fruit but just knowing it will come!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28
So my resolution for 2013 is…nothing. I’ve resolved to live every day as a lover of His presence. So I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing and let the King love me. I think that’s a good thing to live by for all my days. New Year’s this year didn’t seem as special a time to reflect on the year and make new goals. I think it’s because it really is just another awesome day with the King, moving into another calendar year, constantly excited for what He has in store.
Here’s a song that God reminded me of the day I got found out about Dean’s List, it’s simply perfect. Helped me celebrate it with Him with a lot of joyful giggles.