I did it. I made it. I got through my first semester of college.
With me being on break now, I know many of my family members and friends are bound to ask the question, “How was your very first semester of college?!” And I’m here on my blog to share with everyone how my first semester actually went. It’s so easy to be passive and say “It was good!” but I don’t want to be passive; I want to be honest.
And honestly, this was one of the hardest seasons I’ve ever been through in my entire life, and not for the reasons I thought it would be.
It wasn’t the transition, the classes, or the time management that made my semester so tough, but my relationship with Lord was constantly being challenged by hurdles I had already gotten over. But that’s the thing- I got over them, but I didn’t actually confront them head on. And on top of that, there were new hurdles that I had to face.
These hurdles that I’m talking about are things like anxiety, depression, low-self esteem, illness and fear. Some I battled with every day, and some crept up on me every so often. The worst part of it all is that I expected these things. I expected to feel anxious in certain situations. I expected to wake up and hate what I saw in the mirror. I expected to have a stomach-ache every day. It was routine, and I hated that I was becoming accustomed to these feelings that are not of God.
While all of this was happening, I was also pursuing the Lord the most I ever had. My. heart. was. on. FIRE for the Lord when I entered college. It was crazy. All I wanted to do was spend time with him, talk about him and see him move on my campus, and man were those promises fulfilled.
But I was confused. The Lord’s presence was everywhere I went and infiltrating everything around me, but he wasn’t infiltrating me. Well, at least I thought. I couldn’t understand why I was mentally battling myself all the time and the Lord wasn’t coming through for me.
Then it hit me a few nights ago. I was taking a practice exam for my philosophy class (which I do not recommend unless you are a die-hard fan of Aristotle or Locke), and after studying for an entire week my grade barely improved from the first time I took it, and the first time I didn’t even study at all.
I cried. If I made a bad grade on this exam there was a likely chance I would make a C in the class, and if you know me you know that it would be devastating to me if I made C. My sweet roommate came over and gave me a hug, reassuring me that things would be okay. After my little episode, I went and took a shower to cool off. I was so frustrated. I cried to God asking why this semester was so dang difficult, and that I wanted it to stop.
Then Matthew 6:24 popped into my head:
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Now my situation doesn’t necessarily involve money, but as I kept thinking about this verse I made a connection.
For a majority of my life, I have been giving in to what the world says is true. Just like people depend on money more than the Lord’s provision, I was putting more trust into what the world said about me and my abilities than what God says about me; more crucially, I was believing the lies that the enemy was constantly whispering in my ear. And this verse reminded me that I can’t believe in those lies anymore if I want to continue to pursue the Lord with all my heart.
When we allow God to move into our lives completely, he doesn’t want to have roommates. He doesn’t make room for fear, anxiety, insecurity, or idols to reside in our hearts- he wants them out.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. – 1 John 4:18
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
God knows the desires of my heart. He knows that I have been running after him faster than I ever have my entire life, but he also knows that for me to continue following him I have to change some things. I have to kick my old residents out so he can completely settle in. He made that apparent to me as I was continually facing my bad habits and the lies I kept believing.
I want to encourage any of you who are going through something similar to keep pushing through and CLING to the Lord as you’re fighting your way through this difficult season. It’s not going to be easy, but the end is worth it. I haven’t reached the end myself, but I know that it’s coming soon and I am so excited to see what’s in store. I know it’s bigger than what I can imagine; the smallness of my thinking has limited me in the past, and I don’t want that to happen anymore. I don’t want that to happen to you. Our God is so huge and he has big plans, and that’s why we need to pursue him and him alone, not the lies that the enemy tells us.
Ironically, I would like to end this post with a quote by a philosopher named Augustine,
“Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.”