I didn't expect the challenges that would come with that choice. Being a young person in a community that attracts students from all over the U.S. means I'm often the odd one out--and in my life I've already spent plenty of time doing that. Not only that, but I often felt I was "behind" others who graduated in my class.
It's slowly gotten easier for me. Each financial victory, each friendship that has another year added to it, each moment of trust from leaders I've stayed connected to, makes the life I dream of living a little closer to reality. Sometimes, though, it still stings to not be in school.
Recently I was at a church social function when a second year student began speaking life over a first year student by speaking over her class. The first year student lit up, but I thought, " Oh dear, it's all about school here too. I shouldn't be here." I knew I was thinking big time lies that could ruin my evening, so I quickly turned to Jesus and asked why she didn't think to speak life over me and my class too.
"She's never been in your shoes. She doesn't know what it's like." I didn't know if that was Jesus or my own brain, but suddenly I had grace for the situation. Of course. That's exactly what it is. All of a sudden it didn't really matter any more to me. We had a fun evening.
Still, I knew I wanted a word for my class, long graduated, or maybe better yet, one for those of us who finished a year then hit the market place. So I started asking Jesus for it.
That incident faded into the background, until recently I was super triggered. The pain of not knowing if my presence is valued. Sometimes I sense OR IMAGINE others who went through school the whole way or who are in it pinhole me for not going the whole way through school. As if I was on a different level because I didn't accomplish what they did.
It was super odd the way the pain racheted up, because this year more than any other, I believe I have things to offer incoming students. I believe I have things to say that are worth hearing. I am learning to not try to be better than other people but excel in my uniqueness instead of trying to cover it up. By the way, trying to cover up your uniqueness is a recipe for disaster!!
But I came home and I could not sleep. Questions swirled in my brain.
Finally I started crying. By that time I had given up on sleeping and was prowling around my house and settling into my favorite chair. I journalled for a long time then I started reading Scripture. I know I'm supposed to enjoy Scripture but I've been on kindof a strange journey since I left BSSD. I hate religion so much I can't read it from a "supposed to" place.
I picked up my Bible and started reading in Mark. First it was the demons leaving the man and going into the swine. I thought I was done reading Scriprture but something about the man Christ Jesus drew me back. His personality is so compelling!! I read another five passages, so hungrily. Somehow I knew my validation and my correct placement in this community has to come from Jesus. And then I started to see a pattern.
Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.
If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.
For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.
You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all . For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.
I felt like Jesus was saying that my route to ongoing significant connection with the right people/greatness would be to serve whoever I come in contact with. He and I have already been working hard on healthy boundaries to my giving; but this was a reminder to me that no one is too small or too unconnected for God to notice my service towards.
I feel like there is some heart healing and practical outworking of this all that still needs to happen but I was so relieved to realize that Jesus understands my situation like no other, considers me his friend, and has a plan of action for me.
Jesus is the best.