As soon as move-in-day arrives, everything will change. And no matter how hard you cling to the past, you can’t. Before you know it, time spent with family will seem like it’s few and far between. In just a glimpse, you’ll find yourself surrounded by people you don’t know in a place that seems so unknown. Things will be different.
But different doesn’t mean bad. Different can be good if you know how to handle different.
One source and one source alone equipped me with everything I needed during a season of inconsistencies. And no, it wasn’t my family and it wasn’t my friends, even though they’ve played a tremendous role and continue to play tremendous roles in my life. They know me better than most, but there is still One who knows me more.
God and God alone was my constant source to look to and lean on during my freshman year. He was the only source that remained the same.
Don’t get me wrong, my family was just a phone call away and I called more often than not. They supported me and encouraged me through it all.
My friends, old and new, stayed by my side. But even my family and friends don’t know my heart like God does. It’s only because of my sweet Savior that I am where I am today. The glory goes to Him. He led me down paths of righteousness for His name’s sake and equipped me with everything good for doing His will. It’s by His grace alone that I’m able to write to you today with a heart full of gratitude for this past year.
You see, when you find yourself surrounded with a never-ending pile of homework, God and God alone can give you the full measure of His strength to complete it. And yes, it’s totally okay to pray about your homework! God wants you to bring everything to Him in prayer (Philippians 4:6).
When you find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night missing home, God and God alone can reassure your heart that your true home is wherever He is – and He is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
When you’re overwhelmed and feel like you’ll never be happy again, God and God alone can pour into your heart a joy that is not dependent upon anything but His presence (Psalm 16:11).
When you’re alone and start to feel distant from loved ones, it is God and God alone who can lavish an everlasting love upon you – even when all you see is your unworthiness (Jeremiah 31:3).
It is God and God alone who can comfort you and give you a peace that reaches far beyond our understanding (Philippians 4:7).
It is God and God alone who knows what you need when you need it (Matthew 6:8).
It is God and God alone who can equip you with everything good for doing His will (Hebrews 13:21).
He’s not just a God of the past, He’s the God of the present and the future. No matter what changes you experience, He remains the same – gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in love. He holds the whole world in His hands and still knows you personally. He loves you fully. He chooses to remember your sins no more when you repent and turn to Him.
He gives you a purpose.
He gives you a reason to persevere.
He gives you a reason to live life to the fullest.
He gives you a new identity, one that’s not based on your past but based on His goodness.
If I’ve been reassured of one thing this year, it’s that God is more than enough and it is through His grace, His patience, His love, His strength, and His power that I not only survived “different” but was able to taste His goodness through it all.
No one can do what God does.
I had a choice to either follow Him or follow the stereotypical college lifestyle.
You have a choice.
If you choose to follow Christ, it won’t be easy. But if you choose to ignore Christ, I assure you it will be much harder.
My prayer for you is that, before your college experience even begins, you will seek the Lord and ask Him to go before You and prepare the way. Don’t listen to what this world is telling you and don’t be afraid to go against the norm. You may be worried you’ll miss out on some things, but let me reassure you, if you experience nothing else but God’s goodness during your college years, it will be enough.
From a soon-to-be college sophomore.