Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wishing For Perfection in a Broken World

I currently stand in the face of having only 3 ½ weeks left of my entire college career. Even though I have absolutely loved my time at Bowling Green and am going to miss being a student here, something I won’t miss is all of the homework I have to do. I am SO READY to be done researching for papers, writing papers, and taking exams and quizzes. So much so that I am experience an intense anxiety and restlessness build up inside of me. I just want to be done with school! If my mind were a 3 year old, she would be jumping up and down with excitement on Christmas morning, waiting for mom and dad to let her go downstairs to open presents.

I’m really not kidding. Anticipating my college graduation is just that. Try to imagine how you felt on Christmas morning when you were a child. Up at 5 in the morning, waking up your siblings, trying to get your parents up to go downstairs. Being so excited that you can’t even handle it! Some of you who have already graduated know this feeling, and some of you anticipating graduation are experiencing this exact feeling right now.

But this isn’t really the best place to be in. It has created a ridiculous amount of anxiety and ADD for me. Since I don’t want to do anything, I just check facebook, and when I’m done with that, I try to do homework but fail because I can’t concentrate. Do you know why I can’t concentrate? Because I’m thinking about graduation! All I can think about is how much better life will be after I graduate. Hopefully, I will be working a summer job in Bowling Green, applying for real-people jobs, and all without the demands of school! I am also so excited to be done with work. I’ve been working as a desk clerk for three years, and I am so ready for a change. No more late night shifts; I will have a normal sleeping schedule!

In my mind, I am expecting everything to be so much better after graduation. I’m expecting everything to finally be okay and imagining that not having schoolwork to do will fix it. But is this really true?

I find myself doing this near the end of almost every season in my life, especially the seasons before summer break starts. I expect that a new period in my life will bring perfection and make me happy. I am expecting that a change in my circumstances will finally make everything perfect. But the truth is, this has never happened. At the end of Colorado Leadership Training in 2012, I was so ready to come back to BG and start RA training. Along with this, I would finally get to see the person I had a major crush on; maybe something was going to happen with this, which was so exciting! But coming back didn’t fix everything. It just presented a new set of challenges. At the time, these were readjusting to school, the altitude change, balancing my schoolwork with being an RA, all while making a poor attempt to grieve LT.

And when this boy and I began dating at the beginning of November that year, my change in circumstances didn’t make everything better either. It was an exciting time, but it posed new challenges as well; entering a new role as a girlfriend and trying to balance this new relationship with school, work, and other extracurricular commitments. This is just one example of where a change in circumstances has failed to satisfy me. Have you ever experienced this before? I am sure that many of you have.

After thinking about all the times in which this has failed me (which has been every time), I realized that I clearly needed to stop trusting in my circumstances to satisfy me. Maybe it’s not my circumstances I needed to be trusting in, which will change like the waves of the ocean, but my God, who will stay constant in every situation. It always surprises me. No matter how many times I trust in the changing of my circumstances to have them fail again, I continue to repeat the same process; I trust in the changes of this World, and then come out disappointed.

But I am finally realizing who I need to trust in. God is truly one who will never fail me. He is an island in an ocean of ever-changing waves- He never changes or moves, and he is consistently the same. No matter how many times I am reminded of this, it never seems to stick. I know many of the verses that communicate this truth, yet they have departed my mind like a bird flying south for the winter. I sit here, disappointed in myself again because I have exhibited one of the truest statements of history- that it repeats itself. You’d think with me being a history major I would be able to realize this flaw, but my field of study will never change my human condition.

In one of my favorite songs, “Your Love Never Fails,” there is a line that exhibits this true character of God: “You stay the same through the ages/ Your love never changes.” This is exactly who God is. I am going to challenge myself to start trusting that the Lord’s perfect love will sustain me and satisfy me instead of trusting that a change in my circumstances will bring perfection. I challenge you to do the same.

“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” –Lamentations 3:22-24

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