Saturday, May 19, 2012

College Life

I cannot believe that I have now successfully finished my college education.  These last four years seem to have flown by.  Looking back over my last four years of college there are so many lessons that I have learned.  I entered into my freshman years of college with my life completely planned out. As a 18 year old, I could have written a timeline of my life...I knew who I was going to marry, when I would marry, what I would be doing, and where I would be living. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  My plans were all good, however I never imagined that perhaps God had different plans for me. 

Freshman Year 2008-2009

College World Series

My freshman year several of my friends and I acted out a play of the life of Jim Elliot.  We then were able to preform for a group of teenagers during our annual Empowered Youth Conference.

My first of four Christmas Lights Activities.  Enjoying my time in Chicago with some new friends

I was also able to spend the first semester of my freshman year along side of my big sister and her girlfriends.  I had so much fun tagging along with her.

Bowling and dinner trips with friends

My sophomore year was much of the same.  I spent much of my time with new friends, still wrapped up in My dreams and My plans.  However, at the end of my sophomore year it was as if God stripped away all my plans. I did not understand why.  And at times I wondered what God was doing in my life.  Why would God take away all that I held dear?  I became angry...

 Sophmore Year 2009- 2010

College Fun

Liz and I

My junior year I spent trying to fill my void.  I finally accepted that God had taken away all my plans and I realized it was for the best.  However, instead of learning to rely fully upon God I began to develop new plans.  I talked to my boss at my job and planned out my future with her.  Together we planned my schedule for the next two years of college  We then discussed how I would take a full time position the day after I graduated from college.  
I once again made new friends, however my hands were still tightly around my own plans...I was holding onto my life and simply wouldn't let go. 

Junior Year 2010-2011

Watching a flag football game.

Annual Christmas Lights Activity

 Girls Dorm Christmas Party

My junior year I even attempted sewing a bit.  Honestly, haven't sat at a sewing machine since then :)

My Senior year brought so many changes into my life.  My first semester I was simply BUSY!!! I student taught 7th and 8th grade American Republic as well as 12th grade Public Speech.  At the beginning of this semester my family and I made a move to a beautiful new home.  I was always working, preparing for classes, grading papers, and unpacking!

Senior Year 2011

 My final Christmas Light Activity

My last day teaching my 7th and 8th grade History students

As I look back over my last semester of college something changed in side of me.
Toward the end of the year I began to have several difficulties arise.  I had no where to turn to, so finally I was forced to take a moment from my busy life and look upward.  
I began to have many difficulties at work, I was lied about by a fellow coworker.  I then watched as my hours at work began to dwindle down to nothing.  I began to worry and fret about what I would do after graduation.  My life was not going according to my plans.  I went to my boss and asked about what would happen after graduation, she told me I may not get those promised 40 hours a week.  I was so frustrated! And at some point I began to doubt everything.  I doubted the love of God.  I could not understand why a loving God could not grant me MY desire.

Then through a series of events I learned a simply yet life changing truth.  God Loves Me,God loves me  sooo much.  He loves me more than I can ever comprehend.  When I recalled that truth, my entire mindset changed...I realized that God wasn't out to make my life miserable, instead He had something far better in mind for me.  
I remember the day I finally let go of it all. I went through all my dreams and gave them all over to God.  I remember verbally telling God that He now had everything, I was completely done planning my life out , it was now completely up to Him.
Since that day, I no longer fear my future...why should I?  My future is not only in the hands of a all knowing and all powerful God but also in the hands of a Loving God.  A God who wants only the very best for me.

"God would never take something away from me without the intention of replacing it with something better"

These last few months have been filled with some pain.  At times I cried out to God and asked Him what He was doing in my life.  At time I still question God.  However, the moment I let go of my plans God showed Himself to me.
God granted me with an great new job- a job that has provided me with 40+ hours a week.
God removed some friends from my life however He has replaced them with amazing friends that share the same mind with me and only desire to lift me higher.

At times, I sit quietly in my room and wonder...what does my future hold?  However, now..I do not fear my future...because it is no longer in my hands, rather a God who loves me with immeasurable love is planning my life out.  Therefore, I can rest assure, that as long as I leave my life in His future will be bright.

Senior Year 2012

Navy Pier

My last activity ever: Turkey Run State Park.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to spend my last year with my little sister, Lauren

Hiking some rather intense trails...

May 17, 2012: College Graduation

As for God....His way is Perfect!
I am so excited to see what God has in store for me 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Changes

 When I say the word spring, no doubt, many different pictures or thoughts come to one's mind.  Perhaps, one thinks of flowers in bloom, buds on trees, rain gentling coming down watering the earth, butterflies, or life. When I think of spring, I immediately think of change.  The cooler weather slowly and gradually warms up.  The bare trees begin to bloom. Even the caterpillars, themselves go through a dramatic change into a butterfly during this beautiful season.
This spring seems to be bringing about a lot of change in my life, as well.  This spring, in fact in only 9 days, I will be graduating from college.  This will be a huge change for me.  School is truly all I have known.  Beginning with kindergarten I have been in school every year of my life.  Immediately after highschool I enrolled in college.  And now I am watching my schooling career come to an end.  So, many different emotions are beginning to come over me.  One without a doubt is joy and bliss.  I have never truly enjoyed school, I like being with my friends.  But to put it nicely, I look forward to summer break starting the first day of school.  But now thinking that in just a few short days I will forever walk away from school;  it all seems a little foreign to me.  No more tests, no more quizzes, no more forced reading assignments, no more papers, projects, or speeches.  Life without school will definitely be a huge change for me
Another change this spring is bringing me, is I will beginning a new job.  Last Wednesday I put in my two week notice at Wee Care Child Development Center.  As I presented my boss with my resignation letter my hands shook and my voice trembled as I told her that I simply needed more hours than they were able to give me, therefore after graduation I would be leaving them.  It was so difficult to tell my coworkers.  This week I have begun to tell some the parents of my young students that I have known for four years that my last day will be next Wednesday.  Today as I told a parent I watched as tears began to form in her eyes.  I realized how much of a change this would be for me.  I have been working at my current job since the day after I graduating from High School.  What a change it will be to say good bye to all my children, parents, and coworkers.
Change has never been easy for me.  In fact, I'm one of those people who often finds myself ordering the same thing at a restaurant time after time...why,  because simply I know what I like and I don't want to be disappointed.  Yet, this spring God has begun to show me that change is exactly what is best for me.  I have seen God take a hold of all of my plans and change them around. 
My life may not be going exactly the way I planned, but I know it is going exactly the way God planned it.  Therefore, as I look ahead I am filled with excitement because although I have no idea what my future holds, I know my God is in control, guiding each and every one of my steps.