It’s Not What I Thought

Thanks be to God for His glory is within me!

I was going to try to start this post all catchy and stuff but then I realized I don’t need a tag-line to talk about Jesus. Being a Christian isn’t anything like I ever anticipated. 

I found the Truth in high school and called myself a Christian. But honestly, I wasn’t saved. I truly came to Christ on my own terms in September. Here’s the reality I’ve come to face these past few months: being a Christian is the most painful thing you’ll experience. 

I have lost so many people in my life whom I thought were good friends until I saw what a true, Godly friendship was through a girl I met in Cru named Joanna. After meeting and bonding with her, I stepped back to look at everyone in my life and realized I wouldn’t settle for friends who came to me when they needed something or only when my friendship eased their burdens. I wanted friends who sought me out when I was drowning from fear and faithlessness. But also friends who joyfully celebrated the big milestones. I wanted to be unconditionally, genuinely, and faithfully loved. 

I hurt my family. My nasty tongue and painful actions tore my relationships apart. I didn’t talk to the majority of my family for months at one point. And if you know me, you know how important my family is to me. Seeing how Jesus loved all people made me want to love my family better and be a better sister/daughter/cousin/niece. 

I have also had to face the reality of who I was before coming to the foot of the Cross. I was a liar, I used manipulation to get everything I wanted in life, I partied, and worst of all I hated who I was. Everyday. I struggled to look in the mirror so I hid myself in desperate attempts to get attention from anyone anywhere. And that hurt. Oh my, it was the most painful process to work through. To look at every aspect of my life and let Jesus change me bit by bit was so incredibly tough. 

Thankfully, God’s grace isn’t based on me. 

The “Christian lifestyle” looked happy-go-lucky from the outside. I thought being a Christian meant I’d always be satisfied and life would just work itself out. That I wouldn’t face anything too terrible and everything would be easier. But that’s not the reality of following Jesus. The mountains and the valleys grow us every single day. Everything the Lord places in our path is intentional, and the pain we feel is never in vain. 

He took this angry, hateful girl and turned me into who I’m still growing into today. I begged for change from the inside out, and I got it. I’ve learned to surrender, but not quit. All I had to do was take my hand off the doorknob, allowing doors to close so He could open others. Even my “bad” days aren’t that bad, because I know I’m loved and things can still be good. 

These changes have brought about a lot of joy and faithfulness in every outlook of my mind. I face challenges with an optimistic perception and laugh in the face of fear. I’m growing into this shell of a loving heart and soul that I’ve always had and it feels good. I’m thriving, not merely surviving. 

I mean, Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son for a reason. No matter what we’ve done, we can still come home because we are wrapped in loving,

         boundless,

                        endless,

                                      grace.

Seattle, I am really going to miss you.

Yeah, I know. I’m surprised too.

[Bear with me, this is kind of long. But this has been my reality for the last two months]

Anyone who has known me for any period of time understands that I look upon my life as an adventure in every way possible. My “innocent” prayer on the last day of 2016 has now brought about my newest adventure.

I thought when I asked God to reveal what He had planned for me, that I would just have a clear sense of direction on where to go and what to study after graduating from UW. I had no idea that He was going to take my hand and teach me how to walk on water.

I always joke about how Jesus must hate me because He loves to test my faith. This time wasn’t so funny. It was actually really, really messy. It involved ugly crying for days while I so desperately clung to my dream school in Seattle and this perfect little life I was building. But that’s the thing- I was building it. Sure Jesus was there with me, but my focus was on success and a future career. I didn’t ever check in to see if this was where He wanted me to be, and it turns out I’ve been doing this whole life thing all wrong.

My devotional has been diving into the concept of free will, and how He will be there regardless of our decisions. However, when we aren’t focused on Him, He just sits back and waits for us to relinquish control so He can take us into so, so much better.

My New Year’s Resolution was to stop being so scared of life, to start saying yes, and just pursuing the Lord with all I am. This lead to leap after leap of faith, knowing and trusting that I had the safety of His arms waiting to catch me.

I am starting to love the sound of my feet walking away from the things not meant for me. It’s still a daily struggle, but I am getting there. I have been called for more and I am going wherever He leads.

Which brings me here:

On January 5th, 2017 I submitted my application to transfer to Corban University in Salem, Oregon.

February 2nd, 2017 I got accepted into both this amazing university and my 9-week summer missions trip (within two hours!!).

Between applying and getting accepted were so many sleepless nights and tear filled days as I realized this reality of my life was shifting and I didn’t know what was happening. As a person who has every day of her week planned before Monday even begins, this was (and still is) a hard concept for me to grasp. But this life isn’t my own, and I know He is leading me into so much better!

As I sit here on the Corban campus, I am so in love with it. The people are so kind and welcoming, the campus is incredibly beautiful, and the one class I attended was actually super fun. This campus is the embodiment of Jesus’s love and support for His creation and it’s astonishing.

I am really going to miss Seattle and my amazing community- like I almost started crying as I wrote this. But I am even more excited to get to Corban and begin this new chapter. This next adventure is His, and I’m pumped (and somewhat impatient) to be spending the next couple of years here!

 

11 Common Thoughts While Living On Campus

I think I am losing my mind.


1. Do quiet hours really exist?

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The RA’s don’t always monitor for quiet hours… like once, there were 3 freshman riding up and down my hall yelling “would you like to buy from the trolley” in a shopping cart at 1 am.

2. I think I’m getting sick again….

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When you live in such close quarters for 9 months of the year, you begin to accept the inevitable doom of catching whatever bug is going around.

3. Why are we willingly living in a room the size of a walk in closet?

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When inviting friends over, it’s like playing human tetris with the space not already occupied by furniture.

4. Cleaning your room is nearly impossible.

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I’m generally a clean person and not being able to tidy up (because only half the room is acceptable to touch) drives me up the wall.

5. What’s sleep????

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I didn’t believe I could sleep less in college than I did in high school, but oh boy have I proven myself wrong. BUT HEY! My grades are pretty spiffy and I adore my friends so it’s worth it.

6. I didn’t realize how badly I wanted to take a bath until I couldn’t anymore.

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Bath tubs don’t exist in college. If you want a bathtub, your only option is to just set up an inflatable pool in your room and hope for the best.

7. The dining hall is just a hot mess.

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It’s too far away (seriously, who wants to walk across the street for food?), serves food I’ve never even heard of, and it’s honestly questionable to eat sometimes.

8. Inspections are coming- better clean the easy half of the bathroom. 

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If you’re like me and have roommates, you make sure to check when inspections are and race to see who gets to the mirror and sink first- no one likes cleaning the shower or toilet.

9. Aren’t the lounges supposed to be shared?? 

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There’s always this guy. Or people who spend 12 hours in the same lounge, staring at their phones until you want to use the TV so they’re all of a sudden “watching a movie”.

10. I’ll just do my laundry next week. 

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I honestly believe that laundry is the worst part of the week. Not to mention, there’s always those people who take 50 washers so no one else can do laundry.

11. If I stay here much longer, I’m going to lose it

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College has been… interesting.