Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh Christmas

I've always wondered what it would be like to have a boyfriend during Christmastime. If you had talked to me about two and a half months ago, I was pretty certain I was going to be in a relationship at this time. I was excited about the sweet text messages I knew I'd get, the fun times we would have walking about in the cold weather, and just the sweetness of being "in love" during this jolly time of year.

Well, over the course of this semester, that plan did not fall into play the way I had imagined. My plan, as my plans usually do, unraveled in quite an ugly fashion. To make a very long and detailed story short and to the point, I am once again single during Christmastime. But this year, I'm so glad I'm single.

I look back on this semester and look at the various instances of where I could have been hurt so much more than what I was, but in those instances, the Lord protected me, that protection reaching far into the future. I had no idea that two months after that dreadful night where I heard and saw my plan unravel that the Lord would still be protecting me. But he is.

When I returned from camp earlier this summer, I told a lot of people that I learned a lot about trust. I feel like that is one thing the Lord has drilled into me over the station of many, many years. But I also feel like he has never drilled so precisely and so finely as he has this semester. And I know that this drilling will not soon be over.

When most people think about Christmas, they think of the words, "gifts," "wrapping paper," "money," "cookies," "Santa," "elves," and "tinsel." This year those words have floated through my brain as I've made some presents and had to buy the bags in which to put those presents, but other words have been bouncing around my brain, words like "thankful," "joy," "rejoice," "family," "friends," "love," "Jesus," "peace," and "praise." I know that because of this semester, this Christmas means more to me than it would have had none of these events taken place.

A part of me wanted to be able to be with this guy and talk with him and see him and spend time enjoying Christmas with him. Well, that was what I wanted back in October, not anymore. Now, I'm content with my present circumstances. No, I don't have a handsome man waiting for me back home to sweep me up in his arms and with whom I can enjoy Christmas. But I have two handsome men, my brother and Dad, who will be waiting to welcome me home with love and laughter, men who I know love me. I have a wonderful mother who I know I will enjoy laughing with so much more than almost anyone else.

The Lord has taught me so much this semester. He has taught me not to settle, in my standards for myself or for the man he has for me. He has taught me that he cares for ever single, minute detail of my life. And he has taught me to hope that however bleak my prospects may look, that he does indeed have a man that he has been preparing especially for me. And in the Lord's perfect timing, I will wait for that man.

I've never been so thankful for the Lord as I am right now. I've never seen or felt him so clearly in my life. During this break, I am going to enjoy all that I can and relish in still feeling like somewhat of a college student. I begin student-teaching in January, and after meeting my cooperating teacher on Tuesday and seeing the school, I'm a little overwhelmed. I know it will be good, but I also know that next semester holds a multitude of changes that I am nowhere ready for. Like I said, this trust drilling keeps digging deeper.

I love Christmas. I love what it means, and I love that over two thousand years ago a young, scared woman heard the call of God on her life and brought our Savior into the world. My king, my love, my protector was brought into this world as a tiny, helpless baby. However, in that moment, he was the most powerful being ever.

I am full of joy this Christmas, and I hope you are too.

Until next time,
God Bless

Friday, December 9, 2011

Drawing to an End

This semester is finally winding down. I can't believe that this time next week I'll have two finals left, and then I'll be done with the majority of my classes. I'll begin student-teaching in January, and then I'll start learning about what it means to be a grown-up, live a little in the real world without really being on my own yet.

This past week, I help put out the final edition of the student newspaper for the semester, my last issue ever. I served on staff for two and a half years, and now it's finally over. I have also volunteered at the crisis pregnancy center since my freshman year, and I served my last day on Wednesday. I went to what was probably my last chapel on Wednesday as well. I think the kicker was getting a notice that intent to graduate cards are due February 2012. Intent to graduate. I'm graduating in May 2012. Four years ago, that date sounded so far away, so far into the future that I had nothing about which to worry. I wish someone would have told me to enjoy my first three years of college and not wish them away. I had no idea these years would flash by so quickly. I graduate in five and a half months.

I am excited about what will come after graduation. I go back and forth between nervous and excited, but most days I'm excited. I know the Lord has a plan, and I find myself resting on that assurance daily. I told the Lord a long time ago I would go wherever he wanted me to go. I guess I'm just waiting for him to show me where that is and trusting that he will show me in his timing.

Next semester will hold adventures for me I have never experienced. It seems odd but wonderful that this is my last real finals week that I'm approaching. Next semester, I'll have finals in the middle of the semester and get done with them sooner.

I am happy to say that I figured out today that I won't really have to study very much for my finals. I have two written finals and one final where I'll just go and meet with the professor. The other two are exams, but in one I only need to score eleven points out of fifty to keep an A in the class, and in the other I need to make a 62% to keep an A in the class. Next week is going to be a breeze.

So, this is just a little update of what's been going on. About the last few entries I've posted, God has been wonderful to heal my heart and show me his goodness and sovereignty in all of this. Time has helped. I think about it less and less and find myself happier and more joyful. I can only credit that to God. He is so good to me, and I praise him for that.

So only about ten more days, and then I'll be home for break. It will be a shorter break than I'm used to, but then again nothing has been what I'm used to lately. Things are changing, and that's okay. Transition happens, and it will keep happening for the rest of my life. I might as well get used to it now.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post again before Christmas.

If I do not, I pray you have a wonderfully, merry Christmas and a stupendous New Year.

Until next time,
God Bless

P.S. As of December 4, I am now a licensed Zumba instructor. Yay!