Sunday, August 31, 2008

Be 13 Again.

Be 13 Again. This is the phrase that is plastered to my dorm room wall as of this weekend. I have always felt like the kid in me never grew up. It's a semi-Peter Pan-esque rebellion, which probably explains why that's my favorite story ever. J M Barrie just speaks to me. My entire side of the room is covered with posters and magazine cutouts of all of the latest teenybopper idols. Tons of Hannah Montana. Lots of Jonas Bros. High School Musical stars. Camp Rock leads. You name it, I've got it on my walls. I have one last semester of college, so why not go crazy? It really is fun, and I'm attracted to their fun catchy pop songs that aren't seriously loaded, emotionally frustrated songs that everyone is so driven to these days. They're just fun. And with life being the way it is, some days fun is all I can manage.

In all seriousness, at this point in my life I've been feeling a pretty strong desire to either go back and be 13 again or fast forward five or ten years. College is probably the most uncomfortable place for me to be right now, and yet I have a responsibility to myself and my parents to finish this degree I started three years ago. I have been at school for one week now and I feel like a freshman all over again without the excitement of the years to come. It's just awkward. My ties here are already starting to disintegrate. Even more strange is not knowing what comes next. I should know shouldn't I?

What's most dissappointing is not knowing how or if I left my mark anywhere. Looking back, I remember every year coming back and hoping that I could become a little bit more of myself here in this Christianized college bubble. I never got there. I still left myself in Florence, SC coming to this place where I question every move I make, every word I say in hopes that if I do something right I will earn more Christian points in this race to be the best Christian. I have no titles. I'm not the outgoing one or the funny one or even the smart one. These people have nothing to define me, and I'm left feeling like I don't belong completely. They would never tell you that here.

Generally, I'm a very easy going and cheerful person, but the day I came here I became synical and irritable. I've been taught that when you want to be filled with joy, you need to ask God to give you an unoffendable heart. And I've been praying that over and over again this week. The worst part is how God likes to send you these awful tests to strengthen the qualities you ask for and He places within you. Sometimes I just have to take a deep breath and pray it again. I have to jokingly say that for me going to college is like enlisting. Like I signed up just to get put on the front lines of combat. Because I can tell you my soul is at war. At least I can rest assured that Christ has already won the battle for its ownership. It's His. All His.

I went to church this morning, and it was the most refreshing and wonderful service. I just felt that if just for a moment I was completely at rest, my spirit renewed. I felt the very power of God. I needed to feel it again. Just a glimpse. We sang a song whose lyrics read, "You're the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need, You lift us up on wings like eagles." I needed God to remind me that He was that for me. And I was reminded that the position of my weakness and brokenness was where He could use me the most. The less of me I cling to, the more of Him I can have room for in my life. Pastor Tom preached on 2 Timothy 4: 7-8. Verse seven reads, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." I want to be able to able to say that when the battle is finished.