God is good. A simple three word phrase, often undervalued, but constant in every season of life. In December and January, I woke up every morning excited for life, because I knew this statement to be so true. I was happy to be having a break from the abiding schedule of college classes and homework, to be sleeping in my own bed, eating home cooked meals, and enjoying my friends and family back home. To top all of this off, I was able to attend two amazing conferences over my Christmas break: AdvoNation and TCX.
My AdvoCare family is such an incredible group of supportive, motivating, inspiring people. It was a blast to be able to go to Des Moines, IA for AdvoNation with them in order to be trained and receive a well of knowledge. (learn more about AdvoCare here.)
The second conference I went to was with Cru, the campus Christian ministry I’m involved with on campus. TCX, aka the Twin Cities Experience, surpassed it’s tag line of “4 days. 4 change. 4 life.” The amount of growth I experienced here, and the following couple weeks, was unmatched by any other time in my life. I was overwhelmed at how good God is, how evident His work was in my life, and how He truly provides for His children. If I could sum up that time period in one word it would be overwhelming. Overwhelming in all the right ways.
I want to share a few nuggets I took away from TCX that transformed the “4 days” to “4 life”:
- Authenticity attracts. Vulnerability, one of my biggest fears, is so important in cultivating honest, deep friendships. It’s a mindful practice everyday to admit our failures, to trust enough to take off our mask, and to just be a genuine friend.
- Psalm 139 – God will never reject you.
- Acts 2:42-47 – God reaches the impossible person with community.
- Colossians 3:12-14 – Listening to understand, not respond and practicing humility.
- How do we view God? We will never trust God if we only view Him as our Creator. By viewing God as our Father, knowing He loves us and redeemed us, we are able to trust him.
- Galatians 4:4-6 – We are adopted into God’s family.
- Romans 8:3-4 – We can know God as our Father, because of Jesus.
- John 1:14 – God gives us grace and truth.
- Hebrews 4:14-16 – God knows our weaknesses and sympathizes with us.
- Happiness is based on circumstances. Joy is constant. Living life without meaning and purpose leads to a joyless life. Let Jesus be your purpose and meaning for your life, and you will experience everlasting joy.
- Philippians – Finding joy in circumstances.
- The Christian life isn’t about overcoming sin, but letting Christ overcome us.
- Christian life doesn’t mean free of struggle, it means free to struggle. Guilt and shame come from the enemy.
- 1 John 1:9 – God cleanses us.
- Stop doing things for God and start doing things WITH God. Not spending time with Jesus means we’re investing in something else.
- Jesus isn’t unfamiliar with our struggles. When He sends you in a storm, go. He knows what we’re enduring and He will be our strength. Build a pattern of seeing Him in the light, so we can find Him in the dark.
Fast forward to about two weeks into spring semester. Having a big God, means having a big target on our backs for the devil to shoot at. The depression I thought was just a phase of “sadness” fall semester, hit me x10 harder spring semester. It knocked me off my feet and left me feeling confused and guilty. How could I feel so sad and hopeless after experiencing so much excitement just weeks before hand?
This darkness I was trudging through seemed debilitating at times, but God surely equipped me to navigate through it. He gave me a genuine community of people who always point me to Christ and remind me of all the good in my life. I’ve grown deeper in my faith and greater in spiritual maturity, that in all circumstances I’m able to look to the cross and know God is at work in my life. Because I have Jesus, I have joy no matter the season.
So yeah, I do have a big target on my back but I have a God who is even bigger. I still struggle with some mighty things, but I have a God who is mightier. I still experience that darkness, but my God is my Light. My circumstances are always changing, but I have a God who is constant.
God is good. A simple three word phrase, often undervalued, but constant in every season of life.