Thursday, May 9, 2013

This is Rachel's Story

Hello everyone! My name is Rachel and I blog at The Random Writings of Rachel about whatever happens to pop into my head at the moment. (Go figure!)

Veronica asked some of us to write about a story of our faith, and I was excited for the opportunity. I tend to write about silly things...such as the latest crazy thing my husband did...a lot more often, but it's good to get down to business and write about the important things of life, too.

So. Faith. I've believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember. I grew up going to church and I absolutely believe that He is Lord of my life and I desire to live in obedience to Him everyday. However...I've been known to struggle quite a lot with accepting that God's plans for me are better than the ones that I come up with on my own. That's a lesson I've had to learn time and again. That even when life doesn't work out the way you want it to, God is still faithful.

The year was 2008, I was 17, and I did NOT want to go to college. Basically, my family was dropping me off in America, saying, "See ya!" and I was expected to go to college thousands of miles away from my parents and my siblings and my friends and my home. I didn't want to do it, at all. But my parents didn't give me much of a choice.

So I started college. And basically, it sucked. I lived off-campus, didn't have a driver's license, and didn't make a ton of new friends right off the bat. I was getting used to life in America at the same time as getting used to the fast-paced academic life of college. Many nights, I cried myself to sleep, wishing only to be home again, with the people who I knew loved me. I knew that I didn't want to go to college. I knew that my family and friends back home didn't really want me to be so far away from them, either. So why did I have to go?

That first semester of college, God spoke very clearly to me the words of Hebrews 12:1-2.
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Did you notice that phrase? "The race that is set before us"? That semester, those words stood out to me like never before. You see, I was willing to serve God. I was willing to run the race, but I wanted to persevere in running a race that I had chosen, that I had marked out for myself. But that's not what God called me to do. I was supposed to run with endurance the race that God had set before me. So....even though going to college in America wasn't how I had planned or wanted to spend the next four years of my life, it was still necessary that I perservere and carry on the race, whether I wanted to or not, God knew what was best for me and I had to trust Him with the plans and goals for my life.

It still took some gritting of my teeth, and a few more nights of tears, but I did it. Nearly a year ago, I finished the college portion of my life. It got a lot easier after freshman year, too. I joined a great Bible study and made treasured friends. I even met my husband at college--I actually met him on my very first day of school--though there were no telltale sparks on that day.  I know that college isn't the only struggle I'll face in my life, and that it isn't the only unpleasant thing--but now that I've done it and come out safely on the other side, that experience gives me all the more reason to trust God completely that He knows the best plans for me and my life, so I might as well stop struggling against His plans earlier, and save myself some trouble!

Did that just warm your heart and encourage your spirit like it did mine?
It's so good to read the stories of others. It reminds us how we are not alone and how good 
fellowship with other believers is! I pray this spoke to your heart in some way and that your heart is full.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your heart here, Rachel! Where did you live before moving to America?


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