Despite how challenging and hard senior year has been, one thing I am absolutely thankful for is these wonderful friendships God has so clearly blessed me with. How kind of the Lord to give me loving sisters for my time at UCLA and hopefully beyond that. Looking back, one thing I’ve consistently seen God’s apparent love towards me in is these friendships. So, here’s to you, Senior year.
kindred spirit. n.
a person who shares beliefs, attitudes, feelings, or features with another
This is a phrase that is more felt than verbally explained. It’s that feeling when you instantly connect with someone. A special bond. It doesn’t matter where you met there, how long you’ve known them. With some, it’s felt in an instant. With others, it’s a bond formed over years. A love that no matter where you end up 30 years from now, no matter how visually/verbally connected, there will always be a place in your heart for these people. People you will never forget because they have become part of who you are.
Merry Christmas everyone! I am especially thankful for the kindred spirits in my life :)
Heartcheck: The way I’m living and the thoughts I’m entertaining show that Jesus has not been my everything, that I don’t think He’s enough.
My soul has disregarded Jesus as sufficient and gone looking elsewhere for more- which of course I always come back hurt, disappointed, frustrated, bitter, and empty. Wanting control, but things are just beyond my grasp. Wanting approval, but I can never get enough. Wanting friends, but always feeling alone. Wanting praise, but never feeling good enough. Feeling unworthy, but I don’t turn to the One who has deemed me worthwhile. Drinking from temporary satisfaction, when I have the Living Water pouring into me.
That is the worst my soul can do- deem Jesus Christ as not enough.
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. [Psalm 23]
This past quarter, God has been teaching me the severity of even “small” sins. He has made them very clear to me. He has shown me that if I’m not immediately obeying, then I am immediately disobeying. There is no in between. He has taught me that disobedience has consequences, that might either surface rapidly, or may not be discovered until months later.
So amidst constantly being aware of and surrounded by my sin, I started feeling defeated by it. I felt like I was drowning in my selfishness, my stubbornness, my pride…the list goes on. It was an overwhelming ocean that I felt like I was barely able to keep my head above, constantly choking on the salty water of sin that I would inhale. The more I flailed to stay afloat, the more tired I got, and the quicker I began sinking once again.
And then I come to a point where I so desperately want to be rid of these sins, yet I’m so tired of fighting. The internal conflict of wanting so badly to give up, yet knowing that I can’t. The hopelessness of sin. Yet the yearning of the Holy Spirit inside of me wanting something more for myself.
It’s an overwhelming thought knowing that this will not be a one-time struggle. This will be my whole life. This will be everyday of my whole life. When I think of that, I cringe, and then I really do want to give up.
But then I think of Jesus. I think of His love, His selflessness, His grace. His beauty. How worthwhile it is to follow Him. Though never easy, my soul has been convinced that it is so worth it. He told us that while we are in our earthly flesh, we will never be perfectly without sin. But He promises that one day, we will share an inhertiance with Him and be completely free from it.
Till that day.
And then Psalm 23 tells us that His rod and staff: they should comfort us. These are tools for discipline, to guide us in the right direction, though it hurts sometimes. But they are comfort. God cares too much for me to let me be ignorant of sin, to let me go in my own ways. He allows struggles in our life, not so we focus on how sinful we are, but so that He can show us how abundant His grace is.
You’ve screwed up again? Here, take My grace.
You disobeyed me again? I will show you that I am faithful, despite your faithlessness.
If we let sin defeat us, we will drown.
If we let the blood of Jesus cover us, His love will lift us up.
Through the LORD’s mercies, we are not consumed.
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning,
Great is Your faithfulness.
Today, sitting in church, I was reminded of how small I am. Of how small we people are. I suddenly opened my eyes and looked around to a room full of people singing praises to God. And then I realized that these people, we, are nothing. Absolutely nothing in of ourselves. How could we think we are?
I was surrounded by people reaching out to God. People desperately clinging to the only Life that can be found, to the only Hope that lasts. Broken people in dire need of a Savior. We aren’t giving anything to God. We are proclaiming the majesty of the One who has given us beauty for ashes.
Why we humans ever think we’ve got things going for us on our own, I don’t know. We were created to worship something Greater. We need something bigger than ourselves. So desperately need.
If there’s anything to make me instantly emotional, it’s nostalgia. Works like clockwork everytime. Thinking about memories, events, and people of the past.
With that being said, this upcoming year will be a tough one. Of course, I’m so so excited for senior year of college. I’m excited to continue to invest and make memories with people that I love so dearly and have grown close to over the past 3 years.
But when you invest, there’s always a risk of loss. Ya win some, ya lose some. Sometimes you lose communication with people, sometimes you never see them again. Sometimes there’s a fallout.
As I’ve had to acknowledge that I hold onto the past much more than is healthy, God has been faithful time and time again to reveal this to me: every time I continue to walk in faith in the things He has for me, He does not fail bless me in that. When I moved to California, I was so mad at God and couldn’t believe He took away all my childhood friends. And then, I assimilated, and He allowed me to make lifelong friends in highschool; and blessed me with so many memories and circumstances that changed my life forever. And then going off to college, I was so reluctant to leave these precious friends of mine. And yet once again, once I submitted my heart to being where God had me, He again just inundated me with more lifelong friends that are some of the most loving, funny, caring, conversational, crazy people I have ever met before in my life. Anddd they all love Jesus. This is not to say that God will give me tons of friendships everywhere I go and I know that. But God is a loving father who loves to bless His children and knows what they need for that period of time. And by His grace, He granted me a support system of friends in times that I needed it most.
The point of my ramble is this: it’s scary thinking about what’s to come. About fearing losing friends and past memories made. But God is sovereign in EVERYTHING. And that includes friendships. He orchestrates friendships, gives growth to them, and sometimes gives you new ones, and will sometimes let go of some. The best news about loving Jesus is that you will be friends for eternity.
So here I am again in this place I always find myself. So desperately wanting time to stop, but knowing that is wishful thinking. On the brink of excitement for the future and the fear of disappointment that the it will not be as wonderful as the past.
Whatever stage you are at, don’t forget to value friendships. Sometimes they get extremely overshadowed by a search or desire for a relationship. But don’t forget all the people God has blessed you with in your life that have been through thick and thin with you.
C.S. Lewis says it best: "But in Friendship… we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting – any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say ‘You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.’ The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others."