A Year in Review | Part I

The amount of change and spiritual growth I’ve experienced in a year, or the 9 months I was in school, has been a journey. I’m a huge fan of reflecting and analyzing my past to make connections and to remind myself that God is always with me. He was with me when I cried myself to sleep and when I told myself, “I wasn’t good enough.” He was with me through this storm and He is still with me.

Believe it or not, it takes me a long time for me to post. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to sharing my story and I want to share it in a way that is easy to follow and makes sense. The other reason is I know I’m not the best writer and so I end up re-reading what I wrote over and over again. I’ll tell you right now, today is June 7, 2018. I’ve been brainstorming  and coming up with bits & pieces on how to share this story for over a week. Let’s see when I finally decide to post.

The topic of today’s post can be summed up in two words, SPIRITUAL GROWTH. Hi, I’m Kira. I just finished my first year of college and here is my story.

In the summer of 2017, I decided to invest in a blog. I thought it would be cool to share my story to those who were interested. Prior to UW, I was extremely anxious as I didn’t know how I would measure up compared to the other students at this competitive school. Coming out of high school, my grades were pretty high. I was blessed with the opportunity to work as an engineering intern for two different companies. Although I was anxious coming in, with me I brought my handful of pride. I came in worrying about how I’d compare to others, but also came in guessing I was better than this person or that person, at least academically.

My fall quarter was one really big wake up call. To those who have been following this blog, you know. In short, I learned I put too much of my worth in my grades. My faith was tested. For once, I thought I was going to fail a class. I ended up passing, but because of the amount of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual pain I felt throughout the quarter, I knew I had to change something. There is nothing I could have predicted about my fall quarter. Everything I thought wouldn’t happen, happened.

I entered winter quarter with different goals and different prayers. My prayers went from “God, please help me pass this test. Please help me pass this class. Please help me come out with good grades” to “God, please help me trust You through this trial. Please help me seek Your will through this storm. Let Your will be done whether that means I pass this test or this class. You know my life and You know what’s best.” Through my winter quarter, I finally was able to separate my worth and my grades. It’s not perfect and something I am continuing to work on, but I’ve improved a lot in the course of 9 months. Academically I wasn’t doing better. In less than a year I went from getting the highest grade in a math class to barely passing a math class with the only change being a different college. Well, I lied when I said that was the only change because this time, even though I wasn’t doing great in my math class, I was learning the secret to separating my worth and my grades, and I was finding my identity in the One above. I was finding my worth in Him and not on earthly things.

Through the amazing friendships I’ve made at UCU, I became more transparent with the brokenness I came with, the brokenness I was going through and the brokenness I was walking away from. My pain from fall quarter started making a little more sense and I continue to see the purpose and the good in that pain every day.  I am slowly seeing the person that my God wants me to be. The more time I spend at church, praying for myself and for others, and the stronger my relationship with God is, the more I realize that I am absolutely powerless without my God. I need His mercy, grace, and love every single day. I don’t need God because I might die tomorrow. I need Him because I might live tomorrow.

I don’t deserve anything I’ve been blessed with. To even have food, shelter, and water is more than enough. I am thankful my God gives me the things I don’t deserve and thankful that He doesn’t give me the things I do deserve.

Don’t get my story twisted. I’m not telling you this to brag about my relationship with God or to prove I’m a “better” Christian than you are. I’m sharing this story because I am starting to understand how God is using me and my life. I may only understand one grain of sand on this beach, but I am learning. I am nothing without my God. It’s been 9 (8.5) months and I can’t even describe how much I’ve learned about myself and my God through this journey. I am sharing this story hoping something sticks out and hoping there is some sort of take-away that you can take away.

Through my spring quarter, my relationship still continued to improve with God. Academically, I’ve been doing the same every quarter. School is still tough. My grades are barely hanging in there. I apply to my major in less than a month and personally, I don’t think my grades are good enough to get in, but I could also be wrong. Although I am still struggling academically, I am growing so much, spiritually. I don’t have my grades back for this quarter so there is a possibility that I might still fail, but I’m oddly content with that thought (most nights).

Allow me to tell you this short story. As I was walking back from my physics final and knowing it went terribly, I was content with knowing it went bad. I talked to God on the way back and it was pretty emotional. This is the summarized version of that prayer:

My God, thank you for all who You are, all that You’ve done and all that You do even though I don’t deserve it whatsoever. You have unlimited power. You know my future and what’s best for me and You love me unconditionally. My God, that physics final was brutal and I might end up failing the class, but all things work for good. Even if I fail, even through that pain, it was in Your plan. I am content, in this moment, knowing I might fail if it means someone else gets to pass. I am content knowing I could fail because You know what’s best for my future. I am content because I am not defined by my grades.

That my friend, made me tear up, knowing that I’ve changed so much spiritually through this school year. It’s beautiful to see this change. People I walked by probably saw my teary eyes and thought I failed. They aren’t wrong, I might fail, but I was teary-eyed knowing that even if I fail, that doesn’t change God’s plan and His everlasting love for me.

So, to bring this home and to wrap this up, I’ve learned a lot this year. I promise you I am not always content with God’s plan even though I want to be. I continue to stress and worry about my future. I continue to get angry and sad when my plan doesn’t match up with His plan, but I am learning. There’s still more than enough to work on, but I am learning and growing. I’m young and only 19, but I am grateful that my God will continue to teach me, shape me, fix me and help me for the rest of my life.

My life is not about me. This isn’t a story or even a blog that’s about me growing in my faith and suddenly getting everything I want. My life is about others. My life is about what I can do for others as God shapes me into the disciple He wants me to be.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12:12

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