known.

(This post was written several days ago.)
My privilege of being able to write a blog has been taken from me, thanks Julian (he doesn’t read my blog, but just a shout out anyways). Which in some ways is good.  I very often find myself sitting down to do homework, and then end up writing all my thoughts down on a blog post.  Although I have been stripped of the privilege, tonight, I am still compelled to write.

In high school, everyone would talk about their “life verse” .  I remember always being disappointed or confused, because I didn’t have this knowledge of what my “life verse” was and I was frustrated that everyone else somehow knew.  I’m not sure when I came across it, but I now know what my “life verse” is.  Micah 7:8 says “Do not gloat over me my enemy!  Though I have fallen, I will rise; though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light”.  This is my favorite verse, and God has proven to me that he is my light and he is faithful through the darkness.

College was a very dark, challenging, painful experience.  My emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual facets were challenged almost constantly and simultaneously at all times.  But through that darkness, pain, and suffering, God taught me his faithfulness.  He is and will always be my light.

In my senior capstone class, which will be ending at the quad (meaning I probably will no longer have topics to write about in my blog… ) we have to write a paper describing our family context, how we view ourselves, God, our culture, and what our relationship to music is.  I surprisingly started writing the minimum 10-page paper on Saturday (6 days before it was due, which is really good for me), and I whipped out 9 pages right off the bat (It ended up being 18 pages). I can’t tell you enough how incredibly blessed I’ve been by writing this paper.  It has shown me where I have come since being in college.  It has shown me how very, very incredibly hard my life has been in college, and it has also shown me God’s faithfulness in ways I couldn’t have described to you prior to writing the paper.  I always get down on myself for having to be here for 5 years, and on top of that my grades really aren’t my full potential or proof of what I have learned.  This paper reminded me of all the things I sifted and worked through while in college.  It didn’t give me an excuse for my poor grades or my having to be here for 5 years, but it did show me that it’s ok.  I’ve accomplished more than graduation.  Much more.

I will share a little from my paper about where I have come from and how I have grown.  I want to be clear, that I’m not blaming or talking bad about my family.  In fact, I love them, and I always will.  No family is perfect, but there are families that are healthy, and my family is definitely not.

“… Both of my parents are very different from each other, but their one point of similarity is that they both grew up with abusive alcoholic fathers… My mom’s relationship with my dad was rocky from the beginning, but when I was 10 my dad went to law school in the states and their relationship was almost non-existent.  My dad was constantly studying, and we never saw him.  We began doing things by ourselves as a family and without him, and with that, my mom in particular had built up a lot of anger towards my dad.  Even after my dad finished law school, he never really did anything with us as a family (not that I remember him doing things with us before he went to law school)…”

(I decided to paraphrase the rest, you’re welcome) Throughout high school, I was not able to feel my emotions for various reasons.  I struggled with crying, and feeling any emotions I had at all.  Therefore, if you asked me in high school, what I was feeling about certain things, I would not have been able to tell you because I was taking on everyone elses’ emotions and feelings.  I had no idea what I myself felt about anything.  When I came to college, my best friend was able to work with me and show me what it meant to feel.  She was a huge blessing in my life in showing me the emotional part of me.  She became a picture of what Jesus was to me, and she helped me deal with my emotions in a healthy manner instead of shoving them down into an abyss.  This wasn’t an easy task obviously, but God is good and faithful (and he blessed me with a faithful, patient friend).

Aside from learning about my emotions, I learned how to ask for help. It was the first time in my life where I knew I couldn’t do college alone. This allowed the body of Christ to work in my life. It gave those around me the opportunity to bless me in ways that I never would’ve asked for in high school. God expanded my view of what the body of Christ is and what it means to the world and to me.

I also learned what it meant to work hard academically and physically. Not only did I split my time studying and building relationships, I spent a lot of my time working and babysitting. My family cut me off financially and therefore Wheaton was all on me. I babysat at every opportunity given to me. I took multiple jobs during the summer in order to pay for my bill from the last semester. God has been so good in blessing me with jobs and the ability to pay for school.

A week or so ago, I had the opportunity to talk with a good friend who I graduated from high school with.  Seriously, I have had 3 conversations with her in the past month and a half, and each one of them have been a huge blessing in my life.

When we talked, I was reminded.  We were talking about life, and somehow counseling came up.  Then I somehow just dumped this probably 3 hour story onto her in a matter of forty minutes.  I have to admit, I cut it down pretty well, but she is a trooper for listening.  She helped remind me of where I came from.  She made me feel known.  And that was a blessing.

I won’t go into full detail of the story of my family and the past few years, but I will say this: God is good through whatever situation you are going through.  He provides and he blesses us through people and through other’s experiences.  Being able to look back on where I came from and being given the time to tell my story of the past showed me that God is good and faithful no matter where you are.  I have felt a lot of pain and I’ve had to deal with a lot of repercussions from different situations in my life, but God is still good.  Even when I’m suffering in the pain of misuse, seemingly unfair situations, and betrayal, I am confident when I say God is still at work.

8 years ago, God knew I would talk to my friend and remember where I’ve come from, and he knew we would share similar feelings and similar situations.  God has given us friendships and relationships with people to walk through life with us.  Sometimes, those people, friendships, and relationships may not show up until years after the fact, but God knew that he was going to use them in our lives.

She reminded me what it feels like to be known.  She mentioned something to me that only someone who knew me in high school could say.  In light of where I’m at, at Wheaton as a 5th year senior, it made me feel incredibly unknown by people here.  What she said, which was a simple observation, caused me to question every little relationship I’ve been attempting to build these past 3 months.  It sent a huge damper on what those relationships are and what they meant to me.  This really shouldn’t have happened, but it did.

I started longing for those deep relationships I longed for my freshman year.  I started longing to be known in ways that takes time, intentionality, and effort.  I longed to be pursued and sought after again.   I miss being known and loved.

But, I am confident when I say God is good.  The friends he has given me right now have taught me many things as well.  I may feel unknown and not pursued by them, but I feel loved.  I am able to be open with them and I am able to be there for them and I love them for that.

I do miss deep, loving, spiritual friendship, but I have to remind myself that God is the only one that will know me fully.  He is the only one that has been there from my birth and will be there when I die.  No one else will be that.  He is faithful and I am, have been, and will always be known fully by him.  He will bring people into my life and he will take them out.  They will know me for a season and then they will not and that’s ok.  God is my steadfast rock and my consistent friendship and he is better than any who he brings into my life and takes out.

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