yo seniors

this past year has been the most terrifying, incredible, scary, exciting, difficult and exhausting year of my entire life. but it has taught me more than i could have ever imagined, and brought growth & blessings i never dreamed i’d have the honor of receiving

dear incoming freshmen,

your entire world is about to change completely. enjoy home cooked meals (you’ll miss those the most). enjoy your bed. enjoy not having to pay for laundry. enjoy your mom doing your laundry. enjoy being able to park in your driveway and not 3 miles away from campus. enjoy your friendships, and being so close with them now, because that will change a lot. enjoy your mom and dad most of all, you’ll miss them more than you think.

3 things Jesus has taught me the past year in college

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love everyone & be understanding – everyone is on the path God has intended for them. let them make mistakes. don’t judge them. be there to encourage them, love them and pour Christ’s love into them. don’t feel the need to be right all the time, they will appreciate you more for love than “i told you so, or “Jesus doesn’t approve of this”. just remember everyone is struggling somehow in their own way. be that friend that can be there no matter what, you may not understand what is going on and you probably won’t have the right words to say, but just be there. sometimes Jesus doesn’t call us to speak many words, but to just rest in the stillness of life, heartache, pain, depression, whatever it may be. sometimes we just need others to hold our hand and walk through life with us. be that person.

it’s ok NOT to have life figured or even the next day figured out – the moment you step on campus, you’ll become the most confused person on this planet (and that’s ok). i dreamed of being a teacher all my life, obviously Jesus had different plans for my life. seek Him above all. don’t stress. literally every other college student is just as confused as you are. trust me. and if they aren’t, don’t hang out with them. if you don’t like your major, change it. if you don’t like your school, transfer. if you wanna go back home, go home.

above all, allow Christ to guide you – this was by far the most difficult thing Jesus taught me. we have all these plans for our lives. allow Jesus to lift your plans, destroy them and make new ones (dreams that will blow you away). trust fully in Him. honestly, it may not feel like He’s there, but He is. i promise you that. if He is calling you to wait, then wait. it sucks i know, but you will begin to understand Jesus’ character like never before. He is a loving Father who cares so deeply for us, and He has everything figured out when we don’t. rest in that. trust that. dwell in that. pick up your cross daily, whatever it may be and follow Him.

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make mistakes. realize that a lot of things are more important than an A on your biology final. life is more important. friends are more important. Jesus is more important. you’ll meet the best people you know college. thank them. everyday, because they’re the ones that go through the mess with you, they experience every single one of your mental breakdowns and don’t judge you for them. you’ll be homesick. they’ll be there. when you get sick. they’re not only your roommate, but your mom. they are there to experience every single up and down college brings, thank them. learn from them. grow with them. love them. appreciate them. don’t forget about your high school friends, they still need you. you’re still just as close to them, but the friendship looks a little different. if you don’t talk to them for a few weeks, just remember how busy the both of you are and how much change you are experiencing. offer grace, don’t get upset.

i’m praying for you. you rock. you are incredible. Jesus has plans’ for you that you could never even imagine

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be still

john 13:7 –  Jesus replied, “you don’t understand what I’m doing now, but someday you will.”

This season of my life has been full of confusion, uncertainty and fear of the unknown. I’ve been questioning God quite a lot lately. I’ve been searching for answers that He has not been giving, as a matter of fact, I have never felt so alone and scared in my relationship with Jesus before. There are a lot of things in my life that I am trying to process and understand and I come to Jesus for clarity and there’s absolutely none whatsoever. The more I come to Jesus, the more silent He gets and I leave my time with Him more confused and anxious than ever. So I basically stopped coming to Jesus, because I wanted and needed answers that He most definitely wasn’t giving me.

But than Jesus being the sovereign, gracious, and loving Father He is wasn’t going to allow me to walk away from Him; instead He gave me precisely exactly what I needed and had been searching for. “trust me one day at a time” – Jesus. The culture we live in is so fast-faced and answers are literally right at our fingertips whenever we need them; when we want something, we can pretty much get it immediately. But Jesus isn’t like that at all, and as difficult as it is, I am learning to wait one day at a time. It’s hard and sucks and it’s confusing and sometimes I feel so lost but Jesus is revealing to me that He’s here.

He’s here during the good times.

He’s here when I feel lost.

He’s here when it feels like everything is falling apart.

He’s here.

He’s waiting with me ( He will never leave us or forsake us; Deuteronomy 31:6 ) and preparing my heart for whatever answers He’s going to give me. I’m His child and he adores me and what I want may not be best for me right now and that’s ok, because Jesus always knows what’s better. He wants immeasurably more for His children ( Ephesians 3:20 ). Coming into this season was so difficult and full of heartache and brokenness, but looking back I needed this time more than anything. I needed the silence and the stillness, because Jesus has given me an incredible amount of peace through it all. Sometimes we just need rest. This society can distract us from so much and it’s draining and tiring. Jesus knows exactly what we need, and sometimes we want answers but we just need Him. We get so focused on life and what’s next that sometimes we forget to just rest in the stillness of His love. I’ve grown in Him and I’ve grown to actually enjoy the quietness of His presence. I have gained more of an understanding of just how much Jesus cares so deeply for us that He waits for just the right time to bestow answers upon us.

I want more than anything for this season of my life to come to an end. I still want answers and clarity, and those will come with time, but Jesus is calling me to wait on Him and rest in the stillness. As difficult as it is, I have accepted the fact that Jesus is still molding me and revealing things I need to know during this time of my life. Just because I am learning to trust Him more and accepting the stillness, I still have SO much more to learn. wow so much more. And it’s going to be extremely hard to keep my eyes completely focused on Him with all the distractions that college brings, but I’m learning and growing and that’s ok.

Jesus just wants us so desperately. He wants us to come to Him and pour our desires, brokenness, heartache, sadness, happiness, our everything and lay it at His feet and trust Him. I know trust is difficult because so many people let us down and forget the promises they make us, but Jesus is not slow in keeping His promises ( 2 Peter 3:9 ). He longs for us to trust His word in every season of our lives and seek Him in everything.

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college & Jesus & change & friends

my first semester of college can be described in three words: draining, amazing and confusing ( literally all at the same time ). I was always that really annoying person in high school who had their entire lives figured out and knew exactly what they wanted to do with there life. the moment I stepped on Anderson’s campus, I was the most confused person on the planet. I have switched my major 3 times within my first semester at au. ( and I STILL have no clue what I want to do in life ). speaking of majors, I absolutely hated my classes and my professors. going to a pretty expensive christian university, I thought that my professors would actually care about their students and incorporate Jesus into classes. they didn’t whatsoever. as a matter of fact, none of my teachers even spoke the name Jesus at all once this semester. I was annoyed because my parents are paying a lot of money for me to attend au. so I began to get angry and thought switching universities was best. so being the impulsive and spontaneous person I am , I began to look into other colleges. before making a stupid decision I would regret, I sought out advice from my friends who I knew would give me what I needed to here. one of my really good friends said,  ” you can’t run away from your problems when life gets hard; they’re going to be plenty of other things that you don’t like at other universities. ” she was right.

I can honestly say, my first semester of college did not turn out the way I imagined whatsoever. Coming into college, my best friend and I decided to start out our time together at Anderson by co-leading a small group at Newspring church and I was so incredibly excited to be growing in Jesus during this new, confusing and vulnerable transition in my life. well that ended very quickly. the first week of college my best friend and I at the time decided it best not be friends and lead a small group together. With college itself being a difficult transition, I added to it by switching roommates and moving in with someone else ( my new roommate would later turn out to be one of my best friends ).

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I made one of the worst decisions during this past semester, I completely disregarded Jesus and began putting myself and others before Him. and the awful thing was, as I was putting Jesus on a shelf and drifting away from Him, I knew I was doing it the entire time. and it wasn’t the kind of drifting away where I was partying, cussing, or drinking. it was the silent kind of falling away from Jesus. the kind where if you saw me and had a conversation with me, you would walk away from it believing I loved Jesus a lot and was putting Him as the first priority of my life. the kind where I was still attending church every sunday and raising my hands in worship. the kind where I had “some” boundaries ( aka I would still never even think of dating a boy who didn’t love Jesus, never participated in drinking whatsoever, and I surrounded myself with people who loved Jesus a lot. I just began to feel distant from Jesus and it sucked a lot. I hated it because I knew exactly what I was doing the entire time and I never made one effort to change it. my roommate got accepted into the Disney College Program and would be leaving next semester and isn’t sure if she’s coming back to au. when she first told me that she was leaving I was like oh that’s sad, ill miss her. ( she found out she would be leaving in october ) well Jesus started to really change her heart big time. the last month of our first semester of college, I got to see my roommate grow in Jesus in tremendous ways and it blew me away. she just changed a lot and our last month together, I got a lot closer to her. the last week that she was here, it hit me that she would be leaving and not coming back. and I took it a lot harder than I thought I would. I was completely devastated. I now have to go back next semester and start all over with a new roommate. so, now am I not only putting Jesus first, but I began to get angry with God. Why did he let me move in with my new roommate? I struggle big time with getting close to people and them leaving, and Jesus knows I struggle with that. and then he told me how stupid that thought was because I got to leave my first semester of college with incredible memories and becoming best friends with my roommate.

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so Jesus kind of smacked me in the face big time. Jesus’ plan is ALWAYS better. ( I know it’s so cliché, but one of the most truest things at the same time ) I tend to worry a lot when I can’t see whats in front of me, but He’s been reminding me that when this happens, when I begin to get scared and worry, I need to find my peace in Him and rest in His plans. I have been completely dreading going back to Anderson next semester. when I get back I have to come to terms with not knowing what I wanna do with my life again, not having my roommate there to do life with anymore, and starting all over with a new roommate. but God is good, even when life sucks. And He ALWAYS provides. so maybe I needed all this to happen because Jesus has been trying to get my attention for a while and I haven’t been listening to Him. It blows me away that He loves me so much that He wasn’t going to let me stay in a state of complacency where I was falling away from Him. so as disappointed as I may be right now, God is good.

but the Lord stood with me & gave me strength.” – 2 Timothy 4:17.