God is so faithful.
As we gathered together today to celebrate all of the seniors accomplishments, I specifically marveled in the singing of "Great is Thy Faithfulness". One of my favorite memories of being at Biola is when the students, faculty, and staff, gathered at various occasions and meetings, and sang hymns together. Usually, we did sing "Great is Thy Faithfulness".
"Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!"
I love singing this chorus (or "refrain"). I loved standing at the graduation ceremony today, basking in the sun, surrounded by my peers and loved ones, while singing about the faithfulness of God. God is so faithful to me.
A little less than 6 years ago I began my relationship with Jesus Christ. I have had my "ups and downs", and it is now, more than ever, that I am realizing how patient I need to be with the process of sanctification, but that patience comes with a lot of faith, because I know that God will continue to help me grow. I feel like I am a completely different person than I was 2 years. The only way that I can possibly explain this, is by looking at all the "vine and branches" imagery in the Bible. Not only in John, but there is some good stuff in Ezekiel, and also in Genesis about Joseph being a "fruitful vine". I had so many "branches" hanging off of me, that desperately needed to be torn away. And for the last two years, as I sought the Lord, and prayed, He really began to "prune" me, while adding more of Himself into me. He is good. I am so excited about growing more as a righteous disciple, for the glory of God's name.
I took a huge step coming to Biola. I left things back home, and entered into a whole new world. Now that I am going back home, to the same church, and pretty much the same people, I am really scared. Even though I have been at my church the whole time, I feel like it is a new place. Honestly, it isn't home. Home is at Biola. Home is with the amazing friends I have made here.
"Home" is easy.
A year ago, a friend of mine was filling out a form for me so that I could renew a scholarship. On the form were many questions that he had to answer about me and my spiritual walk/growth. The last question on the form was how I could grow in my relationship with the Lord. He wrote, "She needs to put all of her trust in the Lord, and lean on Him for all things." This really made an impact in my life because it was so honest, so genuine. I knew that I needed this, and so did he. So from then on I began to constantly pray, "Lord, let me lean on You for all things." Because when it comes down to it, all of the things of this world will fade away, people will let us down, but God will be with us forever.
So now as I move into this new adventure of my life, as I move into my new home, I am leaning into the strength of the Lord. I need His wisdom, His guidance, His patience, and His love. I am going to have to work hard to keep myself focused on Him, stay in the Word, and keep up on my meditation and prayer times. It is so easy to become mediocre - yuck.
It is so heart wrenching to leave this place. As I sit here in my apartment, where I will, for one last time, blog while sitting accross from roomie, in my comfortable little bed, in our cozy little room; I am so sad. When I drive away from here tomorrow morning, I won't be coming back. I mean, of course I will come back to visit etc., but I won't ever come back here to a "home", and that is really weird.
I was reading through a pretty popular book nowadays, "90 Minutes in Heaven", while in Barnes in Noble the other night. The author has written a short version, about 120 pages (in a small pocket sized book), and I read the whole thing in one sitting. Honestly, I believe the guy. I think he really did go to heaven in 90 minutes. But nevertheless, reading his description of being in heaven really made me think. He was so descriptive about all the people he saw, all the relationships that were broken through death, only to be reestablished once more in heaven. He said that he was so joyous in seeing everyone, and talking with everyone, and that it seemed that all the people who knew him on earth, but didn't know each other, had now become friends. I always get kind of annoyed by the cheesy line - "Well, I will see you in heaven one day..." - yet, I also think we take this phrase too lightly sometimes.
You see, this made me realize that my "home" isn't at Biola, and my "home" isn't in South Orange County...my home is in heaven. My home is in heaven because that is where my Lord is, and that is where I will live with the body of Christ (until the consummation of the Kingdom on earth, yada yada, another blogpost, complicated debate). Todays graduation ceremony was a foretaste to what we have ahead.
So as I drive away from here tomorrow, looking back at all that has happened, how I have grown as a disciple, and remembering all the wonderful memories I have made, I will probably cry a little, but mostly, I will long for the time that we are all gathered together again...a time where we will never be parted, where we will sing alongside the angels, "Great IS Your Faithfulness", forever and ever, Amen.