day 2 – preparation

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This pile of clothes has been sitting in my room for the past 4 days, which just goes to show how excited I am to get back to the greatest school in the world.  But as I look at it more and more, I think it shows something else too, something greater than my own understanding.

I think it shows the plans God has for me, the way he aims to take my own plans, destroy them, and completely rebuild them in his purpose.  The season of growth he is preparing for me this next semester  surpasses any plans I could make on my own for the last half of my freshman year.  In my first semester, He has shown me love and He has shown me hate, He has shown me heart and He has shown me pain. Ultimately, He has shown me that whatever plan I make, whatever preparation I have, the will of His word will always, always prevail.  So, today, I look at these clothes a little differently.  I look at them as a sign of change, a sign of preparation for the season to come, and not any change or preparation for change that I could imagine on my own.  That’s what God does, he shows you his power in the most unexpected places, he destroys your plans to create infinitely more beautiful plans. I look at these clothes as a sign of the unknown, a sign of whatever God has in store for me this semester and this year. It makes me realize just how powerful our God is, and the magnitude that is His word. And I think that’s pretty amazing.

-r

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day 1 – awoken

As I have been home from college for 5 weeks now, I have had time for many things. Time to laugh and time to cry, time to fail and time to try, time to think and time to act, but most of all time to change. When I first got home, I was in a cloud of despair so deep that I wasn’t sure had a silver lining.  With 6 weeks to go until a new season of life, 6 weeks of what I thought would be all rock bottom, I began to doubt myself and my faith. Not only had I disappointed my family and my school, but I had disappointed myself without even knowing it.  My mind was creating lies I didn’t even know I had room or time for.  Why I thought lying would somehow make everything go away is beyond my knowledge.  It wasn’t until all of my mistakes hit me right in the face that I realized my life’s been turned upside down. With nothing left but my own thoughts, I looked back on the worth that I placed in such trivial things.  Things like the attention of a guy, the temporary satisfaction of spending money, the feeling of being away from home, breaking rules and the forgetfulness and freeness that came with it.  I was finding worth and fulfillment in these things that only let me down in the end.  On the surface, I was having so much fun that it masked my inner pain and longing for something more.  Unfortunately, like I said, it wasn’t until my mistakes hit me right in the face that I realized it was time to wake up from this nightmare.  After getting in trouble with the school, spending more money than I even knew I had, and almost failing my classes, I knew that being home for 6 weeks wouldn’t feel like home at all.  You don’t know true sadness until you see the look of disappointment on your parents’ faces.  Never in my life have I seen my parents more disappointed than they were in me in that moment.  I had become so numb to everything around me that the sadness I felt then outweighed any sadness I have ever felt.  The first two weeks of my time back home were some of the hardest days I have ever known, but these last two weeks have made me think that maybe those days were actually some of the strongest I have ever known.  Not only were my closest friends there for me, but a person I had long forgotten was there for me all along. It hurts my heart to think that I could have abandoned someone as great as our God, but I believe that He has my life in the palm of his hand, and I have all the faith in the world that He is the most present in times of trial, present to test my strength and show me triumph. A certain bible verse has been on my heart recently, and I think it fits perfectly with my situation:

          “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

It’s crazy to think that our greatest weaknesses are actually some of our greatest strengths, but with God by my side, it’s a little easier to see the beauty in defeat.  I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t put my full faith in God over the course of the past 5 weeks, but I’m sure as hell glad I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  I know that God put me at Samford with a grand purpose in mind, and I cannot wait to see what this next semester has in store for me.  While I don’t know what will happen, who I’ll meet, or what I’ll do, I do know one thing.  God is writing my story, my Samford story and my life story, and he is the best author the world has ever known.  As I woke up this morning, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t just happen to wake up, but God woke me up. and He has been ever since I first sinned, something that I will never be able to understand but will forever be grateful for.  I am awoken, broken, but I am awoken, and in constant awe of the way God is working in my life, day by day.

-r