I just got done with my small group bible study. My small group is wonderful, just to let you know.
Anyway, tonight's topic was 'What's God been up to this year?'- a year-in-review of lessons and feelings through their tumultuous freshman year. For me, it was my sophomore year, but not much less tumultuous.
I think I just like the word 'tumultuous'.
There were two main lessons that I've identified that've come out of this school year:
LESSON 1: Faith is harder than I thought.
So, before first semester, I really hadn't wrestled with my faith much. I mean, I was grounded in my faith- I knew all the right apologetic answers, and many bible answers. I had much of my faith worked out with Reason behind it, so I knew why I believed what I believed, and all was well. And then, during Historic Christian Belief first semester, a question came up that knawed at me. I didn't have a logical answer, all the logic I could muster led me to the opposite of what I knew to be true by the Bible and experience. The question that bothered me was "Why pray?", specifically, "Why ask God for things when, if He is all knowing and good, He already knows whether He will give you them or not, and what He already has planned is the best for you?" This question, brought up mid-first semester, didn't go away. It stayed in the back of my mind, and interrupted me everytime I went to talk to God, so that, after I thought about it, I was praying insincerely, because I wasn't sure if all my prayers were in vain.
It wasn't till a bit before Easter that, through a conversation with Josh, I could finally align my heart, mind, and will and submit that I didn't have all the answers but I know that God is good and His ways are higher than mine. He listens and somehow uses prayers in a way I don't understand. The broader lesson was, the step I finally had to make purely on faith was a struggle I'm not sure I've had before, and I pulled through closer to God because of it.
LESSON 2: I need other people.
Ever since moving back from Hawaii, I've yet to keep a close friend for two consecutive school years. I've moved, friends have moved, friends have graduated, I have graduated.... It's been no one's fault, it has just been. And through all those people-transitions, I got to the point I stopped depending on people to be there. I wouldn't let myself put too much worth or weight into a relationship, because I was sure it would slip from under me as it always had and I would be alone again. This year's been different. I've actually started AND ended the school year with the same close friends. It has been amazing. I don't think it totally hit me that I had come to value these relationships so much until they weren't there for a while. Mid-school year, for a month and a half, I didn't see my two closest friends at school. This was the first time since elementary school I can remember feeling intensely lonely. I realized I had come to a point where I was needing other people- and that's healthy! Not a dependent-need, but an acknowledgement of the neccessity of community is important in learning to do Christian life together.
And then there's Josh, who I miss every week. Alot. I've become kinda attached, I suppose. It's the first time I've been so tied to a particular person that I give up my fierce independence that I tend to display otherwise. That, too, is healthy.
So, those're my important-lessons-o'-the-year. Sure, then there was all that school stuff. What've you learned? What's God been up to with you?