Okay, so, I’m not one to blatantly stress my views or concerns over this topic over the internet in fear of bleak opinions from those who disagree. However, I enjoy expressing myself through writing and I feel as if I needed this as a weight lifted off of my shoulders. So. . . reluctantly here I am, typing away about the word of God.
Many of you know that I worked at a summer camp this past summer called Camp War Eagle. If you scroll down to a few of my previous blogs, you will read about how life changing it was — I believe I called it a place of “love” and a place of “bliss”, where kids have the opportunity to love and to be loved right back. This camp was everything that you could think of. It was as if you were embodied in this different world, surrounded by people whose love for Christ and for encouraging others is to such a high extreme that it almost seems surreal. I soon began to follow the acts of my coworkers, wanting to aid others in any way possible and pour myself into the arms of The Lord and give Him everything that I have, knowing that His plan for me is way more sufficient than I could ever think possible. The kids who attended camp soon arrived, and then they left within the blink of an eye. I loved these kids. I poured myself into them while they poured themselves into me. I learned more about myself within that month and a half that I was at camp than I could have ever thought possible. Camp pushed you to your limits and allowed your heart to be full at every second of every day, and that is exactly what I needed for me to learn to lean on God for happiness and for trust.
And so, after camp, I began my junior year of college. This new semester was extremely different from my past semesters. I obtained a part-time job, an officer position within my sorority, picked up another major, began writing for a campus newspaper, became independent. Being independent is one of the toughest attributes for anyone, especially a young female, to acquire. You go from depending on your friends, or even a guy, for happiness to relying on yourself to fulfill that for you. You have your own schedule and your own goals and your own dreams, and you soon learn to do what makes you happy instead of awaiting for others to pursue that happiness for you.
But I got too caught up into it. I became so independent that my focus on God became overshadowed by the numerous activities and events that I got caught up in. So, for the first time in a while (and no, I’m not happy about that), I opened this book up today. One of my campers this past summer wrote a question on a card that I never got around to answering.
“What things do you struggle with while growing up?”
Although I’m sure my camper meant “growing up” as in the struggles that one might face during middle school or even high school, I still consider myself as “growing up” even as a young adult. I still make mistakes and make poor decisions, but I learn from each one. That’s probably why this simple question on this notecard sparked my attention as I opened my Bible this morning, because it was such a broad question that I didn’t quite know the answer to.
I set the notecard aside as I turned my book to Proverbs and began to read. I know I’ve read these passages before, but it’s sometimes hard for us to remember exactly what The Lord wants us to know. As I got to Proverbs 3:5-7, I knew that the answer to this question was as simple as two sentences.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Trusting in the Lord is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging tasks as a Christian. As every single one of us face various challenges and obstacles growing up, we come to this spot in the road where we feel stuck. Or, we might feel as if we have it all figured out, only to come a little farther down the road and see that we have been doing it wrong all along. I felt as if my life was finally coming together last semester. I could count on myself to make me happy, I obtained a job that helped me pay for my own things without having to turn to my parents, and I focused on myself more-so than I did on others. What I didn’t realize, however, was the fact that being so wrapped up within myself allowed me to fall off track with my walk with Christ. God doesn’t want us to be independent as much as He wants us to put our entire focus on Him. God doesn’t want us to be caught up with making ourselves happy as much as He wants us to look towards Him for joy. God doesn’t want us to wake up in the mornings and look through our calendars to see that we have to go to class, then work, then maybe have enough time to see our friends and family. He wants us to put Him first, then others, and then ourselves last.
Our motto at camp this past summer was F.I.T. This means “First is third; God first, others second, and ourselves last”. So, as I read this notecard over and over again that my camper wrote, I think to myself the struggles that I still face today. Trusting in The Lord is the first step. Trust that He threw me off track for me to come back and find myself again. Trust that He sent me in the direction that I am going now because His purpose for me is unimaginable. Trust that His plan for me is greater among all things. I must trust that He will direct my paths. He will make my paths straight.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? I already feel as if my paths are being made straighter just after one morning of sipping my coffee and spending quiet time with Jesus.
So, what things do you struggle with while growing up? I’m still growing up, and my struggles are infinite. But with The Lord keeping me on my toes like He was this morning, I know these struggles are too minor to anticipate.