I started this blog over five years ago with this post. I was about to go to YWAM in Kona, Hawaii for some of the best seven months of my life. I was getting ready to catalogue everything I learned while at YWAM, everything Jesus did, what I saw and who I met and what was happening in my life. I was 17, about to leave home for the first time to live across the ocean from my family. I knew it was going to be a crazy time in my life and I wanted to have a written history I could return to just as much as I wanted to share my experiences.
I’ve had this blog through my entire college career. That first semester spent in Hawaii and Amsterdam getting to know myself, Jesus, his world, and making him known. I had it when I started college in Fayetteville, when I entered the worst two years of my life (all fault my own for that dark period), the faithfulness of Jesus when I left the dangerous situation I got myself in, the year I took off of school and lived at home and worked full time. I had the blog when I grudgingly enrolled at A&M, my dad almost died, I worked in news, and now. Finally my last semester of college.
Today is the first day of school for the last time ever. (Unless I go to grad school, that is.)
Whether this is the first blog you’ve read or you’ve been here since I signed off every blog with “KISSES”, welcome and thanks for coming on this journey with me.
There have been a lot of themes in this blog over the years. Vulnerability, the importance of friendship, feminism, growth, Jesus’s timing is always better, but most importantly: God is always faithful.
As I sat down to have my quiet time this morning, God reminded me of my college career. I vividly remembered nights I spent trying to forget everything, mornings I woke up riddled with guilt, hours I spent crying, too afraid to face the music, and moments I drove past my apartment, afraid to go home. I remembered when Jesus continually reached out to me and I purposefully ignored Him. I mean there were days I literally said “Jesus, I know I’m making mistakes and I should listen to you, but I’m not going to.”
Before I even opened my bible, Jesus reminded me of every time I failed and He succeeded. He reminded me that in my darkest moment, He was still there, waiting. In my weakness, He is strong.
He reminded me that He is always faithful and He will never stop pursuing me. That He will always keep His promises.
Then I opened my bible – I’m going through the gospels – and read Luke chapter one. First, the birth of John the baptist is foretold. Gabriel tells Zechariah that his wife (who was old and barren) would have a son named John and he would baptize many. When Zechariah doesn’t believe him (because it would be humanly impossible) Gabriel says this:
“I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
When the promise is fulfilled – because God’s promises are always fulfilled – Zechariah gets his voice back and the first thing he does is praise God.
And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
Running parallel to this story, Mary is told about the birth of Jesus. Now Mary believed the angel and said nothing is impossible to God.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
And the first thing she does is, you guessed it, praise Jesus.
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
The very first chapter of this gospel is filled with promises God makes, the promises being fulfilled, and the recipients praising Jesus, whether they believed His faithfulness or not. And I don’t know about you, but I tend to be more like Zechariah when Jesus promises me something. I give him excuses and reasons why it’s impossible.
But God is always faithful, no matter my unbelief. And what can I do but praise Him?
Remember this blog? My most read one until the infamous weight loss blog or when my dad almost died in Siberia. This blog was published June 16th, 2016. Two months later, I dropped out of all my classes at the college I was at and moved home for an entire year break. I published this blog towards the end of the worst year and a half – two years of my life. This blog, which today seems over-dramatic and verging on emo, was the most honest I had been online at that point. Or the most honest I knew how to be. It’s the perfect example to how much my life has changed in the past five years. From those first few months I had the blog, to that one, most of the changes seemed bad. I was putting on a face, but in reality, I was struggling. Then from that one to this blog, God’s faithfulness has been proven to me over and over again.
But the beauty I’ve seen in the midst of it, the distance in which I’ve traveled, the miracles God has shown me and the growth I’ve seen in my own life, has made everything so worth it.
I remember the past five years and am almost brought to tears. Remembering the pain, the loneliness, the bad decisions. And I’m almost brought to tears remembering the joy, the love, the promises and faithfulness of the Lord.
Today was the first day of my last semester of college finally. I know everyone has struggles and feels like college takes them decades to finish, but I’m not playing around when I say this has been the craziest half decade ever. I did not have a normal college career: graduated high school a year early, went to YWAM, started college a semester early, took a year off working full time, transferred colleges, graduating college a semester late. It may be cliche to reflect today, but I don’t care. Jesus told me to reflect, so I am.
I don’t know where you are in your story. You may be grown, having not been to college for three decades. You may be in high school. You may be in college now. You may be in your emo phase or you may be ignoring Jesus. You may not know Jesus at all. You may be in the best moments of your life. Wherever you’re at, know you can always talk to me if you want to or need to.
I don’t know where you are in your story and I don’t particularly care because the root of the story is this: Jesus will NEVER stop pursuing you. He will NEVER stop loving you. And He is ALWAYS faithful. That, I can promise you.
Thanks for following along and joining me, guys.
Fortunately for you, it’s not over yet.
We are all a mess here.
Here are some verses I read in Psalm today that are also very applicable to this blog post.
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
For I am ready to fall,
and my pain is ever before me.
I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
For the Word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done infaithfulness.
He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.