so when can I rest?

College is fast approaching. I haven’t made my choice yet, (in fact I haven’t even been accepted to my first choice.) I find out if I’ve been accepted to the University of Florida on February 14th. Pretty cruel time to notify us, right?

“Your Valentine’s Day is either going to get a whole lot better, or a whole lot worse.”

I live in a pretty small Christian bubble, and whenever I mention the University of Florida, people start acting weird.

I’ve been told more times than I can count that “my faith will be tested,” like the whole world is out to get me, and that I need to be careful that I don’t “turn.” I wasn’t aware until recently that I could become a zombie if I attended a secular school.

I don’t laugh at these words of warning because I think they’re stupid. I laugh them off because they make me nervous. They make me second guess myself. They make me doubt God’s control.

Today I was texting a good friend of mine, and he was encouraging me to be strong in my faith as I head off to college. Then he said something, (whether it was off the cuff or seriously thought out I don’t know), that was very unsettling.

He said, “Basically, don’t ever be satisfied with your place with God.”

Never be satisfied?

Does that mean that I should constantly be pursuing God? That I should never become lazy or static? Because if that’s what he meant, (and it was, we talked some more and he clarified), I’m totally on board with it.

Still, I haven’t been able to get those words out of my mind, because they seem to sum up all the other warnings I’ve been given.

Be cautious. Be unsure. Your faith could be snatched away at any moment. Always be fighting and working toward God, or else.

How is that healthy? How does that bring life to anyone? Fear chokes out everything that is good. Fear belittles the moment that we are in right now.

I know that once I step into life at a university I’ll be shocked by some of the things and the people that I run into. I’m aware of that, and it makes me nervous. But my faith does not depend on how good my arguments are or how theologically correct I am. (I question things way too often for that to be of any use.)

There have been times when I’ve been furious, depressed, and just wanted to walk away, but he’s always brought me back. As another blogger said, “His love for us is deeper than we can imagine.”

If that love is truly as powerful and as unfailing as we believe, than it’s okay to trust him to take care of us. There’s nothing wrong with feeling safe. There’s nothing wrong with resting in him.

I’ve been afraid for too long. Always because of something new, but the fear has never left. I don’t want to be afraid anymore, and I refuse to feel guilty when I’m not.

I’m grateful for all the words of encouragement and caution, I truly am, but I know that my God will take care of me and my heart just like he always has.

I can rest.

baby-22194_1280

your friendly neighborhood scatter-brained artist, sweet tea enthusiast, and dedicated Publix shopper.

4 Comments

  1. Beautiful post, I appreciate you sharing your struggles and your honest heart! I can relate, I debated going to a Christian school and then ended up at the University of Michigan. It was the best and I strongly encourage you to find a community that will challenge you and help you grow! Enjoy the journey!

    1. Thank you. I’m very excited about the University of Florida and getting involved with Cru and their ministries on campus there. (Assuming I get accepted of course, so who knows!) Thank you so much for the encouragement. (:

  2. Mm. Yes, I remember hearing those same words. I did go to college and move away, and yes, I did meet with a lot of temptation. But I also saw the people who chose a different path, a “safe” path, beset by temptations also. Temptations are every place we go, even if we stay in Mom and Dad’s basement. I think the people who argue for safety are naive. Being surrounded by people of the same beliefs guarantees nothing. I think you are safe when you approach as you are doing, with wide eyes and open heart, but let what you’ve been taught growing up guide you in your choices. Good luck!

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