Back from Newport. It was a lovely and soulful trip. I think I discovered better motivations that I really need to implement in my life. I think it was the first time, in weeks (possibly months), that I’ve genuinely laughed and was just plainly my old weird self. Even though the retreat was only two-ish days in total, it was really cleansing and peaceful. I didn’t cry nor did I put out my fists in anger with how ashamed I should be, how much guilt I should really be feeling, and how lost I really am. Instead, it was a peaceful, quiet weekend for much reflecting on my faith.
I guess when I pray, I’m like others. I pray, and almost only remember to pray when I am in a time of need or suffering. But I’ve also stopped praying a bit since last year. It seemed futile and I felt like I was praying to an empty wall. I didn’t feel any bit of fullness in praying, and so I stopped. Back in September, I tried again. But life, like always, became way to busy and hectic for me to remember anything, let alone what I was doing in the next hour. I forgot and constantly neglected prayer. This January, I felt a bit more renewed to turn back to God, even though I felt lacking in every way. I really didn’t think I could live on if I didn’t pray, if there wasn’t a God out there. So I started out again, or at least tried to. It’s honestly so difficult sometimes just to keep up with life and its stresses, but going away this weekend made me step out of my own box of thoughts. My prayers were misdirected, my life’s purpose was lost in selfishness, and my questions were messy.
He really in all honesty is the hope of this world. In life, we constantly keep searching for some sort of answer to our questions and try to find it within our world, within ourselves. Sometimes when it gets so tough, we want to escape, just to get out of the stressful things and go away to another place, job, and relationship. But we all have our brokenness, and no matter where we go or who we go to, we’re still trapped in this cycle of oppressing ourselves and trying to escape. But we can turn our eyes towards the one who came to die for us, who shattered through our world of brokenness to save us, to save you. Yet, we constantly forget this and we constantly come back to our cycle. Our healing can’t be found anywhere on this earth, except in the one who gave everything up to be with us.
Last and this semester have both been incredibly tough and overwhelming. And I tried all sorts of things, thought of all possible worldly options, to get out of my struggle – whatever it was or is. And I still have so much more to experience, but it gives me great comfort that there’s no specific place I have to be or a person I have to become in order to glorify God and live for Him. My sister in Christ, Alana, described that path as a narrow bullseye that you have to fit in – or else you’re in the wrong place. But she said that’s not what it’s about. He gave us free will for a reason, and no matter which choice we make, whether good or bad, He can work through anything. Abbey also said how we shouldn’t let a potentially selfish or bad motivation stop us from doing the right thing. I have big decisions to make in the next coming years, and I, like any other freshman, have been getting overly stressed out about that fact. But I take pride and comfort in the fact that my job will not define me, my success or failures will not nail me to some awful standard.
There is no love greater in this world than His. I am in constant failure of recognizing how wonderful and fanciful it is, but I’m trying to come back. Freshman year is not yet complete, but it’s coming to a quick end. I don’t know what will happen of me in the coming months, but I have peace in knowing that my decisions are not definitive of any worldly attributes, and rather in prayer, in peace, I belong to the One and Only, Jesus Christ.
To those who have been praying for me, thank you so much for your advice, your stories, your courage. I know this is not the end. Not yet.
Eleanor, you’re cute too. Thank you for being a truly amazing, inspiring voice.