My life and thoughts in words. Coffee. Music. Faith. Laughter. Seeking to serve the One who gave me life.
Well, I now have two weeks of college under my belt… And I am still living to tell about it. :) These may have been some of the most challenging, exciting, fun, random, scary, and crazy weeks I have had in a long time. Maybe ever.
After getting lost on my way to class a few times, studying semester syllabi, figuring out class dynamics, and trying to jump into the crazy river that is Liberty University, I think it’s safe to say that I am starting to get settled in. I am getting into a good routine and beginning to understand this whole college thing. It is weird thinking that I am not going back to my high school though. That my friends and I won’t be going off campus for lunch at Starbucks or that I will no longer go to assemblies in the KW gym. That I won’t be slipping in late everyday for zero period choir or helping set up dances in the Student Ministries room… I am beyond thankful for those memories and for that chapter in my life and I’m glad that I can look back and smile at those times. But nonetheless, it’s time for a new chapter, and the Lord is writing a lot in my story.
Like I said earlier, I am busy with classes, I have eight, and with dorm life, I already got the opportunity to be involved with leadership as a prayer warrior for my hall. I am also busy rehearsing with the choir I am in. For those who don’t know, I was accepted to sing in a traveling ministry team here called, as of now, LU Praise. We travel around and sing at churches and events. It’s been a thrilling journey so far and we take our first trip out of town next weekend to Washington DC! Being in the group, I have felt myself grow so much already both musically and spiritually. I can just feel the Lord’s presence fill the room every time we are singing; it’s an incredible blessing.
But I wanted to go back to when I first moved in here at school, before the thrills and excitement, and share what I went through and what I have been going through these past couple of weeks. It’s a weird feeling when heading into what people call, “the best years of your life” feels like a punishment. There I was, in my room, everything was all unpacked and set up and then it was time for my family to go. They prayed with me, I walked them downstairs, said goodbye, and watched them leave. When I got back to my room it was so quiet, I wanted to quit then and there, pack it all back up and go home; I didn’t feel strong enough to do this. My iPod was playing music and Mandisa’s song “Stronger” came on. The chorus of the song goes like this, “When the waves are taking you under, hold on just a little bit longer, He knows that this is gonna make you stronger. The pain aint gonna last forever, cause things can only get better, believe me this is gonna make you stronger…” As I was hearing these words, I realized that I was weak and that I would only be able to get through this with God. To quit before I even started would be pointless.
I spent a few days in a weird funk though. I knew that I needed to rely on God, but I tried so hard to fight it. I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, but to be honest, I wasn’t happy about it. I was just going through the motions. But one morning, before class, I was eating breakfast and having my devotions, when I was hit by a realization. On that morning, I had read from Psalm 103. It opens and closes with a paragraph on praise. The way I read it was that no matter what happens in the mess and confusion of our lives we need to praise the Lord. Not just when we are happy or content, but even when we are uncomfortable and depressed. I went about my day but I couldn’t stop thinking about what I read earlier.
I felt like God was telling me that I was unhappy because I was feeling sorry for myself, I was fighting what HE had for me. I wasn’t waking up in praise, or going to class in praise, I wasn’t eating lunch or doing homework in praise. Instead, I was doing those things in sadness, and frustration with closed fists. This all changed after I read Psalm 103. God showed me that I needed to praise him in everything I did. I eventually realized that I needed to choose joy… The only way to experience all that God had blessed me with by going to Liberty would be to fully embrace my situation, not fight it. It was amazing how drastically different things became, I’m not saying that I made dozens of friends right away or that I suddenly felt at home. But I was happy and I was ready to go wherever God wanted me to be.
College, I’ve been finding out, is what you make it. I have already met some awesome people and have had great memories and good laughs so far. I have been on fun spontaneous adventures, have had an all-nighter, went to the dollar theater to see back to back movies, watched random TV shows that I’ve always wanted to see like The Office and Psych. But most of all, I have realized that I need to be a servant and a vessel for God with my hands and heart wide open, ready and willing for whatever He gives me. God wants to use us, he wants to bless us and open up doors for us but we need to knock on them first. How do we know that we are going to fail at something if we never try? So take that step of faith and see what He does with it. I think you will be surprised with what can and will happen. Most of all, I hope you feel encouraged to praise Him. Praise Him when you get up, when you are stuck in traffic, when you have no work and when you have tons of work. When you feel alone, and when you are discouraged. Praise Him in the storm and in the sunshine. Praise Him and pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Praise the Lord and choose joy! Don’t be surprised when you see a transformation in your life…
I hope you are all doing well and that you have a blessed week in the Lord… Thanks for all of your prayers and support.
Peace and Blessings. Until next time…
- Psalm 103:22: “Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul…”