I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning in panic as it finally hit me that graduation is just seventeen days away. This season of my life is almost finished, and God is doing something very big, my friends.
When I heard the song "Living Hope," my eyes filled with tears as I look back at who God is and what He has taught me over these last four years.
I asked God to make something beautiful out of the struggles I faced during this season. Through nights of tears (both of joy and sorrow) and the most beautiful, joyous days, I realized that the garden does not grow overnight. It takes tending, watering, and most importantly, time. It takes an experienced gardener who is exceptionally talented at clearing out weeds, dedicating time, and watering.
I asked God for rain, and He sure gave it to me—sometimes in the most painful circumstances and often times, in the most fruit-bearing seasons. Let me tell you, God is absolutely no stranger to pain. He is leaning down, feeling every single tear saying, "I know. I remember what it feels like." Learning to love Him better means pain, but it also means harvest, joy, and strength. What a joy it is to love Him!
Please take a moment to let this all sink in. One of these days you will realize that you are walking your last time through the library, watching your last college football game, taking your last final exam, and your last late-night hangout with the people your heart has come to adore over the last four years.
I hope that you see Him in those little moments. That you see glimpses of His character.
I learned that loving God is much more than worship, chapel, and sermons. It's the 1 a.m. donut runs, Starbucks coffee dates, late-night heart-to-hearts, and precious hugs from my students that are also reflections of His character.
God found Daniel in the lion's den, He found Jonah in the stomach of a whale, He found Gideon in a hole, and He found the Israelites in the desert. Please don't ever think that He cannot find you, too. He is famously known to show up in the middle of the mess and recruit those who feel the most unworthy and undeserving. You see, even Jesus wept when He knew that Lazarus would be filled with life immediately after. We find that feeling things deeply is actually a huge reflection of God's character. It is woven into our being. It is healthy to feel and nourish our emotions.
Even in the winter, He will meet you there. He will show up when you least expect Him to. Never late and never early—perfectly on time even when it feels to you that He has forgotten. He knows you feel unworthy, but girl, you are everything but that—you are unbelievably worthy of His love and blessing!
Just keep in mind that the same God whose power has been made known in the biggest, most profound way through creation, has been famously known for taking us to places that captivate and nourish our soul. The same God who breathes life into all creation, breathes life into your future.
When my heart is overwhelmed and needing an extra dose of courage, I look back to find His faithfulness ever so gently working its way into my life. My ministry, the book I am currently writing, photography business, high positions in leadership, children's ministry, teaching experience, world-traveling, etc. is not a result of anything I have done, but rather a result of what He has done for me. Not on my own strength or timing, but His.
And yes, He will be faithful to you, too.
I pray, during this time, that you have the perspective to see situations from both sides, that you have strong feet to be able to follow a wild and reckless God, and the courage to do whatever He asks of you.
"How great the chasm that lay between us. How high the mountain I could not climb. In desperation, I turned to heaven and spoke Your name into the night. Then through the darkness, your loving-kindness tore through the shadows of my soul."
-Living Hope by Phil Wickham