This post deviates from my normal topic, but yet doesn’t. I hope you are encouraged by this blog post and seek the Lord more intimately.
I am getting ready to graduate from Cincinnati Christian University in a couple weeks (May 16th, 2015) and am reflecting on the time I have spent investing in my studies and friendships.
The easy highlights to recognize are: making the Dean’s list, meeting and marrying my husband, and going on a school trip out west.
See, it’s easy to pick out those things because they’re what I’ve accomplished. With this post, I want to talk about what God has accomplished in me.
What God has done in me while going through school
1.He has redirected me unexpectedly–then taught me how to deal with it
There are several instances when I started to choose one direction and then God shut the door to it.
I entered school with the hopeful intent to pursue a Biblical Studies degree, but was rerouted when my dad told me I had to change my major or change schools. I then became a Business Management major.
It was hard because I had built up this momentum and thirst for taking Bible courses and then hit a wall.
I was confused and thought I would be doomed to work in the cold-hearted business world.
Looking back, I can see why God allowed this to happen. He was teaching me to be content in any circumstance and to trust him with my life.
2. He has taught me about my identity
I have loved Jesus ever since I was 12 years old, but have failed to love myself. I did not think I was beautiful or worth pursuing.
When I first entered college, I was amazed that boys actually liked me and wanted to date me!
Then when they would break up with me, I continued to doubt my worth.
It took a long time to learn that my identity is not in what I wear, what I look like, or if men wanted to date me. My identity is hidden in Jesus because of his sacrifice to save me.
I’m still working on giving up my past to Jesus, but I know that even when I fail to accept the truth of who I am, he is gracious enough to remind me.
I’ve been blessed with a husband who tells me the truth: that I’m beautiful outside AND INSIDE. He also tells me he married me for my insides and not my outsides! That’s what Jesus looks at, too.
3. He has placed me in a ministry I never knew I’d be part of
I had always heard about BLOC Ministries, but I never felt the necessity to serve with them.
Then, I started dating the head of the ministry’s son; the man who would be my husband.
At the beginning of my service with BLOC, it was difficult to adjust to the culture in Price Hill (Cincinnati, OH). But once I got to know some of the kids and how to talk with them, I knew I loved them.
The love I have for the kids pours out of my heart and I know it’s Jesus’ love for them shown through me.
Now, I plan on serving with BLOC until God literally directs me elsewhere.
4. God always placed me in the right place at the right time
God’s timing is amazing. Here are some examples:
First, I did not have to add an extra semester to my college career due to changing my major because I still had time to rearrange my course schedule.
Second, the summer of the school trip out west was the summer I made the most money at my job. It allowed me to pay for the trip.
Third, I started dating my husband just after I came to accept that my identity is in Jesus.
Fourth (and last), an on-campus job opened up when I needed one.
God works out everything for the good of those who love him
Before this point, my life verse was Psalm 73:25-26, and it still kind of is.
The one I would rank above that, though, is Romans 8:28 that says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I have seen evidences of the truth of this verse in the Bible and also in my own life. All the things mentioned in this blog post are such evidences.
I actually hope to write a book that unpacks this verse someday.
Until then, I want readers to know that if they love God, he will take care of them and make everything work out in his timing.
This requires complete trust and contentment no matter where you are in life. This also means we all have to accept that no matter how hard we try, we are not in control.
Look at my life: I was determined to get a certain degree, but now am about to graduate with a different one.
I would not change a thing, though. That means I would be different. I’m not okay with wishing myself away because God would not.
He wants us to move forward and think of his kingdom.
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