Hello, dear friends. Where are we chatting tonight? Are you stretched out in bed, lazily flipping through your phone? Are you snuggled up in a soft sweater on a sofa, listening to the soft chatter of voices in the distance? Maybe if you’re super productive, you’re like me- sleepily hunched over a desk, munching on some chocolate under the warm light of a lamp, thinking how much you’re going to regret staying up as late as you did when you wake up tomorrow to the sound of your alarm and find new chocolate-caused acne when you look in the mirror and…. too real? Okay, I’ll stop.
This weekend the new students arrived. The eager faces. The jumpy hugs. The loud footsteps marching down the hall. The buzz of excitement that echoes off of every face, wall, and shiny new keurig. We’re back. So I’m a junior, and I just read my little blog post from Jan. 12th, 2017- right after I had finished my first semester of college. If you scroll down a bit you’ll find it- can’t you just hear the peppy freshman speaking as you read it? She speaks a million miles an hour, longing to live, and wishing she could see what great things Katarina the junior has accomplished. Lol, does getting really good at procrastinating count? Haha ;), if I could only tell her the things she would experience, I’m sure she would spontaneously combust. Two semesters of general chemistry, EduCamp counseling, becoming a Student Ambassador, counseling at the Wilds, the fruit fly project, mental breakdowns at 2 AM, Bruins games, film projects and editing labs, laughing so hard you snort and cry, soccer season, exploring downtown Greenville, Community Service Counsel, 5 million coffee shops, being consistently late and broke, boys. I’m halfway done with my college career. I’ve learned. I’ve changed. By God’s grace I’ll continue to learn and change. After this summer at The Wilds, I really didn’t want to come back to school. Since senior year of high school, I knew God was pulling my heart towards full time youth ministry. And as I’ve worked at camp in some capacity every summer since, I can feel that fire fanning larger. I know that Health Science is what I’m supposed to learn and study while I’m here, but I also know that if God opened the doors for me to do camp/youth ministry for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t even hesitate to go. And yet the summer came to a close. I came back to school. Partially out of commitment. Mostly out of obedience.
It’s another season of change. And change gets old real fast. New classes, friends, organization responsibilities, dorm life, and work schedules. Same nervous anticipation, same worn thin feeling. But greater than that- same God. And praise the Lord for that. I’ve been pondering Ecclesiastes 3 recently, and here’s what King Solomon says,
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
…and somehow all of these seasons happen in one semester, am I right? But then get this, Solomon makes a profound statement.
“He has made everything beautiful in his time, also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.” v.11
All the changes are not pointless. All the positives and negatives do not equal zero. Because each of our days and seasons are ordained by God, it is he who makes them beautiful. And though, like this verse states, we don’t understand what God is doing- he has put the world (eternity) into all of our hearts so that we long to look past this life into another. We long to see the outcome of our lives. We long to make a lasting impact. But you know what’s cool? The Bible doesn’t end with a book about God’s people enjoying heaven, even though we will. The Bible ends the same way it began- with God making everything beautiful. The Bible is a book about God. Not about me. And isn’t he what life is all about anyway? He can do whatever he wants with my story because he is a God who is good and just and loves me.
All that to say: new semester, same open hands. I’m excited to learn. Excited to grow. And in another two years I’ll be able to look back and sing God’s greatness all the louder. Not to mention- I’ll be able to add many more college experiences to that growing list. This is where God has me today. And he has provided every step of the way.
I just wanted to share that little nugget that God has been laying on my heart with the arrival of a new school year and all the joys and sorrows that come with it. Praying always that God would be glorified. Love you all.
Grace and Peace,