I have not published a blog post on here for 8 months. So instead of stacking up drafts or overanalyzing, this is going to be a freestyle type of update in my life where I spit out thoughts that come to mind regardless of rhyme or flow. Been waiting for inspiration to come, but a personal ramble here and there won’t hurt.
The last few months of transitioning out of Long Beach and college has been, quite frankly, all over the damn place lol. Just as expected, huh?
It was fun. It was hard. I had moments gripped in anxiety and fear. I had unforgettable conversations and memories. It tested my character and integrity. It was lonely. It was filled with praise reports. There was mourning. I met many wonderful people. I saw who my real friends were. It was rediscovering myself. It was adventurous.
It involved too much Overwatch. Okay, it still involves quite a bit of OW.
When I entered college as a freshman back in 2011 (oh boy, when was that...) I did not dream of attending graduate school. In fact, I did not dream much at all. I wanted to almost start my life over literally as a “fresh” new me, running away from burdens of home life and hoping a new start meant being care-free and fun. Many of y’all who are my true homies know how this went down- and went down it did, real quick ha-ha *awkward chuckle*.
Here I am 6 years later, having the mental capacity, support, and resources to be able to dream. I have seen God fulfill His promises. Yes, it’s hard to have faith in that when the world reminds us daily of its darkness, brokenness- I feel at the moment faint in faith that there is still goodness and light to come due to recent happenings in our country. So much to be done, so much to be said, and yet all I feel most the time is helpless and sad. That’s a whole different conversation to have…
I am essentially at a new starting point of my life as I begin grad school at UCLA. Not literally because Fall quarter began and hit me like a truck this past week, but it marks many new beginnings. With more wisdom and foresight compared to my freshman year, I am at a different type of starting place. New school, living with my parents instead of roomies, finding a new home church, being away from basically everyone I considered second family. No more IV leadership and my google calendar being filled with meetings, NSO events, or coffee-shop dates with mentees.
Who will you be? I know this was the theme for IV proxy but that ain’t what I’m referring to LOL. It’s the question that resonated over and over as I processed with Jesus in these 3 months of transitioning.
Who will I be? In the unfamiliar, the new. Will I stand up for what I believe in while listening to others with an open and genuinely compassionate heart? Will I find friends and community without becoming a chameleon and losing a sense of who I am in the midst of everyone around me? Will I trust that God is working and moving in my life and those around me even when it looks VERY different in this season?
Being at UCLA has been humbling as heck. I keep wondering how I got here, when God has CLEARLY and repeatedly paved the way for me to be here. Yes y’all, I am not crazy, and my testimony of attending graduate school here was very specifically and simply God telling me to come here. Ask me for the story if you’re curious (I think it’s pretty amazing, if I say so myself).
It’s weird… I have more time now technically than I did before. I’m not working (yet) or involved in various leadership positions (well, mostly ministry related), and my time isn’t being spent pouring outwardly to others all the time. I miss it, and summer has been hard because I felt too free. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, and free time/being alone made me swamped in negative thoughts. I have been preparing for this transition and expecting all the hardships that came with it for 2 years now, as I talked with friends who graduated before me and so lovingly shared all the crappy, sucky parts about post-grad life. Perks of being a super-duper senior is that many have gone before me
and suffered already. They made it out alive, so can I *nervous laughter*. However, I did not expect to be feeling useless. While this freedom has been a great time for personal growth, self-reflecting and exploration, it got me questioning my worth and identity.
People don’t “need” me anymore. I am not on constant demand. I’m used to running into people I knew all the time whether it be grocery shopping or on the school shuttle.
Who will I be?
When people don’t know me or of me, will I still remember my identity as a daughter of God? When nobody acknowledges my accomplishments, reputation, legacy, or story, will I still be as confident in what God is doing and who I am?
Honestly, my pride and ego had to be confronted face to face. I slapped it, I told it to go away- but Jesus allowed me to look at it, and give it to Him. I keep being tempted to define my worth and identity by what other people think of me, or how much worth others put on me.
One of the words I received from PIHOP prayer ministry was to stop being busy and go deeper with Him. I remember telling numerous friends “UGH, I was so annoyed when I heard that word. It’s so basic. Too simple. And I don’t want to.” The image was that I was on a boat on quiet, still waters and storing up things in the boat. I wanted to give them away, but Jesus stopped me to say the time will come when I am able to give them freely. For now, He wanted me to look at him and be still, spend our precious time together.
Um, OKAY Jesus, so you just want me to do school, relax, and you’re still going to grow and love me somehow? Even though I don’t feel like I’m making a tangible difference? Even if things feel mundane and I feel selfish for investing all that time into myself? What am I supposed to do with all this freedom? Will you still guide me and remind me of my purpose in this vast world???
I’ll let you guess what He answered with.