A Silver Lining

Well, I had a friend tell me he read my blog yesterday and it dawned on me that its probably time that I do a little bit of an update, considering the last time i wrote, I left off on a sad note – a little lost, a little hostile and really confused. But as always, the second I even began to second-guess what God is currently doing in my life, he turns around and does one of those “I’m God and here’s just a little bit of what I’m doing” things that He’s really good at.

So let’s just pick up where we left off: Last I wrote, my boyfriend and my friends had all left for college and I was adjusting to my own circumstances – only having one class and wondering just why God allowed me to get burned out of my first semester of college. Well, not much has changed since then… I still have just one class, but something changed in me since then: I decided I was going to walk by faith and not by sight.
What I mean is, I realized what was blatantly obvious, there was no controlling or changing the situation I was in. I had one class and a lot of free time, so I decided to grow up, change what I could and accept what I couldn’t. I decided to take up more hours at work, putting me close to a full-time schedule. I joined a second bible study and focused on the relationships in my life. I made the best of the situation I was in, and I felt much better than I did but I still felt like I wasn’t happy – it was then I realized that I hadn’t actually sat down and made spending time with God a priority since college started….this realization is one of the reasons I’m writing this blog tonight.

As Christians, especially as “old” ones or ones that are somewhat far-along in their faith, it’s sinfully easy to say that we’re close with God. Because, by a natural default, we do the things that don’t take much effort- try not to cuss/gossip/get pregnant/do drugs but we slowly fall away from the habits that take time, effort and dedication. Habits like spending daily time with God, having accountability with other believers and spending time actually praying. I fell short in these areas; Sure, I thought here and there “God, give me strength to do this…” “God, help me get through this…” God, thank you for that…” but I hadn’t just sat in silence and listened for His voice, nor had I done anything else but complain to Him about my situation at that time. I hadn’t read my bible, and I sure wasn’t making church a priority. It was the moment that I realized I had let my relationship with God slip to being one of my lower priorities in life…it was also then I realized that sin doesn’t always come in the forms of actions, but it can also come from a lack of spiritual habits.

No, I didn’t have some huge fall-out with God where I spun-off the deep end, but I realized yet another lesson: your relationship with God is what you choose its gonna be. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. A relationship, a real one at least, takes time, effort and dedication. It’s a lot easier to choose sleep before reading my bible, or hanging out with my accountability partner rather than actually sitting down and having those tough talks about the sins we need accountability for. A relationship with God is exactly the time and effort you decide to put in it. Especially with coming out of my private-school-for-ten-years bubble, it was an interesting change. I was no longer spoon-fed daily devotions in my first period class, nor was I attending a mandatory chapel once a week or praying before beginning each class. I was, and now am, on my own. My relationship with Him was MY decision, because God never moves – it is always us.

So now that I’ve realized that upon all the growing up I (and every other college freshman) has done since graduating four months ago, I realize that my relationship with Jesus is just like all my friendships in college – what I choose to invest in it. Just like I wouldn’t not talk to my friends or spend time hanging out with them, I shouldn’t just leave my Bible on the side of my bed and my relationship with God in the back of my mind. I would love to say I’m back on the daily devotions boat, but I’m not. However, I am making a serious effort to spend quality time with the only God that is going to deliver me through every season of life. The God that is ever-so-literal when he answers my prayers….bringing me to the next point of this particular post…

The second reason is because I spent an entire post complaining about what God hasn’t done for me in September, and I think it would only make sense to update what he has been doing lately. Since picking up more hours at work a few weeks ago, I have made more friends and through working new shifts, I’ve had conversations with co-workers I’ve never worked with. To put the cherry on top, with two of the people I now work mornings with, I had a conversation about why I’m not really going to school this semester…which led to my perspective, which included God, which led them to tell me they are Christians too! Its safe to say that both of these conversations left me with a giant smile on my face and a warmness in my heart. I still have my one class, but that’s okay, lots of time to study for it! 🙂 Lots of free time also means lots more time with my friends that are still around Bellflower, and lots more time with  my family. In my last post, I said that I was waiting for the silver lining – I can say that I have found just that. My schedule and my relationships definitely aren’t where I would have wanted them or imagined them to be when I graduated four months ago, but I am seeing the reasons for everything and the good starting to peak through. I don’t need a jam-packed schedule for nursing my first semester of college…I’m not even sure I’m gonna stick with nursing. I don’t need to have all my friends living in a 10 mile radius from me – how am I ever gonna learn to maintain my friendships with real effort? So, now I trust God for this continuing journey. I don’t know what awaits me a week, a month or a year from now, and I HATE that, but I know God is looking out for me – in the small and big ways and I guess for now, that’s all I’m supposed to know.

 

Xo
Toni

3 thoughts on “A Silver Lining

  1. This is beautifully written! You nailed it with the relational aspect with God; it's incredibly easy to figuratively put Him in a box in the corner of your room. It takes a lot of effort to keep a relationship with Him, and that's also partially due to Satan's work. Remember, he certainly does not want you to reunite with his greatest enemy. The Devil will do anything to try to get you to turn away. But remember, no matter what is in your path, God is bigger. No matter how badly you screwed up, God is there.
    Keep writing Toni! This is wonderful!

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  2. Toni, I've been going through the same exact thing–as far as letting my relationship with God fall by the wayside and letting distractions take priority over making HIM priority. In my head and in my heart, I want to get on track again and give myself fully to Him, but… with school starting, I feel like Satan has it out for me. Like you said, there's not chapel, no daily devotions, no Bible class, no Mr. Tamminga. But I'm trying to return back to God (which I believe is by His grace). So it's good to know I'm not the only one. I wonder if most college freshmen have to go through this at some point…

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