Friday, May 3, 2013

Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed.
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one.
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings name them one by one.
Count your blessings see what God hath done.
Count your blessings.
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings see what God hath done.

Wow. Where has the time gone. I know I'm not graduated. Yet. But I'm officially a senior now . . . that is an odd feeling. My youth pastor had this  "joke". Every year on our birthdays, he would ask us, "Do you feel any older?". No, We never did. Ever. But if you were to ask me, "Senior year! Does it feel any different?" I would say "yes. I can't describe it. But it feels weird. Like. I'm not sure how I got to this point. The last 3 years--moved by so fast."

Looking back, all I can do is praise God. That's the only reason I have made it to this point. There were days I thought I was going to die. Projects I was sure I was never going to finish. Tests I was sure I was going to fail. But through all of it, my God has been faithful. He's taken care of me. Watched over me. Given me everything I needed (and SO MUCH MORE!). It hasn't been a walk in the park type of college experience. It has been hard. Really hard. There have been times I wanted to give up. (Side note: when I felt like that, i would re-evaluate and realize my focus had been on me. I was trusting in my own strength. By giving everything back to God, I would realize I didn't need to depend on my strength--His was sufficient).

Freshman year--everything was new, exciting, happy, and scary. Getting that syllabus for Civ? I thought there was no way I could finish. And I did. But even at the end when my Grandfather got so sick and I had to leave early, God was faithful. My song of the year was "God is there"

God is there, when I am searching.
God is there, when I'm afraid.
God is there when sorrows break my heart and leave my life dismayed.
God is there when life's uncertain, when I am alone, when I'm betrayed.
God is there--He'll be my fortress. God is there.

Sophomore year--year of the wise fool. That was an apt description of me. I had it together, had it down, was in control. God had to teach me to depend on His strength (a lesson I keep learning).
My theme song that year was "Press on"

"There's a course that must be finished, there's a raise that must be won.
There's a mission to accomplish, and a battle to be won.
We've been called to take God's challenge, by His might and through His power.
He will give the grace to complete the race and the courage to Press on!"

 I joined a new extension (Puppets of Praise), got involved in tons of stuff, and learned to juggle like never before. I told myself it could never get busier. I was sadly deceived. Enter . . .

Junior Year. Practicum. Upper-classman. Extension leader. Society president. Crazy person. Should be diagnosed as clinically insane. Through everything, God has again taught me to trust Him. My society got disbanded. It's over. No matter what we tried, God closed the doors. He made it very clear what His will was. And we had to trust that He knows best. We have to trust. Again and again, God would remind me that I can do nothing in my own strength. He sometimes uses trials to break us and make us more like Him. This year's song was "Blessings" by Laura Story.

"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for Family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, for prosperity.
We pray for your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
And all the while, you hear each desperate plea.
And love us way to much to give us lesser things.
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears.
What if a thousand sleepless nights is what it takes to know you're near.
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?"
I spent more than one night curled up in my bed crying while this song played. On repeat. For hours. Crying out to God--to show me what He wanted. Surrendered over and over. I wanted His will. I wanted to depend on His strength. And every time that I would beg for forgiveness, He would give it. Freely.

Senior year. I'm not there yet. I have no idea what God has for me. But whatever it is, it's going to be awesome. I just have to remember to let Him have control. I need to always depend on His strength. It's been a lesson I've been learning.

The other lesson I've learned is: packing is a pain when you are an Ed. Major. Like, did I really need that coffee can? And the 7 shoe boxes? Why do I have 5 sets of markers and a dozen glue sticks?  I don't know. Apologies in advance to those that are storing my stuff for the summer . . ..