The biggest adjustment during sophomore year of college was realizing that college isn’t…well, freshman year.
Seriously, I must have been on cloud nine the entire time. Sure, I missed home every now and then and it did consist long nights studying every now and then. But it was filled with themed frat parties, ordering Gumby’s at midnight, brand new friendships and spontaneous adventures. I had this newfound confidence in myself that I was actually doing good at this whole “college” thing. That I was independent enough to leave home, meet some great friends, post some fun Instagrams that reflected the amount of fun that I was having. Everything was happy and I was happy and I was absolutely loving it.
Sophomore year though… people said that it’s the best year because that’s when you start getting the lay of the land. You come in with your solidified friend group and you move past the shock of exams in college compared to how they were in high school. Meaning… you actually do have to study. Ridiculous. You know your way around and you have your familiar faces and you just get it.
All of that is true though, don’t get me wrong.
But this school year was definitely a year of adjustment. The year of defeat and isolation and confusion. I live in a sorority house where I am surrounded by 70 girls, but somehow I had the ability to feel my most lonely. My classes were harder and those good grades that I was used to skating by with weren’t coming as easily or simply as they had before. I was tired all of the time, but I couldn’t let myself go to sleep because there was always just one more thing I could work on. I felt myself becoming home-sick. I mean, I love my family… but me? Homesick? I’m supposed to be having the time of my life in Columbia and dreading the idea of going home, right?
I was feeling like I stereotypically should have felt during my freshman year. That was something that made me feel weak. And feeling weak in a time where you are “supposed to” feel strong made me feel… well, even weaker.
Due to this midwest torrential downpour, my motivation to do anything productive is very little at the moment. How does one expect to get anything done when a comfy couch and Netflix is calling? However, the rain is the reason behind me live streaming The Crossing church service from this morning. For a little pick me up, I highly suggest watching it on their Facebook page because what an eye-opener it was! And something that hits home with me, especially with everything going on recently.
If you ask anybody that knows me, they know that I am one that wants to be able do to everything, all the time, to the best of my ability. I am always doing something, rarely let myself take a break (I’ve taken three naps in college….. three), and I am often way too critical about myself when I fall short. I don’t want to complain because overall, I have been involved in so many different things that have introduced me to the best people. I have learned hard-work ethic and time management skills and how to be on my (almost) A game when I didn’t always feel like it.
However, I have learned the negatives of over-involvement and over-working and over-well, everything. And that’s where my weaknesses become most prevalent.
That was the coolest thing about the service I watched this morning. See, I often feel defeated if I don’t spend enough time in the Bible, do something wrong, or just lose track of my motives. I feel this wave of disappointment if I’m not being the person that I want to be proud to be. I then begin to avoid praying or quiet time or anything like that because I don’t want to be looked down upon. Not my greatest strength, really, at all.
Here’s the beauty behind all of this… it’s going to be okay. The Bible presents so much truth in how we have the ability to cast our worries and our fears and our anxieties and our hurt towards God and He will turn those weaknesses into strengths.
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 really does wrap it all up-
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
In the service, it was stated that our weaknesses give space for God’s power to be demonstrated. How pure is that? That those weaknesses that each of us have are ones that are ultimately admired and praised and utilized. They are used for God to lead us to growth and learning and discovery in places in our lives that need improvement.
It’s way cool being reassured of that. The realization that every single person is weak in their own different areas is something so hard to realize, especially me. But, understanding that that weakness you have can be made into something so valuable is such a selfless, motivating thing.
In the midst of finals where you are surrounded by the struggle to focus, study, understand, it always seems to be a very negative time of the year. I mean, who looks forward to finals week? However, something that has helped me understand the bigger picture is that my weakness doesn’t mean I am weak. My weakness means there is potential for lessons being learned and that is something so cool to realize.