Reflect

As this school year comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on my last two years at a Christian college. And in all honesty, I’ve had a hard time not being discouraged. Thinking back to August two summers ago, I can picture perfectly the moment my parents drove me to Manhattan and dropped me off in a dormitory that I would be living in for two years. My anxious and ecstatic heart was in a whirlwind. If you could jump in my brain at that moment, there were two things on my mind. One, “I’m free from my parents authority!” And two, “This is a new beginning. No one knows anything about me and I can start all over.” Now, as I look back at my “oh so confident” self, I shake my head. If only I knew how that freshman self was naive. She was unprepared. She was about to begin a journey that would shape her in ways she never thought.

Don’t get me wrong, attending a Christian college has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. The amount of life long friendships I’ve developed, the memories I’ve made, and the knowledge I’ve obtained is priceless. However, as I drove my car around Manhattan the other night to clear up my thoughts, again I couldn’t help but reflect on every step and decision that I’ve made in the last two years. These include a multitude of mistakes. Being so independent has been a blessing yet also a curse. I wanted so much to start over, yet that freshman girl didn’t have a clue what that looked like. Because of uncertainty, I sought out change in ways that I shouldn’t have. Instead of seeking out my relationship with Christ, I used my mistakes to allow my heart to grow hard. Over the last two years, I’ve never doubted myself and my relationship with God more: simply because I had failed. I wasn’t that “oh so confident” freshman anymore because I had disappointed myself. I had made myself into someone that I wasn’t.

BUT, as I’ve been gradually and recently working through some of that bitterness in my heart, I sat in my car and couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with tears. Tears of joy with how God was working even when I couldn’t see it or didn’t realize it. I may regret not investing in areas I should have. I may regret decisions I made. I may regret the growth that didn’t happen. BUT, I don’t. Every single mistake, doubt, and step that I’ve taken these past two years has shaped me. They have brought me to where I am today. Through it all, God had a bigger picture in mind even when I messed up. His purpose has been to stretch me, challenge me, and test me in areas of my life that I never would have expected. No, I in no way have it all figured out. I struggle all the time. Yet, I can say with confidence that I am ten times closer to that person I wanted to be freshman year. God just took me down a longer path to get there- and for that, I am thankful. Instead of being discouraged about the end of my time at MCC, I am now encouraged. I am encouraged as I reflect on the incredible ways that God works. And now, I am encouraged about a new beginning at Kansas State University where I can anticipate the different ways that God will shape and mold me.

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2 responses to “Reflect

  1. Julia,
    Don’t lament. We’ve all been there, including ME! It’s called growing up. Love your writing and keep looking up! You are an amazing young woman…

    Like

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