College: A time to 'find' yourself. A time to be who you want to be. A time to make faith of your own.
My freshman year of college was the year I fully decided to walk with Christ and never look back. Choosing to accept the greatest gift in all the world, came with a fire in my heart to want to pursue and begin an eternal, deeper relationship with my God... That lasted for about a week until life got in the way. Classes, lacrosse practices, friendships, and everything above and in between was taking first priority in my life... Not Jesus.
I've read previous blog posts about how to spend time with Jesus as a college student, but they all say the same thing - get up earlier to have a quiet time, or stay up a little later and do your quiet time right before bed. But for a student-athlete like me who has practice at the break of dawn every morning, and can barely keep my eyes open past 10 o'clock every night, those tips don't exactly help.
Through the past couple of months, I have found ways to honor my busy schedule, but more importantly honor the God I live for.
- Talk to God. You're thinking well, duh... But its something that has caught me by surprise a few times. When your driving in the car, or walking to class, talk to God! He is always there, wanting to spend time with you. Whether its two minutes or two hours, it's time spent growing in a relationships with the God of the Universe.
- Find Community. Seeking out a Christian community will be life giving, whether it's from the local Church or one of the Christian groups on your college campus.
- Devo. On top of all the books you already have to read, I know, not another book! One of my favorite places to get my devotionals are from She Reads Truth. They are made solely for girls and women, and are fun reads. There is an online option and also a physical book option, and both are wonderful. If you want a good first one - start here :)
- Knowing that We are Not Perfect. Old habits can ease their way back into our lives, and sometimes we give in. It happens and its a part of life. It's easy for us to believe the lies we then tell ourselves - I'm no longer good enough for God or He could never love me the same. But sometimes its funny how stumbling can ultimately help us remember God's grace and His faithfulness.
(1 Corinthians 10: 12-13)
- Accountability. Between you and a friend, hold each other accountable with spending time with Jesus. Accountability partners are special. Give each other the right to be forthright and true.
- Sing. Sometimes, new things about the Lord are made most known to me through worship. Put on music at any time - in the car, studying, cooking dinner, cleaning - and praise the Lord!
- Pursue those Godly friendships. God has made us to have fellowship with brothers and sisters of Christ. When you are going through a dry season, or a incredible fruitful season, those friends are the friends who will speak truth to you or celebrate with you.
- Light Up the Darkness. God has called us to go into those deep waters and pursue the lost. Serving as a light to your lost friends is a form of worship in my eyes. Without the direct mindset of "I want to show my friends Jesus," you are doing just that. Your friends are seeing a difference in you, and I can guarantee some of those friends wonder what you have that they don't.
Being a Christian on a college campus is hard, but knowing that no matter what you do, where you've been, what you say, or how you act, He will always be walking right by your side, waiting for you to grab on.