Over the past few months, probably for a lot of reasons, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my relationship with God. It’s been really good especially recently because I’m getting to a much more mature place in my relationship with God than I’ve ever been.
Being in a campus ministry, it’s easy to learn the value of community. It becomes clear how God can work through us singularly by working through us in groups. You start to appreciate the camaraderie that exists in the church with God’s people and you begin to long for all the trappings of that camaraderie. For me, that meant enjoying friendships with other young, serious Christians (something I had never done to that extent before) and also enjoying the mentorship of older, more mature women. During my junior and senior year I saw myself grow in certain aspects of my faith like, humility, and vulnerability and I just overall became more introspective.
The thing is, I oftentimes stop at introspection before getting to a spiritual reorganization of my life and thoughts*. So for those two years, I knew I was flawed, I knew I was unjust, I knew I was incapable, and so on, but I didn’t know what to do about it. Even worse, I didn’t know who could stop these things from being true about me. So basically, I was super self-aware but I had no awareness of what to do with myself.
It would take too long to enumerate all the fun things this lead to but I will say that eventually my introspection turned into something like repentance. Not just a knowledge of my myriad shortcomings but an actual desire to be changed. Furthermore, I began to really understand and believe that the change wasn’t going to be because I prayed 15 hours a day or because I fasted every month but because God is gracious and sovereign. I started to realize there wasn’t anything I could really do about all these problems but I had a really Great Friend who could pull some strings and make big things happen.
Which leads me to today. For the past few days I’ve felt very unsure about the future, not because I don’t know what I want to do or I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing, but simply because I don’t know the road that God has preordained for me, and that’s becoming a bit scary. Like, how many highs and lows will God put me through before I reach this destination? If I just went through a series of lows does that mean it’s time for a high? Or were my lows not low enough? What is this transcendent math?!?!?
I want reassurance that what I’m doing won’t lead to a low. But I can’t get that. From anyone. Except one Guy. And He might not even tell me. But understanding that, and understanding even more that these problems that I ignored for a while – the jealousy problem, the manipulation problem, the self-esteem problem, the lust problem – these aren’t problems for my mom or dad or brother or sister or friends or mentors or anyone like that. They can certainly help and I’m sure at times I’ll need them to, but they can’t give me the reassurance I sometimes need. They can lead me to the introspection but they can’t convict me, only God can do that.
*This is a poor paraphrase of a quote I read but now can remember neither its author nor its exact wording. Sorry homies.