Updated: Sep 24, 2018
It’s been a while.
If you’re reading this, I hope you know how much I appreciate your patience during this time of my life where I’m trying to assimilate into the collegiate atmosphere, keep up in classes, have a social life, learn how to do a load of laundry by myself, try to diversify my palette so that it isn’t just chicken nuggets and fries, and just generally keep my shizz together all at the same time. Thank you for sticking with me.
I’ve strayed away from writing my next blog post because, for the longest time, I didn’t feel like I had anything worth writing. Or, at least, not anything I felt would resonate with anyone in particular. After all, while things might not be fully sorted out yet and settled, I've been doing pretty well my first couple of weeks of college. It made me begin to question if I was living my life not only successfully, but gratefully. The following are a bunch of scattered thoughts I've chosen to reflect on since having started life at Dartmouth.
The problem I've recently had to face in my faith journey was not necessarily a hardship, because I've had my fair share of those throughout my life.
It's actually become the opposite- it's the uncertainty of what to do or talk about with God when things are going well. For me, it's been easy to turn to Him when life is hard or when I'm emotionally weak or when I'm lonely because I know He's always constant. The consistency of His love, however, is what makes it harder to address Him when life is full of activity and happiness. It almost feels like I don't need to. And that's where I go wrong.
This feeling of not being able to necessarily make time for my faith has bled into other aspects of my life as well. My family and friends back home are the ones who lifted me up at my lowest points and believed in me when I couldn't do it for myself. How, then, do I reach out to them and keep a line of love and gratitude when I'm in a different space, physically and emotionally, than I was when my relationship with them flourished? How do I make time among the chaos to say thank you and be the same person I was back home?
In the same way, it's difficult finding time and space to just sit down and reflect. Talk with God. Worship Him and thank Him for what He's done for me and the beautiful people He's placed in my path during the college transition.
Again, like most topics of my blog posts, I don't really have an answer on how to fix and strengthen this relationship, but I've taken this first weekend of classes to try to feel comfortable being on my own and letting go of the fun and thrill of the social scene at Dartmouth, and spend time being thankful. Letting the ones I love, and the ones who love me, bring be back to the ground and remind me why I'm here in the first place.
I made a three hour long Facetime call with my mom to tell her about everything I've experienced since getting here. My best friend from back home told me a morbidly funny story about his sister's volleyball teammate. I chose to be outside for a little bit tonight to look up at and count the stars in hopes that I'd regularly remember to count my blessings too. It's a start to a long process of regularly implementing a routine of making faith a constant part of my life, even when the reasons I previously turned to it aren't as constant. It's all I can do for the time being and I can already tell it's a step in the right direction to living a more fulfilled life, full of success, love, and gratitude.
I was listening to Hillsong United's song "Even When It Hurts" before starting this post and I payed closer attention to the lyrics...
"Even when my strength is lost
I'll praise you.
Even when it's hard to find the words
Louder then I'll sing your praise.
Even when the fight seems lost
I'll praise you."
Beautifully written, the lyrics the inverse of what I feel. The song professes that even when things go wrong and are hard to handle, they praise God.
Well, let this post be my profession for the opposite as well and I challenge you all to take a step back and do the same. That even when my strength is built, I'll praise Him. Even when I find the right words, louder then I'll sing His praise. And even when the fight is won, I'll praise him more than ever before.
While a new chapter of my life is completely unwritten, I'll try my best to make it a priority to keep Christ at the forefront of the narrative. I hope the vulnerability in the admissions in this post help you all to do the same. Thank you all for standing by me, and I will be writing for you and with you all more regularly from now on.