Something that has been hitting me this week: I am really thankful for the spiritual older brother figures God has placed in my life since college began. Witnessing genuine zeal for God and a singleminded-ness towards the Creator in these godly men has been important in healing my trust and cynicism/skepticism. I wish I could actively appreciate people more and stop realizing these things only in hindsight. But hey, I’ll take it.
I am starting to see bits of the myriad of avenues by which God is trying to help me get a better glimpse of his character. I’ve been really blessed today. Thanks, Father :)
Today, I was reminded yet again of what covenant really means in the context of a God-honoring community. I find it sad that I never encountered this word before college—how is that possible, having grown up in the church? Unfortunately, it is way too possible, way too common—but I feel incredibly blessed to be able to experience it at all, now. Both through testimony and in my life, personally.
I think what strengthens me is knowing that the intense zeal for God I see in these seniors, these staff, these leaders? It happened as short a time ago as even last year. Transformation is always happening, and although I frequently feel that I am late, that I wish I had pulled my act together in high school; God can use me and work in me no matter the platform I am now starting again on. Like one of the points from last week emphasized, the past is not wasted. What’s now is what matters, though, and I need to make sure I’m moving forward.
Yep. Just so, so blessed. Feeling really spiritually nourished. Also thankful for a lot of things, like last night’s conversation with M which really reminded me of how far my friendships have come in even one year of living together…and also thankful that my body is slowly building up immunity towards typhoid. Boy, did I not expect that rock-hard wave of nausea and headache that hit me this afternoon. I’ve been forced to take my studies a lot slower than I would like, this being one of the relevant situations, but it’s actually quite a blessing. I’m getting to talk and be with people and really enjoy one another’s company. Of far greater value than this school thing, anyway :).
It’s been a weird 24 hours of not wanting to do anything because I am sick, but also being really blessed during the moments I do get out of myself and go do…anything. One of those paradoxes of life to embrace. The thought of remembering faith as my convictions that I will abide by, even when I don’t feel like it, has also been on my mind all day. Somehow this relates, although right now I can’t quite put into words how so.
I just got/accepted the offer to work as an Assistant Photo Editor for The Daily Californian over the summer! A surprise, because I never thought I would have an opportune chance to return, but in this step of decisiveness, I see a little bit of God’s plan unfolding. Something about Him wanting me to trust that He will use this summer to grow the staff environment into a more edifying place, and that He will grow me in the process, and that He will help me see past my own little Christian bubble in the process. I am really thankful that A reached out to me about this, and I’m excited to work with him and the rest of the team.
Which means: my internship/summer job search is over! And now I can focus on more important things, i.e. the Dreamweaver class that I have to co-teach in three days, that has been nagging at the back of my mind for weeks…and the fact that Telebears is acting up again and my classes are all up in the air…and the fact that my grand elaborate plan to invite a bunch of people over for dinner has been thwarted with the clogging of our kitchen sink (fun stuff)…and the fact that we are starting to cut it close with housing…and this and that, aish.
But I am oddly happy and at peace despite all of this, knowing that most of this stuff is out of my hands (okay, except for the Dreamweaver class. That one, I still have to pull my weight on…), and the rest is up to God to show me what exciting thing He has in store next. Hoping I can maintain this attitude.
Step by step He leads me :)
Tonight’s InterPraise was haunting and beautiful and passionate and a wonderful challenge to my thinking. A lot of good doors reopened and things were brought to my attention that I had half-considered but never fully processed, but which are useful for reinforcing/clarifying my beliefs and convictions. I haven’t had the chance to sort through everything, but I think the overall sentiment I get is, blessed.
A summer opportunity door has also opened, and I am thankful. At this point I’m not quite sure what God wants me to be doing, nor do I feel like this immediately fits in the puzzle piece spot that I have envisioned, but having a few options is encouraging. In the span of five hours God has revealed a lot about how He wants to challenge me to expand my heart and my scope of ministry, and this summer thing definitely aligns with this kind of vision…but more on that as things start to come together.
In the meantime, I feel incredibly fortunate to find myself in the midst of a college campus that has such a strong Christian community. There is a lot more work to be done, of course, but I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of it. My immediate prayer request is that this night the theme of “in the world but not of it” would be something I take to heart seriously; that although the message is so familiar, InterPraise will have reverberating effects in my life and won’t ultimately fall flat as one of those nice Christian times and that’s it.
Ah…it’s one of those nights where I want to stay up until dawn and do something, get started on everything; but know that I need to sleep and be responsible in stewarding the good health I have been given. I’ll try to coax out that maturity (one of the things that would never have happened a year ago, weird). Good night, world :).
today sticks out as one of those really undeserved, ideal days. i was thinking and began to try to list all the ways i’m thankful, and all of the little blessings that these past 24 hours have consisted of, but there are really just too many.
i am so incredibly fortunate to be a part of a community that takes its faith in God and covenantal commitments to one other seriously. as the weekend comes to a close, two phrases really stick out to me:
I wouldn’t have it any other way,
We wish that you had all that we have, but our age.
surely, i have a beautiful inheritance.
ps: accepted to cambodia :) please start praying for us! the college team will be gone from may 27-june 7. i haven’t been this excited in quite some time; the physical challenge that this mission trip will be is daunting, especially given all the testimonies i’ve heard, but i know it will be worth it. so, so, so worth it.
time to start preparing my heart, mind, body. ah!!!
Currently spending this beautiful Friday morning at Caffe Strada listening to All Sons & Daughters’ just-released live album…it captures such a raw sense of excitement and earnest passion. So good :)
Every time I see the year “2013” next to new albums on Spotify, it catches me off guard. We’re in the year 2013? I still feel like 2008 was just last year (basically I have thought Dark Knight was released “only 3 months ago!” for about 5 years), I still feel like high school was just last year. But then in a moment of pause, it comes back to blunt realization that two years have passed since I committed to Cal, since I visited for the overnight stay program and unpacked my luggage in U3’s Norton Hall and gaped at the sparkling water right outside my window, since I breathed in the Bay Area and could not believe that this was going to be my new home for four years.
Four semesters gone by, and I find myself in a completely different state of mind than I ever could have realized when I first came here. To note just one thing: yesterday, dealing with the aftermaths of one of my many recent cognitive planning failures (sigh), it hit me that the degree of conviction I feel towards things that would never have swayed my moral compass even a year ago is startling. And it hit me that my life is a lot richer as a result of the little ways God has helped me choose Him above my peripheral desires over the past few semesters, how He has shown me that there is a lot of joy in limiting myself for other people and in trusting Him. That, although I find myself discouraging on a regular basis, there has been something changing, and there has really been a Savior slowly picking up 18 years of mess and mending me, one shard of glass at a time.
In no way am I the person I wish I were, but moments like this, small pauses in my schedule that allow me to reflect and have a glimpse at really how much has already changed…I’m really thankful. I know this is a tired old subject that I keep repeating here, but it’s just so undeniably real and true, something that will never cease to amaze me. To think that God could take this self-destructing girl who found her only sense of atonement in punishing herself for her imperfections, into someone who can actually experience joy? Unreal.
Are your college years really the best in your life? Well, I still have halfway left of the journey to go, but I can confidently say that it is a resounding, YES, if you will take the risk and really give God the benefit of the doubt, the benefit of the doubt despite all the hypocritical tendencies of people in the world, and explore the idea that we are all equally broken people, and just see what amazing things He can work in your life.
Lord, I find You in the seeking
Lord, I find You in the doubt
And to know You is to love You
And to know so little else
Lord, I find You in the morning
Lord, I seek You every day
Let my life be for Your glory
Woven in Your threads of grace
I need You, oh, how I need You.
Things to be grateful of:
- Zion being fantastic.
- Today’s $2 hit albums on Amazon (Muse!)
- This morning’s long-overdue brunch date with R
- Warmer weather and natural light, always
- The privilege to help lead worship on Sundays
- My ever-supportive network of friends and family
- Quiet work afternoons
I’m starting to understand. I’ve seen people I know and love come to accept Jesus into their lives before, but this is so different, now that my sense of urgency has increased and I see this as something burdensome.
This is someone I had actively, intentionally been praying for; someone I had been thinking about constantly. I know my direct personal, face-to-face involvement was minimal, seeing he’s a guy and I didn’t want to meddle spiritually where emotions could become a problem…but it’s been such a encouragement, seeing this brother of mine ever since he made that decision to become a Christian.
There is prevailing joy knowing that God has so faithfully answered this prayer. And it makes all our freshman year memories together so much sweeter, so much more meaningful. So much has changed—the four of us aren’t even ever together anymore—and we can never have those weekly late-night, 1AM Foothill runs/Psych seasons 1-6 marathons/exploiting every available space in Unit 2 to study in/baking and Totoro movie nights with our whole peer class/spontaneous midnight runs around campus/cranking out Philosophy 7 essays at 4am/showing up at IK’s dorm and eating all the seniors’ ramen/et cetera…ever again, all those things exclusive to the freshman year dorming experience, but I can really be thankful that it’s happened. And not nostalgic, because the sense of responsibility that comes with sophomore, suffermore year is crucial and much needed, but truly thankful, knowing it made a difference.
Just hoping, praying I can really cling to this perspective. Things get hard but God is so good, and as I grow older and experience this more, it just becomes (what I believe to be) increasingly undeniable. So thankful.
“I have a lot of intellectual questions, but seeing you guys together…is really more than any intellectual answer I could get.” Another moment of clarity, another reminder of the stark difference in the life we are meant to live, compared to the lives we so often settle for. Community. The great and beautiful community. Sometimes it’s just too easy to want to give up and give in, to stop loving people, to stop working out our differences, to stop fighting the narcissism and self-centered behavior so ingrained in me, in all of us…but times like these make the hard journey so worth it, and makes me realize I would not have it any other way. It didn’t have to be this way, but it is. I didn’t have to stumble across such a captivating picture of Christian community, but I did. And all that love that was poured into me last year, now must flow out. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
And still my soul will sing your praise unending…
God, thank you for the first blue skies I have seen here since coming home. Thank you for the sun that streams into my room in the morning. Thank you for my parents, who love me so dearly and accept my passions and pursuits. Thank you for blessing me more with what I need, though truly only you are sufficient for me. Thank you for the second chances, third chances, fourth chances, fifth chances, sixth chances…you give me. Thank you for a home to come home to, family to come home to, friends to come home to—a lot of beauty that I can now really start to appreciate, to come home to.
I don’t know why, God, but you are so good. Well, wait. I do know why. I do know it’s your unconditional, unfathomable, ridiculously grand, unrequited love for me…but I still don’t know why.
It’s been a long road out of depression and into contentedness, and now you’ve led me into joy. I could have never imagined. Thank you.