It is crazy how fast a semester can come and go. I can hardly believe that college is nearly half way completed. In all the craziness of this past semester, I have hardly taken the time to blog and I wanted to write this little post to update you on what God has been teaching me in these past few months.
If I had to sum up the whole semester in one word it would simply be “blessings.”
Here are a few of the reasons why…
- God Provides. If you have been keeping up with my blog you know that a few months ago, 300 dollars were anonymously placed into my mailbox, eliminating a large majority of my bill for school. But He didn’t stop there. He went above and beyond by providing me with a new job that I loved for one semester. As the end of that job approached, I was offered another job that was completely unexpected which amounts to the same salary I was making at my job this past semester. My parents always told me that “God is seldom early, but He is never late.” I have seen His unexpected financial blessings over and over again throughout this semester.
- God Teaches. Whether it was through the words of a chapel message, song lyrics, friends, family, church, my students, professors-God was continually speaking truth into my life. I have been challenged time and again this semester to work through and let go of habits and struggles. I have been surrounded by excellent accountability partners. I also took some time to explore the spiritual disciplines as a result of one of my classes and the lessons learned from that were immense. I highly recommend the book The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard.
- God Satisfies. I have thought a lot about the question of how I would react if everything in my life were taken away this semester. What would I do? What do I value the most? I am still processing this one. But I have to tell you that the more I look to Him and the less I look to me, it is unreal how completely satisfying He alone is.
- God Surprises. Isn’t it amazing how God goes above and beyond! Not only does He meet our needs, but He also blesses us beyond what we can imagine. This for me came in the form of friendships this semester. I continued to be blessed by old friends, but also added some new ones. These friends have challenged, encouraged, and refreshed me. They were incredible surprises that were unexpected, but so very needed.
- God brings us joy. How very refreshing it is to laugh! There have been so many moments of humor throughout the semester. There has also been an overwhelming sense of deep satisfaction that cannot be contained. This joy is life- giving and incredible.
- God is Present. So often I close my eyes to what He is doing around me and in the lives of others and focus on worries or complain. In doing this, I miss so much of the big picture. God is present on this earth and I want to see Him in each and every day. I’ve started to write these moments down to look back on and remember.
- Time with God is Necessary. My day is truly different if I have not spent time with God. Time and time again I get to the end of a day and wonder why it was so bad, only to realize that I had not taken the time to go through my entire day with Him. Quick prayers and maybe a devo just don’t cut it.
- God gives Wisdom. God’s wisdom is so much better than my plans. He knows the way to go. I am learning how to be patient, and how to hold my tongue. I’m one of those people who talks a lot and whose brain is going about 100 mph throughout the day. A lot of times, I need to just stop and listen. A friend recently challenged me to let go of all my worries and live freely. Trusting that God’s wisdom is higher than my own is a big part of that process.
- God Loves. He loves us. That is just crazy to think about. God, the Creator of the Universe, loves you and me. Little us. And not only us, but all of His creation. He has time for us. He cares for us. He even let’s us call Him Dad.
- God is Big. He’s bigger than my plans and dreams. He’s bigger than my problems. He’s bigger than my past, present, and future. He’s bigger than evil. He’s bigger than I can comprehend or even imagine.
These lessons are some of the reasons why I would summarize this past semester as one of “blessings.”
It is Christmastime and soon it will be New Years. During the holidays it is easy to get so caught up in the craziness, that we lose sight of what we are celebrating anyway. We lose sight of the ways God is blessing us.
In church this past Sunday, my Dad shared these statistics in his sermon and I wanted to pass them on to you.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…you are more blessed than the six million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death…you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep…you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace…you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
These statistics humbled and challenged me this past week. As your semester and year come to a close, how has God been blessing you? Take some time to reflect on the ways that He is at work around you.
And don’t forget in the midst of all the craziness of the holidays to celebrate. Celebrate the blessing of the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior this Christmastime. Celebrate what this whole season is really all about.