Growth.

I was blessed to go home for Thanksgiving break last week. I can't describe the emotions I felt as, at the end of an eight-hour-long car ride journey, I started to spot familiar street signs and places. Sentimentality filled my heart, and I began to reflect on simple memories that have built me to who I am now. As I was lost in my ponderings, we finally pulled up to my pumpkin-colored home in the suburbs of Chicago. Normalcy. The life I've known for so long. As I trudged with my luggage into the front door, I could hardly contain my joy. I drank in the scent of my home. Home. As I gave my mom, dad, and brother big hugs, I felt wonderful.

After thirteen weeks of being away at school, I worried that I wouldn't be able to adjust to being back at home for a short weekend. Would I long to stay at home? Would my mind be filled with thoughts of school? Would I be fully present as I caught up with family and friends? My worries melted away as I asked the Lord to help me live "one day at a time," to fully experience and enjoy my time at home. To enjoy the presence of those who I don't see everyday at this season in my life. It was a fulfilling break filled with Starbucks chats, breakfasts, and laughs--and of course a Thanksgiving dinner!

One night, as I was laying down in my bed, my mom sat down next to me. With much wisdom, she had me ponder this statement: "Think about everything you've experienced and how much you have grown since the last time you slept in this room before college started." This thought made me reflect upon all the different opportunities I've been blessed to be a part of since being at Evangel. I have met many new friends who have similar passions and a love for Christ. I have expanded my mind by having the opportunity to be in classes from different disciplines. I have learned--although sometimes clumsily--to be more independent and make more of my own choices. I have been challenged to seek God with my whole heart as I surrender to Him my life. I have encountered God in a whole new way, realizing that He is my one constant.

As I keep adjusting to college life, I know I still have a lot of growing to do. I'm trusting, day-by-day, that God will continue teaching me as I ask Him to guide me.

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