I finished an entire year of college.
And I am exhausted.
These last nine months have drained me in every way, but especially in the best way. My heart is so full of joy and excitement as I reflect on this year. People told me I would grow and change and mature, but I never could’ve imagined the extent to which that would be true.
When choosing a school, I thought I could handle a secular college. I thought I was strong enough in my faith that I didn’t need to base my decision on that. I’m so thankful that God put on my heart to choose Cedarville, because I don’t know what would’ve happened to my faith had I not spent this past year there.
I didn’t understand my faith at all before I got to Cedarville. I didn’t understand that my faith is not my own. That when I don’t spread the Gospel I am robbing my fellow image-bearers of the beautiful salvation I have been so graciously given. The gravity of what my salvation means should stir me to proclaim the Good News from the mountaintops.
I didn’t understand that my faith is not the powerful Christian songs I listen to or the stirring words in a Christian devotional. My faith is the Word of God breathed out by the Creator of the Universe Himself. I didn’t understand how reliant I must be on my Bible. That spending time with Him every day is vital to walking through this life in a way that glorifies Him.
When I got to Cedarville, I panicked. I thought I had lost touch with the God I had been so close to in my last few years of high school that also happened to be the hardest years of my life. When everything was seemingly perfect, I couldn’t find Him anymore.
Then my mom said something that snapped me out of my funk and reminded me of the true nature of the God we serve.
She said, “Remember that your relationship with God is not a feeling. Its just that, a relationship. It takes work and its not going to be given to you. You have to remind yourself of the times He’s been faithful and cling to that, not whether or not you can feel Him at any given time.”
Essentially, He’s the same God in the good times as He is in the bad.
And Cedarville was nothing short of a good time. I was talking to a friend about it, and she said something so true. This past year has been my breath of fresh air. All my life there has been some sort of “thing.” To not have a “thing” hanging over my head and weighing on my heart was so freeing. For the first time in my life I was finally able to rejoice in the God I serve. To be able to come alongside others who walked through some major trials this year was such a blessing, for so many people have done that for me in the past. Meanwhile I got to truly see all that God was doing around me, for there was no trial to cloud that awe-inspiring view.
Man, He is faithful. The student government team at Cedarville did a sermon series in chapel called “Faithfully Pursuing a Faithful God,” and it brought me so. much. joy. In the Old Testament (which I learned is just overflowing with the Gospel and is actually the coolest thing ever), He is faithful. In the New Testament, He is faithful. In the waiting, He is faithful. In the chaos, He is faithful. In my neglect, He is faithful. In my gross, impatient, fearful anxiety, He is faithful.
Something that really hit me this year is that life moves at the speed of light and you cannot possibly know what tomorrow holds.
When I met my roommate on Facebook in the spring of last year I never could’ve imagined all that we’d go through and teach each other in our first year as college students. She has become such a sweet, sweet treasure in my life.
When I met my RA, I never thought she would challenge me and inspire me so deeply that I would become an RA myself. Or that she’d become one of my best friends and wisest mentors.
When I went to the first meeting for the school paper, I never thought I would find my passion in sportswriting, and I never could have imagined the massive opportunities the position would open up for the future.
When I picked my unit in a dorm after not getting into my first choice dorm, I would’ve never believed that those eight girls would become like sisters to me. They made the transition to college so easy, and I will never forget Printy 38. ❤
When I met one of my girlfriend’s two friends on a whim, I never imagined that the four of us would become inseparable in the short two months we’ve known each other. I’ve never experienced friendship in such a deep, awesome way before, let alone seen them develop so quickly.
College has taught me how out of control I am, and how in control He is.
Transitioning home is hard. Three months seems like an endless time to not see friends and to not be immersed in the greenhouse that is Cedarville. To not have chapel and Bible classes everyday is a little scary. Now its on me and only me to push myself to pursue the Lord on my own every day.
One thing our SGA chaplain talked about at the beginning of the year was the need Christians have to preach themselves the Gospel every day. If we neglect to do this, how can we expect to live it out? This feels even more pertinent now that I’m home. Diligence has never been so necessary, and this is only a taste of what the rest of life will be like.
Here’s some of my favorite songs from the year, a lot of which I got from worship in chapel!
Oh how beautiful it will be to sing these songs and more together one day in eternity. ❤
All my love,