In transition…

 

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Transitions are tough

I was talking to a friend recently who graduated at the same time as me and we both have come to realize that the transition is where the learning is. Since I’ve graduated college I have started working a full time job and I have taken on a new role in a community I have been part of for 4 years. Each comes with its own challenges, but in each challenge I am learning so much.

Graduating from college almost felt like I was taking part in some sort of coming of age ceremony where after I walk across a stage and change my tassel from left to right I would suddenly have everything figured out and things would be fine. Though I did have some things figured out and things seemed fine, walking across that stage only signified me walking boldly into a new season of life. This new season is a season of immense change and a season of tremendous courage. It’s a season where I am already needing to learn to trust more and love more, but also I am learning what it is to be a leader and what it looks like to love Jesus. I am learning true compassion and what it looks like to be merciful yet just.

Transitioning into a new season of life is difficult and terrifying. There have been many a moment when I have thought “Jesus, only because of you can I get through this season of my life” and I feel like at this moment, in this time that is a good place to be. I am learning as time passes that transitions are truly about how we react to them and how well we do or do not adapt, but it’s also about knowing how much you can handle on your own and knowing when to ask for help.

This new season of my life is one of the hardest and most beautiful seasons of my life thus far. It’s hard because I’m learning what it means to be an adult in a strange world, but it’s beautiful because I am learning more and more about who I am and who I want to be. I am also realizing that who I am now and what I go through now will only grow me in to the woman I will be in three or four years. My experiences in this season of my life will be the stories I tell my sisters and friends about for years to come. These are stories I hope and pray will be stories of how I conquered this season, only by the grace of God, and how I overcame the obstacles of being an adult. I also hope these are stories of how I learned to trust more, how I learned more grace and more compassion. Mostly I hope these stories will be stories that will encourage the people around me to trust God and to trust others to help them out when they’re struggling. I also hope this season is full of more love and laughter than it is with tears and struggle.

“Transitions themselves are not the issue, but how well you respond to their challenges” — Jim George

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Here’s to the Future|| Grateful Days 225-256

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It’s finally hitting me that I am going to be graduating from college and moving on to a new season of life. I mean, obviously I’ve known I’m going to graduate this semester and I’ve thought about it, but it’s finally starting to sink in. It’s kind of a frightening thought, but at the same time it’s also a very exciting thought.

It’s strange, now that school is in full swing and I have more and more assignments I need to get done the thought of graduating is starting to excite me a little more. I’m excited because I’m graduating one, but I’m also excited because I’ll be entering a new season of my life.

I feel strongly that the current season I find myself in has taught me a lot, and is still teaching me a lot. I’m glad for where I am in life and I’m happy about all the things I have gained through all of these experiences, but I’m excited to see where I’ll be going. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous as well.

Graduating from university, or at least thinking of it, is way different than thinking of graduating from high school. When I graduated high school I knew what I was going to do. I had a plan for after graduation, but the plans I have for post-graduation aren’t plans I have set in stone just yet. At this point they are only dreams and I’m learning to trust more and have more faith.

As I see the end of this season coming to an end (this sounds a smidge melodramatic but oh well) I find myself learning more and more what it means to trust God with my future and have faith that everything will work out the way it should! I know who holds my future and I’m not scared of what’s going to happen. Yes I do get anxious about my future, but I’m not scared the way I used to be. I’m learning to trust God more and more, and I’m also learning so much about my heart in this season.

I’m extremely grateful for the things I’ve learned in my life thus far. I’m glad for where God has brought me from and where He is going to take me. Though I feel anxious about it many times, I’m glad to know that my future is in the hands of a Father who loves me deeply and tenderly.

So, here’s to the future and all the times ahead!

Goodbye Summer, Hello School || Grateful Days 196-224

IMG_4952Alas, another summer has passed and another semester of school has started.

I walked on campus this week knowing that the end of my school days is soon coming to an end. One day I may find myself back in school, but my undergrad years are soon coming to an end and honestly I don’t really know how to feel.Of course I’m happy that I’ll finally be done with school, but I’m also sad to be saying goodbye to this season of my life soon.

For the past four and a half years I have been at the U of A I have learned and grown so much. I’m happy to be leaving behind school and walking in to a new season because it means more growth and more experiences. But I’m sad to leave behind this season because this season of my life saw much growth.

I came to the U as a Freshman who had a lot to learn and in the past 4 years I have learned more than I could imagine. Obviously I learned a lot academically, but more than that I learned a lot personally. I shed many tears on campus and I can point out every place I’ve cried. In my 4 years as a university student I have felt anxious, sad, happy, scared and a plethora of other emotions. But I wouldn’t take back a single tear or a single moment as a student.

I wouldn’t take back any moment of doubt or anxiety because through all of those experiences I learned to trust God. In 4 years I have been challenged and in the moments when I was challenged most I learned to trust people, I learned to trust Jesus and I learned a lot about myself.

It’s crazy to think that my years at the U are almost over and now in my last semester I’m determined to end this season in the best way I can. Before the semester started I met with a friend for coffee to talk about life and the semester and she said “Steffanie, this is your semester” and I couldn’t help but smile at this thought. Now, I don’t think this is going to be my semester in an ‘Oh yeah I’m so going to own this semester’ way, but in a ‘Lets make this semester the best one yet’ way. I don’t know what this semester holds, but I’m so thankful for the past 4 years at the U and I’ve learned and done so much in that time that I’m excited for what this semester holds.

So here’s to my last semester as an undergrad and for all that’s to come!

Grateful Days 139-142

IMG_4606At 6:00 am the sounds of Lets Hear It For The Boy by Deniece Williams flood my bedroom and it’s time to start getting dressed. Today marks the first official day of me being an intern and even though it started so early, it was truly a day to remember.

It’s crazy how life just has this way of creeping up on you. One day you’re a little girl riding the school bus for the first time with your dad following so he knows you got there safely and the next you’re an adult driving yourself to interviews then to your first day on the job.

While I  was interviewing and getting things done for my internship I spent a lot of time downtown and walking around offices and I realized how much I love business attire, name badges, office buildings and courts. I love knowing I’m in a building full of people who are doing  things. I also like to be put to work and having something to do. That’s why I like school and offices; at school I’m busy studying and doing assignments and at the office I’m working.

It always amazes me how God gives people a love for certain things. I love anything and everything to do with criminal justice, my best friend loves administrative work and my roommate loves hospitals!

I have always been scared that in the future I would simply be settling when I start working, but I’ve learned when you do something that you love in places you love there is no settling. When I think about my future all I know is whatever I do in life and wherever I am I want God to go with me and I want him to be with me. The older I get and the more I understand my relationship with God the more I see that no matter where I go God is with me. He knows me.

In Psalm 139:2-4, David says “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all the ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD”. God just knows me; my loves, my dislikes and my strange habits. He leads and I follow; he’s always with me.

I realize now as I sit here watching Bones, wondering why I watch crime shows when I know how extremely inaccurate they are, while also thinking about what to wear tomorrow and all the other things I have to do, that every job and every place is a missions field.

In Chi Alpha the missions motto is Every student gives. Every student goes. Every student prays. We are all also asked to give a year and pray about a lifetime. I decided to do just that. I have thought and prayed so long about my life after college and the year I am dedicating to missions that I am beginning to realize even if I don’t spend the rest of my life in ministry that no matter where I go I am an ambassador for Christ. Even if missions is only a season of my life everywhere I go I can show people Jesus by the way I love and by allowing Jesus to work through me.

I finish my glass of iced tea and debate getting another while I set the coffee maker to start brewing at 6:00 am while finishing an episode of bones. I’m still wondering why I watch these shows.

Then again, maybe I watch these shows because it reminds me of something I love.

Grateful Day 16

Amos“Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servant’s the prophets.” Amos 3:7. I’m grateful that God reveals to us the plans He has for us if we ask. Some times I forget that and I just wonder about what’s next and constantly worry and become anxious about it all, then when I slow down and ask God what He wants for me and what He has for me the worries and the troubles fade away. Not because God has revealed every detail of the rest of my life to me, but because He assures me that what He has in store for me is far greater and far lovelier than anything I could dream up or imagine.