This week was a very rough start to Spring quarter on my lovely flower-filled campus of SPU. It involved being plummeted back into due dates, paperwork for my summer in India, stress for living plans next year, juggling a crazy work schedule, and how to handle my various roles as student, SMC, small group leader, friend, SPRINT leader, and Global Development Major. There were tears shed over stressful Indian Visa applications, waiting in line at the DMV, textbooks were scrambled for, homework pressing in, and schedules were figured out. But amongst it all were gems of the joy I am finding in the springtime: breathing in God’s peace in yoga, hanging out with SMC people at interviews, starting the Quest process, and meeting with my lovely small group and getting to see how we have grown together over the quarters.
But what I really want to write about is this weekend. I have gotten so much wonderful wisdom from some beautiful sources….
On Friday, I was faced with a rough reality of the challenge of one of my courses, “Political and Economic Development of Nations”. The reading is graduate level, my classmates have solid, educated opinions, and I feel as if the teacher hasn’t taught us things yet. So as I was amidst my struggling and nigh panicking, I look to my left over at the girl next to me and her computer: on the bottom corner of her fancy Mac-book was a quote from a woman I hold in high esteem, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt herself. It said exactly what I needed to hear at that precise moment,
“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”
This encouraged me immensely (as did crying it out to Hannah while sitting on her lap). I have to put a lot of effort forth in this class, but I have to keep looking to what it will enable me to do: better the world around me, close the gap between the over-privileged and the oppressed, and to fully understand the systems that power this world we live in.
After that, I was able to shed the classes and stresses of the week to start off my weekend with a bang by hanging out with the world’s best RHMC, miss Hannah. We got gourmet ice cream, talked about my SMC evaluation, got free Jones soda at the factory, and even gave blood together. It was my first time to give blood and I am surprised at how well it went, and at how happy I felt afterward to have helped save a life (or four, if they are babies!) Sure, it was tiring to loose a tenth of my blood, but I am blessed to have some to spare! Another huge chunk of my weekend’s wisdom came from Hannah, during our great conversation about my work as an SMC on 3rd Moyer. She reminded me that I am being refined by God. That there is such potential in me and I am still on my way to learning that potential, and using it to serve God and the people around me in the best way I can. Yes, I am human, I make mistakes, I feel like I am constantly stumbling, yet look at where I have come since last fall. Even since winter break…God is molding me still, teaching me always, and holds me so perfectly in a state of constant refinement.
Here is how creative my RHMC is….
My final pieces of wisdom and hope come from the most trustworthy of sources: My Abba Himself, God. This sunny Sunday morning, I went to Quest church with a few girls from my floor and was so blessed by the verses that were selected for the teaching. It was Colossians 3:12-15,
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful!”
These verses spoke to me in how God was gently reminding me that my worth is ultimately found in Him. That means don’t fuss over how I look, model myself after Christ in my actions, love all people and put energy into building loving relationships, and know that peace will come over me if I trust in God’s will and in Christ being the ruler of my heart. I have to listen to God when He points out something to me that goes against His will, or when I realize something in my heart has gotten bigger than Christ. These gentle reminders were so amplified when I went up to the altar to take communion. The strength from God’s sacrifice of flesh and blood for me is what helped me realize I need courage and prayer if I am to fully follow God’s will and listen to the wisdom of people in the church and those that care for me. I took that need for courage to someone who prayed for me over my specific struggle, and I was so blessed by a stranger’s love for me, who met me where I was and helped me reach out to God for what I need to do, how I need to be refined.
Overall, I am thankful. Wisdom has reassured me that there are struggles, and we overcome and move on. This weekend has helped me move onto the next week of the quarter, hopefully not feeling behind before I even start! I know I will start off the week with something new: a new “do” for my hair! Short, sassy, and oh so curly. Even this had to go through a process of refining until I was happy and confident about my “freed” hair (as Hannah likes to put it!). So thanks, Hannah, for your talent with scissors and vision, and most of all, wisdom!
Blessings to all who made it through this overly-long post; I pray some wisdom was passed on through this conduit of internet blogging.