To The Doubting College Student

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Dear Doubting College Student,

I cannot speak for you. Only you know where you are right now. Maybe the things you want to go well in your life just aren’t. Maybe the things you don’t want in your life keep coming. Maybe you feel so completely and utterly confused, lost, alone.

I’ve been where you are.

There are good days. There are great days. And there are days where absolutely everything feels out of place. My freshman year was full of those out-of-place days.

I questioned my decision to go to college. I questioned the school I chose. I questioned my major. I questioned my roommate. I questioned my classes, my ability, my promises, my role in it all. There wasn’t an aspect of the college journey that I didn’t question.

I cried. A lot. I got angry. I ran, ran from everything I knew. But worst of all, deepest of all, I ran from God. Hadn’t He told me to go to this school? Hadn’t He given me these talents? Hadn’t He sent me this roommate? Where was the blessing of obedience? Where was the peace, the success, the grades? I did all the right things and I didn’t feel successful. I didn’t see it. I was frustrated. So I ran.

I can’t tell you exactly when it was that I started to see God working. But I can tell you that it happened in baby steps. I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I talked to close friends, ranted to my parents, went to counseling. I sought out mentors, advisers. I asked questions. I questioned everything. Again and again, I was faced with one word: SURRENDER.

I was searching for success in myself. I tried to create stability in myself. I wanted to go to college, to do well in my classes, to prove myself worthy–worthy of admiration, worthy of praise. I told myself it was for Him and yet I worked for myself. Once I realized that, I had a decision to make: was I going to continue to do my own thing or was I going to start to let go?

Letting go is scary. Trusting is scary. Giving up yourself is scary. And it’s hard. Am I willing to trust that God is truly in control, that He is perfect, that His plans for me are higher, better? Will I allow Him to fulfill my dreams, the dreams He placed in my heart?

It was a long, grinding process. But slowly and surely, I learned to let go. Little by little I opened my hands and my heart and gave my dreams to God. In return, He gave me peace. Peace and hope.

That’s how it can be for you.

Deep down you know what you need to do. You are standing in your story. You know the dreams that God has given you. You know the costs of surrendering. But only you can make the decision to do that.

The change won’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself the room to struggle with questions. Allow yourself to think and wonder. But ultimately, allow yourself to come to Him. Give Him a fighting chance to prove Himself. Because He will.

signi

Be Still

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Life as a Christian can be a roller coaster. There are days when we feel on top of the world and so close to God and there are days when we feel so far and lost amidst the fog. There are even times when I start to convince myself that I would rather take charge of my own life than to let God have His perfect timing.

When those days come, I try to escape the pressure, trying to do things myself to make myself happy. So I start running. Soon, the running turns into walking and the walking turns into sitting and the sitting turns into thinking until, finally, I am face to face with the reality that I am never going to be able to find fulfillment in myself.

It’s hard being alone with your thoughts and the truth. We as humans want to do things ourselves, to be in control of our own lives. But the truth is, God is the one in control.

Once sitting alone with my thoughts becomes too much, I am forced to let go and surrender my desires. Now I am only left with one option: just be. Be alone. Be open. Be humble. Be His. It is only in these quiet, being moments that I am fully open to hear God’s voice. It’s in these moments that God opens my eyes His love.

So I’m surrendered. I’m finally ready to hear what He has to say. But His voice doesn’t come in a thunderclap. It doesn’t come in a loud declaration. It comes instead in a quiet, lightness of a feather. Like a feather floating down from heaven, God’s promise of His love comes down to me. I wouldn’t notice it if I weren’t sitting, waiting. And to be honest, there are times when I sit impatiently and leave before that feather of a Truth lands in front of me. But when I wait, when I allow myself the time to sit and be, I allow myself to see His Truth. The feather floats down, carrying the message from my father, and lands perfectly in my lap. It’s simple. It’s quiet. It’s right where and when it needs to be.

“I am.” I stare at the little feather in my lap. Only two words; “I am.” Slowly, like a sun rising inside of me, I see the Truth and accept it. He is God. I am not. He is perfect. I am not. He loves me even when I run. He accepts me even when I walk. And he hugs me when I sit.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10

So here’s my challenge for you: sit. Be. Open yourself up to hearing and seeing those simple quiet Truths. Where are you in the process? Are you walking faithfully with God? Are you allowing yourself to run from Him? If you’re running, what will it take to quiet your soul and open yourself to hearing Him? He wants to show you His Truth. He wants to comfort you. Will you sit and allow yourself to see His love?

signi

Photography: Snow

Hello everyone! How are you? Did you get any snow this week? I did! It snowed on Wednesday so the schools were canceled. Life in the south :)

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The two days off from school were much needed. To celebrate, my family and I went down to the park to go sledding. It was so much fun! It was also so beautiful seeing all of the trees covered with snow.

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In the park, there is a bridge over the little stream. The sound of running water was calming. With the snow, it was even more beautiful.

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There’s something about fresh snow that makes time seem to stop. It’s peaceful and perfect for hot chocolate and reading. :)

Did you get any snow this week? If so, how did you spend your snow day?

signi

Motivation Monday//Peace

Motivation Monday

January 23, 2017

Today’s Theme: Peace

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“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where this is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Unknown

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“God is not a God of disorder but of peace” – 1 Corinthians 14:33a

This week, I saw God give me peace. Normally when I have big tests or events, I get really nervous and anxious. On Saturday, I went to take my SAT. Before the test began, I asked God to give me “peace that surpasses all understanding”. I didn’t realize until afterward that I was completely calm the entire time I was taking the test. My peace comes from God and because of that, I will praise HIM.

signi