Choose You.

So, we’ve passed the half-way-there mark for the semester, and I finally have enough time to breathe, which of course means I have enough time to write.

I have to say, even though having this long period of silence (2 entire months!) has been rough, it was necessary.

It shouldn’t surprise me that time is flying by so quickly, but here I am, settled into a job I in no way deserve, surrounded by a group of girls whom I love dearly, and only two months have passed. I know I probably sound like I’m contradicting myself, considering I just commented on how long that is, but in the grand scheme of things it’s just a blip. It has only taken two months (really, less than that) for a group of strangers to become a family unit… and this year I’m on the other end of it. Let me back up a few months.

It was early August, and I finally finished moving into my new room. I was buzzing with nerves because it wasn’t Freshman year anymore, it was Sophomore year, and usually that in itself would explain it (because it’s one less year you have to get your life together), but it was more than that. There was that nice, campus-wide silence that you can only get during Winterim (because the silence during summer is a bit scarier and longer and less pleasant), and the Resident Life team was coming together for the first time, three weeks before any of the other students were moving in. There was a sudden rush of, “I can’t use being a Freshman as an excuse for stupid mistakes anymore” combined with, “Oh my gosh, I’m an RA. What if they hate me?” These two thoughts, amidst all the others, resurfaced the most.

Ah, the pre-RA life: the decorating, the long training sessions, the fear. Hours of basic training during the day, and crafty projects that went through the night. It was a mad dash up until the very last night before move in, but looking back, I can say that was a time of rest and restoration. It’s hard to remember why the first day of training was so awkward considering the comradery I now have with the rest of the Res Life team, but I digress.

Having the opportunity to work as a Resident Assistant this year has honestly been life changing. Watching how each of my girls is pursuing Christ and changing has helped me to realize how far I’ve come as well– Freshman year leaves no one unchanged, and I can’t express what a good thing that is.

Day after day I have the privilege of watching my girls choose Christ’s truth over the world’s lies, and fight to become the woman God is calling them to be instead of the woman society demands.

During our Bible Study this week we had a foot washing ceremony as a reminder that, as Christ followers, we have been made completely new, and not only that, but the old has been completely scrubbed out. Our dead flesh that clung to us, that tried to identify us, has been shed, and in it’s place is a completely fresh start–an opportunity to choose our true identity, and our true selves.

As I said earlier, staying quiet and off of my blog for the last few months has been rough, mainly because I have a lot of opinions and I like to talk about them (sorry, not sorry). But, the reason for my silence was that choice I just talked about: I needed to take time and learn how to choose me, and not just choose me, but choose who God is forming me to be.

It takes a lot of consistent silence and patience, and it’s a process that never stops, but the initial habit that I needed to form took months.

Months of crying before my Savior,

months of early mornings and late nights,

months of pushing myself, and wondering why I couldn’t measure up.

And then I realized.

It was time for me to stop trying, and time to let God do it for me.

He does a way better job, of course, but I’m not going to tell HIM that.

Any way, I know that’s a lot to take in, but I’m really only scratching the surface, and I’m so excited to reflect on what the last few months have brought, and what the rest of the semester looks like. I’ll finish with this-

Hebrews 10:11-25 MSG

(I’m using the Message version, because everyone needs a little Message in their life, and yes, it’s long, but please take the time to read it all the way through because it is THAT good)

“Every priest goes to work at the same altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did EVERYTHING that needed to be done for EVERYONE who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:

This new plan I’m making with Israel isn’t going to be on paper,

isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;

This time “I’m writing out the plan IN them,

carving it on the lining of their hearts.”

He concludes, I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins. Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them. [Please, take a second, because here’s the really good part]

So, friends, we can now– without hesitation– walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” [or veil, sound familiar?] into God’s presence is his body.

So let’s do it– full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.

He always keeps his word.”

And that’s a wrap! Congratulations if you made it this far, and have a blessed week!

“I have hated words and I have loved them,

and I hope I have made them right.” – The Book Thief