I should currently be writing a research paper right now. But I just have so much on my heart that I would much rather be writing this right now.
So, this is going to be one of the many blogs that you may see around this time of the year that college freshmen write about their experiences and journey through the first year of college. I almost didn’t write this. I thought, ‘well, everyone else will write one. It doesn’t really matter anyway’. But what I have learned this year, physically, emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and spiritually, is so worth sharing.
I can honestly say that I am not the same woman I was at the beginning of this year, maybe even this semester. The Lord is teaching me oh so much about life. He is maturing me. He is so intentionally placing me in a season of growth. This year has been absolutely crazy. I’ve dealt with really hard things. I’ve been blessed with really really wonderful things. I’ve been taught how to handle difficult situations and make difficult decisions. I feel as though this year has taken me from being a child and put me in the crazy stage of young adulthood within just a matter of months.
It’s definitely been a season of change. I used to be so afraid of change. I hated it. I liked things being the same. I liked things to be safe. But now, I feel like I welcome change. I welcome new seasons, new situations. It’s still scary. For sure. But I feel so much more security in the fact that Jesus is ever with me in the changes. That’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned this year. Jesus is with me. He never ever leaves. I’ve learned, in order to grow, you have to welcome change.
I could go on forever on how school itself has changed me intellectually, mentally, etc. I could talk about how much I feel like a “big girl” now. But that’s not what’s really as important to me. Everyone goes through that. I do want to talk about how faithful Jesus is and how He is maturing me spiritually. I am certain that even in the past few months, my heart has changed and still is. He is softening it. Daily, I am humbled by His grace and by the conviction He lovingly places on my heart. I believe this semester, I have come to actually know Jesus. Not just know of Him, but really know Him. Things are different. I came to terms with my sin this semester. I have learned to face my sinful self and also how to look in the graceful eyes of Christ and to actually accept His perfect and real mercy for me. For the first time in my life, the cross is real. My purpose is real. The mission field God has placed me in, the University of Tennessee and Knoxville, TN, is real. I knew all these things going into college, but now, I don’t know, it’s reality.
God is constantly teaching me to love. Teaching me to take up my cross for Him. To suffer for Him. To accept the blessings He rains down on me. And to be extremely and eternally thankful for all that He is. Those of you who are in college reading this will agree that college tests you in every aspect. I have struggled in schedules, dealing with stress, dealing with class, dealing with a worldly campus, dealing with the beginning and end of relationships. But its all for good. I am sure of it. My God is working all things together for my good. I am becoming the woman of God that I am called to be. Getting rid of fear. Getting rid of lies. Growing. For probably the first time in my life, I feel as though I am exactly where God wants me to be. I am so incredibly thankful for all that I have learned this crazy, wonderful, and stressful first year of college. It has been beautifully crazy. It has been beautifully filled with lessons of every kind and beautifully filled with an amazing Savior.
College is scary. College is exciting. College is wonderful. And God is good. All the time.
I welcome the change that is still to come. For He is with me. So I will not fear.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28