Monday, August 17, 2015

when you are flooded with memories from years gone by...

good gracious, it was hot.
maybe that is why the memory of that day is seared into the deepest parts of my heart.

three hours from home, nestled in the foothills of the upstate, i stepped into my college years.

a car load full of stuff bound to help me miss home less.
perfectly coordinated comforters.
a fluffy futon.
the tiniest refrigerator you ever did see.
a closet the size of a shoebox.
and four drawers.

from the outside, i was the picture of sweat and confidence.
but on the inside, i was a hot mess of uncertainty.
a little girl just wanting to be back home.

box after box we hauled up to the third floor of the high-rise dorm.
each trip leaving me feeling more and more unsure.
of what i was doing.
and where i was going.

all of sudden, i felt less like a college student and more like a preschooler.
i just wanted to crawl up in my mama's lap and cry.

instead, we unpacked boxes and organized my space. 
i can't recall a single thing we talked about.

the only other vivid memory of that day was walking my parents to their car.  
and watching the white blur until i could no longer see the red glare of good-bye.

standing on the curb of cherry and mcmillan roads, i cried.
i stared long down the road wishing for home and wondering if i would ever feel the same about this place.
if only i had the peace i have now, i would wrap that scared little girl up in my arms and whisper truth to her heart.

my heart is tender towards those same little girls stepping foot onto college campuses all over the country.
i know some of those girls.  and their precious mamas.
i know they would never admit they feel like a little girl.
but i am certain there are moments they are just faking it until they make it.

i wish someone would have stepped up, looked me square in the eyes, and told me the truth.
that those boys.
those fake ids.
those friends who will pull you into shady situations.
those lies about the freshmen 15.
those fashion fads.
those themed parties.
those keg stands.  or drinking games.  or what-not.
those walks of shames.

yeah, those will rip your heart to shreds.
leaving you wishing you had chosen another path.
for the wide road paved with destruction is just that.
a wasteland that will leave you stumbling over the broken pieces of your soul.

i wish someone would have told me to seek the narrow gate.
reassured me that it is okay to be different.
to follow the One who only gives good gifts.
to wholly trust Him who wants me to have abundant life.
for He alone gives abundantly and exceedingly more than i could ever hope or imagine.

i wish someone would have told me that college isn't about getting people to like you.
but about loving the One who created you.  just the way you are.

every girl on every campus across the country is seeking something.
the question is.
what or who are they seeking?

i can't go back to that hot, sticky saturday in august 1997.
and change the mistakes i made.
but i can stand firm in the Truth i know today.
and i can look those little girls in the eyes and dare to share the Truth of His lavish love.
i can kneel low and pray hard that you will not believe the lies of the enemy.
because he only seeks to steal your soul, kill your hopes, and destroy your dreams.

there is only one way to guarantee you graduate top of your class.

seek Jesus.
seek Him first.
before anything or anyone else.
seek Him.

then, and only then, will all these things be added unto you.

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