Would you believe it if I told you I've been so busy lately that I haven't even been able to sit down and write? I'm finally starting to feel like a real college kid. Between cross training (RELATED: My Stress Fracture, When Things Aren't So Easy), rehab, classes, homework, Bible studies, NCAA study table requirements and sleeping, life has been pretty crammed with activity.
I was really struggling for two weeks or so with it all. I didn't have a problem getting all the work done, but I was having trouble not being super depressed that my life seemed to have no fun in it. I would get up, work out, go to class, study and get some sleep before doing it all over again. After some much needed encouragement from others and some serious prayer, I decided: I was doing it all wrong. My new focus is Jesus. My reason for being where I am is to share my story that I was dead but now I am alive. Even in the monotony and boredom, God will reveal his glory. He has put me here for a purpose and I am loved by him. Slowly, I am learning to just call "Jesus" when I am overwhelmed. I am so grateful that I can do that! I need not get caught up in the perfectionist cycle of trying to "fix" all that is wrong with me-- although that's what I frequently do. I am free to just cry "Jesus" and relax in his arms. Let me tell you: it takes some getting used to!
Nothing else in life is like that. In no other situation can we just surrender and rest in our mistakes and imperfections. The closest we get is love with one another, and even that fails in comparison to his love for us. So, long story short, I'm grateful that God is still hanging on to me and he adores me despite all my sin and all my failings. He doesn't want us to dislike ourselves or beat ourselves up over sin. He just wants us to look toward him, leave the confusion behind.
I've been looking for God's joy and reaching out to others, and (no shocker): it works! I've been experiencing quiet joy. I've also found that the joy and peace Christ gives during the difficult things-- the times that don't bring earthly happiness-- is so radically different than his joy during even the good times. There is a unique hold to this joy and peace. They are comforting, almost like a special little hug that is just for you. Weird, but true!
I am blessed beyond belief, and it's time to really look at it that way. Aside from the chief blessing of saving me from pain and sin, God is healing my stress fracture so that I can get on the bike and elliptical now. He is helping me to be diligent in my studies and excel in classes-- I finally understand and enjoy math for the first time in my life! He is bringing friends alongside me and family that is the most amazing support I could ask for. He is showing me that I don't have to get caught up in confusion of perfection, but that I can just relax in him. He is growing me!
Do you know how I know? I know because if I were walking through all this with the faith level I had a year ago, I would not be able to stand were I am. I would not have been able to have a stress fracture,be extremely homesick and face a completely new environment, and say I have true joy in this place. Yes, it's not easy, but it is the best thrill in life to know that God is right alongside me. I could go on for hours about all the things I can't stand about myself, but the fact is: God loves me, and I am growing closer to living in that reality.