Sitting in a cafe across the street from campus, I went back and read previous “Fall Quarter In Review” posts with the intention of looking for a way to start this year’s fall retrospective post. But as I went through the previous posts, I ended up looking less at how to begin this post, and more at the growth I’ve experienced over the past two years. Looking back, there was a lot of hurt, but with that hurt came a lot of strength – strength founded on my faith – and it is that strength that has been getting me through the toughest of situations. This past Fall quarter wasn’t necessarily as stressful as it was hectic, but a lot of growing took place nonetheless.
Coming out of last school year, so many things were up in the air – when I would graduate, whether or not I would get my degree from the university I’ve been attending the past 5 years, and the overall process of trying to find what my purpose is in life. Right after I finished my finals of last Spring quarter, my parents, sister, and I went on a weekend getaway to Vegas, and it was honestly exactly what I needed from a stressful school year.
Fast forward to now, and things seem to be much more grounded than they were just a few short months ago. After reading last year’s Fall Quarter retrospective post, things this past quarter were at a complete 180 from where things were last year. During this time last year, I was jobless, trapped under the weight of the pressure to graduate, and my place in my social circles was still very blurry. Everyday I looked forward to the moment where I could finally look back and say, “I got through that.” Now, that time has finally come, as I’m working two jobs (both of which are aligned with my passions), more motivated than ever about finally getting my degree, and have established a strong community with my group of friends.
But things weren’t always so easy as I tried juggling everything that I had on my plate this quarter. I was working full time, commuting from Pomona to Orange County three times a week, going to school, and trying to find time to honor my leadership responsibilities. Days were filled with trying to get homework done on time, switching my brain from work mode to academic mode, rushing across campus to get to discipleship meetings on time, and also trying to maintain somewhat of a social life. I hardly ever had a weekend to myself, and at the end of everyday, I found myself checking things off of my mental to-do list. Despite how incredibly busy I was the past few months and how over-committed I felt, and how much I just wanted one day off from the chaos of work and school, all of the things that I was doing were things that I wanted to do, and felt in my heart that it was all a contribution towards a resolution.
One thing that I wasn’t expecting to happen over the past three months was the area that I experienced the most growth. All of last year, all I wanted was to have the strength to get through the series of unfortunate events that seemed unending. I knew things would fall into place at some point, but that point seemed so far out of sight at the time. I thought that when things would finally start falling into place, I would lose motivation to keep my relationship with God going, and so I prayed for perseverance and to evade complacency. The thing I found when things started going well, though, is that I never stopped praying. In fact, as more good things started to pile into my life, the more I desired to honor God with those things. I was pleased to see that my faith never faltered, but I needed growth in other areas.
The main area that I found myself clinging to my faith for was boldness – whether it was with something as small as asking a question in class, or openly talking about my faith with people outside of Cru. So many uncomfortable conversations and situations took place over the past few months, but I’ve learned that you’ll never grow if you’re not at least a little bit uncomfortable. No matter how uneasy I felt going into a situation, I knew that if I felt like I was being called towards something, I couldn’t run away from it.
While I’m still desperately on the search for my purpose, and figuring out how my passions and God’s purpose for me are going to align, I’m not going to let complacency get in the way of me finding out who God created me to be. Until I’m at the place God wants me to be, I’m down to take on whatever obstacles and challenges I’ll encounter along the way, if it means that I’ll be growing along the way, both as a person and in my relationship with God.