And now, it’s almost the end of my time in Colorado. It’s crazy to think about how quickly time has gone by. Two weeks from tomorrow, I’ll be headed back to Ohio to move in for the beginning of RA training- and it looks like I’ll be able to have one night at home between returning from Colorado and going back to school, which is such a blessing!
Because it’s nearing the end of the summer, people have been asking me about what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed. A few days, I was asked what the title of this chapter of my life would be, and today at work, a friend asked me if I thought I had changed this summer.
Both of these questions caught me without an answer and sort of pushed me into a time of reflection, and I’m assuming these questions were brought up because God wants me to start thinking about these things. What would the title of this chapter of my life be? And have I really changed that drastically?
I sure do hope so. That’s how I want it to be- I want to return to school and have the people in my life notice the life change. I’ve thought about this question, and I would say yes, I have changed.
Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out how, but I would say that I entered the summer as a perfectionist and a control freak. I already knew about my problem with perfectionism. I remember being upset for not being perfect when I was little, and my mom telling me that nobody can ever be perfect. That was the first time I’d ever heard that (thanks mom!).
But me, a control freak? I thought I wasn’t, but God quickly showed me that I was. I came into this summer having a set plan of what I wanted to learn- I wanted to learn how to fight against the spiritual forces of darkness, I wanted to learn how to love better, and after it was all over, I wanted the fall semester to be perfect. I soon realized that I wanted everything to be perfect.
Soon after I realized I was trying to control everything, I had a mental breakdown. And then a couple weeks later, I had a more intense mental breakdown, to the point where I would have rather not been in Colorado or even alive for that matter. At that point in the beginning of July, I had become so crippled with fear of not being able to control things, like the end of the world, future relationships, and future ministry.
During the time I was going through that, I was given some great advice that really helped me through- we need to focus on God’s truths now, and not worry about the future or the outcome of anything. So, what do we know now?
That God loves us (John 3:16) and works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28), We can trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6), and He will fight for us (Psalm 20:11-13). There are so many other truths I could list here. One of the truths that really brings me peace is that the Lord knows more about us than we know about ourselves, and that he knows what’s going to happen before we do.
It talks about this in Proverbs 16, verse 9, which says, “The heart of man plans his way but the LORD establishes his steps.” So, I am reminded that no matter what I try to plan and control, I still don’t know what will happen, and many of my plans will probably be uprooted.
But the best part about it is that despite how many of our plans God crashes to the ground, his plan is always going to be better, because he knows us best and knows what’s best for us.
So, even if the world ends tomorrow, it is the best plan. Even if I never get married, it is the best plan. And so, as I near the end of the summer, I would say the title of this chapter would be “Letting Go.”
It’s not a very exciting title, but it does justice to what the general theme of this summer has been. God has been teaching me to let go of control, and to let him handle everything. All I have to do is put my roots in his truths right now, and be faithful to him in the present. How things will end up is not a thing to be concerned about, because God has it all under control.
So, I’m really hoping I can keep this mindset when I go back to school. Honestly, I hope I can keep growing in everything I’ve learned. Also, one of the things I really hope for is that people notice a change in me from when they last saw me- I feel like many times in life, the people that know us notice things about ourselves that we would never be able to notice. Even if I can’t see the change in my life fully, I can trust that God will bring people into my life to help me realize how much I’ve changed.
That’s all I have for now. I’m talking about the summer being over and I still have two more weeks out here. I want to do all I can while I’m out here- next week, I will be hiking Long’s Peak with a group of friends on Thursday (as long as the weather cooperates), so please be praying for that.
I also hope to get a few more hikes in, including another sunrise hike. On Tuesday, a group of friends and I went on a sunrise hike to Estes Cone- it was beautiful! I’ll have to post those pictures soon. And I forgot to mention that I hiked that while having strep throat. In my defense, I didn’t know I had it yet.
So, my summer has been phenomenal so far, despite some valleys in my life, but that’s ok because God uses those valleys to refine us and shape us. I have two weeks left, and I’m about to go make the best of it.
Psalm 20:7-8- “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.”