Jen’s Gem: Get the facts about God.
As I dropped off my daughter at college the other day, my emotions ran the gamut of nervousness, excitement, and sadness. For more than a year, we’ve been preparing and as I drove home, leaving her behind, I realized that a new chapter was beginning for both of us.
Life has been nothing short of hectic lately, which is why you didn’t hear from me last week. Packing up my daughter’s belongings, picking up last minute dorm room necessities amidst my client work was challenging, yet we got it all done. It always gets done, doesn’t it?
I thought I’d be a basket case as I pulled out of the university’s parking lot. I thought I’d feel the physical breaking of my heart as I watched my baby girl start her college career. While I did shed a few tears as I gave her one last hug, I felt a calm and peace about the situation that I wasn’t expecting. She’s at a great school, she has terrific roommates, her best friend is down the hall, and she’s close to home.
The school has kept her and her classmates pretty busy since drop off. Dorm meetings, sports activities, and orientation workshops have filled up her days. While I did receive a text or two noting some items we forgot or need to purchase, it’s been crickets. We’ll see if that changes once classes start tomorrow!
New beginnings. I like new. I’m not a fan of antiques or old things. For the past ten years or so, I’ve been clearing my home of items no longer needed or wanted. I like purging and decluttering and have developed a laser focus when it comes to simplifying. I’m sure I’d give Marie Kondo a run for her money!
I used two simple rules when examining the items in question:
- Does it bring me joy?
- Does it have a use?
If the answer to either of these was “no,” off it went, either landing in the “give away” or “sell” box.
This decluttering process is similar to my spiritual journey over the past ten or so years. As I examined beliefs and practices long held since childhood, I evaluated them based on one rule:
- Does it align with God’s Word?
This process has been eye-opening to say the least. While there were Bibles in my home growing up, we were not taught to read them. They were for recording genealogy facts and family events. They were dusted during house cleanings and perhaps occasionally referenced for school projects. In short, they were “untouchable.”
I vividly recall one of my classmates in my Bible college class having to nearly twist my arm to underline the passage we were studying. Write in a Bible? Make notes? Highlight? This was a sacred book! You don’t write in it! In that instant, I had to let go of my former belief that the Bible was a “look but don’t touch” kind of book.
That one act was a turning point for me. Once I understood that my Bible was the living, breathing, inspired Word of God, filled with His promises, my life changed. Reading it every day, attending Bible studies, and Bible College, has provided me with the peace I chased after for a b-zillion years and could never find.
When I’m faced with a challenge, it’s my go-to book. The more I learn, the more I’m able to recall its contents. Oh sure, I have to look things up all the time and there are only a handful of verses that I’ve committed to memory but that’s ok. I’m not looking to become a Bible scholar. I just want to know as much about my Creator and His Son as I can so that I can navigate the ins and outs of life and show my kids and others that there’s power in God’s Word. Power I wished I knew about when I was their age.
Armed with this knowledge, it’s highly likely I would’ve avoided some bad decisions. Who knows where my life would’ve gone? While I have some regrets about these poor choices, I cannot live in the past. I’m focused on today and the future ahead of me. Sure, there will be challenges and trials, but I’m better prepared to face them.
My daughter is well-prepared to succeed in college. She is blessed with a strong mind, solid study and time management skills, a strong work ethic, and a personality that will win over her professors. She also has a mom who will remind her of who she is in God’s eyes, that He has an outstanding plan and purpose for her life, and that He loves her unconditionally.
I suspect this is why I felt so peaceful as I dropped her off the other day. God has His hand on her and there’s no better hands for her to be in.
This week, I’d like to encourage you to consider your beliefs about God. Perhaps they originated from your childhood and are untrue. Maybe they’ve been formed from popular culture or other’s beliefs and experiences and you’ve adopted them as your own. Either way, it’s likely time to do some decluttering and put those false beliefs in their respective “donate” or “sell” boxes.