Friday, December 17, 2010

college complete. next chapter.

inspiration: i've been looking forward to today for a long time.

so number one on my bucket list got marked off today!
(You can check out my bucket list HERE)

But today, while I would love to make it about ME and all I'VE done, isn't at all about me. It's about Christ and the work He has done in me over the last 3 and a half years. I've experienced some of the greatest friendships, hardships, struggles, and moments of happiness over the last 3 and a half years and nothing delights me more than my walk with Christ.

Prior to college, I considered myself a "Christian", but in all honesty, it wasn't anything more than a label on Facebook. But as I grew in friendship with Brooke (my first roommate) freshman year and began to go to church and draw closer to God, I realized that all the years in church throughout middle and high school were nothing more than obligations I had to fill. If I wanted to be a "good Christian", I had to go to church, sing the songs, memorize the Bible verses, and not do bad things. But my perspective changed in college. Jesus was no longer just a picture in a stain-glass window at church. He was walking with me and blessing me.

Sophomore year was a far different story. I wasn't walking with Christ at all. I was dating someone who didn't seem all that concerned with his relationship with Christ, which led me to follow down the same path. I was walking in darkness and didn't even know it.

Which leads to Junior year when my world crumbled. Literally. The BF and I had officially broken up (after months and months of poor decisions. breaking up and getting back together. manipulating each other. arguing. and crawling back to each other only to repeat the deadly cycle once more). All the bridges of past friendships were burned and all I could do was pray for forgiveness for each and every person I hurt.

But through Aqua College Ministry and small groups that I began attending through Grace Community Church I was able to slowly begin rebuilding my life around Jesus, the very person that I had quickly rejected in pursuit of a human relationship. It was a long arduous, painful process. It was during Junior year that I learned what true grace was. I had made friends and connected with people who had been where I'd been. Who were able to see past my pain and remind me that it wasn't what I had done in the past, but who I was going to be for CHRIST in the future. These friendships are truly Christ-glorifying relationships that will continue on beyond the campus of APSU and beyond the city limits of Clarksville. Wherever we all end up in the future, I know there is a core group of people in my life that will always be with me and building me up in Christ.

Senior year. A continuation of growth, healing, and full pursuit of Christ from Junior Year. God is no longer someone I pray to, but He is someone I LIVE FOR! He has continued to strengthen and bless me and prepare my heart. All leading up to this day. Graduation, more aptly referred to as Commencement: The beginning.

Today ends one chapter: college.
Today begins a new chapter: life after college.

God has great plans for me. In life. In love. In career paths. In relationships.
I just know it.
I may not be a "student" in college anymore.
But I will always be a "student" of Christ. Learning what it means to "follow" Christ daily. Studying His Word. Serving my brothers and sisters.

God is continuously penning my story for His glory.
The "College" chapter may be over.
But the next chapter is just beginning.

Today is not about me.
But it's about Him!

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