Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rejoice, and again I say, Rejoice

Is it just me, or has this week lasted forever? I feel like this semester will never end, and I will be at college forever. And ever. And ever. It's this never ending cycle of projects, tests, papers, late nights, homework, rain, etc. And if I'm not careful, I focus on all the negatives and forget to look at all the good things God has done for me. God has been reminding me lately to focus on Him. He keeps telling me to get my mind off of how horrible everything is and on how awesome He is. Last week was rough. I'll admit that. It was just busy. And then I started looking ahead at what I had to do this week, and it got worse. I started thinking that graduation was never going to happen. (Yeah, I am a junior and have a bad case of senioritis. I want to get out and use what I have learned, and basically be done with college stuff. I love college--don't get me wrong. It would just be a lot easier without classes I don't like and big projects. OK, I like projects. Just not a lot all due the same week). Anyway, this past weekend was amazing. God just showed me how little I really am thankful for. I mean, as a Christian who grew up in a Christian home, did Christian home-school curriculum, went to a Christian church at least 3 times in my Christian week, and now goes to a Christian college, with Christian teachers, I know that God gives us everything. I know (in my head), that all good things come from Him, and I know I need to be thankful. In my head. But when you run on 5-ish hours of sleep, jumping from one glass of mountain dew to the next, focusing on all you have to do, it's easy to forget. It gets busy. I understand. I make lists of my lists. To keep my OCD-self organized. But there is so much more than just the day-to-day stuff  of life.

This past weekend, continuing on to this week, God just showed me how absolutly good and amazing He is. There were a whole bunch of little (and not-so-little) things that happened that just reminded me that He cares about me. On Friday, we beat Omega in Schol Bowl. (For all my non-BJU-type readers, Omega is a society on campus that everyone loves to beat. They tend to be fairly cocky, and the smallest society on campus, a girls society, beat them in an academic challenge. This was huge). Then on Saturday, I got to participate in seniors on stage. This was a talent show that 10 people got to perform in. It was SOOOOOO much fun. Yes, I was really nervous the day of. But I did a comedy routine (google the 3 Little Pigs by John Branyan) in front of about 750 people-ish. Including Dr. Bob, Dr. Jones, and hundreds of others. I love getting laughed at by so many people. I'm glad I didn't win--I would have exploded on stage. That would have been bad .

(I know I look like I'm about to stab someone . . .I'm a desperate pig begging to be let into the brick house . . . )

Then on Sunday, I got to hang out with my best friends, Lisa and Beca. We went off and did homework at a coffee shop. I was able to get a lot done for this week, which was such a blessing. Monday, I got some good news in an email that almost made me scream (at work, where it's supposedly quiet.). Yesterday, I was able to finish big projects. Today, I can't wait to see what God is going to do. Tomorrow is going to be awesome. Saturday, the mercies of God are new. (And our 830 meeting got cancelled :D)

Do you get the idea? I could have looked Friday at the test I bombed. Saturday could have been spent freaking out about how I was going to forget my entire line. Sunday could have been focused on how early I had to get up for church (6:45 AM). And so on. Instead, God showed Himself to me in such amazing ways. He helped me realize that the little problems I face are no big deal compared to everything good he does for me.

This seems like a really random post, I know. I was reading through a student's file at work and I saw something that made me really stop and praise God for all the blessings He's provided. A student, in 12th grade, was in a horrific car accident last semester. He was driving a friend somewhere, when something happened (I don't have all the details). The friend was ejected and killed. He suffered a lot of physical injuries and a lot of emotional trauma (obviously). Even though he's been going through all of this, he's still focused on finishing school and getting that diploma. Emails from his parents indicate that through all of this, they are still praising God. They are still thankful and are focused on helping their son. Even he seems to be thankful. He's struggling, but he's moving on. He is praising God.

If that were me, I don't know what I would do. I'd like to think that I would be trusting in God and praising Him. But I don't know. If I forget to be thankful when the Dining Common serves something I don't like (like that tofu vegetable lasagna stuff), why would I remember to be thankful if my best friend was killed and I had all these physical problems. What would you do?

In prayer group a couple of weeks ago, we were doing "Praises Night". My prayer group does this thing where they don't talk, so I gave everyone a sheet of paper and told them to write down everything they were thankful for. I would encourage you to try it. Once you get started, it's hard to stop. It may be big things like "Salvation", "Family", and "Friends". It may be small things like "Mountain Dew", "Chocolate", and "Sharpies". Then post your paper somewhere where you will see it every morning when you wake up. I put mine above my bed on the bunk. I see it every morning, and it reminds me that there are so many things that I can be thankful for. Every day. I keep adding to the list. And there are hundreds of other reasons I should praise God. Even when I don't feel like it.

I Thessalonians 5:18--In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.