Monday, 8 October 2012

In the spirit of gratitude, caffeine, and irrational decision-making…

…I find myself writing yet another post in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping or studying. My urge to write something, anything, everything in the world that has ever been or ever will be written, overtakes me at the most inappropriate times. Either that, or this is simply a glorified form of procrastination, one which I find allowable and exempt from condemnation by virtue of its (pretended) eloquence.

It’s the sixth – or seventh? – week into my junior year, and, I think, about time to do some (written) reflection on the semester so far. Because so far, it has been glorious.

The first word that comes to mind when I think about summing up the past month and a half is gratitude. Gratitude for all that God has done in my life over the past year in bringing me to and growing me in Livingwater. Gratitude for how through all of that He was steadily preparing me for the season he would lead me into this year. Gratitude for how He has allowed me to co-lead a sophomore small group this semester and be blessed beyond expectation in watching my “small groupies” grow and spur each other on. Gratitude for two roommates whom I can call sisters and with whom I can eat, pray, and love to the fullest. Gratitude for God’s daily, sustaining grace in my classes, activities, and job when it all becomes too much for my frail human self to handle. Gratitude for the fact that He has even brought me to Berkeley, where, after two years, I still walk around every single day feeling joyful and privileged to be part of the community, the campus, the city. Gratitude for the Holy Spirit that lives within me and empowers me to do the things I cannot, or the things I do not dare to dream of doing.

I came into this school year expecting to pour out into others as a small group leader, and as a sister and friend. And yet I find that as I serve, I am still being continually poured into and blessed by the very people I thought I would pour into and bless. “I know I’m filled to be emptied again” – but out of his goodness, God is filling me as fast as I am emptying myself, if not faster, so that there is a constant overflow of love and joy in my heart that I know only comes from him. 

It’s been a truly, truly blessed start to my junior year. It’s also been the busiest six – or seven? – weeks I’ve experienced in my two years as an undergrad, and it’s only going to get busier. This week I begin my internship as well as official ISAC meetings on top of everything else, and I have two midterms, a paper, junior special large group, and far too much reading to depress myself thinking about. But I count all of these things blessings that God has given me out of his grace (yes, even those aggravating midterms), and above all I desire to be faithful with all that he has entrusted me with. So, even though it’s 2:43 AM and I’m still not done studying, and my to-do list has become longer than the student roster for Astronomy C10, I am neither stressed nor daunted by the coming week. Because I know that in all things God is with me, and his favour rests upon me. And even if by this time next week, I’ve been fired from my internship (is that even possible? I sincerely hope not), received all failing grades, fallen sick, become overwhelmed or discouraged, had people turn against me, and lost everything I have… well, may the name of the Lord still be praised. God is good whether he is good to me specifically or not. I hope that I may have the conviction and the faith to continue to praise him when hard times come, as they inevitably will. But for now I am simply a joyful daughter who has much to be thankful for.

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