College, huh? How much fun are you having right now in your life??!! If you aren’t having much fun, then you should be! Because now is the time before you are thrown into the real world and then you’ll really see how much fun college was. More importantly, I want you to know that your years in college are transition years. It’s kind of like middle school, without the braces and boys shorter than you. In middle school, you are way past the days of recess and nap time, but you’re still nowhere near driving a car and being a cool high schooler. In college, you are way past the days of being under your parents nagging rules, but you are nowhere ready for the responsibilities that adult life has waiting for you.
You have not “made it” yet in college. You feel so grown and mature. However, there are so many more life experiences that will teach you more about who you are and what you are really made of waiting for you after graduation. Slow down, sweet girl. Why are you in such a rush? Life is wonderful, but life is hard! Don’t be in such a hurry to plan the next 30,50,70 years of your life in these 4 short years of college.
You have these amazing dreams, and I tell you…keep dreaming them. Also know that God has even better and bigger dreams for you. Greater than you can imagine. It may or may not involve your degree. It may or may not involve that boyfriend. It may or may not involve ANY of your own plans. If I could tell you one thing to focus on in college more than your classes, socializing, volunteering, or sports…
It would be to focus on knowing God.
When you know who God is, then you will know who you are.
You will learn that you are worth more in His eyes as a daughter of The King than you ever will be as an honor student, ADPi, DZ, PhiMu, cheerleader, basketball player, or editor of the school paper. Those titles don’t define you. Your major doesn’t define you. Your boyfriend will never define you. None of those things will ever fulfill those voids in your soul because you weren’t made for them. You were made for God.
One day, you will no longer be whatever it is that you define yourself as now. The sports will end, the sorority socials will be over, and your role as a student will turn into a graduate. College is just a transition, it’s not the end all of life. If you stripped away the titles that you associate yourself to, and had no other introduction other than, “Hi, I’m Paige”…not “Hi, I’m Paige and I cheer”…or “Hi, I’m Paige and I’m a PhiMu”….or “Hi, I’m Paige and I major in Mass Communication”; are you OK with that? Can you say right now that you would be satisfied with simply being YOU?? Do you know where your worth comes from? Trust me girlfriend…it’s not in worldly titles, it’s the fact you are HIS and HE is yours. You are royalty!
That’s all you need. You don’t have to chase after your dreams when you chase the God of your dreams. He will bless you in all of your heart’s desires when you seek Him first with all of your heart, soul, and mind.
(Here are some iPhone pictures I took of prints from college. This was me…about 25 pounds heavier.)
(Whoah! Look at that hot stuff right there. More like a hot mess. I hated that I had gained so much weight. I cared about my titles. I found my worth in my titles. I desired to find a husband instead of desiring to know God more.)
(My weight came from unhappiness and voids. The voids came when I no longer felt like I belonged in a certain place. I was searching, and instead of being fulfilled in God, I was fulfilled through the comfort of eating junk.)
(What the holy heck is happening here? Well, apart from me being stupid…why did I own a Wizard of Oz purse? And please tell me that sweatshirt was baggier in the front and it was not really my stomach. This messed with my confidence. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re safe from the devil’s lies that you are not good enough. I am living proof.)
While we are talking about dreaming…stop pinning your wedding on Pinterest and start placing Post-Its in your bible. Marriage is life long, the wedding is only one day. If you want a husband, then be the wife he deserves. That doesn’t mean putting all of your focus and energy into finding a husband in college, it means transforming yourself into a Godly woman that will make a wonderful wife one day. You are so young, sweet pea. You have an enormous amount of goodness and talents to offer the world. Your status, success, and worthiness of being loved isn’t determined if you have an engagement ring by graduation. It’s ok if you aren’t married at 23. Your maturity and confidence will sky rocket every year in your 20’s. Don’t think you’re a failure if you are single at 26. The man of your dreams is worth waiting for. I like myself so much more at 31 than I ever did at 21. I’m a way better wife at 31 than I was at 22 when I got married. Yes, I married right out of college. Do I regret it? No. Can I write to you from experience being on the other side. Yes.
If you are engaged or about to be, congratulations! If you aren’t, congratulations! Every season of life is a celebration. Stop wishing your way through it to the next phase. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it. Have fun! Be adventurous! Enjoy life! You only have 4 years. Maybe 5. Ok, 6!
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (The Message)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)