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Grace On Top Of Grace

I’m only three weeks into my sophomore year of college and it has already tested me and stretched me and pulled me in a million different directions. From full days of classes to involved projects to pre-recruitment stress and practices. I’ve already had late nights, hearty laughs, and even times of sadness and despair. But the best news is that Jesus has already been working in me and He has me excited for this next year because I am refreshed and renewed thanks to his grace and mercy!

Last year I found the switch from home to school damaged my quiet time pattern because I wasn’t surrounded by the same people encouraging me to press into the Lord consistently. The change in environment caused a change in my habits. When my boyfriend and I broke up a month into my freshman year, I truly turned to Christ for comfort for the first time in my life. Not to say that I only read my Bible in church, but I was never unhappy enough to feel like I was missing what can only be found at the feet of Jesus. But as I pulled through it I found myself feeling less and less like I needed to be filled up. I found myself getting busy with life and college, so I would tell myself, “It’s okay that I didn’t read my Bible today, I’ll just read two chapters tomorrow.” Did I really read two the next day? No, I probably told myself I’d read three the day after that. Long story short, bad cycle.

So here I am, starting my sophomore year fully aware that I need to begin with good habits to keep them. The third week of school in, and I find less and less time to just sit and be quiet and not have anything on my mind. But somehow this week, I just decided to find a sermon to watch online because I needed some encouragement. I’m a Louie Giglio kind of girl, and so I found this sermon called “Eyes Up, Knees Down” and it just owned me. I honestly think I took around eight pages of notes, it was that good. Anyways, I watched that and then just randomly decided that I needed to stop being so random when I choose where to read in the Bible because I skip around so much. I decided to read through the gospels, and so I’ve just been reading in Matthew.

I’ve really been struggling with feeling like my whole life is out of control. I try to deny that fact that I like to be in control, but when it comes to my own life and things that involve me, I really like to be in charge. So I’m at this point in my life where I don’t know where I’m going and I feel like I’m not moving in a specific direction, and the things I want are not being given to me. So just in the course of three weeks, God has already taught me so much about his plans for me. He hasn’t exactly let me know what those plans are for me, and to be painfully honest I’m extremely cynical towards Jeremiah 29:11 because I feel like it’s every girl’s bio on Instagram, but it seriously is such a simple truth.

Louie said in that sermon, God allows storms in our lives because he knows they will force us to fall on our knees. I have definitely learned that and I can’t even begin to describe how good it feels to legitimately hunger after his word and presence in your life. If you think about that show you’re really into, and how you can’t wait to watch the next one in the season, that’s literally how I feel about reading the Bible and spending time at Jesus’ feet. I feel refreshed when I close my Bible and I can’t wait to open it up and read more.

I’m sitting here asking for God for so many things and blessings in my life, and Louie Giglio basically rips the carpet out from underneath me by asking, “When was the last time you were on your knees worshipping the Lord?” That question had me majorly convicted and then he tops it off with, “If that question is causing tension in your heart right now, it’s probably been a while.” How on earth am I expecting God to move mountains and I can’t even set aside a little time during the day to get on my face before him and praise who he is. That is embarrassing.

Now I’m at this point where I know God says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” But rather than my asking, seeking or knocking on my own accord because I feel like I want something on my watch, I want everything in God’s timing because I know that if he gives me the desires of my heart when he sees fit, it will be so much sweeter. I’m learning to walk through the narrow gate and be one of the few who find it because I want His will done in my life.

In Matthew 8, a man with leprosy (the most disgusting disease that caused infected people to be shunned from towns) came to Jesus and asked Him to make him clean. If that had been me, I probably would have just asked him to heal me, but this man came and knelt before Jesus and began his question with, “If you’re willing…” I think that is so humbling. This man who was probably shunned and away from his home and family, yet didn’t even want what he wanted unless it was what Jesus wanted. I feel so convicted by that but now I want what I want if that is God’s will for my life. Because without Him and His plan, I am absolutely nothing and I have absolutely no purpose. And while that makes me feel small, I am reminded that God is bigger than everything and He is unstoppable.

Regardless of my situation my joy in the Lord should rise to the surface because my situation is because of him and there is always something to be thankful for. I am broken and only made whole through Christ and that in itself brings me so much joy. I have a God that loves me so much, he puts me back together and fills the cracks and empty spaces. It is powerful to be helpless except by the name of Jesus. Every single day the Lord is shaping me and softening my heart and breaking me, because that is the only way for Him to be glorified. If I am trying constantly to compensate for everything without God, I’m living a joke. His power and glory is literally exemplified through His ability to use me despite my weakness.