I've wondered what people pinpoint as "learning moments" in their lives. I have had quite a few in 2019 so far and mine seem to be worlds different than others' around me. So, I asked around to people I trust and love, what they have learned so far in college.
Each of these humans has come from a different walk of life and most of them don't know each other. They all walk on the same campus, breath the same air, go to the same classes, and yet, their lives look really different.
My one and only question: "tell me some things you learned being in college?"
A good, good friend I met on my first floor this semester was Jacqui Kling. Freshman here at Oral Roberts University, Jacqui comes from a really level headed family with three older brothers. She is kind, compassionate, considerate and a deep thinker. She is the kind of leader that other leaders want to follow. This past year, college life has taught her "how to say no to things and how to not be easily offended." As an upcoming RA on the ORU campus, she also took a minute to talk about her leadership opinion, expressing that "leaders are intercessors, and it's not about us changing people, it's God changing people through us [leaders]." She said that she is "leading through influence," and she expressed that she wasn't a manager, she was an influencer. Her actions mattered in leadership just as much as her words. Another important lesson Jacqui said she learned was that the "Holy Spirit is accessible to us any time of the day, even for things that we think are unimportant." Her last point and the thought I ponder quite often is that "though they may, I may not."
xoxo Thanks Jacqui, you're a peach.
A Holy woman of God that has shocked me since the moment I met her is Helena Harper. Do not underestimate her. She is so sincere, loves and fears God and gives her all to her passions. Asking Helena about the things she has learned thus far in college, she started with "well, I learned that spirit empowered leadership is real." She also said that "extended times of prayer are real and make a change." She reminded me of something that I forget a lot by saying that "Jesus loves me all the time, even when I hate myself. I am always loved, even when I feel hated." When I asked her about her relationship with God and how that overflows into her relationships, she said that she never tries to convert people or throw the bible in their face. She simply "spends time with God, then talks to people..." Out of the overflow of her heart comes forth love and kindness, and it is evident in her every word.
I loved getting to know Helena this year, and I have a feeling I am gonna wanna keep her as a longtime pal.
Katie Watrous was one of those people with a story that you "OMG" to like, a million times. She has been through the fire and back, and yet she loved honestly and she is not afraid to hold onto her truth. This year she learned about "intentionality in relationships, meaning, who I allow to pour into me. I am also intentional with my time and with my time spent with God." Knowing some of Katie's story, the next thing she said she learned really blessed my heart. She said that she "learned school isn't everything. College is just 4 years. A small four years compared to the rest of our lives. There is more to life than school. There is even more to THIS season of life than just school." My translation of that is that there is never a need for a boring, dull season. A season of life can be filled with excitement and wonder or quiet rest and peaceful healing.
Katie is someone I admire and look up to for strength and perseverance.
Breanna is a powerhouse singer/songwriter who I spent most of my time with. She is strong and mighty, loves deeply, and is not afraid to tell you what's up. Her points were simple: "There is a proper way to choose friends and you don't need to be friends with everyone." That one hit me good. There is a difference to me between saying, "I don't have to be friends with everyone," and "I don't need to be friends with everyone." Food for thought.
I loved hanging with Breanna and hearing her heart, getting to know her family and seeing the world through her eyes. She taught me a lot.
Let's not forget that I also learned some things this semester. I found out this year that I genuinely just care about people. I love making anyone in the room feel like they are the most important. I enjoy the challenge of pulling the misfits out of the shadows and giving them a voice. I don't call them projects and I don't think about them that way either. I just know that everyone had talents and opinions, but sometimes the louder people get all the spotlight.
I also learned that every moment is precious, and living in the moment is worth it. I have lived my whole life looking forward to the next best thing, almost completely taking for granted the good things right in front of me. This semester, I started as a freshman and ended as a junior. Just like that, two years turned into one semester. I have very little time to experience a multitude of things people learn in college. Keeping myself in the moment is important for me. I want to enjoy my time, my major and my relationships.
I learned the hard way that Jesus is irreplaceable. Nothing can replace the lessons learned in the presence of God. It's important for me to if I am going to be diligent about anything, be diligent about being in the prayer room daily, the scriptures every morning, and in the presence of God. Nothing can replace what I learn from God.
Finally, I learned that God's plans are actually way better than mine, and that should encourage me! I am a planner, an executor. However, I question whether or not I am making the right plan. Following God's plan takes the pressure off my shoulders to pick the perfect path. He guides me, and I simply listen.