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College: Take 1

Today, Sunday, marks a week of doing this thing called college. The past 7 days have been one big ball of new schedules, new friends, lots of new faces, new places, and -well, as you might get the picture- NEW everything! At the same time, it has pushed me back to my roots, calling for a deep appreciation in taking each day at a time and truly seeking God’s strength and daily bread each morning. Below, I have included 4 takeaways of my transition from the life I have known for 18 years to the life I am now stepping into during this next adventure. I hope and pray that what I learned from these past days gives your heart the encouragement it needs like it did mine. As we step into the new, in whatever form that may be for you, my prayer for each of us is a lens of gratitude. My prayer is that we would be gratefully joyful in confidence that God has us where we are for a reason and then that we would expectantly look for ways He is proving Himself faithful to us: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters [this includes YOU!], whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything’ (James 1:3-5, NIV). If we seek Him in the trials of sorting through the new, His word is faithful in promising us perseverance, which accumulates to full completion of our whole selves, our hearts, our faiths…

The Night Before Moving Into College:

I am learning that excitement and nervousness can be carried together. Even more so, I’m learning that their duality feeds off each other, often leaving me teetering between the edge of butterflies in my stomach and giddiness as long prayed for dreams that once danced only in my mind become reality. I used to think it was one or the other, but on the night before I move into college and begin my next 4 years of adventure in Nashville, I cannot deny the coexistence and even symbiosis of these two emotions. These feelings leave me anxious one second about what my life forever changed will look like and excited the next about new opportunities springing to life. Above the pendulum of these emotions, I am going to bed exuberantly grateful for the state of preparation and peace God has laid on my heart because above all feelings, is the state of the mind. He has crafted a lens of clarity and readiness over my heart that I could not have crafted in my own might. What I am learning is that when God prepares our hearts for a new phase of life, He allows us to experience His will in the fullness of all emotions, nervousness and excitement together, yet He protects them from being overcome by the extremity of any particular emotion.

Move-in Day:

All I have to say is praise Jesus. Today, I was walking into my building to move all my stuff in and could not shake an undeniable peace that I was right where I needed to be, right in the midst of His plans. This peace was so tangible in my heart that I even said out loud to my parents, “as much as this is bittersweet, I feel just so at peace. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since this IS what I prayed for.” I believe a lot of times we pray without expectancy, but truthfully, God wants us to believe boldly in His power to work in and through our hearts: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV). His goodness knows no limits, so while I think confine His power when praying without expectation, He is faithful in proving me wrong just like today. His peace was tangible, a present state of my mind and heart, amidst such a bittersweet transition and all of the emotions it has attached. Above all, He is good, and I am thankful. 

My First Night in My Dorm Room:

It’s 12:30, and as I pulled back my pillows to get in my dorm room bed for the first time, I see a little brown leather journal tucked behind them. It was a surprise with a note in it from my sweet, sweet mom who never fails to love me so intentionally. That moment pretty much sums up the underlying state of my heart today: exuberantly grateful to be surrounded by people who love me so intentionally. Texts and FaceTimes from people at home and calls from friends at schools states away filled my day with little bursts of joy and continuous reminders that when God gives, He gives abundantly: “And God is able to bless you [YES YOU!] abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8, NIV). I could not be more grateful for the full experience of that today as He has shown me love in new ways from strangers I have just met to people I’ve loved my whole life. I am walking into these next days with peace as He reminds me through these little joys that He has me right where He has planned, so even when I lose sight of it amidst so much newness or feel overwhelmed by these changes, it won’t be long until I come back to my Provider who gives love and joy so freely. I am praying for these blessings to overflow in good works for His Kingdom in our lives; may we have eager eyes that look for opportunities to give His love as abundantly to others as He gives to us.

After My First College School Day:

Today was a whirlllll-wind!!! Woof!!!! I feel like I sprint from place to place and then have long times of sitting still working. Somehow, hours felt like they just disappeared from the day, and I am going to bed quite exhausted. However, I finally felt settled here this morning when I woke up. It is pretty crazy to almost tangibly feel answered prayers and thoughts of people from home play out in my heart and life here. What I am learning about God though is that feeling these prayers and His love around me doesn’t have to seem crazy; it can actually be expected. He is a faithful God, one who wants the absolute best for us, and as I step into this next adventure, I am choosing to believe in ALL He has for me here, in everyone He has placed in my life and prayers He has put in their hearts for me, and in His all-mighty power to bring life and light to this transition. My prayer stepping into these next days, months, years is that I would lean into His faithfulness, moving beyond surprise at His loyalty to full confidence and rest in it, because I desire nothing less than a life lived like that, in the fullness of all He lavishly offers us. 

Above all, may this be our foundation: “‘If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,’ says God, ‘I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!'” (Psalm 91:14-16, MSG)! 

With love,


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