Before I build too much anticipation, let me just tell you the answer is NOT.
I move into my real-life new apartment in Muncie in 3 days.
That kind of snuck up on me. If you read my status on Facebook, you know that a bad case of itchy, miserable hives have propelled me through the last week. I honestly couldn’t focus on anything else. This morning when I woke up feeling mostly normal and bit anxious (both because of the medicine I’m on…) I was almost surprised to find myself smack dab in the middle of Friday, August 10th.
Because of the anxiety (ha), I immediately set to planning my move and Welcome Week. (Fun little plug, check out my Apartment board on Pinterest. Just a place to put a few ideas, but I’m basing mine and Lauren’s bedroom off of colors I saw a lot in San Diego, and trying to make it really relaxing and Shabby Chic with a California twist! 🙂 Pictures of the finished product soon.)
Anyways… turns out I am almost completely double-booked for all of Welcome Week. Triple-booked on some days. That’s what you get when you’re a theatre major, on leadership for campus ministry, and have a job. Maybe it was because of the medicine, but suddenly I wasn’t psyched to be going back to school. I was overwhelmed. Moving/settling into an apartment, juggling three different groups of responsibility, then taking a catch-breath and plunging into the first weeks of classes (both those I take as a student and those I teach as a fitness instructor)… what have I done to myself?
In the midst of waves of worry and anxiety I was reminded: “WOAH woah woah. I am your ever-present help. Why are you worrying? I will be with you every step, haven’t I always been?”
Hmmmm. TRUE. I felt more calm almost instantly. I know that there will be troubles and stress, but it’s reassuring that I can’t mess things up bad enough when God is by my side.
As if to make His point, even a few minutes later about 5 things fell into place that made it so I could pay for my textbooks today, with an assurance of being able to still pay rent. That was even one of the things I had been worrying about. Why is God so good to me?? These sort of things happen all the time, too. I never get in too much trouble financially, safety-wise, relationship-wise… my life is a testament to His blessings. Seriously though, if you know me well… you know that it doesn’t take much for me to get myself in trouble. Ha. Not kidding! I’ll post later about a few times I’ve been pulled out of tight situations. But really, even the seemingly bad things that have happened always end up being for good in the long run! The thing is, I do know why. It’s because when you place your trust in Jesus and make Him the center of your life, He takes responsibility for you. The God of the universe cares for your life. When you seek Him, he guides you.
I think in the past when I wasn’t truly walking with the Lord, I believed that if I gave more to Jesus, I would live a life where I was always getting the short end of the stick, sacrificing much at my own expense, settling for a life of no importance. While there are times when it feels that way, if nothing else in the past year that I’ve been seeking the Lord’s will, I’ve honestly seen even more PURPOSEFUL, abundant life. While I don’t always suceed at living how God has called us to in every moment of my life, He is more faithful than I am. MUCH more faithful.
Sometimes even when I give of myself fearfully, I see the fruit of it in more rewarding ways than I ever deserve. That’s not just money either, I’m talking time, resources…even reputation. It’s not popular to follow Jesus, and let’s be honest, it’s not natural to give of ourselves freely! But everytime I do give up something to God for the sake of his Kingdom, He is such a loving father in rewarding me beyond belief. He is teaching me that living for Him with abandon is not something to fear. It’s safe, in fact. He is not a “skimpy” God. He loves to give the best gifts to His children, which means sometimes we don’t get what we think we want. It’s always because God has something better. The cool part is, He does all of this for the purpose of bringing Himself glory. We get to be part of God’s global plan (true purpose, bigger than just living for myself), and live a free, rewarding life in the process. Best of all, I get to spend my life enjoying God. If you don’t understand how that could be the best part, ask Him to show you what it’s like to know Him. He will show you. And He’s pretty baller, to say the least. (Who uses baller anymore? This psalmist had better words:)
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Somehow after writing all that, I’m actually excited to navigate the potentially turbulent waters of Welcome Week with my Father. He even works through my verbal processing… perpetually amazed.