Since returning from the Thanksgiving break, I have been in awe of how God has been restoring my faith. Today the Holy Spirit has challenged me to gather all that I have experienced and express them with words in the midst of my final week of school.
It’s appropriate for me to start with how I was before.
“I know it in my head, but it’s not in my heart.”
If I were to describe my junior year, I would throw in words like ‘dreadful’, ‘gloomy’, ‘enduring’, ‘selfish’, and ‘grinding’.
I was going into my third season of soccer for Calvin College and I had set higher expectations and goals to achieve for myself. With all the work and commitment I had executed during the off-season, I was determined to having a ‘great’ year. Other things were going on in my life besides soccer, I began to take higher level courses in accounting and I took on 3 different part-time jobs. Also, I was also the treasurer for a business organization. On top of that, I had to make myself marketable for the best internship I could ever get to sugar coat my resume. A LOT was going on. TOO MUCH was on my plate. On my first day of school, I came back physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually DRAINED. On my first day.
When you have too much on your plate and you are trying to juggle all these things for your favor, you slowly realize that you are actually losing all that was on the plate. I became a very SELF-ORIENTED and COMPETETIVE person. I didn’t need God. Just in my personality, I had to work harder and show strong work ethic to prove people that I CAN juggle all these things. I had no room for God. I had no room for time alone and rest. I was onto something constantly with no break. Church was one of weekly tasks that was on my check list. There was no SABBATH in my life.
Senior year came around; I got rid of almost anything I could on my plate. No soccer. No internship. Just one job. Just enough classes. I wanted my last semester to be a time of reevaluation and restoration. I wanted SABBATH in my life. But… My spirituality was already lost in the ocean. I did not know what to do with my faith. The Bible was always so difficult to open and confusing to understand. Praying was never genuine. Sunday church service was just one of the things on the checklist. For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to go to church because of my lack of loyalty to God. It was more for God that I wanted to deviate from faith. God doesn’t need me and I don’t deserve to be called His child.
I still knew it in my head, but it never transferred into my heart. I knew I had to pray for my faith because I knew I had to be spiritually in tune with God before facing the huge transition post-graduation. But… I never felt it in my heart. The prayer didn’t seem like a prayer.
Days kept passing, school was just going, and life was pretty lonely… My stress level mounted as I kept thinking about the uncertainties in my near future. The symptoms that follow from worrying about uncertain future were NOT GREAT to handle with my mixed emotions.
For Thanksgiving break, I really wanted to be away from GR. Somewhere quiet. Somewhere I could just be alone and struggle with more thoughts… But I knew I was selling my car before then. It was going to be difficult to make a trip for myself.
At this time, my friend in Indiana insisted me to come to Indiana for the break. I never planned on going because I knew I wouldn’t have my car. But… due to my physical therapy for my knee, I had to delay my sale for one more month which made it possible to make the trip.
My time in Indiana was a blessing. *Through many many many deep, meaningful conversations I had with my friends, I was healed in many many many different ways.* I was able to shift my gear to ask what my true purpose in life was. God truly blessed me through the conversations. I saw a change in my life when I returned home.
First Sunday back in GR, the image of our ALMIGHTY God was shown clear to me. ‘The galaxies listened to Him, the stars, the mountains, and even the ocean listened to Him. God asked me and I said NO.’ To our GREAT God who’s beyond our imagination, I stood in front of Him in selfishness. This BROKE me into tears. Up until then, I was living that selfish life shunning my God away. I prayed that my tears would wash away my sins. Amazed. I truly felt His forgiveness. I have countlessly lifted my burdens in my prayer, but for the first time in my life, I truly truly felt my burdens be lifted to God. I finally began TRUSTING HIM.
Since then on, everything made sense. The prayer that didn’t seem like a prayer… God still listened and He provided a way for me turn my face to Him. God wanted me to keep the car for one more month and made sure I made that trip to Indiana. (And many more I wish I could share…) I started seeing God’s omnipresence. I’m still amazed at how He has always been so close to me all the time and every moment. He was protecting me, He was grieving when I made wrong decisions… He just wanted to spend time with me. It’s wonderful seeing God’s presence in your life. I’m walking down the same street. I’m going through my exact same schedule that I had before. I’m meeting the same people… but I start to notice little things that brings joy.
November and December of 2015 will be remembered as my rebirth in Christ. I continue to pray for His guidance because I’m a human being and I’ll fall again. But get this. My faith will not be based on how little I can sin but it will be how much I’ll get to know who God is and unveiling what He is doing in my life. I pray I’ll continue to find the WORD as I’m starting to find the WORD as my daily bread. The healing process begins now!
My last few weeks here in the states is going to be tough because of many goodbyes. I’m especially sad that I won’t be able to see particular people for a very long time. Also, I’m emotionally distracted at some of the ‘decisions’ I made recently, but deep inside of me, there is peace of mind. (A POWERFUL FEELING) I think it’s because I am fully trusting Him now. The work of God is real. I’m experiencing a Sovereign God.
Lastly, I THANK GOD so much for administering through prayers of so many people. Praying has been a difficult matter for me in college, but wow, I’ve witnessed the power of prayer. Also I THANK GOD for speaking through different people. I’m blessed to have them in my life.
The journey begins now! There is still brokenness everywhere in me, community, school, countries, etc… But,
Stewardship, Love, and Justice.
Calvin sends me with these three words as I head out into a bigger transition. IN ALL, TO GOD BE THE GLORY.
Number 6: 24-26 has never felt this STRONG before. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Amen.
I promise to stay accountable for my words. Keep me in touch!