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


End of College Musings (Things I’ve Learned in Four and a Half Years)|| Grateful Days 312-324

IMG_5358the last day of classes this semester means my last day as an undergraduate student.

Today marked the last day of classes for University of Arizona students for the fall semester, and for me and many others it marked the end of our careers as undergraduate students. I know I’ve written many a post about how crazy it is to be graduating, but with graduation only 10 days away the realness of it is finally hitting me. The reality of it all should have sunk in when I got a job (woo hoo oh yeah thank you Jesus!!), but it didn’t. The reality of my graduating hit when I realized that I didn’t have to register for classes for next semester. When I realized when other students are enjoying their 3-4 week long Christmas break I’ll be starting work. When I realized that next semester I will no longer be a student of Chi Alpha instead I’ll be on staff. I’ve learned a lot over the past four and a half years and trying to write it all out just becomes a huge rambling so here are a few things I’ve learned in my years at University.

1) Your parents transition with you:
I realized that as I was transitioning from being a teenager to becoming an adult, my parents were becoming parents of a college student and now they are going to become parents of a college graduate.

2) Friends are blessings when you move out at the ripe age of 18:
I was fortunate enough to gain a group of friends who helped my become an adult and who helped me become the woman I am today. Having a group of friends who can help you transition and who are able and willing to listen to you complain about life or help you figure out what to do with your life makes being in college a lot easier.

3) Talking to people about your worries/problems is important:
I came to college not really wanting to let people know when things were truly bothering me because I got through high school without having to tell people what was really going on in my life. Going through most of my Freshman year of college like that was pretty exhausting and I realized I needed to tell people when I was stressed out because if I didn’t I usually ended up crying somewhere. Telling people also gave my family and friends the opportunity to pray for me and give me encouragement through it all.

4) Talking to people about the good things in life is also important:
It’s a lot easier to tell people what’s bothering you but it’s equally important to let people know when good things happen in your life because it’s way more fun to celebrate good things with other people than celebrating alone! I used to think telling people about something good happening in my life meant I was rubbing something in their face, but telling people about exciting things means there are more people who can celebrate the good things in your life.

5) You learn a lot about yourself during college:
In the past four and a half years I have learned more about myself than I could have ever known four years ago. In nine semesters I have learned what annoys me, what makes me angry, and what makes me happy. I have learned what I want in friendships and my future husband. I have learned what kind of daughter, sister, aunty and friend I want to be. I have learned who I am as a woman of God and who I am as a leader. I am still learning more about myself, but college has helped me learn things about myself I couldn’t have known had I not gone through four and a half years of studying, crying, talking, laughing and praying.

6) God doesn’t stop working in your life just because you’re going to graduate from college:
This semester was a lot of preparation and a lot of praying about what to do for the next year of my life. In Chi Alpha each student is encouraged to give a year and pray about a lifetime and basically that means we are all encouraged to give a year to missions and pray about whether or not that would be for a season or for our lifetime. I knew I wanted to give a year for the past couple of years and with graduation slowly approaching I began praying about where to go and what I was going to do before I left. I decided I would get a job and support raise for wherever I was going to go. After praying for a job my supervisor from my internship emailed a few of us telling us of a job opening where I was an intern and I applied. Then I got to take a test. Then I went to an interview. Then another. Then I got the job! The crazy thing about all this is that I prayed God would give me a sign of whether I should stay and give my year with Chi Alpha here or if I should go because I didn’t want to get the job then leave because the job is in my field and it’s one that I wanted. Then I prayed if I got the job it would be God’s way of telling me to stay, but if I didn’t I would find somewhere to give my year then support raise and by getting the job God answered a prayer and answered a question. That’s when I realized God doesn’t just let people go once they have graduated from college, if anything He prepares them more for what He has in store for them. God helped prepare me for what He would have in store for me as I work and give my year with Chi Alpha because what He has in store is better than what I had originally planned.

7) Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness:
I always had this strange idea that asking people for help meant I was being weak, but it isn’t. I’ve realized asking people for help is a sign of strength because it’s a persons acknowledgement of the fact that they can’t do it alone; they need help. There have been many a time when I needed people’s help, whether it was homework or life, asking people for help is beneficial.

8) Seasons of life come and go:
In four and a half years I went from a teenager to an adult. Now as I transition from college student to a full functioning adult, and as I go from student to staff I am realizing more now than I did before that seasons come and go. In the time it took for the weather to go from hot to warm, from warm to cool and for the leaves to begin changing colour I became an adult. In the time it will take for the leaves to fall and for the air to grow colder I will be a college graduate. By the time Christmas lights are going to be taken down and calendars change from 2014 to 2015 I will be a working adult. Seasons come and go and there will be days when it feels like you should have taken a picture of a specific moment so you could have a memento of that day, but the truth is the best memories cannot be captured in a photo. Nor can you put a filter on it and share it with the world. The best memories are those that you can take with you in your memory for eternity. Enjoying each season is difficult at the time, but with each season comes new lessons and new opportunities of growth so enjoy each season as it comes because who knows how long you’ll be in that moment. Even though there were times when I wished it would be over quicker, I am glad for my years at University. I have learned so much and I have become a different person than who I was all those years ago when I first set foot on campus.

College has been the most difficult four and a half years of my life, but at the same time these have been some of the most wonderful years of my life. All the things I have learned while I’ve been a student will be with me for years to come. The friends I have made will be in my heart for many more years. The past nine semesters have had many challenges, but they have all prepared me for what God is calling me to do and they are all shaping me into the woman I will be tomorrow. As I say goodbye to the past four and a half years I say hello to a new season of life and await the new lessons I will soon be learning.

goodbye college. hello world.

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!

Grateful Days 112 & 113

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIsaiah 55 has always been a favourite of mine. I’ve read it so many times for so many different reasons. During quiet times, or at Church but yesterday when I read it I felt a whole new kind of peace! It was the most stressful day of finals week because I had an exam I had to study for like crazy and I had a 5-10 page paper to finish by midnight. I had been in the library on Thursday for hours and didn’t get home and in bed until after 1, then I get up and started a new day of studying at 8. I was exhausted and I was not feelin the whole study for a final then write a paper thing. In the midst of all the stress, I wanted so badly to have a little quiet time with My Jesus.

I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it, but no matter how much I have to get done and no matter how long it has been since I’ve done it, quiet times with Jesus are always so refreshing! I was so stressed out about my exam, but after a little Jesus time my stress faded and I was at peace about my exam. I knew that Jesus was going to be with me. I knew He was going to give me peace and guide my thoughts from stressful ones to ones of great peace.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread and your labour on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel for he has endowed you with spelndour” (Isaiah 55:1-5)

Reading this passage gave me such peace! I felt like nothing could take that peace away because in those moments I began to understand what it means to go to God and tell him what worries me and cast my burdens on him. I understood that I didn’t have to stay in my own head about the things I worry over. I went to the water and I got the peace I needed. I drank and I ate of the goodness of Jesus Christ. I went to Jesus and I told Him my concerns. I went to my Father and I asked him for what I needed and I told him my heart. I mean that’s all he wants after all; for us to tell him what worries us and what concerns us. He doesn’t think it’s petty for us to tell him all we want is a certain grade on an exam. He doesn’t think it’s too much for us to tell him what we’re really scared of! God just wants us to tell him, because even though he is all knowing and all seeing, he likes for us to invite him in to our lives! Its taken me a long time to understand and realize that, but I’ve been on this journey of understanding the gentlemanly nature of God. The more I understand his character, the more I fall in love with him and his goodness.

Now friend, I’m not saying it’s easy by any means. It’s actually really hard to hold on to these truths at times, because life happens. Difficult circumstances occur and it makes it difficult to hold on to the concepts we are finally beginning to understand, but God is still good and He is still there to hold our hands and comfort us. I don’t know what you deal with or struggle with, but I do know that God wants to hear from you. Whether you’re angry, sad or filled with extreme joy he wants to know your heart. He just wants to hear the sweetness of your voice, even if you’re yelling at him.

Grateful Day 110 & 111

Grateful Days 110 & 111Eleanor Roosevelt once said “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. I love this! I believe this!! I actually write this as I sit in the library taking a break from studying for finals and writing a final paper. As I sit here I realize that thousands of dreams have made their home here. Hundreds of dreams were conceived in this library. Tons of people before me have dreamed dreams in this library and tons after me will add their dreams to the ones that have been dreamed up in the walls of this building.

I’ve added my fair share of dreams that have made their home here. Even as I sit here tonight I add dreams to the list of dreams this library has seen and holds. My dreams to one day change someone’s life have made their home on the bookshelves next to the section of the British Parliament. My dreams to see the world change in big  ways have found refuge next to the books on government policies. My dreams have made a home in the walls of this stone building I once despised. My dreams, along with the dreams of my fellow students have formed and shifted with each passing hour. I sit in this library with students who are studying for physics, law and math. I have come to this library with friends all so we could know our dreams are beautiful and worth believing in. I won’t lie and say I always knew my dreams were worth belief because honestly, there have been so many times when I’ve doubted the beauty of my dreams (cheesy I know, but it needed to be said haha).

I’ve wondered if the sleepless nights and the endless morning are going to be worth it. I’ve wondered if the pressure headaches from sitting funny and being stressed out are going to be worth the pain in the end. I’ve wondered if the tears I’ve cried because I’ve been so anxious are going to be worth falling. Even though I’m not quit at the end, I can taste it and I can see it and I can say that yes it will be worth it in the end. It’ll be worth it because I believe in my dreams. Not in an arrogant way, but because I have people who believe in them with me. These people have helped me see the beauty in the dreams I have and they have helped me see the beauty in the things I hope for. I have dreamed so big and so beyond myself that I also need to trust God and believe that he has my best at heart and he’ll be there for me every step of the way.

I believe my dreams will move with me. I believe they’ll grow with me and evolve as I make my way through life. I believe dreams are beautiful for this reason. They don’t grow comfortable in the safe haven of bookshelves and movie files. As we grow, our dreams pack their bags and move with us. They make their way in to our homes and in to our every day musings. Dreams are light packers and are ready to pick up and go when we are ready. They don’t stay the same, they grow and they give us something to strive towards! I believe dreams are beautiful and no matter how difficult the road is leading up to dreams becoming reality, it will be worth it!! Friend, whether you’re a struggling musician, a stressed out student or a professional dreamer, and you find yourself losing sight of the beauty of your wanderings, let me know and I’ll believe for you (and with you) because friend, I am in the business of believing in dreams- big and small.

Grateful Days 100 & 101

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetOh my stars this past weekend was such a breath of fresh air!! I love being able to hang out with my family, but now the school week is in full swing!

I have so much coming up, and at this point in the semester I need people to push me to get things done. I am usually a self-motivated person but for some reason towards the end of the semester I am in desperate need for people to push me to get important things, like talking to advisers and such, done. School work I can motivate myself to do, but I have this tendency to put aside important talks for “later”.

Honestly I put things aside for “later” because I’m scared. Getting an important talk done  and over with means something new and different is in store. In my case right now I put aside doing so many things for school because I’m scared of what my life is going to be like once I graduate. I know I shouldn’t be scared and God has a super cool plan in store, but it’s still scary to not know what lies ahead! Once I graduate, I have to figure out a few things, i.e where am I going to give a year? do I really want to do that? is that really what God is asking of me? (I know the answer to a couple of these questions). Once I figure all of that out, I have to learn something new and different; I have to adapt.

It may sound silly that I say I have to adapt, but I do. Whenever my best friend and I talk about school and life after college she always mentions that we’ve been in school for 16 years of our lives. For 16 years all I did was go to school. I didn’t enter the work force after I graduated high school, I went straight to get a degree. I have friends who got jobs and stayed home, but I moved from home to do more school! All I know is school! Since I don’t know much else outside of school, I’m a bit scared of what’s to come after graduating and such. Again, I know I shouldn’t worry about it, but I do. I may love Jesus, but I am still a human being who worries and stresses about life!! In this season I am stressing out about my impending graduation in one semester and what life is going to be like afterwards. Every time I think about my life after college and how little I actually know, I realize I need to trust God more than ever and I need to learn to breathe and have fun every once in a while because too much work and no play made Jack a dull boy. So even in the midst of growing up and taking new steps, I want to trust God. I want to breathe.

Grateful Day 91

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset“For every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live” In Christ Alone

Good Friday. Many many many years ago on Good Friday, My Jesus died for the sins of the world. On Good Friday Jesus was “in custody” (to use modern terms). I went on a jail tour for one of my classes and as I was getting ready to go from having coffee with a couple of friends, one of them said Jesus was in jail on Good Friday so it’s appropriate. I had never thought of it that way, but it’s true. Jesus was in custody, and He was on trial. While on the tour I realized, prisoners get treated pretty well. They aren’t mocked. They are given food. They can watch tv, and eat food. Jesus on the other hand was mocked. He was mocked for being the King of Kings. He was whipped for being the Saviour of the World and the Son of God! Now, if you’re anything like me sometimes you forget Jesus was completely man and completely God when He was walking the Earth, so He must have been angry and probably wanted to do anything to get them to stop the pain. I mean, before He got arrested Jesus was praying that if it were any way possible that God could take away the need for Him to die to please do it, but He also prayed that if it was God’s will for Him to die then let it be done. Through the beatings and the crucifixion Jesus was probably temped to call on the angels or to cop an attitude with the soldiers or something, but He did not give in to those temptations. He was obedient. He was the ultimate sacrifice!! He was the ultimate sacrifice because He KNOWS how we feel when we are tempted! He’s been there!! He’s done it!!! He went to the cross bearing our sins and knowing full well the extent of our temptations!! When we ask for strength to overcome our temptations, Jesus knows the kind of strength we need because He’s been there!! He overcame all of our temptations!

My Jesus, who died for me, is the Jesus who gives me strength to overcome fear and pride. He gives me proper strength because He knows the strength I need to overcome the temptation. He knows the strength you need to overcome!! Most importantly of all, My Jesus many many years ago died and overcame death hell and the grave! He won my battles. He won yours! He died for us many moons ago while we were yet sinners. He said “It is finished” gave up His soul, and won the fight for us! He overcame!