Sunday, February 10, 2013

"I Wanna Go Back to College": Reflections on Growing Up

This weekend, I am “baby-sitting” a 14 year old friend of the family. Basically, it involves making sure he eats dinner and taking him to the movies. Last night, he and a friend wanted to go see Avenue Q, the School Edition because some of their friends were in it. Now, I had a lot of homework to do but figured it would be nice to have a little bit of the break. Near the end of the show, some of the characters were reflecting on the harsh realities of everyday life. They started singing a song about how nice college was and it made me laugh because it was so true! 

Lately I have been thinking about how it will be 4 years in May since I graduated college. I will have been out of college as long as I was in it. That's totally crazy to me. For the first year after I graduated, my friends and I talked all the time about college, but as we have grown older we have learned to appreciate where are now while continuing to appreciate the great times we had then. 

The last 4 years have been crazy. I graduated college, my Dad moved to Arizona, my parents announced they were divorcing, I spent a year on staff with Chi Alpha with one dollar to my name, I moved across the country, started graduate school, almost quit graduate school, nursed my Dad through Cancer recovery, worked a full time corporate job and as a part time Michaels employee. I fell in love with Greek and lived through a couple Phoenix summers. My sister had a baby, moved back to Wisconsin and got married. Now she is pregnant with her second. My other sister moved to Washington.  I became a TA and a pioneer in school. I learned how to put coolant in my car. I flew across the country visiting friends. I made new friends and grew apart from others. 

Most importantly, I grew to love the Lord will all my heart and in new ways that I never thought possible. 

So no, as much as I miss being 21 and a little more carefree, I do not wish I was back in college. As much pain as the last 4 years have brought, they have also brought profound joy and growth. I think I have previously mentioned that my word of the year is HONOR. And I think I honor God most strongly when I don't pine for past seasons, but use what those past seasons have taught me to walk fully in obedience to what He has for me in this season. 

It is actually amusing to see the things that haven't changed in terms of what is keeping me from God. In my goal to be more intentional this year, I have been evaluating and cutting and having huge realizations. This one about college is just one of so many things I am learning from. I look forward to sharing more of what the Lord is showing me in the future. 

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.
--Hebrews 13:11