Three Lessons Three Summers Have Taught Me

Summer ends in approximately 2 weeks and I have no clue what to do with myself. Kidding, but not. Up to this point, every other summer preceding a semester at Boston University has been spent with tears, excitement, curiosity and nerves. That’s because I’ve spent every other summer with no concrete idea of whether or not I would actually be able to return to school.

I applied to BU knowing that I couldn’t afford it and I decided to attend the school, still knowing I couldn’t afford it. I made this decision because I wanted to challenge God. I realized that if He wanted me at BU, He would make the way. I told Him this in prayer; asking Him to provide for me in miraculous ways that would bring His name glory and year after year for the past 3 years, He has. And now for the first summer in the past 3 years, I’m able to say, classes start in 2.5 weeks and all is settled for me to return– a shocking, much appreciated blessing from above. I’m also now able to sit and reflect on what God has taught me since I prayed that prayer.

1) He doesn’t work how we tell Him to.

My biggest struggle: analyzing things to death and then drawing a conclusion that seems most fitting to me. Naturally, I’ve spent each year fantasizing about the perfect way for God to work things out for me to return to BU. Even more naturally, He has ignored me. I don’t have a problem trusting in God. I have crazy faith in Him to do anything. It’s people I have problems with. I tend to think the worst of them and try to do anything and everything on my own and/or with His help. So each year when I prayed for Him to miraculously sort my finances, He said no. I didn’t need to learn to believe in Him. I needed to learn to believe in people. Year after year He provided the right circumstances and people in my life to make it possible for me to return to school. And when I say the “right circumstances” and the “right people” I mean He has provided beyond stressful situations and unexpected people in order to really challenge me and alter my perspectives.

2) The Lord is faithful to finish what He began.

The summer before my freshman year was spent with a lot of fasting. The Friday before classes began towards the end of my fast, I felt this sense of peace and calm; it felt like His promise that He would pave the way for me to go to BU. Unfortunately, the next 2 summers, I forgot about that promise… I saw doors close in such discouraging ways that I found myself having a hard time believing that I really would make it to another year at school. Each year I prayed and longed for a sure sign that I would return to school. Each time I prayed I heard nothing from Him. He was silent because He had already spoken to me and made His promise in August 2011. So even when circumstances changed and things looked more bleak in August 2012 and 2013, His promise hadn’t. His promises are faithful and regardless of what adversities arise, He will finish what He began.

3) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28

This is a bible verse I’ve known for most of my life, but I can honestly I never really believed or understood it until BU. The very circumstances that discouraged me and made me question whether or not I would return to school each year were the very circumstances He used to challenge me and exercise my faith. Without each obstacle, I wouldn’t have really understood the incredible ways that He works and can use other people in our lives to carry out those works.

Essentially, over the past three summers I’ve learned that my God is beyond awesome and so are His plans and the people He has placed in my life.

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