“Encouragement” and I arrived to the last friend from my past for this excursion. She was one of my mentors during college and in this entry she will be referred to as “Steadfastness”. No matter what’s thrown at her, she is always steadfast. Even in the times I saw her break, it wasn’t long before she was back on her feet again. Honestly, I probably didn’t help with that in college. I was probably the worst person to mentor. I was desperate for God, but way too caught up in lies to believe certain truths being thrown at me left and right.
It’s funny how the enemy works. He will paint those that are pointing you to the Lord in a negative light and twist what they say. That’s what happened for me in college. She would remind me of the gospel while giving me truth/correction from the lies I was believing. I couldn’t hear her fully because I was so stuck in lies that God wanted me dead for being homosexual. (Thankfully, God got me out of that lie and now I’m waiting on my future husband!) No matter how many times she mentioned Jesus and His blood…I promise it didn’t stick but flew right over my head. All I could think about was my dark apartment, self harm, and that God didn’t want anything to do with me. Loving words of correction were the only things that I’d catch except through my broken hearing and broken lens all I could see and hear was that I was failing miserably and a hopeless case.
Something in me was so desperate to be loved wholly and completely by a perfect and almighty God. I remember one day at church in the front row with “Encouragement” beside me. I believe “Ambition” was close by as well. I remember just feeling so empty, so broken, so desperate as I put my head down and just began praying silently the same phrase over and over, “I need You, Jesus…” over and over as I rocked slightly back and forth. I remember “Steadfastness” coming over and others coming and surrounding me while praying over me. I can’t tell you what exactly they prayed, but I can tell you looking back at it now… remembering that moment…God was trying to show me that He had been there all along through each of these people I encountered. I felt so much peace in that moment and I wish I could say it lasted and that I graduated, but alas as you probably are already aware…I have not graduated college and ended up dropping out later down the road.
Seeing “Steadfastness” again during this expedition I had to face myself and how I had missed listening and hearing her more often than not. I had to admit within myself that during college I ended up listening to Satan and his lies way too often and it’s no wonder I ended up dropping out. What’s crazy? I distinctively recall a young child giving me a drawing of a rainbow with an angel of light on the back. I believe that was God warning me that the devil comes into our lives disguised as an angel of light…but alas I’m here to tell you from experience he only comes to kill, steal, and destroy your life.
God truly has blessed “Steadfastness” in her life with a family of her own and seeing her persist through it all really is inspiring. After catching up with her and getting back home, she really hit me with the grace of God just a couple nights ago.
I had started seeing all of my sin and failures again…I was beginning to drown in my sin…when BAM she reminded me that I’m covered by the blood of Christ. I wish in college I had been able to hear. I’m so thankful this time it just really hit me in all the right ways. Maybe that’s just one reason why I felt so full of life and light this morning. God’s grace truly is our strength to stay steadfast. God’s Grace gives us the strength to be obedient as well. We love because He first loved us.
After visiting with “Steadfastness”, “Encouragement” persisted that I step foot again on the campus of the college I dropped out of. Nervous of raw emotions I would feel I hesitated but pressed on reluctantly. I parked near the apartments I had almost taken my life in. Though it was now four years later, the emotions felt so real as we walked within the apartment complex. Walking by my apartment was honestly a little haunting as I recalled so many times I had hurt myself and had suicidal pulls. Without “Encouragement” there, I don’t think I would have gotten so near. As we walked by the Baptist Student Ministry building so many emotions came bubbling up. I remembered my desperation for God and alone times reaching out to Him. As we walked by some benches facing a public road, I recalled so many times I had cried hoping for someone to approach me and ask me if I was okay. As we approached the student union, I recalled alone time with God when no one else was around inside.
So much emotion bubbled within me, but I also felt something new…something different…I felt this peace that surpasses all understanding that can only be explained by God. I just know He wants me to finish college. I have a gut feeling He wants me to finish there. I’ve been looking elsewhere, honestly, but there’s something about the entire excursion God led me on. I don’t believe in coincidences. God is in every little detail. I’m soooo thankful “Encouragement” was with me through the excursion. Without her, I may have never walked foot on the campus so soon. I’m pretty sure four years though is pretty much already an eternity…so honestly it was about time I faced my past. God is sooo good…All the time.