Reflections of Sophomore year

Whelp, it's official. I'm halfway done with college. How crazy. It seems like just yesterday I was moving into the dorm for my freshman year. So much has changed since that day, and I am so thankful for what Jesus has taught me. I thought I'd take the time to tell you what Jesus has been teaching me this past year, especially the last couple months.

I started out my sophomore year kinda bummed. I did not want to return to school. When I arrived and realized we hadn't paid for the semester, I thought maybe God was telling me that I wasn't suppose to go back. But I did anyway. As I written before, fall semester was tough. Between a new roommate, a broken heart, being in a classroom, becoming more involved with RUF and preparing for teaching auditions, my life was CRAZY. I slipped into depression. Not wanting to do anything, yet forcing myself to just get through each day. Simple homework turned into mental breakdowns and naps and netflix took the place of spending time with friends. Before Thanksgiving I came home and pretty much decided that I wasn't going to return to AU. I didn't think I could do it. I went back for the last week of classes and finals, just praying that Jesus would give me the strength to just make it through. Packing home to go home for Christmas, I didn't tell anyone I was thinking about not coming back. I guess, in the back of my mind, I didn't want to leave.

Christmas came and went, and I still didn't know what to do. I felt that God was telling me to stay home and just take a break, but I also felt like I couldn't give up. I couldn't just quit because it was hard. So I returned for spring semester. And boy, I am so thankful I did. Don't get me wrong, the beginning was so tough. I was lonely, bitter and so exhausted. But I started to spend time with Jesus again each morning, and that has done wonders. I use to do it at night, but doing it each morning allows me to start my day right and just put me in the right mood. Each day I spent time with Him I saw that I was a little less lonely, bitter and exhausted. I began to see that God was using me at AU, even though I couldn't always see it. He was using me right where I was. I didn't have to be in Charlotte or Africa or some other school. Jesus was using me in my daily life at AU!!

 But the real growth didn't come until around Spring Break. I went to the lake for a couple of days before I came home. In the time I was home, I prayed a lot. I spent time with my Savior. I finally gave up. I surrendered because I knew that I could not do it on my own anymore. I had no power to save myself. This is something I have done multiple times, yet fail to realize that surrender is an EVERYDAY thing, not just a once in a while thing. Each morning you must get up and decide that life is not about you, but the Creator you are serving.

This semester I have started to grasp and fully understand that my worth comes from Jesus. I am no longer looking to other people to tell me my worth, they cannot do it accurately. Jesus, the One who died for all my sins, tells me that I am worth more than gold. I am worth so much more than the sparrows in the sky (Matthew 10). My worth does not come from my grades. My worth does not come from who I'm friend with, or who I am not friends with. My worth does not come from a boy.

The same goes for my beauty. For the longest time, I looked for a boy to tell me that I was beautiful. Oh I quickly I forgot that a little boy born in a manger told me of my beautiful over 2000 years ago.

"She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare to her." -Proverbs 3:15

I no longer look for someone to tell my I'm beautiful, because I know that I already am. I don't mean that to sound cocky because I don't always wear make up, dress up and do my hair. I do get pimples, wear the same pajamas every afternoon/night and have morning breath. The difference now is I'm not living to please someone on Earth. I know rest in Jesus and his word. I take more care of my heart than my face now, and I think that's okay. 1 Peter 3: 3-4

"Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewerly, or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."

By the way, if I ever have daughters this verse is being posted in their bathroom and bedroom and all over the house. It is way too good!!

 Spring Break sent me soaring and a couple weeks later I felt peace. For the first time all year, my heart was at peace. I felt as though the broken pieces of my heart were finally starting to come back together, something I had prayed for for a long time. I still feel like I am on this spiritual high, only I'm hoping that it's not only a "high" but a lifestyle. I want every day to be like the past month. Even though it's been stressful, busy and confusing, I have had peace in knowing that everything is going to work out. I no longer question if God is there or if He cares. My heart and mind know that Jesus is walking right beside me, listening to every thought and helping me through the tough times.

I have made it through the storm. I knew that I would, but I lost sight in the middle. But I fought and have come out better on the other side. Jesus was there the whole time. While the fall and January and February were tough, I knew that God was preparing me. I knew that He was healing me. I knew that His plans were bigger and far better than mine! Oh how thankful I am to stand on the other side and proclaim and truly believe the words of Psalm 34:8

"Taste and SEE that the Lord IS good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."

Thank you so much for your constant prayers and support! I am so excited to see what this summer and next school year bring!

While this is such a time of growing and greatness in my life, it's also a period of hardship. My uncle, who has had cancer for a long, long time, is extremely sick. Please, please, please keep him in your prayers. He has defied the odds and is truly a miracle. When he was diagnosed 7 years ago, he was given 2 months to live, yet he is still here! God has worked in and through him and my family these past years, but it's still extremely hard. My mom, sister, aunt and cousin are currently in Atlanta visiting him. We covet and appreciate your prayers!