WTHeck Series Pt. 3: Lessons from this Past Semester

Hello Hello, Beautiful People! We are officially back in action and better than ever. I hope you are all doing well, and if you are in the same boat as me, this semester has kicked your tail and ripped you a new one. (am I right, or am I right?) But although it has been rough, it has taught me quite a few beautiful lessons I would’ve never learned had I not walked through the hard stuff this way. 

First thing first, I want to say this: One thing I have learned recently (thanks to my good friend Jordan Myles) is life is all about perspective. 

Let me say it again for the people in the back:

Life is all about perspective. 

And if we keep this in mind, it reminds us that we have the freedom and the power to choose how we view our circumstances. If you are the Son/ Daughter of the One True King you ought to live with a perspective of joy, for you are chosen, holy, and dearly loved” (Colossians 3:12). Therefore, I want to come to you and say this:  I get it. Sometimes you don’t feel that joy of feel chosen, or holy or loved. If you had asked me a month ago how I am handling emotions like disappointment, hurt and anger that have come with the lessons I have learned, I would not be in a state of joy. However, through a lot of prayer and the help of some loving friends, I can see the lessons for what they are: big truths that I needed to learn about myself, God, and most importantly this life. And because of that, I am so grateful. 

So the first thing I want to talk about is the reality that no one, no one is exempted from hardships in this life. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, what your social economic status is, at some point in your life you are going to be hit with circumstances that either don’t go your way, that cause you to get the life kicked out of you, your heart gets broken, or you aren’t exactly sure how in the world you are ever going to find the strength to simply get to your knees from the fetal position. You see, I’ve always nodded my head and said “Amen” to this statement, but when the time came and I realized how a situation wasn’t going to turn my way no matter how hard I prayed or attempted to make it better, I deep down believed that because I had prayed that God would protect me, it meant that I was going to be safe from the pain to come. I had convinced myself of this narrative that I was never going to feel anything rather than either a numbness or genuine happiness all of the time. And man was I wrong. You see, what I had to learn is: God promises to protect us and He does, but he doesn’t allow us to be numb to feeling of the wind roaring around us or the rain running down our skin, but He provides comfort, stability, and the security we need to lean on so we can withstand the storm. He’s the anchor when our boats start to get rocked.  And in my mind, I thought that my boat was going to be wrapped in a “prayer bubble” where the rain and the wind would whip everywhere but around me. 

If you are like me, you would think “What? Why would He do that? That’s totally unfair! Why would He not do it your way, it makes sense!”

(@myself for like the past five months)

But here’s the Truth: God’s ways are much higher than ours. We only get a mere taste of life on this Earth, we only get a small fragment of time, and we only get a limited understanding of all of the circumstances going on in our lives. 

Isaiah 55: 8-9 states:

8  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Also, we were created with feelings, yes? We were designed to live life in abundance, yes? Thanks be to God that He loves me infinitely more than I can imagine, for he definitely did what’s best for me, not what I wanted Him to do.

You see, if we were to be exempted from hard times and protected from the ability to feel pain, wouldn’t that wrap us in the false security that we are stronger than we truly are? And having those emotions taken away from us wouldn’t be helping us, but hurt us in the long run. Picture it: if we were to not experience pain, then how would we truly be able to be grateful for the joy we have? If we were to never experience pain, then how would we grasp how truly human we are? We are made of dust, and we will return to dust, yet we have the tendency to believe we are bulletproof. That is why we need to feel the roar of the winds and the coolness of the rain on our skin.

We are made of dust, and we will return to dust, yet we have the tendency to believe we are bulletproof. That is why we need to feel the roar of the winds and the coolness of the rain on our skin.

The next thing I would like to talk about is how God uses trying circumstances to teach us lessons about ourselves and our tendencies in order to help us grow. In my case, it was found in a distorted image of who I perceived myself to be, how harsh I am about my own shortcomings, and how all of this gave me the courage to not only chase God and love Him more fully but to also trust Him to completely disrupt my plans and to cut me free from my “safety nets” I was entangled in.  

Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of doing something big. When I was younger, I would write in my diary, dream of being on a stage, and envision lights all around me. I honestly never thought anything of it until I got in my Learning and Development class this semester. One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was the comment my professor made about when she was younger. As a kid, she would play teacher. A lot of the girls in my class did too. We all came to the consensus that great teachers are born, not made.

What really struck me about this was the mere simplicity of the correlation between their childhood fantasies, mine, and how I’ve never ever truly saw myself in that teacher role. Now, prior to this– the spark that lit the fuse per se– was the mere moment I walked into a classroom for mandatory observations. My initial reaction was, “Holy crap, how in the world am I going to do this, and am I going to be able to do this for 30 years?”

I’ve always had this core conviction that no matter what I do in my life, I refuse to be stuck. I do not want to wake up five, ten, thirty years down the road and realize that I have wasted or regretted any decisions or days in my life. And at that moment, that moment right there, I realized I could be a fantastic teacher but my heart was not in it. My heart wasn’t in the right place, and if it wasn’t in the right place then I know I for sure would be stuck and not be able to give my all to the job.

*Insert light bulb moment/ dawning revelation that God is completely rerouting my future here*

I began questioning saying “Okay God, where do you want me to go from here?” “What do you want me to do?” And because of some gut feelings, I went and talked to that amazing Learning and Development professor and my wonderful mother. I began exploring options, praying with an open heart and ears, and knocking on all the doors to see what is possible. The more I began to explore and the more I began to talk about it, I really began to feel like English- Creative Writing was what I should do(which was my minor by the way). That quiet whisper and those little nudges were a constant everytime I opened my mouth about this. So what did I do? I decided to double major because that was the safe thing to do… not the right thing. 

Remember those safety nets I was talking about? That was teaching for me. I love kids and I loved all of my classes in the education department, but deep down my motivation for teaching was to love on kids, yes, but to have the security that comes with the job. Because of that, I knew I was going to be teaching for the wrong reasons. And now that I think about it because I want the freedom to work my own hours, travel, and be able to have time to write, though I would be secure with a stable job, I would be starving a part of myself from the freedom and relaxed structure it so desperately craves. 

So what happened?

…God removed the safety net.

How?

He let me have an unsettling feeling that cut right to my core, and the more I prayed about it, the more I knew I needed to dive all in, take a leap of faith, and know that He will provide and take care of me. 

Did He?

Yes. Yes. A million times yes; however, I needed to take the risk, be willing to allow Him to take the lead, and trust that He will meet me there and carry me through. (SPOILER ALERT: He does, and He will.)

That is the beautiful truth about this past semester. I’ve had to do some deep soul searching. I’ve had to really rely heavily on Jesus to provide during some trying times. I’ve had to trust Him to carry to where I am supposed to be. And He did. That my friends, is amazing.

I hope you all are doing well, and as we enter into this Christmas season, remember who your God is, and whet he came to do. Thank you all for reading, and remember how much you are loved.

Much love,

Hannah

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