A Year in Review | Part II

It’s been over a year since I wrote Part I. There’s a good amount that happened within the last year. I was baptized. I failed a final. I made new friends. I lost old ones. I read a lot. I still can’t cook. I ran a Spartan Race. I developed shin splints. I got into my major. 

And that’s just scratching the surface, my friend, there’s a lot that happened.

While I sit here and sip on my coffee, I think there’s more than a few things I can talk about, but here is what stands out.

Free time is possible while in college 

How many times have you heard someone complain about how they don’t have any free time? How many times have you uttered those words? I know I have. I know I do. I get it. It’s hard to find time for yourself when you have school, when you have work, or when you have both. I get why people have a hard time finding free time.

Besides blaming my lack of exercise on being an engineering student, I decided I would try to do a better job with managing my schedule. Instead of complaining that I don’t have a chance to journal, I decided I would make time. Making time is about two things: time management & prioritization.

This year I really started treating my school schedule like a work schedule. I “worked” your typical 8 to 5 throughout the week and weekends I had the same idea. Even the days where I had less homework, I would do my best to stick to my schedule and either get ahead on homework or start studying earlier. Developing the schedule and the consistency reminded me to stay on task during “work” so that way I could allow myself guaranteed free-time outside of that designated time slot. I would fill it with listening to Audiobooks, running 6 miles, building relationships, checking Instagram, etc.

My worth is not entirely in Jesus

My worth is not in my grades. Yes, I hope for good grades and I try hard for good grades, but my identity didn’t take a hit when I received one of the lowest scores on my final. Although there is so much more work to do, I do believe I am getting better at understanding my worth is in Jesus. I am getting a better understanding that I am nothing without Him. I would be dead if I got what I deserved (Romans 6:23). I am grateful for His love & grace. But that being said, I still am trying to find my worth in earthly things.

Admittedly, I’ve been finding my worth in my friends and how other people view me. I’ve also been finding my worth in being prideful and being right, but you already knew that one. To my Christian or skeptical friend that struggles with that as well, you know how exhausting it is. It’s impossible to live contently if you associate your worth with earthly things, yet alone your works. You know how insecure you become when you are watching your every move and making yourself or others the judge. It’s difficult to try to one-up and impress others and yourself every day of your life. Despite your beliefs, you know this is true.

My worth is in Jesus. My identity is in Jesus. I am loved by Him when I do everything right and I am equally loved by Him when I screw everything up. God doesn’t care if my jokes fall flat, if my outfit looks bad,  if I don’t get the job, etc. God wants me to do good works but His love for me doesn’t change when I don’t. When your worth is in Jesus, you can relax. When your worth is in Jesus, you truly see the meaning of love, grace and humility. I need to remind myself this as I re-fix my eyes and my worth on Christ and Christ alone. Pray that I can do this.

God’s plan is greater than mine

If I had complete control, I would’ve allowed myself to get into the Mechanical Engineering Department directly after high school. If I had control, it wouldn’t have taken three applications and an appeal for me to get in. If I had control, I would’ve 4.0-ed every class. But if I got in that easy, what would that mean? What would have that taught me?

This ridiculous path God pointed me towards taught me how little control I have over my life. This path taught me that my worth is not in my grades or my major. This path taught me that God is good and faithful, even when He does things differently than I would’ve imagined. This path taught me that I really am nothing without Him. I really would not be in this major if it wasn’t for His grace. I don’t deserve to be in the department – yet for whatever reason, He allowed me to get in. He is always good. He is good every single day. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. He is good even when no one can understand it. Everything He does is out of love. We’re His kids. He loves us.

That’s not to say to my direct admit students that you don’t have things to learn. Trust me, You will learn what God wants you to learn. That goes for everyone. To my students that put their worth in their grades, here is your warning. Watch out. God is good. He is sovereign. Isaiah 55:8-9 makes it clear that God’s thoughts and ways are so much greater than ours. He sees everything. He knew that I needed to stop putting my worth in my grades. He knew that as long as I could just work my butt off and get good grades I didn’t need to rely on the Creator of the universe. Looking back at this journey, although I don’t fully understand it, I am thankful for this path.

Again, that’s just scratching the surface of the several things I have learned this past year. If I really wanted to dive into the details, I could write a whole book. With all that being said, I have no idea what God is going to continue to teach me this upcoming school year. Pray for me. I have no idea how God will continue to grow me and shape me to the person He has called me to be. God, I trust you, slightly a little more this year, but O’Lord help my unbelief. God, help me seek You and place You above everything earthly.

Thanks for reading.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well

Matthew 6:33

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