A Look Back Through Fall Semester

This school year I started to use a plain notebook I already had and make it into a bullet journal planner rather than buy one. It has been fun to be creative, but my favorite implementation is a reflection page at the end of each month. For the next few days, I’m going to share a few of my reflections with a photo taken from that month. I think it’s important to look at where we were at different points in our lives & to acknowledge how far we have come and what has changed. Here’s a glance at 2019.

September

“In you, Lord, I have found my rest”

Not an easy month. Sometimes, not a good one either. But in reflecting at the end of it all, I can see that God is present, meeting me right here once again. I miss Medora, but more than that, I miss the peace with God I experienced there. I’m realizing as I step into this new semester, though, that peace isn’t in the place – the location. It’s much more than that.

Peace from the Lord is beyond understanding and isn’t found because of setting, rather in who He is and what He promises us, His beloved children.

In you, Lord, I am learning where my peace is found.

October

“Yes, work toward a degree and work toward earthly friendships, but do so in His name. Chase the author of love and One who created you first. How are you supposed to figure out your purpose in this world if you don’t first follow the one who created your purpose?

Try your best. Study for the test. Do some squats. But focus fully on His name. And in your weariness, brokenness and on days when you are overwhelmed, breathe in and out. Then, look at where your feet are planted. God put you where you are for a reason. He’s gotten you this far. Why don’t you trust Him with your tomorrows?” – Unknown

I do not enjoy school. What is even the point of this constant, stressful grind? But even worse is knowing that it ends in a few months and I have to prove that I learned all I claim. October has been a month of trying to trust that He has me in this midst for a purpose – and that it’s a good one, better than I could even understand. My reminder as a new month begins: Just keep walking forward. You will be blessed as you believe the Lord fulfills all His promises, and He promises you life abundant. Cling to your hope and guide, alone.

November

“And He said to me… daughter you are in a desert, but I will send rain. There is aching, there is wandering, but my love will come rushing. You’ll be swept up in waves of grace. And you have no idea just how far I am going to carry you.” – Unknown

Do I give thanks in all circumstances? This month felt long – just preparation for hard classes what feels like every day for more hours than I have. I’m crazy nervous and frustrated by how little focus every other area of my life seems to have gotten. This is the first semester that school has my attention, and all my attention needs and craves Jesus. In answer to the above question – no. No, I don’t. I’m praying for the ability to let the joy of the Lord be my strength because I’m not living that. He deserves my gratefulness even when I don’t feel thankful for the circumstances.

December

I like the idea of reflection on life whenever possible, but I find that I am not always very intentional with or honest about it. Considering all that happened this past year and trying to understand what it all means has been much more difficult than I would have expected. Often in my mind, the bad has a way of outweighing the good so while I can acknowledge the joy that was 2019, what I can see much more clearly is the hard. A little dramatic, right?

All I can decide and conclude is that God has been faithful to me, in my unfaithfulness especially, which is frankly the majority. I do not deserve even for a second to be used in a campus ministry or to have met people from all over the world this summer or have the incredible women in my life that I do and I am so very grateful. And I suppose I am also grateful that life is a roller coaster of moments and peaks and valleys – the highs are so much sweeter when the lows are spent in the loving arms of Jesus.

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