Wow! Where did the semester go? Honestly, it seems like yesterday I was packing up laundry and Christmas presents to drive back to New York through snowy roads. It was a crazy journey filled with retreats and tests, new friends and church, heartache and bonfires. I’m not sure how, but I would describe Spring 2014 as the longest and quickest semester yet. A lot happened in such a short time, but it simultaneously dragged on and flew by. My classes were really great and I feel like I have learned more this semester than ever before. Also I met some wonderful people along the way who encouraged and supported me through a somewhat challenging semester. I learned many important life lessons through a combination of classes and personal experiences. A few stick out and I wish to share them not only to express my journey, but also encourage you in whatever you may be facing in your own life.
This year is less than half over and I already have learned so much in a short time. I think the first major thing I have experienced in several ways is real and authentic community. I have no doubt in my mind that we have all had both positive and negative experiences with some sort of community at one time or another. We may have left a group with resolve to never return or treat others in the same way as they have acted towards you. But, please do not give up after one run in with a harsh, judgmental crowd. This semester I have found refreshing pockets of community who seek to encourage and build one another up as they struggle through life together. I feel blessed to have met many believers who forgive and welcome all people regardless of their shortcomings. God has used many amazing and gracious people in Nyack this year as vessels of his love and grace as well as builders of genuine Christian community.
If I could describe God in one word that word would be ‘real’. Another outstanding lesson I have learned is that whatever happens in life God is real, good, and has a plan for all of our lives. This may seem simple, but when in the midst your plans falling apart it gets hard to trust in the sovereignty of God at times. I am in my last year at Nyack and have made many plans for my future and the way I see my life going. But, sometimes the way we plan our lives is not how God intended it. I read a quote earlier this semester that read,”God will wreck your plans, when He sees that your plans are about to wreck you”. This is hard, but what I have seen and experienced is that God’s plan is always so much better. Believing that when in the middle of heartache or frustration can be hard, but when I look back I can always see God’s goodness. God’s plan for my life and your life is what’s best. Trust God and know that he holds your future in his hands and truly desires the best for your life.