Well, it’s finally here. This past Thursday I officially graduated from UNCG! It was an awesome experience to say the least, and to be honest, never really sunk in until I was standing there waiting for my name to be called to walk across the stage for my department graduation. I was able to walk and feel like the last four years were worth it, that I had accomplished what I had set my mind towards. Today I’m doing a bit of a different post than I normally do. My typical format (for those of you who may be new readers, welcome!), is I will have a topic, a scripture, and break down to three-ish core principles that God has shown me through it. I like to break form here and there to share my heart from time to time. You see I don’t have all of the answers, I know I know, shouldn’t I be some kind of all-knowing guru? Yeah not really. Life at the moment went from being normal and sort of have a flow to it, to again being shaken up. I hope today that through some personal stories that interconnect, you will be able to look at the shifting in your own life and know you’re not alone. That’s the biggest reason I write at all anyways, I never want anyone to feel alone for any reason.
This week marks my last week as a full time college student. Pretty weird but exciting at the same time. For one thing it marks a new start, a chance for me to get out of the mundane and into my passions. On the other hand it brings unknowns and uncertainties about the future. It’s all exciting and nerve wracking, but I can’t wait to see where God takes me. I’ve learned so much over the past four years during my time at university, but there was a moment about two weeks ago that taught me immensely about two things, love and family. I’ve written about these two things several times before, but I am taking a non-traditional approach to what it means to have family and what it means to love people. I want to talk about them because I feel like in our culture today, especially in a Christian spiritual culture today, we tend to see our family as just the people we serve alongside in ministry or flesh and blood. We also use love as a bargaining chip, saying if you do “x,” then I will give you love. That’s not what we are called to do, and today I want to talk about a moment that was a turning point in the life of someone I experienced not long ago.
This week I begin my last full semester at UNCG. It’s a pretty exciting feeling, but at the same time, plenty of unknowns that go along with that. The things that are unknown in our lives can cause us to fear a great deal of things. Will I be able to support myself? Is this the right move? What happens if I got it wrong? These questions make us afraid, they scare us because the unknown is a scary thing. You see, life is full of these scary unknown situations. We have questions about each of our futures and the purpose we have in life, while at the same time, events come up in our lives over and over that cause us to question our God. We see people close to us pass away, we see the pains of addiction, we feel the sting of the hand that was laid on us, and we remember the words of death spoken over us. You see while those things may not have happened to you, but we are all affected in some way by those in our lives. We feel the pain and question why these happen to us; we begin to lose hope. But there is hope. There is always hope. I look back at my own life and I have watched friends lose their battle with depression, and I will never get a chance to see them again. When my friend passed away two years ago, I had no idea why or how God could let that happen to my friend who helped me gain confidence in myself and helped me be who I was in Christ. I began to lose hope, but God gave me new hope. You see in that moment I made a choice. I chose to follow and trust, even when I had every right in my mind to be angry, I chose to be sacred over scared.