It’s 10:11 p.m. (central time).
I’m sitting here and I have realized a couple of things.
- I am no longer blogging for a PR class
- It has been a really long time since I have written a blog.
In less than 48 hours I will officially be a college graduate. For the majority of today I have just sat and reflected on these past four years of my college experience. One thing that has really made the impact in my life throughout these past four years has been my choice of college. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for such a strong founded university that continuously seeks to live in community and love for Jesus Christ.
During my time in college I had been given numerous opportunities to grow and figure out who this person is that God created me to be through athletics, leadership, and ministry opportunities. I have been able to indulge in Christ’s plan for my life through an education solely focused through the eyes of Jesus. Although I felt like my bank account suffered during the majority of this time, it was worth every penny.
One of the most powerful and vital aspects of my undergraduate college career was the community and healthy relationships that I needed to nourish my hungry mind and spirit. I needed strong, relating, and encouraging leaders and friends that could pour into my life to help me grow into the person that God has created me to become. Thankfully, God had everything all planned out when He directed me to my school. He placed teammates, coaches, professors, church family, and friends in my life that He new that I needed- even when I didn’t think that I needed them at most.
Continuing into my upperclassman years- I grew very independent and self sustaining. In a way I felt entitled to my achievements and work and forgot about where God’s purpose fit into my life. During this time I also went through a few hardships and struggled with the obstacle of identity and where God’s path really was that He had for me. I begin finding value again in my titles, accomplishments, and achievements and I grew unhappy because deep down I knew that these temporary things could never bring me eternal joy or contentment. I began to grow confused and misunderstood where God’s role was within my life. During this time some of the leaders in my life had also been called to do other big things in life and I misunderstood God’s calling for them as Him taking them away from me and leaving me.
It was at that point when I tried to do everything on my own and exclude God’s plan for my life and started to build walls around potential people that I knew that God wanted involved in my life. However, I didn’t want to give them a chance because I thought that the moment we developed something great it would be taken away. In reality I was only hindering myself and whatever amazing plan that God actually had for me. I then made it a habit to not open myself up to many people because of the possibility of being left again. This was also a very stressful time for me academically and around the time when I decided to end my athletic career a little earlier than I had planned during my senior seasons and a couple of extra curriculars that I had fallen in love with.
I had lost sight of the goodness that Jesus had planned for me and I let the enemy’s distractions and attacks gain my attention. I grew anxious and fearful because of the fact that I couldn’t control these areas of my life anymore. Then it hit me. I can’t control any of this. God has placed me right where He has for a purpose. He has given me this life to live for a purpose. He has given me these people in my life for a purpose. I shouldn’t have to feel lost, or anxious because I don’t have power or control over these things because God already has everything under control. He has already worked all of this out. I just needed to trust Him, spend time with Him, and continuously seek Him.
Last night I had what I thought was a random invitation to prayer. That invitation turned out to be my restoration, turnaround, and fulfillment that I had been searching for this entire year. I needed to let go of every plan, every dream, and every moment of my wondering of what I thought that I could do and realize that God has to be in full control. And on top of that- I needed to trust Him and believe it. Later that night I felt a huge tug on my heart to call out to a friend that I had not been the most intentional with.
Over the past two years God has put this friend on my heart as someone who could help me grow in my faith but I didn’t ever give this person a chance. I would always give God- and him- excuse after excuse about how it would never work. In reality, I was giving in to the enemy’s lies and believing them that there was no hope or purpose for this person in my life. At the end of every day I knew that God had a plan for this person and that the Lord’s light completely shined right through them. And I think that’s exactly what the enemy didn’t want. The enemy didn’t want me to grow closer to another believer and believe that I didn’t need God or the body of Christ. Boy, was I wrong.
I need Jesus daily and I need my fellow brothers and sisters to not only remind me but to hold me accountable and to encourage me through His love daily. During that night I prayed to God that if this really something that He wanted for me to do then to have this person respond within a couple hours- he did. And that’s not even the best part. During this time I felt so convicted of being a poor friend and not upholding my responsibilities of being a Christ follower. When I confronted this friend they had nothing neglectful to say about me. This friend actually encouraged me and showed me comfort through the eyes of Jesus. It was at that moment when I knew that Jesus had a plan all along, and although stubborn people like me need to fall a few times to listen, Jesus will always be there for us with open arms.
I think that’s the biggest lesson that I have taken away during these past four years. No matter what happens, no matter what stupid decision that I make, and no matter how stubborn I may be God will always be waiting there for me with open arms for me to come home. And that’s what we should be doing as His followers as well. We need to set the example and model the actions and love of Christ just like Jesus and what He did. He loved us SO much that He made the ultimate sacrifice so we never have to feel neglected, ignored, or lost ever again.
I am beyond thankful for my experience at the university that I chose and for a good Father who loves me SO much, unconditionally. AND He’s willing to put the right people in my life to remind me that as well. I am so blessed and I can’t wait to see what adventure that God has planned for me next.
– xoxo, Brooke Allison