To be brutally honest, this summer wasn’t easy for me. It was a rollercoaster of anxiety, happiness, fear, discouragement, excitement, frustration, eagerness, and doubt. But I’m still here. I survived Summer 2018. 🙂
And I learned a few life-changing lessons along the way:
Lesson #1: God provides what we need exactly when we need it.
I had major doubts that God was going to provide for me this summer. You see, this past spring, I started thinking (and worrying) about getting a job for the summer. I started filling out job applications in April and continued to fill out applications until I had Application-itis. (It’s the condition when you lose track of how many applications you’ve filled out.)
I kept hoping and praying that I would get interviewed. I waited. And I waited some more.
I was still waiting for a job when the college semester ended. Weeks continued to pass by. I hadn’t heard from any of the companies I’d applied to, and I felt completely discouraged. I questioned my resume and my previous job experiences. However, in mid-June, I was offered a job at a daycare center.
God provided a job for me.
I did have to wait, I felt disheartened, and I even doubted God’s goodness. But He still provided for me, and He will provide for you. Doubting is normal, but we still need to pray in faith. We won’t always get what we want (as I’m sure you already know), but His perfect will shall be done if we ask for it.
And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:21-22 ESV)
Lesson #2: Making an effort to be encouraging leads to your own encouragement.
There were many times this summer when I really didn’t feel like being social. When a friend asked if we could hang out, my immediate reaction was to say no. When a church member invited my family over, I wanted to make up an excuse why we couldn’t. I wanted to spend my time off work doing things I enjoyed, like watching Hulu shows and chilling with my family.
But I decided to spend some of my free time with others, and I don’t regret it.
I went (grudgingly, I’ll admit) to visit others, expecting to be miserable. However, I actually enjoyed spending time with my friends and people from my church. It was refreshing and fun!
Friends (especially those with an introverted personality), don’t be the person who always stays home. You won’t find much encouragement from a romantic comedy, your Twitter feed, or a gallon of ice cream. But, if you make an effort, you can be encouraging to other believers—and you can be encouraged, too.
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB)
Lesson #3: I’m going to be just fine—and so are you.
Honestly, I spent most of my summer worrying. I worried about not being able to find a job, and then I worried about that job. I also worried about returning to college.
I was dreading my return to college so much. Fear consumed me daily as I wondered how hard my classes would be and how I would manage being away from home. I worried about making more friends and dropping certain classes.
Friends, I returned to college.
And I’m fine.
Yes, I know my classes will be challenging. I do miss my family every single day, even though we haven’t been apart long. I haven’t made twenty new friends (or even five). I did already drop one of my classes.
But I’m fine, and you’ll be fine, too.
Are you worried about starting a new job? Attending a new school? Starting a new romantic relationship? Leading a new ministry? Making a new friend? Or maybe you have no idea what you’re doing?
Life is scary and uncertain most of the time, but you’re going to get through this. Don’t spend your whole life worrying because God isn’t going anywhere. He will take care of you if you seek Him first.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34 NASB)