Friday, December 5, 2014

Stretching Wide (A look back at how far I've come)

The first semester of college is almost over. The final assignments before Christmas are being handed in, the year end exams are almost underway, and the advice to "finish well" is ringing fresh in the mind of students.
This morning one of my professors asked the question of, if we were to reflect over our first semester on PRBI, how far we would say we had come.
As I was walking to my dorm after chapel later in the morning, I sighed and realized it was a sigh of contentment.
Contentment, that's what being at PRBI has taught me this semester. As Paul would say, I have learned the secret of being content in all circumstances.
Yes, I'm learning to be content, setting my mind on things above instead of on earthly things because to focus on the carnal is death but to focus on the eternal is life and peace (Thanks to my Philippians teacher for teaching me this wonderful nugget of truth, and reminding me of it every chance he got)
But I'm also learning grace. I'm learning that God did not abandon me, but instead brought me to a place where I would run out of myself, and discover more of Him.
I am being broken down at the strongest point of myself.
I have moments when I look at myself and wonder how I got here
I was reflecting on this question with my friend this morning, and I told her it feels like I've been running around in circles this semester, going back over the same old thing.
And I have. When I look back over the semester, there are a few moments that stand out as being significant, and mostly they are the moments when something broke me, hit a nerve and the walls I've put up for so long began to crumble.
And I'm the same in so many ways but there are so many ways in which I've changed, and grown.
I'm a different person now than I was in September.
The relationships I've built, the memories made, the laughter and the tears, they all line the road of my last few months.
It's been a journey, a process, and I'm (thankfully) still learning and growing, and while this semester is over this year, this journey, this lifetime is not. And I press on, because every moment I have breath is another moment that there is still work to be done.
And this journey I'm on, it's not about becoming better and progressing like climbing a ladder, but it's stretched out wide.
I said to my friend that I don't want to end this semester feeling like I haven't accomplished or gained anything, haven't arrived, but I think you don't ever fully arrive. It's not a ladder, not stretching up but stretching wide.
This first semester at PRBI, I have learned grace. I have held onto friends and learned love, let go of relationships and learned grace, cried and learned honesty and laughed and learned joy. I have come so far not by reaching one of these goals, but by existing in each precious moment I have been given, and calling it enough.
His promises, His manna, was enough for one day, no more and no less, and I have learned this.

"I am not saying this because I am in need, because I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13

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