Thirty Day Blogging Challenge Returns: Day Fourteen

blog-challenge

Hey everyone, I’m finally back after a far too long hiatus! 

For those of you who have been wondering, everything is totally fine on my end. There haven’t been any illnesses or catastrophes of any sort—that is, unless you count the absolute frustration of writers block. For a while, I have been completely stumped on the prompt I’m about to answer today. I have had plenty of problems in the past, but I wasn’t quite sure which to use. Nonetheless, after talking with my mom about it, she gave me an excellent idea:

Talk about the transition from high school to college. 

As some of you know, this has been my first year out of high school and I’m currently in the process of transferring to Liberty University—a college that I believe will be the best fit for my future career. Nonetheless, before I decided on Liberty, I was attending a local college near my house—and the year of 2015 may be one of my rockiest years to this date. 

For a while, I have avoided writing about the fact that I was homeschooled on this blog. I wasn’t ashamed of it, but I was worried it would conjure up stereotypes of an anti-social, socially awkward girl in her room doing math problems all day—which is far from my actual experience. Nonetheless, because I strongly believe in the process of being real and sharing your stories with others, I have recently began to write about it—especially since I believe it had an effect on my high school experience and my subsequent transition to college.

Contrary to the stereotypes, I wasn’t raised in a church—but began attending with my mom during late elementary school. Nonetheless, because many homeschool environments (though not all) are run by Christians, I’ve pretty much been in that subculture for my whole life. College was the first time I was ever in a school that lacked faith. 

Because I was well aware of this, my best friend and I spent long hours talking about what college may be like and all-but planning an escape plan in the case of a God’s Not Dead scenario. When graduation night came, I felt more terrified than anything. What did the next chapter hold? What was my life going to look like? From the summer of ’16 all the way through the end of the year, I began experiencing weight gain, acne, and other physical stress syndromes.

During my time at college, I faced both internal and external conflict. I began to think about life after high school, and experience almost paralyzing fears about the future. I wondered if my unusually close friendships would survive into adulthood and if I would end up as the little personification of the crazy cat lady. I also worried about my career, missed my high school classes, and tried to figure out what the heck I wanted out of my life. I had a basic idea, but my career path changed during my time at college from teacher to journalist, subsequently affecting my degree and college choice.

At college, I was faced regularly with dramatic clashes of ideologies. I heard things that never, in a million years would have been taught in any of my high school classes. Friendship and family ties were all but mocked, prayer was seen as unimportant, an obnoxiously loud sociology teacher in the next room over taught that sex was between two or more people, and that rape was simply inconvenient, and I met a fellow classmate who was a self proclaimed witch. I felt like I had entered an alternate universe and all but emotionally shut down. 

Nonetheless, as difficult as this time was for me, God managed to teach me a lot and bring good out of bad. He taught me to depend more heavily on him and open up to wise Christian friends and mentors. The more stressed, anxious, and depressed I became, the more people God brought into my life to help me. It’s easy to follow God when things are going well and you feel like you’re on top of the world, but it’s a lot harder when you feel like everything you know is crashing down all around you. This experience taught me to trust and fully lean into a God who’s a lot bigger than myself. 

I also became more aware and humbled by the fact that everyone has a story—and that sometimes, we have to learn to simply love people where they’re at. It can be so easy to disregard people as some kind of giant agenda or conspiracy, but there’s always more to people than this. I learned that one of my professors, who I had a huge personality clash with had a much more difficult life than I had originally thought, and learned to have compassion through hearing their story. I also learned that the classmate who practiced wicca really wasn’t a “bad person“—just a lost one, who also had a difficult past.

Now, that season is finally behind me, and I couldn’t be more excited to start at the university I believe God is leading me to—but I don’t regret a moment of my time at my first college. I learned valuable life lessons and I believe I’ve become a stronger, more compassionate Christian and person because of it. If you’re going to college this fall for the first time, I’m not going to lie and tell you it will be easy. It will likely be a challenge—a grueling one, even—at times. But you’ll survive it, just like I did. Trust in God, lean into friends and mentors, and don’t let fear control you.

God has a plan for you even in the midst of your hardest battles. 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 

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When You Go Through Trials (Part Two)

Our Christian walk cannot be free of trials, for we ought to grow and trials are the exams we write in order to get promoted to a different level.

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As a baby grows and starts crawling, it gets to a time that he has to begin taking steps if he wants to walk. The baby does not get to stand on his feet firmly without having to go through some pains, pains that result from trying to get up from the floor. The countless times the baby falls does not prevent him from standing up again the next moment the need arises. That persevering I can do spirit, we all must learn from babies.

No progress will be made until you begin to face your fears and as you go through the process don’t be in a hurry to get out because gradually allowing the process to have its way will get you desired results. When your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.

So in my previous message on when you go through trials, I made mention of the fact that when it is time for a student to be elevated from one level to the other, he must write and pass a test and in the exam room the teacher is always silent because it is illegal to speak to the student no matter the kind of relationship existing between them.

But as we all know to every rule there is an exception and so hear this,

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5 (NIV)

In other words, the bible says that you have been given all the information (knowledge) you need to write and pass our exam (trial) but if for any reason there is too much information at your disposal and are confused as to which one to use in answering specific questions in the test…

God says that there is an exception even though I am not supposed to talk to you during exams.

So if you don’t know what your teacher requires for a particular question as an answer because you have so much information and it’s difficult to summarize it leaving you confused, He says that I am giving you the opportunity to ask me what I require of you and I will freely give you wisdom which is the application of information (knowledge) at the right time in the right season.

So verse 5 of James chapter 1, comes with a condition, it is that your head must not be empty, because if your head is empty you cannot use wisdom when given to you. Wisdom cannot be independent of knowledge and yes, wisdom is the application of knowledge.

Has it ever occurred to you after writing an exam and upon receiving the test result script, you realized that there are some questions you didn’t answer so well but because the general idea was there the teacher considered and gave you the mark?

We often are encouraged to attempt all questions in an exam. Who knows the teacher might have compassion on you and help you get the answer he wants when he sees that you are on the right path.

But the fact that we are asked to answer all questions doesn’t mean that produce chaff. That would even upset the teacher and to some extent affect your grade because you have created the impression that there is nothing sensible in your head.

So how then can we attempt all questions in an exam and make sure that our attempts are meaningful?

It is only by having a wide range of information (knowledge) and this obtained by soaking yourself in books and in areas where the right information can be found.

So remember my dear friend to soak yourself in the authentic book that can equip you for any kind of exam in your life which is the Holy bible, the Engrafted word of the living God.

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God bless you.

Prayer

Father in the name of Jesus, thank you for this day, the gift of life and this message. I pray that you will forgive me of my sins as I forgive those who wrong me. Dear God I ask for divine wisdom to deal with every situation in my life and that of others, I want to do things your way and not my way for your ways are always straight. Thank you Father for answering my prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

When You Go Through Trials (Part One)

Hey everyone, sorry I’ve been a little late on the Diary Of A Christian College Student saga. I haven’t forgotten about it – I promise! Life been crazy for me and I promise to resume to it soon. Nonetheless, in the meantime, I have two articles by my friend Papberry that I’d like to share with you! I found them very relatable and encouraging and I believe you will too. 

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Our Christian journey cannot be free of trials, we need trials to grow and to move out of our comfort zone into a place where we will start thinking outside the box we have fixed ourselves into.

Now let us take the relationship we have with Christ as that between a student and a teacher and learn something out of it.

You will bear with me that a very obedient student who tries his possible best to excel at all he does is liked by all. Even if his strength is not sufficient for certain tasks he readily gets help because everyone knows him to be hardworking.

Now in the classroom, the teacher is supposed to meet the needs of every student and therefore it is also the duty of the student to pay attention and take notes so that in time of need he can refresh his memory with the notes taken. If there is something the student does not understand whiles the teacher is still teaching, he must draw the attention of the teacher so that he will receive immediate attention. But if the student goes home and realizes that he did not really understand what was taught, then he must look for someone who is higher in understanding so that he will help him understand what baffles him.

We know that before a student gets promoted to a different level or stage, he must undergo a test to prove that all or at least a high percentage of what he was taught has been assimilated well. One thing we find interesting here is that no matter how close a student is to the teacher, in the test room, he cannot speak to the teacher and vice versa, the best the teacher can do is to smile at the student. During the test period the teacher trusts his students to pass the test because he knows his strength and has set questions based on that, it is only a wicked teacher who will set a test based on what he hasn’t taught hoping the students fail.

At the end of the test the students who passes makes the teacher proud and exceptional cases are when brilliant students who are expected to do better fall below the mark, when this happens the teacher gets disappointed but then, he moves on to call the student and ask why that happened so to encourage that person to put all weight aside and continue working hard because his future depends on it, the student is encouraged and his faith also shoots up, when this happens, he resumes to the person everyone knows him to be.

This is what our relationship with Christ is like, one will say I feel dejected now that I am going through crises, I feel Christ far away from me and he doesn’t even talk to me anymore. Note, that the teacher is always silent during a test. When you are faced with difficult situations and nothing seem to be working well for you as a Christian, know that you are due for promotion, so just focus on passing that test.

Know that you are in the test room and according to 1 Corinthians 10:13 you will not be tested beyond what you have not been taught. Also know that whatever thing that you are going through Christ is smiling at you because He trusts you, as His brilliant, hardworking student, who has been prepared well enough to pass the test you are undertaking that very moment.

Keep this in mind, God will always wins no matter what! So do not fear or be bothered when the storms seem to overshadow you, trust the process and you will surely come out victoriously.

Prayer

Father in the name of Jesus, I thank you for the gift of life. Please forgive my errors and make my ways straight. I pray that you will give me a personal revelation on this word so I will understand it better. I know that all things are working for my good therefore help me to trust you against all odds. Help me so that I do not end up disappointing you, I do admit that I am weak and that my strength can do nothing but with you I can do all things, cause a leap in my faith in you, and help me dwell in your secret place always. Thank you Lord for hearing me in Jesus’s name have I prayed, Amen.

My Struggle With OCD

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (NIV)

It was before a big production in my theater class. I was talking with one of my friends, Alex, while another friend was working on setting up the chairs. Finally, both feeling guilty, we went over to help our friend set up. To our surprise, which we both got a kick out of, he was determined that they be set up a certain way. We both teased him, in a friendly sort of way, but deep down, I knew something.

That I wasn’t all that different.

It probably formed early in my childhood, as I remember lining up crayons by color in elementary school, and to this day, I organize my clothes by color and type (though they don’t stay that way for long!). It also causes me to be prone to anxious thoughts, fearful of drinking out of a cup that isn’t clean, and make sure everything is just right when I leave the house. For instance, a simple thing like “is the blowdryer unplugged?” becomes check-it-two-hundred-times-because-if-it’s-not-the-house-will-burn-up-and-we’ll-be-homeless.

I can’t tell you exactly what the root of this is, or exactly when it showed up, but I can tell you that this is my struggle, as each person battles something. Maybe it’s a physical disability that you battle, like diabetes or having to be in a wheelchair. Perhaps it’s something psychological like my OCD. Maybe it’s an eating disorder, or self harm, or an ongoing situation with bullies and drama.

I don’t know what your situation is. But I do know that you’re strong enough to overcome it! Just as I know that I’m strong enough to manage my OCD, I know that you’re strong enough to deal with whatever your facing.

Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (NKJV)

You have the strength to eat right…Through Christ who strengthens you.

You have the strength to put down that razor…Through Christ who strengthens you.

You have the strength to keep your head held high when they try to bring you down…Through Christ who strengthens you.

We are warriors, because the one who overcame death lives inside of us, and is “ever present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) So put on the full am of God and keep fighting (Ephesians 6:10-11). Even when we don’t feel strong, we have His strength to keep us going.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. 

Because nothing that we’re facing is bigger than the God that we serve. ❤️

 

 

Some Thoughts on Tragedy and the Resurrection

Yesterday, at Brussels International Airport, two bombs went off and killed over thirty people, with many scarred by the trauma of the event. (www.bbc.com)

But that’s not the first tragedy to strike the world. Just last year, ISIS struck Paris in a series of traumatic attacks. And, a couple of months back, California dealt with their own incident, this one a shooting. Not to mention that we have hundreds of refugees fleeing from danger in their own country and hundreds of our own citizens dealing with homelessness, poverty, disease, abuse, and about a thousand other tragedies.

Most of this doesn’t even surprise us when we see it. It’s just another hour of nightly news, which leaves us asking “Where is God in all of this?”

It has often been said that tragedy is the atheist’s best argument against God. After all, if God is good, why would He allow suffering?

The truth is, we often don’t know. We can’t always explain the reason behind every tragedy. While I believe that God can work through tragedy, I don’t believe He ever causes it.  It is simply the result of living in a fallen world. Someday, God promises to take away the suffering of the world, and make it bright, beautiful, and new.

We have hope, even in a world that’s broken. Jesus experienced suffering on this earth too, as He died on the cross to wash away our sins. And, because He did, no matter what we go through in this life, we can have hope for the next. Hebrews 9:28 says “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

When Jesus died on the cross, He didn’t stay dead. God Himself looked tragedy straight in the eye so that in the end, none of us would have to. He was beat, flogged, and harassed, and nailed to the cross in hopes that each of us, when we came to the end of life, wouldn’t be faced with death but new life. 

And, because of the cross, we have been given the freedom to go to God directly and approach Him with anything that may be weighing heavily on our heart.

God is bigger than the tragedies that we face in this life. I am not saying this to belittle what the people affected by Brussels went through, but to remind anyone reading this that we have hope beyond this life. As a popular worship song titled Your Love Neve Fails says, “there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

This Easter week, let’s praise God for the life that He’s poured out for us and remain in prayer for all those around the world dealing with hardships.