Reflections

2018 is not starting off the way I imagined.

Let me explain. This whole school year has been pretty rough for me. My sister and a lot of my friends graduated last yearI still have friends, and some very good ones at that, but my circle has grown exponentially smaller. I haven’t been in a good mental or spiritual placeit’s been a long time since my depression was this out of hand, and it got so bad that I was in counseling for it all of last semester. All in all, I haven’t been doing incredibly well. Junior year hit me like a truck and then backed over me a few times, and I wasn’t exactly eager for round two.

But inevitably, round two came for me. The day I left home, I cried. A lot. There was nothing I wanted less than to come back to school, and piled on top of all of my emotional baggage was the fact that neither my roommates nor my best friend would be returning. I’ve never been less excited about a semester of school.

I’m not going to lie. My attitude at the start of the semester was awful. I was angry. I didn’t see any reason that I had to be here, and yet, here I was. I was quite the little black raincloud when I arrived on campus.

But through the messages that I’ve heard in chapel, the sermons that I’ve heard at church, and even the lectures I’ve heard in class, my faithful God has encouraged my rebellious heart. He has reminded me that He is sovereign, and He knows what’s best for me. Most of all, He’s shown me that this is where I need to be. It may not be where I want to be, but it’s not ultimately up to me. I’m still coming to terms with a lot of things, but I’m where I’m supposed to be, and the rest is up to Him.

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Renewal

“Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in His immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul, so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief, so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead.” -Charles H. Spurgeon

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Song of Moses

“Though the storms of hell pursue,
In darkest night, we worship You!
You divide the raging sea;
From death to life, You safely lead.”

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Doubly Blessed

Something pretty cool happened to me today, and I thought I would share the story. Perhaps it will encourage your heart as it encouraged mine and remind you that God is good, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

I brought my wallet to work today, which isn’t something I normally do, but I needed to buy something. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say it was an important something that I really needed. On my break, I brought my wallet with me to get the thing, of course. I had to use the restroom on my break, so I brought my wallet with me.

I vividly remember setting it down and entertaining the fleeting thought: “You’re going to forget this.” And then, immediately after: “Pshh, of course I won’t. I’m not that dumb.” Pro tip, guys: Realize that when Solomon said, “Pride goes before a fall,” he meant it. As it turns out, I am that dumb, and I didn’t even realize it until someone turned it in–minus the cash I’d brought to buy my stuff.

I can’t even describe the sick feeling that swept over me when I found my wallet empty, but if you’ve ever been stolen from, you understand. It got worse when the supervisor reminded me that the store isn’t responsible for stolen property–there was nothing they would do about it. It was just… gone. I literally cried, and if you know me, you know how bad that is.

My sweet co-worker listened as I tried to come to terms with what had happened; as a college kid, every dollar is precious, and I had just lost forty of them, not to mention that I could no longer afford what I needed to buy. She gave me some time to pull myself together, and then she said, “I’ll be right back.” She was gone for a few minutes, and then she came back and pressed money into my hand, enough to match what I’d lost, with the words, “Merry Christmas. Get what you need.”

I had no words. She barely even knows me, but she was willing to help me, because she said, “You need it more than I do.” I cried again, at the grace that had been shown to me and the provision of God through a near-stranger. And I cried yet again when my manager refused to let anyone else cover my loss, insisting that I repay my co-worker and take the money from him instead.

To the person who stole my money: I don’t know who you are, and I never will. But my God does, and He will repay you. I’m not too worried about it.

To my sweet co-workers who took my loss and made it their own: thank you, from the very bottom of my heart. May heaven richly bless you, as you have blessed me.

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Trust in You

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O Come to the Altar

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Just As I Am

This is one of my new favorite hymns. Now, I know what you’re thinking. New favorites? That song’s almost 200 years old! I know, I know. But it was only recently that I really listened to the words, and it was only recently that I really fell in love with it. Why? Because it reminds me of my brokenness, but it also reminds me of His grace. I can come to Him just as I amI don’t need to try to fix myself before I run to Jesus. He accepts me as I am, and He changes me to look more like Him. What a beautiful truth. What a beautiful song.

I come broken to be mended;
I come wounded to be healed;
I come desperate to be rescued;
I come empty to be filled!
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb,
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise Godjust as I am!

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