Spiritual Life and the Undergrad: Part I

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Angela Ayoub    I   19 August 2019

Angela is a current undergraduate student majoring in English at the University of Central Florida. She currently serves as an editor for 'The Ministry'

I am nearing the end of my first year of college and let me tell you...wow...wasn’t expecting that.  I barely recognize the person I was at orientation. That girl has been through some unanticipated things this year, things I got through by leaning on Christ.

I say leaning, but what I really mean is I tackled Him and held on for dear life. College has been a wake-up call I didn’t know I needed. If baptism felt like drowning, this first year felt like a category 5 hurricane.

This all sound pretty harsh, let me reiterate; as low as the lows got, the highs felt higher. I have met amazing, inspiring people. Piece of advice #1? Surround yourself by those with a common goal, true friends who will remind you of God’s promises and be right there with you praying. That support system is one of the biggest ways God helps you on Earth.

Once you get passed the shininess of moving out and you're sitting in your room alone; the realization sets in that your family and friends can’t be there 100% of the time. It's not their fault, they’re only human. They need someone taking care of them too, we all do. You may freak out for a minute, a week, or even a couple months. It's in moments like these where the first thing you should do is pray. There's going to be a million things your scattered brain will want to do to get rid of those icky feelings of loneliness and insecurity. None of that truly helps. It's all temporary, short little bursts of happiness (when what we’re really searching for is a permanent joy but that’s another topic). God is what our hearts are longing for when we feel lost or scared or doubtful. You start to realize to what extent he looks out for us. There are so many times since moving out for college I have felt the rug being ripped out from under me. It's in those moments: tears streaming down my face, eyes shut tight against the world, just saying “please God” over and over “let it be ok”, that His love and grace shines brightest. He makes the impossible possible, it's not just a sweet song lyric or coffee shop quote. I can attest to this.

This year I learned some of the lengths God would go to make me joyful and content. I say some because of the miracles I saw prelude to even bigger and better things to come. I saw him make $1500 debts disappear, necessities provided out of thin air, friendships forged out of utter loneliness. I’m nine months into college and when I really think about all the things I prayed for that first week, much less first semester; I realize I have all those things and more. I was sick with worry about food, rent, grades, friends those first couple months. I realized I could either wallow in those negative emotions or I could seek out the One has been there since the beginning. At my loneliest was when my faith was strongest. At my most fearful of the future was when I prayed the hardest. When I poured myself into God the fear melted away. As soon as I let go of my stress and all-consuming worry things started falling into place. When I sought God, He led me to my prayers, my needs, and even my wants. Things I didn’t even realize I was searching for, He provided. This year has truly taught me there is no reason to fear or stress. He promised us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). God has already solved all our problems, He is just waiting for us to catch up.