We all have a beginning and end since time is always moving forward. The moment we breathed our first breath we are going to encounter x, y, and z until we breathed out last. Imagine with me. There is a timeline and a chunk of that timeline is where I am right now in life: pursuing my college education. On that chunk there is a smaller timeline: four years. It is crazy to me that I can now pin where I am…at the midpoint.
If you go into my archives, then you will notice that this past school year I only published two blog posts. That tells you how much I prioritized my blog… (If you have not been able to read them, then please do!) Regardless, this school year–in fact, college in general so far–is going by so quickly, and even saying that is an understatement. How is it that I am already at my midpoint? As much as I want to breathe in everything that is happening around me and adore the big and small things I get to encounter time will move forward. It will go on even if I want to bask in that moment for a little bit longer…or you can also say that you do not want an exam to come or a paper to be due, but it will still come and you will still be evaluated at how well you do.
If there were any words I could think of that would make me think back to my second year in college, then it would be relationships and application. I could have chose adjectives like challenging, stressful, tiring, memorable, and more. It does not mean my year was not what those words described because they certainly were. The words “relationships” and “application” are the umbrella to my year and we can say that those adjectives above are the subtext descriptions of my experiences.
Relationships — Maybe it is due to my roles, such as being a Resident Assistant (RA) in the college dorms, but my relationship building and interpersonal skills were executed everyday. My personal relationships were tested and challenged. In addition, the kind of person I wanted to be with others was determined. Interacting with others is a daily thing we do. This year, in particular, I have never been challenged so strongly in the following ways:
- To choose to love others deeply despite what they did wrong.
- To fight for someone I love and to work through conflicts together.
- To learn how to forgive.
- To discover what friendship means.
- To find individuals who sincerely love you and want to be there for you.
- To put yourself out of your comfort zone.
- To extend a helping hand or an invitation of friendship despite rejection.
The list above does not mean that I have mastered all of those areas. I still struggle so much to do most of them. Relationships are complicated. Others may disagree with me and say that relationships can be complicated, but that implies that everyone can do relationships well (which can or cannot be true–I agree with the latter) or that there is some secret formula that only some of us know about that will work for all relationships (which I will describe in a bit here that is not true).
This year, in a way, has “forced” me to decide the person I want to be with others and how I do relationships. I am not implying that I was not myself with others before this year but it has made me become more self-aware of the individual and woman I want to be around those I love and do not know. The way that I “do” relationships are and will be different from the way that you “do” your relationships. So, learning the way that I “do” relationships in a deeper way this year has made me learn more about myself and how I am created. I like to say that when I learn more about myself then I learn more about my God (Genesis 1:27) because He is the One who created me so beautifully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:13-14) which gives me a glimpse of who He is.
So, whether it is because of my roles on campus or the experiences that I encountered that taught me a lot this year about relationships, my relationship with God is the most important factor in my growth. It may not have been the first relationship I chose to focus on, but He still never wavers to be there for me or forgive and love me. Who can be like Him? During this time, we are not to take our God or His mercy, love, or compassion for granted. We step back up, take His hand, and say “Let’s try again.”
Application — We know a lot of knowledge in our head. We believe a lot of truth in our heart. However, if our head and heart do not connect and put any of it in action (application) there will not be any wisdom. This can easily be said than actually putting it into practice.
It may be really hard for someone to practice or be vulnerable than it does for me. It does not mean that I am any better than that individual or vice versa. Application in my life will look different than my peers around me. This goes back to how we are created all so differently. With that being said, the following are ways that I have and have not applied knowledge or what I believed in:
- As a friend, I was able to continue to apply what kind of friend I wanted to be and how I do relationships like I described above.
- As a leader, I learned a lot in my different roles and was able to execute my leadership skills. This past year, I applied different leadership styles, improved on many skills, and still working on quite a bit of skills. (This year’s experience in my leadership roles has showed me what I want to focus on this upcoming year as I continue new and old roles on campus. See? It is a continual cycle of learning and applying!)
- As a Christian, it was difficult to apply my spiritual disciplines. There were times where I did not make God or my devotion to Him a priority. #confession Despite this, my experiences I had this year made many life lessons and biblical truth more personal for me. This makes it easily to relate to.
Learning to adult is not an easy thing to do, and being able to learn how to apply what I know is true, good, and important is crucial to the kind of adult I will be. Learning to put what I believe is to be true in my heart into action comes faith and wisdom, and it will reveal my character.
So, as time moved forward I did too to where I am at now. I am grateful for the time that I put in to reflect on this year’s journey. It was bumpy and tiring but it sure was one great roller coaster to ride. Even though things will be heading forward I also take the time to consume the present and to bathe in this season to seek God more and to keep my eyes on Him. That is my goal for today, and I hope for this summer. It is great to make big goals and promises, but when it comes to my relationship with God it has to be a daily surrender and submission to Him. Everyday I have to choose God, and I want to.
This chunk of the timeline that I am at is only a small part of my grand timeline, and even my grand timeline is not even that long. As much as I am in awe of how fast this year or college is going by it is supposed to. It is only four years… Four years where I do most of my adulting and set myself on this voyage where I can explore the rest of my timeline. Want to join me? Let’s go!… Together because I heard it is a lot better with community! 😉