Faith like a Child

Something odd but interesting happened to me on this fine Sunday afternoon. After church I went to my favorite “me” place, Starbucks, to take some time to get organized for my next semester of classes that starts tomorrow.

As I was sitting there minding my business I continuously kept looking at my phone. I was waiting, waiting, waiting. Specifically waiting for one person to read my messages and finally respond to me.

I knew things were over between me and the guy, and they needed to be, but we were friends before we started dating. And he had even said on the day that we broke up (not even a week ago by the way) that we could still be “best friends.” I use the quotation marks because those were his exact words.

Although despite the concept of being “best friends,” he was not treating me like a best friend should be treated. This doesn’t say much because he didn’t really treat me like a girlfriend deserved to be treated either (hence why the relationship needed to end), but that’s another story, for another time… or maybe not.

About a week ago, Monday December 31, 2018 at 7 am my Fit Bit’s vibrations shot anxiety through my veins like no other, waking me up in a panic. It was him. He was finally calling me, as he had promised he would days ago. I was nervous because I knew this was most likely the last time he would be calling me for a while… because this was it. This was the end, whether I wanted to believe it or not.

In fact, this had to be it. Because it was the last day of 2018 and I needed to make sure I could do the whole “New Year, New Me,” thing on the first day of 2019. How could I do that with an unhealthy relationship hunkering me down?

I answered my phone and just cut to the chase. We both had a mutual agreement that it needed to end, but that we could still be friends. Although, I was still pretty angry with him because I’m not sure he completely understood why I needed to break up with him. I mean, he bluntly admitted that he knew I wasn’t happy and could find someone else, but deep down, I knew he had no idea the amount of pain that he had caused me throughout most of 2018.

I hung up the phone and went back to sleep, waking up later feeling a bit anxious, but a bit lighter. The only problem was that now a huge part of my life had changed. No, not changed. This was my new normal. And whether I liked it or not, I needed to get used to it.

I powered through the week still trying to communicate with him. He blocked me once and continued to just read my messages (or delete them without reading them) and never respond. This hurt even more.

We had big dreams together to get married and live as powerful social workers. Yet somehow, someway, he was able to throw me away like an old, used pair of shoes- used and unworthy. At least this is how I felt.

Finally, I got sick of it. He told me throughout the week that he would call, but he never did. So, I tried calling him. Each time he rejected the call. By the third try, he blocked me. He told me he would too. This is where the story continues…

I was sitting in Starbucks on this Sunday afternoon chugging away at my work, and a skinny cinnamon dolce latte, when I noticed he had, yet again, ignored my messages. I can tell because like Facebook Messenger, with this app you can see when people have come online.

Fed up, but knowing what was coming to me, I tried calling him. Of course, the call was rejected, and about three seconds later I received a message, “Goodbye,” and just like that his little icon picture disappeared and I was blocked.

As tears filled up my eyes I gathered my belongings and rushed out to my car. I could not let myself break down in the middle of Starbucks. Once I got to my car, I tried calling him on his regular number, rather than the app. His phone was switched off.

I checked Instagram and messaged him, asking him to unblock me and call me. By this moment, I had completely lost it. I was upset, angry, confused and so much more.

So I went home and sobbed on my bed with the comfort of my mother and my sister’s cat. But on my way home, I saw something very unusual.

Between gasping for air, screams, and sobs, I was able to maintain my concentration

tenor
If you don’t know what the “floss” is, check out this video of this grandma rockin’ it!

driving. And I was able to do this enough to see three school-aged boys standing at the end of a neighborhood road dancing. One kid was doing the floss.

I made eye-contact with one of them. I’m pretty sure they saw me upset and crying because when I looked in my review mirror they all ran together in complete disbelief– probably that they saw a grown woman crying while driving.

Through the midst of my pain and suffering I was able to let out a little chuckle and remember my days of young walking around town and doing similar things.

Oh the youth and the crazy things they do, am I right?

Well, here’s how their little act of fun impacted me positively today. After I spent some time sobbing and relaxing in a steaming hot shower, I grabbed my bag and headed back to Starbucks. I needed to keep myself occupied and I needed to get my work done!

I drove by the same place where I saw the kiddos getting boogey with it and I was reminded of a Bible verse.

“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 18.3. Here we see Jesus stating that to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to change like little children

We have all probably heard the phrase “faith like a child,” too. I was quickly reminded of this.  These children had faith.

They had faith that they would not get hit by a car.

They had faith that they would make someone laugh.

I want that. I want that faith. Not faith that God would restore this relationship, I mean yes, I hope he does unblock me so we can be friends, but in due time things will happen the way they need to for both of us to move on and heal.

Not faith that I would be miraculously healed from the pain, although that would be nice… But that is not necessarily Biblical. We can see examples of suffering throughout scripture, such as, Job, Paul, and the greatest example of all is Jesus.

Peter also tells us: In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1.6-7)

That’s kind of a beautiful scripture isn’t it? That we are being refined and have greater worth than gold. Woah man. That’s pretty neat if you ask me.

The faith that I want like these little guys dancing on the road is that God would protect my heart and keep me emotionally safe through this trial. I understand that my emotions are already somewhat bruised and on the line, but that’s nothing Jesus can’t heal. 

9780718084646As Lysa TerKeurst states in her novel Uninvited, I want the faith that through the mess of this there will be a miracle– it may not be healing right away, but something will come of this.

Lastly, I want the faith that will give me strength to rejoice in my suffering (James 1.2-3; 1 Peter 1.6-7). Faith that will allow me to turn my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30.11). Faith to remind me that God is in control and He still has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29.11).

Through all of this pain and messy relationship situation, I just want faith like a child.

And through that faith, I will receive healing.

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5.34

 

To That College Student. . .

12524175_274048026263364_5952029946210236739_n

As college students it is difficult to make that transition from being at school 90% of your time to moving back home, picking up a summer job, and trying to figure out who is and who isn’t your friend from high school. It’s hard to leave the people that you have been living with for the whole school year. It’s hard to leave a dorm room that you may have become so acquainted too.

And then, getting used to being back at home. Everything is different. Your morning routine is thrown off, you don’t do laundry the same, you don’t even brush your teeth the same! It’s certainly not an easy transition.

The most challenging part of this transition is when you head home from college for the summer, but there are still things that you want to do, goals you want to accomplish, or maybe the semester is just that great that you aren’t ready for it to end. This blog goes out to those that have struggled with the semester coming to a close for one reason or another.

To that college student that didn’t get to hang out with your friend group as much as you wanted to towards the end of the semester because you had the most difficult finals ever to study for… you get each of those friends numbers and find a specific time to hang out with them this summer. Make time for them, drive to them, Skype them! This is summer now, you don’t have another assignment due until next semester (that is, unless you are taking summer classes!).

T0 that college student that didn’t get a chance to get to know that guy or girl you’ve had your eye on the whole semester… don’t sweat it! Do not let it ruin your summer! If you have his or her number, send a text saying you hope they have a great summer, and then go do that yourself! Also, if they didn’t recognize you or take interest in you for a whole semester, you deserve better. There is someone out there that you don’t even have to try to impress. The key is patience my friend. It’s definitely not easy!

To that college student that is going home to a complete and utter messy family situation… I am praying for you. Take this time to be a light to your family and friends. I know that doesn’t sound as easy as it seems, but try your hardest. Keep your head held high and know that God has placed you where you are for a reason. Know that whatever is going on, God is still God and He is bigger! If there is negativity, be the positive! It’s just three to four months and if you can get through a week of finals on four hours of sleep a night, you can get through this summer!

Lastly, to that college student that didn’t do as well as you wanted to… This one hits home to me. I set really high standards for myself and get extremely disappointed when I do not meet them. From my own personal experience, this is what I have to say: so what? So what if you didn’t keep a 4.0 GPA? So what if you had to take a “C” or lower in a class? Did you try your hardest? If yes, then feel accomplished that you got that grade! If no, you have learned where you need to improve. Learn from your mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over it. Your identity does not lay in these things. Christ defines you. Let your identity lay in Christ and nothing else!

There are so many more scenarios that I could go through that speak to college students around the globe. You see, no matter what your case is do not let it hold you back from personal growth. Do not let it stop you from having a great summer. Know that you are not alone in this, but that most college students are making some type of big transition at this time of year. It’s okay to go through these hard times, but do not let them define you! Stay strong friends, and we can get through this together!