Posts tagged Faith

A Change in Identity

April 21st. This date has been engraved in my mind for the past few months. And for the last week, I no longer judged time by the current date, but by how many days rest between the present and the 21st. I had made a countdown on the chalkboard in the lab at the five day mark. It gave my two colleagues and I a sense of urgency, yet excitement at the same time.

I printed my thesis last night, and as I walked through the tunnels and hallways of my university, I realized that this was one of the last times that I would be walking the campus as a student. And as I walked, I realized that I will no longer be a CU student – my identity for the last four years. When people ask me what and where I study, I will no longer say CU majoring in Psychology. That is no longer who I am or what I do. It’s really odd to think. I have experienced and learned so much at that campus, that it is hard to leave.

As I walked, I reminisced the good ol’ days. As I passed each building I recalled certain memories – locations where I used to set up to do readings and study (which always varied from year to year as I discovered better, and sometimes hidden locations), booths and tables that I used to meet up with friends regularly to eat or “study”, areas on campus that I would go with friends to randomly talk to students about their beliefs, the classroom where I had my very first lecture in university, Cardiac Hill (the very steep walkway in the tunnels – essentially a hill beginning at the first floor of a building and taking you to the fourth), going on prayer walks with friends to pray for our campus, and countless others.

I think for me, university was not merely a place where I went to obtain a degree; a means to an end. It was a place of much personal growth. It was a place where I grew in my relationship with God. I became involved with a Christian group on campus where the students had a burden to share their faith with others. I met new people, made lasting friendships, and really adopted the burden that they had for the students on our campus. We invested so much time into loving on and praying for our campus that it became more than an institution.

Today marks the last day of my undergrad. I am finished. I handed my thesis to my supervisor this morning. I had imagined this day for months. I had imagined the excitement that I would feel and the relief that I would experience. But the feelings aren’t as intense as I had imagined. Perhaps it hasn’t quite hit me yet; it’s hard imagining that four years of schooling have come to a close. But maybe I’m also a little reluctant to say goodbye to CU and all of those experiences. Things will change, and I’m definitely ready for it and excited to transition into a graduate program at another university, but it will take some time. I’ll have to remind myself that I am no longer that undergraduate psych student anymore, but a Master of Arts student in Counselling and Spirituality. And that, I am excited for.

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Have I shared this with you yet?

What do you love? What are the things that you cannot silence yourself about? It seems that when we love something we want to tell others about it in hopes that they will come to feel the same way, loving it just as much as we do. Whether it be a TV show, a movie, a restaurant, an idea, vacation spot, we can go on talking for hours and are baffled when others don’t quite understand why we’re so passionate about it. I mean, some people wonder why I love cereal so much. Well, let me tell you! [kidding! that will be left for another post…if I ever get to talking about meaningless things]

When we love something we want to convince others to feel the same way so that they can get the same enjoyment out of it.

I’ve noticed that I’ve begun sharing my love for blogging with others. I’ve introduced the concept of blogging to numerous friends on the grounds of it being an excellent form of self-expression. I’ve also provided them with numerous tips that I have learned throughout my years as a blog stalker and my short time as a blogger in hopes to convince them to begin their own.

Works like a charm. So far, I have influenced at least 5 people to begin blogging and another one to return to blogging. And it doesn’t stop there. Those who I have converted to blogging have encouraged others to begin blogs as well. A blog beginning chain reaction is now starting. It’s blog multiplication. You’re welcome, WordPress.

Then I thought to myself: I love God. I love Him more than I like blogging. But when it comes to those who don’t know Him, I share about Him less than I talk about blogging to those who don’t blog. Something is wrong with this picture.

What if I were to talk to my friends about God in the same enthusiastic, free, and confident way that I speak to my friends about blogging? I am passionate about God and my faith in Christ affects every aspect of my life. Why wouldn’t I want to talk about that? Jesus has made such an impact on my life. He makes me feel so much better than blogging could ever. There are so many instances that I can share about how He has made my life more interesting and exciting. Why wouldn’t I want to share that so enthusiastically?

And if I shared about Him more, perhaps others would want to experience the same joy that I have found in Christ. And in turn there would be spiritual multiplication occurring as they share with others.

If I have yet to share about Jesus with you, I am sorry. But don’t let me get away with it. Ask me about how Jesus has changed my life. I’ll enthusiastically tell you. And I’ll also tell you how you should begin blogging too … although, Jesus is infinitely more exciting.

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The Greatest Gift

“She will bear a son,

and you shall call his name Jesus,

for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 21:1

Come & Worship

Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum ♪

The Little Drummer Boy

“The greatest gift of Christmas,
is the one we’ve already gotten long ago.”

MERRY CHRISTMAS
JOYEUX NOEL
FELIZ NAVIDAD

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From Bad, to Worse, to Best

I was almost rendered homeless.

Well, not really. But all-or-nothing thinking could have lead me to dwell on this very unlikely worst-case scenario.

The house that I am currently living in ran into an unexpected hurdle this past month. A house meeting was called one morning and as the four of us girls sat down, me and NK, one of my housemates, learnt that instead of the original plan of having to replace only one of the girls in May, the two of us would now have to find replacements for two girls – one for February and one for March. For NK and I at that moment, this was not a welcomed change – at all. We needed to have two new tenants secured by the end of December otherwise this would be the time where we would need to give our two month notice and cancel our lease. With exam period and Christmas break approaching we were going to have to find two new housemates. And fast.
This was Thursday December 2nd.

An impossible task? Not with God.

However, at that moment it was very difficult to trust Him. My heart was burdened from the unexpected news and my body was heavy from lack of sleep (I had stayed up until 3:30AM working on a paper…that wasn’t due until Monday…). But as a household we took time to pray knowing that we would need God to intervene in our situation.

Even though I did the best that I could to try to look at the positives of this situation, I was still very much focusing on all of the struggles. How are we going to find TWO people at such awkward times of the year? What if we can’t find two? We’d have to find somewhere else to live! I can’t sign a year-lease; I’m not even sure what city I’ll be in come September. I just moved to this house 3 months ago, moving again would be a hassle and difficult especially with this busy school year.

Not only were these thoughts clouding my vision and ability to trust God, but right after our house meeting I found out that I had received a terrible grade on an assignment; I had never received such a low grade. Finally after dealing with all of this, I went to enjoy a shower that turned out to be pure ice water. At that point I decided that my day could not get any worse. Unfortunately, because of these events coupled with my lack of sleep, I had such difficulty focusing on my in-class Spanish exam hours later. I was forgetting verbs that I had used dozens of times…

The day was a hilariously unfortunate one that I chuckle at now, but I have to say that I think it was one of the worst days that I’ve had this past year. Or in many years. (I’ve been blessed with many awesome days.)

At the end of that day, in my mind, the housing situation was looking very dim. Nevertheless I contacted many potential tenants, advertised, and prayed a lot.

On Wednesday December 8th we had secured two new tenants.

And not just any tenants. One is my good friend, HD, which is a big answer to prayer all in itself. And the second is a girl coming to the area to begin her Masters degree. She’s something like a friend of a friend of a friend’s cousin (honestly) – which makes it the most random occurrence ever. We knew nothing about her. And as it turns out, she seems to be everything that we were looking for in a housemate and shares many of our core values.

I was in awe at God’s faithfulness. And still am. These events may seem like they were left up to chance, but as a psych student who enjoys statistics, I think I can safely say that the probability of all of these events occurring together is significantly below the rate of chance.

Furthermore, this situation leaves no lack for anyone. The house is going to get re-organized, NK is able to move into a larger room, HD will be turning her 1.5hr commute to school to 15 minutes, the Masters student has a much cheaper alternative than her original plan of living in residence, and my two housemates who are leaving are able to leave earlier than they originally planned.

And through all of this my devotions were conveniently about the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50). Joseph had gone through many misfortunes (tossed into a pit and sold into slavery by his own brothers, falsely accused of adultery and thrown in jail, forgotten in jail for two additional years by a man who he had helped), but through all of this he continued to rely on God and trust Him for what He had promised (becoming a ruler). Joseph could have looked at his circumstances and forgotten God and what He had promised, yet he pressed on. And even though things didn’t play out as fast as Joseph would have hoped, God came through. Joseph just had to trust God’s timing.

God always has a plan; we may just not see it right away. I’ve learnt so much about trusting and relying on God as a product of having gone through this situation. I’ve also realized that these events can now be used as a testimony of His faithfulness. God deserves all the glory. Dios es fiel.

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