As I start the second semester of my freshman year of college, I’ve had the chance to also reflect on the semester that has passed. And amidst my many thoughts on the seemingly long four months that also seemed to fly by so rapidly, one thought constantly lingers in my mind: Throughout the semester, God constantly reminded me of His faithfulness.
There were so many moments throughout the first few months of college where I was hit with a sudden flood of memories from the past 18 years of my life that have left me both speechless and in complete gratitude and adoration for the ways in which God has provided.
Some of the memories were of joyful times where God provided something I had wanted or prayed for, but more often than not, the moments that flashed through my mind were those that had caused me an immense amount of pain.
The moments I remembered were of when nothing made sense, the moments when it seemed darkness and the harsh reality of life seemed to have swallowed all my joy. I was reminded of the darkest points of my life where I wanted to give up on the life God gave me, and when God seemed completely silent to my desperate cries for help. Throughout the semester I walked from class to class as countless memories of myself in my room feeling so helpless and lost flooded my mind. I was reminded of the many times I found myself so angry with God, frustrated that my deepest hurts were not being mended. God seemed so cold, and furthermore, so distant from me.
There were so many moments where all hope seemed lost. At the same time though, I kept all these thoughts to myself. No one ever knew that I struggled with the things I did, and I didn’t feel like I could share how I was truly doing with anyone else. So, while it seemed that God wasn’t listening, He also became my only confidante. I constantly sought Him out. Somehow in the midst of all that I was going through, there was a small but constant voice that reminded me: Keep seeking God. Keep going to Him. Trust that He’ll pull you through. He’s got you. And I clung to that. As much as my circumstances hurt, I was going to hold on to the promises that told me that God would never leave nor forsake me.
Fast forward to 17 (almost 18)-year old me, walking to my Oceanography class. As all of these moments passed through my mind, I found myself in tears. But unlike the tears of years ago, these were tears of immense joy and a heart bursting with overwhelming gratitude. Memories that I had actively avoided thinking about for all these years came flooding back, but instead of feeling sorrow, I felt so, so, uncontrollably happy. (People who passed by me while they were walking to class might have been a little spooked at the girl who was smiling from ear to ear). The message in my mind was crystal clear: God provided. He was faithful, and He still is.
Here I was at a wonderful college, studying what I love, and being surrounded by a plethora of many kind and supportive Jesus-loving people. People who showed me a glimpse of what heaven will be like: full of God’s children worshipping Him for eternity. Additionally, I was surrounded by magnificent displays of God’s creation and this was evident in the nature all around me.
And it hit me in that moment: God heard me. He saw me, and He saw my tears.
He was there.
Even in those moments when I didn’t see it, God was carrying me through, reminding me of His undying love and His constant grace.
He was present, and He was and still is, faithful.
Little reminders like this continued to be sprinkled throughout as I went about the rest of my semester.
The hurt I experienced from people equally as sinful and broken as I, showed me a glimpse into the significance of God’s grace and how desperately every human needs Him. It taught me to be more graceful to others, recognizing that we have a Savior who died for all our sins despite all the ways we fail him. It helped me to come alongside others going through the same situations I did, hurting with them, praying with them, and reminding them that there is hope in a God who never leaves our side. It helped me find a reason to rejoice in spite of everything happening around me.
To this day however, I still don’t understand to the full extent why all the things I experienced happened nor do I claim that God will always provide an answer as to why certain things happen. But I can say with the utmost confidence that I am grateful they did.
I’m sure there will be other hardships to come in my future, and I am by no means saying I have everything figured out. There are likely to be additional moments in my life where I question why certain things happen. Being the sinful and broken human I am, I am bound to fail to be faithful to a God who is consistently faithful to me. There will be times when I forget about how faithful the Lord truly is. In light of this, I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who is abounding in mercy. I rejoice in and owe my life to a Savior who I am able to go to forgiveness for at any time. Seeing how much I sin on a daily basis helps me recognize my dire need for Christ’s forgiveness. It reminds that I need Jesus for every moment of my life.
The reminder of God’s faithfulness in my life was the greatest gift I received throughout my first semester. All of it points back to God, and how truly good He is. God’s goodness is truly an overwhelming thing. In the face of a just God who is also full of love and grace, how could I not serve Him and give Him my all?
With this in mind, my prayer for both the new year as well as the new semester is that I continue to cling to a good God who is ever-present and faithful. I want to draw even closer to Him, and learn to love the way He did and does. Forsaking all else, I want Him to become more and more of my everything.