Updated: May 9, 2019
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
September is already almost over, and already I've been at Hillsdale College for a month now.
If I'm being completely honest, it was not easy at first. I came home the second weekend and sat in my boyfriend's truck crying on his shoulder. I came home the following weekend and cried again. He's put up with more tears this month than he has the entirety of our relationship.
While I was busy crying and worrying about everything, he was quick to remind me that "Calli...It's only been two weeks."
He was right...He usually is and I'm so thankful for him.
I've learned a lot this past month, mostly because I've spent all of my time sitting in class, running, or reading. College is not easy, friends.
But I've also learned a lot from the people. These people are great. It's amazing to be able to just talk about Jesus and the Bible with the girls in my dorm or on my team all the time. This week I've realized how much of a blessing this is.
I went to our team Bible study on Monday night and we talked about prayer. Earlier that day, I had heard some philosopher quoted, he said, "You're either growing or you're dying."
At Bible study, we talked about how God is our source of life. We learned how vital prayer is in our lives. We were challenged to spend just fifteen minutes a day praying. Write a Bible verse down. Sing a worship song. Just spend some time with the Lord who give us LIFE.
Tuesday morning, I woke up and got ready: I put on my clothes and my makeup, brushed my teeth, did my hair and made my bed. I was ready for the day ahead of me. And then I sat down and I prayed.
I did it all again on Wednesday, and honestly, those were probably two of the best days I have had so far here at Hillsdale.
Everyone kept telling me, once you get into a routine, things will get easier.
They told me make sure you talk with your professors, take studying seriously, get lots of rest, call your parents, keep a planner, stay organized, work hard...
I was doing all of these things and I still felt overwhelmed. I still felt like I didn't know what I was doing and I wasn't ready for this whole college thing.
I continued to think back to the day of Convocation: the first official event on the orientation itinerary. President Arnn kept saying how hard this school is and how scared we should be. And just as I was about to say good-bye to my parents, I hugged my dad and he asked, "are you scared yet?"
"Remember what Danny said," He reminded me. "All you need to know is that it's been done before."
I continued to remind myself of that, but I still didn't know if I was ready for the challenge. But I figured if I'm going to do what's been done before, I better listen to what all these people are telling me to do. And so I did.
I did everything. I had two different calendars going, I asked questions in class, I was getting lots of sleep and doing lots of studying.
But I forgot to pray.
I mean, I prayed when I remembered or as I was about to take a test or do something new. But I never just sat and talked with my Heavenly Father. I was spending all this time learning about Him and His word in class, but I never actually took the time to TALK with HIM.
Prayer is so important- more important than I've ever known.
I've learned that I can do all these things in my control, but until I sit down and talk to my Father, I'm not truly growing. I was more or less just staying afloat. My control typically only lasted about an hour- at most. I might not have been dying, but I was definitely not growing in the way that I wanted to be; the way that I needed to be. I was growing in the sense of knowledge in the classroom and speed on the track, but I was not growing upwards towards Jesus. Instead, I was growing outwards in knowledge of the world.
Prayer is powerful guys! Pray in the morning, the afternoon, at night, in your sleep... "never cease praying."
It sustains true, joyful life.
It took me a month to learn this lesson. Don't wait any longer to learn it for yourself.