Wow. There are no other words.
Well, actually, there are. But that doesn’t sound as cool. J
I may have said this before, but this semester was vastly different from how I expected it. But that’s okay. It was a good different. I was met with huge challenges, but you know what they say…
The harder the fight, the greater the victory.
I learned so many lessons; I can’t even begin to pin down all of them. But there is one in particular that sticks out to me as I am on my journey home. That lesson is the one that God has patiently taught me over and over and over again.
I am unbearably weak on my own.
There was so many times these past few months where I just wanted to give up. I was done. I kept questioning… wondering… was all this pain worth it?? Let me tell you: it is. Every single ounce of pain that you endure is completely and utterly worth it. I’m not saying you should purposely put yourself through emotionally painful experiences. But when God chooses to place that pain in your life, don’t mope. Don’t throw yourself a pity party. And most definitely do not give up. God will never give you more than you can handle.
I can’t even begin to say how weak I’ve often felt. I am in a constant state of weakness. I will fully and completely admit it: there is no way at all that I could ever do this on my own. None. Whatsoever.
But somehow, I’ve continued on. Every day, I got out of bed, got dressed, went to class, went to meals, and studied. On Sundays, I went to church. On Wednesday nights and every other Thursday nights, I went to outreach. I kept moving. I kept smiling. I kept living.
Even though I am young, I grow tired oh-so-easily.
I am small and weak.
But Jesus loves me.
And this I most confidently know.
And guess what?
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
I waited on Him.
He mounted me up on wings as eagles.
I ran, and was not weary.
I walked, and I did not faint.
Last Wednesday morning was the next to last day of finals. I only had one final that day, and it wasn’t until mid-afternoon. I decided to go to bed “early” and “sleep in” until about 8:30. I would get up, study until chapel, go to student body chapel and lunch with my best friend, then come back to my dorm and study some more until my final.
I didn’t get to bed until midnight. My alarm went off at 8:00. I hit what I thought was the snooze button, rolled over and fell asleep… until 9:30. I literally rolled out of bed, and half-stumbled, half-crawled over to where my laptop was. As I sat there, on the floor, I could barely move. I managed to start up my laptop and pull up my e-mail. But all I could think was: how on earth am I going to get moving, much less make it through this day?? Waiting for me was an e-mail from my mom. As I read it, I could no longer contain myself. Tears began to stream down my face. They were both the sweetest and bitterest tears I have cried in a while. And I’ve cried a lot recently. I cried for the joyful news and encouraging message my mom’s e-mail contained. I cried for the overwhelming reality that I would be home in just three short days. I cried for weak state I was in.
And I did the only other thing I could do.
I cried out to Jesus.
I poured out my heart. I begged for strength. For Him to lift me up in His mighty arms. To sustain me through the two last days of finals that loomed over my head.
There are so many times I try to do things on my own. I try to go on my own strength. But all too quickly, I realize that I can’t. God has used my relatively small size and the physical challenges He has allowed to cross my path to patiently teach me this hard lesson over and over and over again. Every day, I have a decision to make: to go in my own strength or to go in God’s. I can rejoice in that I have been choosing God’s strength more and more each day. And if I ever start straying, start going in my own strength, I know I will only need a small reminder of not only this finals week, but also this entire semester. The only reason I made it through my very first semester of college is because God saw fit to lead me through. The only reason I was even at Bob Jones University this semester is because of God’s merciful and gracious provision.
The joy of the Lord is my strength. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice. Cling to Jesus like a hamster on a finger. The Lord is my strength and my song.
Oh yeah. That final? Went much better than expected. Finals week? Way better than expected. I’m conquering this first semester with a 3.0 GPA. And the only way that happened was because God sustained me. It’s not about me: it’s about Him.