Monday, February 9, 2015

learning to embrace the curve balls

If there's anything I've learned in the past month and a half, it can be summed up into 3 short words. Change is good. Coming from a girl that has lived in the same city and went to the same school and attended the same church and kept the same friends and practically lived the same life for 18 years, I can confidently say I was a creature of habit. I didn't want to come to college. I wanted to stay in my bubble where I knew I was safe. I bounced ideas back and forth such as a year off, mission trips, what college I would attend, getting a serious job, living at home, not going to college, etc. But I felt the Lord leading me to Samford, so that is where I went. And boy oh boy, did a lot change. New city- new state. New room. New people. New surroundings. I had anticipated these changes, but there were also changes that I never expected. Some good, some bad. I found a new best friend. I got a boyfriend. Things changed about me I never thought would change- not good things. I found a church. I added and dropped classes. I joined a sorority. Overall, my first semester went well. Good things happened to me. Really bad things happened to me. I ended with a 3.5 gpa. I got adjusted (as much as possible) to living away from home. I made friends. I had fun. I thought I had everything worked out.

Over Christmas break, something happened to me that changed my life. In fact, I almost lost my life. Although I am an open book and honest writer and would love to share my experience with all of you, (I had previously made a post on it but was forced to take down) certain rules will not allow me to do so. Just know that I had a very traumatizing, life-threatning event occur. God threw me a curve ball and I didn't know how to handle it. This event changed many different aspects of my life to the point where I seriously considered dropping out of college. I couldn't bare the thought of coming back. I begged my parents to let me travel the world and take mission trips instead of sitting in a classroom. What happened to me was undoubtedly the worst thing of my life, and others. I've gone through my fair share of heartbreak and pain in my life, but not like this. I was lost. I didn't know who to talk to, or what to talk about, or how to live life normally like I did before. Eventually, me and my parents made the executive decision to come back to Samford for at least one semester. And as much as I want to say it's been going well, it hasn't. Only more has happened. Only more has fallen apart. Only more things to deal with. And I didn't think I could deal with it. I was so confused by God. (Let me clarify- I was never angry with God. I know the Lord does not make mistakes and I pray every night he uses me in any way he pleases.) I just didn't understand. I remember sitting on a couch crying to my boyfriend and repeatedly saying "Why did this have to happen to me? Why did God allow this? Why did He have to go to the extreme?" I was searching for answers, while simultaneously things were falling apart quicker then I could pick up the previous things. And then I came across a passage in a book I've been reading.

And it hit me- change is good. Change is gooooood. It felt foreign thinking that and it feels almost wrong typing it. I've gone my whole life hating change and avoiding it at all costs. What a fool I was! This passage hit the nail on the head for me. I wouldn't have learned from my previous mistakes if God didn't take control of the situation. As much as I would like to say I would, I wouldn't. And the reason I know that is because I didn't. I had been at college for over 5 months dwelling in sin and living recklessly and God waited patiently for me to repent, but I didn't. So he showed me my sin first hand. Although he went to the extreme, I'm thankful he did. I have matured more and gained more knowledge and wisdom in these past few weeks than I have the entirety of college. God doesn't put us through trauma or hardships to punish or hurt us, but rather to help us in the long run. "God is thoroughly committed to finishing the masterpiece He started in us." Where I was 6 months ago is now where I want to be. Where I am right now is not where I want to be- but I'm closer. And God will continue to change me and mold me in whichever way he chooses since I am his clay and he is the potter. And I'm thankful to believe in a God that's hands on.

Don't get me wrong- change is hard. But sometimes hard things are good things. (Only now do I understand Mr.L's famous saying "Do hard things") You just have to learn to identify the positives in change. For instance, even after I read this passage and had my mind renewed by the word of God, more things have fallen apart. But with every low is a high, and every high is a low. I've had a lot to deal with, but I have learned more about God and myself than I ever thought possible. People have bullied me, and I have been poured into by over 80 people that have contacted me with words of encouragement. I had to go to college, but I have a perfect schedule. I've lost friends through this, and I've gained friends through this. To be honest, there are very few things about my life at college now that are the same as they were before the event. But I am happier than I've ever been, and using my time well. I have learned to live life in the moment and live it as well as I can. I know more things are going to change and chances are I wont like them in the moment, but I know that they are for a purpose. They are not to hurt me. Jeremiah 29:1 "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Change is a good thing. Say it with me- change is a good thing. Little changes may seem small in size but they can grow to be huge changes. So if you're unhappy with something you're doing, or God has thrown you a curve ball, embrace it. Heck, I dyed my hair blonde last week just because I wanted to! Although it's a silly example, it's true. If you want to do something, set your mind on it and go do it. Change is big and scary and overwhelming but it's also incredible and good and life changing and helpful and good for the soul.

Whatever changes you may be going through, know that the creator of the universe has a purpose for them. Every single one. It's like the saying "God could be doing 7 trillion things for you every second, and you're aware of maybe 3 of them." He is infinitely ahead of us and is molding us to fit his standard. Let Christ mold you!


Side note:
Hi everyone! I'm sorry it's been so long, but man it feels good to write again. As stated, many many things have happened to me that I simply haven't had time to tend to this blog. I've come to the conclusion throughout everything that has happened to me that I cannot continue my 365 blog and writing every single day. Simply put- after you almost die, God puts things into perspective for you. And I can't bring myself to promise I will have time to write every day. I will post as often as I can, because writing is one of my absolute favorite things. However, I can't keep up with one post every 24 hours. I hope you all understand!
Also, if you're interested in the event that happened to me please feel free to message me! Like I said, I am an open book and want everyone to learn from my experience. Unfortunately I had to take my previous post explaining it off the internet for personal reasons. I was absolutely awestruck at the amount of positive feedback I received and I thank each and every one of you that reached out to me from the bottom of my heart. My story has been shared at young life, a children's sunday school, a high school, a woman's ministry, and others. I am overwhelmed at the impact it had on others, and I am so thankful my words could bring clarity to others. I wish I didn't have to take it down but if you're interested in hearing about it, feel free to either text me or message me on Facebook! Thank you again to all who read, shared, and contacted me. I am beyond blessed to be alive and to experience so much love so many people.