I know it’s been a good month and a half since I’ve posted a blog here, but what can I say, summer’s been rather ordinary. For the most part. I did get to enjoy the company of sweet friends, good books, and sunny bike rides. I was also stuck in a hotel for half my time here and got my wisdom teeth out two weeks ago (plus an implant!). That was quite the adventure.
While summer was about as ordinary as last, I have seen God teaching me a few things throughout the course of these couple of months. The first thing being patience! I mentioned in my last post how naturally impatient of a person I am. Not only that, I get worked up over the smallest of things. So I’ve been praying that I might learn to be more patient along with letting go of stuff that doesn’t really matter. God has definitely come in clutch with circumstances and situations for me to practice patience and letting go. I’ve been far from perfect in all of them, but I’m learning to recognize them and rely on God to help me through it.
In general, I’ve been learning to rely more on God. For anything and everything. Through some of the more difficult times in my life, I’ve come to realize how weak I am, how human I am, how broken I am, and how much I need Him. And through some of these rougher patches, I’ve discovered that the difficult things I have to endure are actually really good things because they all lead me back to my savior and draw me closer to Jesus. Through various trials, I’ve learned to resonate with 2 Corinthians 12:9 which reads, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Something I’ve noticed that happens when I’m going through a season of growth (or pain), is I start to resonate with verses that I used to read but never really internalize. Second Corinthians 12:9 used to be one of those verses. I used to read that verse and sort of half-heartedly agree with it. It wasn’t something I truly believed deep down. But this summer has taught me through various circumstances that Christ’s power truly is made perfect in our weaknesses, imperfections, and humility. When life is good all the time, it’s easy to become prideful and feel as though I don’t need Jesus, which is a lie. The truth is that I’m weak, and when I surrender fully to him, he is able to replace my weakness with his strength, my pride with is humility, my impatience with his patience, my selfishness with his generosity. I could go on.
Last summer I had a similar experience with a different bible verse. One that I used to read but never really believe. Philippians 3:7-8 reads, “But everything that was gain to me, I consider to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in the view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” About a year ago there were still things I held higher than Christ until the pain of a break-up opened up my eyes and showed me that there is truly no greater joy than knowing Jesus. In a journal entry from about 11 months ago, I jotted down this verse and underneath wrote, “It’s so great to read these verses and fully agree with them.”
This is exactly how I feel about 2 Corinthians 12:9. It’s so great to read this verse and fully believe it. To actually experience it.
A few months ago while I was still in Slovenia, I prayed that God would strengthen my faith. This was sometime in early April the week before a church retreat in Croatia and a hospitalization that ultimately lead me to my college decision (you can read about those two events here and here). While on the retreat, a sermon about faith was preached. Towards the end, we were given six specific tips on how to increase our faith, one of them being to simply ask, and then expect to go through a difficult time or for your problems to get worse (which indeed happened that weekend). As I prayed again this summer for my faith to increase, I found myself in difficult situations, reminded of my shortcomings, turning to God, having him reassure me that he’s in control, and at the end of it all I found myself firmer than ever in what I believed.
This has also led me to resonate with Philippians 4:4 which reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Life often takes a toll on us. Sometimes it feels as though I have nothing to rejoice about. But because I know Jesus, there is!
On another note, I leave for California this coming Saturday and could not be more excited! The Lord was faithful in leading me to Azusa Pacific and I cannot wait to see all that’s in store. I will do my best to post updates about our road trip out to Cali along with all that’s happening with move-in and orientation, so stay tuned! (: