Stand firm in the faith.

This picture is pretty accurate if we think about it: we have unrealistic
expectations of what college and adult life is going to be like when we
are children. Even in college, we see this happen. Once the real world settles in,
our entire world tries to crumble from beneath our feet, but God is our firm
foundation. If we continue to search for Him and give Him the glory
in all we do, we can't go wrong.
"But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." --Exodus 9:16.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." --Jeremiah 1:5.

"For you created me my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." --Psalm 139:13.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" --Jeremiah 29:11.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." --Jeremiah 29:13.

From all of the stories I have heard from people who have far more experience in the subject than me, the real world is tough. It's nothing compared to college. Hearing that and knowing how college sometimes rocks my sanity to the point of nonexistence, how on Earth do I know that I can make it in the big, bad world? I'm a sophomore-soon-junior in college, and I don't know what I want to do for the rest of my life. Looking ahead to graduation quite frankly scares me. Once I toss my hat, there's no going back to the safety of my dorm room. For some, this time is coming up faster than they're comfortable to admit. If that's you, CONGRATULATIONS! You have made it!

What if, though, among all the excitement, there is a lot of fear of what's ahead? Someone could be graduating and not know what to do for a job, where to live, etc. We'll soon have this paper that tells us we have invested our time, money, and energy to study for a particular vocation, but jobs aren't lining up at our doorstep like we've dreamed. That isn't an excuse to be discouraged! We are where we are today because God has a plan. What we can't forget to do, however, is to keep God center as we are waiting for His plan to unfold.

We are all human, so if you haven't done this yet, it's going to happen: we feel as if we have everything together so we don't need God, but that's simply our ego talking. We need to humble ourselves before God and earnestly seek what He wills for us. His plan has been laid out since before we were born. If you ask me, that's a LOT of preparation...which implies that this plan is pretty intense!

When we are out in the world, we need to remember that we are representing Christ in this dark world that needs His saving grace and love. I spoke with my school's science division chair this morning at breakfast, and what he told me was so powerful: "You can do it through the strength of God and give Him the glory... because, sure, you can do well, but doing it for God gives you bonus points."

Look and listen for what God's plan is for you and where He wants you. You have talents that are unlike any other. You are unique and perfect in God's eyes. He has equipped you for the exact purpose He has in store for you and only you. Remember: whatever we do, whether in word or deed, we need to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).

God bless you!

And congrats again to all the college grads of 2014! :)