“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:26
I’ve often joked around with people and they would say that I left for school and came back all holy and whatnot but if we’re being honest, college is where I truly found the Lord. Now my parents are probably reading this saying, “Girl stop lying, you’ve been in the church all of your life”. That is true. It wasn’t up for discussion on whether I would be in Sunday school or church on Sunday morning, choir rehearsal Tuesday night, or bible study Wednesday night.
I knew the Lord was real because I was told that he was. I was told he died and rose again. I was told that he fed thousands with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. I was told that there is nothing that he can’t do. But I hadn’t actually found him yet.
It wasn’t until I was trying to figure out how to pay my tuition that he showed me he could make a way out of no way. It wasn’t until my mom was sick and I was 4 hours away that I realized that he is the healer of all. It wasn’t until I had to choose whether I wanted to eat or get my books that I understood that through him all things are possible. It wasn’t until I felt alone that he proved that I would always have a friend in him. It wasn’t until I needed someone to wipe my tears that he gave me his shoulder to cry on and reminded me to not worry and trust in him.
But being a child of God does not mean you cannot enjoy your youth. You just have to be sure to allow your light to shine through your actions. The misconception that everyone has about Christians is that they are going to be perfect. That is far from the truth. The only one who is perfect is the Lord himself. We all fall short. We all make mistakes. They are meant to happen so that we will learn from them. God expects us to mess up so that we can lean on him to help us fix it.
College is the place where you are supposed to go to enjoy the best few years of your life. Everyone tells you to live your best life and have fun. Whereas that sounds great, Christians are held on a higher pedestal. Being raised in a God fearing household, I was taught that certain things were pretty unacceptable to partake in. The college experience consists of going out partying, drinking alcohol, having sex, lying and cheating, etcetera etcetera. During this time, it is easy for you to struggle with your faith. Things will be thrown your way that’ll make you forget what you’ve learned. Here are some of the few obstacles we, as young adults, face and how I learned to get over them.
The number one struggle as a Christian in college, or yet alone in their youth is that everyone encourages you to have fun yet there are so many restrictions. “You can party, but do not party too hard. If you see a bottle of alcohol, run the opposite way. Understand that you will probably spend your youth single because finding someone your age who actually believes in celibacy is rare.” Partying is not bad as long as you do not allow it to distract you from God. Sex, drugs, and alcohol are some of the few temptations that you will have to face.Im not going to lie, sometimes you will cave in to these temptations thrown our way. We are only human. We are not perfect. As Christians we often fall prey to the desires of our flesh instead of the Lord’s.But do not allow people to make you feel as if it is the end of the world because of it. No one sin is bigger than the other. Just remember to put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11)
I think this and temptation goes hand in hand. You will be tempted to do things just so that you will be accepted by society. Always keep in mind that you are in the world but not of the world. Do not be focused on being a part of a trend and end up losing your faith in the process. At the end of the day, the acceptance you are looking for will not satisfy you as much as the Lord will.
Making Him a Priority
One thing that I personally struggle with is making Him a priority! I am learning to start living out my faith 7 days a week instead of just on Sunday mornings. It isn’t like I do not love the Lord because he knows my heart I just fail to show it as much love as he deserves. Don’t fascinate so much with your gift that you forget about your relationship with the Man who gave it to you. You’re out the house now so there’s no one to force you to go to church. Go on your own! If you cannot make it there physically, I understand. But don’t let that be an excuse. Alot of churches stream their services. Find one that does. All you need is a streaming device, your bible app, and an open heart. Talk to Him. Just like you call your best friend or bae to vent about your problems, call on Him. He’s a great listener and never interrupts.Spend time talking to him. Show thankfulness. Don’t forget to thank Him for the things that he has already done while you’re asking for new blessings. In all that you do, just remember to keep Him first (Matthew 6:33).
Patience & Trust
God doesn’t move on your time but on his own time. Don’t rush his work. There’s no doubt that he’s always on time. Trust that he knows what is best for you. You may feel like you aren’t getting the answer you want all while He is still preparing you for it. You may also think that he does not care about you at times. This is far from the truth. He loves you and you are more than important to Him. He has a reason for everything that He allows you to endure. You’re book is already written so sit back and allow His plans for you be revealed. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him (Jeremiah 17:7).
As I stated before, it is normal for you to make mistakes. We are 18, 19, 20, & 21 years old acting like every time we mess up will be permanent. It is not the end of the world. Just breathe. The blood of Jesus can make any sinner pure. All you have to do is get down on your knees and pray. The great thing about my Savior is that he forgives us even when we are not deserving. No sin is too big to allow yourself to stray away from Him. He welcomes you with open arms at all times.
I think the problem that everyone seems to overlook is that we are still growing. At this age we are struggling to balance living life and staying in our faith. That’s okay though. God never said that this was going to be easy and as long as you are showing effort you will be fine. You only get one shot so enjoy your college experience. Just make sure that everything you do, you do it for Christ.