“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” – Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV
I am happy to announce that I am writing this blog post from my couch at home with my dog snuggled up on one side of me and my six year old brother on the other.
This week has been another week of firsts (as has every week in college thus far). White water rafting, pineapple milkshakes (& a peach cobbler one as well), moving into a castle…yes, you read that right. While moving up to the castle was a pain in my butt, it’s absolutely beautiful. Think Hogwarts. And I was fortunate enough to have a friend help me move all of my stuff, which was where the milkshakes came into play…that was the payment.
This week was the greatest week. The schedule was packed, which is something I LOVE. Overflowing to-do lists are among my favorite things on this earth. Monday, we had senior-freshman coffee night to gain advice from some of the seniors on the same scholarship we’re on. It was a very enlightening hour and a half, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Tuesday, we bought all of our books for fall semester (yikes), and some of us met at the director of student ministry’s house to watch Noah. Though controversial, the movie was really good. I know that it got a bunch of criticism for not following the original Bible story of Noah, but plot twist: it wasn’t supposed to be. The guy who directed it practices Jewish Gnosticism, and it’s actually quite interesting. Read here to learn more about the background of the movie. Wednesday, we joined with our work supervisors for a low country boil dinner, and boy, was it incredible. One thing I have discovered about myself in the past few weeks, and have mentioned in previous blog posts, I love gatherings. They fill my cup & make me extremely happy. Thursday, was a whole new adventure. We went white water rafting & IT. WAS. AWESOME. I did not fall off the raft, in this level 4 river, which was once used in the 1996 Olympics…for something or another. So many adrenaline rushes. And the lunch we had was amazing. Especially since it was spent with some amazing, new friends.
Side note: This week was packed full of adventure, which is why this is a bit scatter-brained, but every other post has also been scatter-brained, so maybe that’s just the way I write sometimes…anyways!
And then Thursday night and Friday were spent moving all of my things up to Ford, which is where I’ll be spending my freshman year at Berry! In a castle! Wow. And might I point out, this is the only dorm without an elevator, so it was kind of a pain in my butt. However, while my arms still feel like Jell-O from all of the boxes, I feel quite accomplished (with the help of some awesome new friends). And my roommate moves in next weekend! Woohoo!
Saturday was spent relaxing and finishing up some homework. And shopping. Thank goodness I was finally able to find some new clothes because, let me tell you, when you think two big bins full of clothes is going to be enough, actually more than enough, you are probably wrong. And I was finally able to see one of my best friends, whom I haven’t seen in over a month. That was refreshing. Being able to spend 5 hours with someone who shares the same sense of humor that I do was extremely refreshing. I have missed our jam session and endless stories.
Now that I’ve told you about my hectic week in a nutshell, let me share with you what I learned this week (buckle your seatbelts).
First: one of my closest friends sent me his favorite verse this week (I LOVE it when I get texts like these).
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44 ESV
I got this text while I was watching Noah this week. It took me a while to truly understand what it means. Giving it up. That’s what it’s about. Surrender in the most vulnerable form. Taking up your cross daily. Selling all you have for Heaven. Wow. The fact that we are ABLE to do this is amazing enough on it’s own, but then that we get a response from Jesus and that response is always acceptance. That is what love is. If you just take the time to soak that in right now, I promise today will be a fantastic Sunday.
Second: this song will give you goosebumps and move you to tears…if you’re anything like I am towards worship music. “And I will lock eyes with the One who’s ransomed me. The One who gave me joy for mourning. And oh, I will lock eyes with the One who’s chosen me. The one who set my feet to dancing.” Read this scripture to follow:
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing Your praise and not be silent.” – Psalm 30:11-12 ESV
Another thing I realized this past week/2 weeks: I don’t know why, but I feel so much of a burden for the hurt in other’s hearts. I wish I were able to kind of shut that part of myself off for myself, and it’s not even like a part of me hurts, but my whole being hurts when I know someone’s heart has been led astray or they can feel nothing but pain. It hurts my heart. This goes back to being emotional. It’s also something I have dedicated a lot of my prayer life to right now. Why do I allow myself to feel so burdened for other people? Why do I let frustration and sadness consume my heart when it should be consumed by the love of the Savior of the world? I know I’m not the only one to ever feel this way, so I know there must be reason. For now, I will continue to pour my heart and being into these people who I hurt for, and I will trust that Jesus will help me to make sense of it all because that is all I can do. This goes back to the first verse I posted today: Isaiah 43:1-2. When I pass through deep waters, He is with me. He is always with me. Even in the deepest and darkest waters. So much comfort comes from knowing that I am not capable of being alone, even when it feels like it. This verse really hit home this week, and it’s always proving to be true. When I get frazzled or stressed out, I just start repeating it to myself. Works perfectly. There is nothing more powerful than His Word. I was once told that memorized Scripture is like an arsenal for us, and that has definitely proven true, especially in the past few weeks. As soon as I start to repeat God’s Word to myself, this stillness washes over me, and I know that He is there.
Last realization for the week: cuddling with a teddy bear really does solve all of life’s problems. You have no idea how much stress is released just by pulling a cuddly, soft, little bear into your arms and lying on your bed. Trust me on this one. Also, a giant cup of coffee makes for a great companion for the teddy bear.
Well, there is an over-sized coffee mug & a package of cookie dough waiting for me in my dorm room, so it’s time to get back to real life. Have a wonderful rest of your weekends, friends.