Thursday, September 26, 2013

Surrounded by Love

I got to bed somewhere around 5:15 this morning and then got up at 8:00.  It was grand.  Especially considering the amount of pain I was (am) in.  The good news is, though, that I rocked my presentation.  So yay for that.

But I promised you that I would come back and tell you all the reasons why yesterday was awesome.  And now I can even throw in a few reasons why today was awesome, too.  Let's see if I can remember everything from yesterday.  (2.5 hours of sleep plus a 3 hour nap is so far from adequate.)  I'll save the sweetest one for last.

A guy that I've known for years through College Democrats is in my Protestant Reformation class, and he gave me some perspective and made me feel better/think clearly after things really did not go well in my Model UN class due to some, shall we say, differing political opinions.  I used to think this guy was a pretty big jerk, but people surprise you.  I think he respects me a lot more than I ever realized before.

After Reformation on my way to lunch, I ran into the campus minister who immediately asked me about my health and how I was doing, and I actually really surprised myself because after I explained everything to her, without even thinking, I said, "Well, look at it this way.  When I get my healing, I'll get to tell everyone how I know that it was God's doing."  That is the first time I think EVER that I have said "when I get my healing" instead of "if".  I can feel God working in me, and it's awesome.

After lunch, I got to go to Bible Study and it was such a nice hour of me and these three girls that I didn't even know up until this and Pastor Sean just sitting around a table on the back patio of a local coffee shop (I can literally walk there from my dorm, it's grand) sharing our hearts and talking about the Gospel and how to deal with the non-believers in our lives.  I got to see how these girls and I, who seem so different when you look at us, have some of the same issues that we're dealing with and our hearts are in somewhat of the same place.  And Pastor Sean is such a great leader and mentor.  It's hard to believe I'm coming up on the year anniversary of the day I first walked in the doors of Theater Church.  I genuinely look forward to this small group meeting every week.  It feels safe. :)

Then, Uncle Ed was on campus, and I spent about an hour with him talking about dealing with my grad school applications and the fees for that and stuff.  This man, he is such an angel.  And I tell ya, there is nothing in the world like seeing your 81-year-old uncle cry simply because he's proud of you and because people see what a good man he is.  I wouldn't be in the position I am today without him.

Last night, I took an hour to go to one of my regular tutoring sessions with one of the nicest people I've met on this campus.  This big, masculine football player is so unlike every other member of the team that I've met or run into on campus, it's almost unreal.  He's kind, and humble, and so, so appreciative that I've made it my mission to make sure he gets through this semester and next semester of French since I graduate in May and he has to graduate next December.  :)   I actually look forward to taking time out of my day to help people like this guy.  Plus, he gets my sarcasm and knows I only pick on him because I care. ;)

Today, after IPE and my presentation, I was in such awful shape that the professor I was supposed to have a test with at 11:00 let me postpone it until Monday, and my third professor of the day told me what I'd be missing in class because I was in desperate need of some sleep, not just from exhaustion, but to get away from the pain.  The seemingly endless grace that I find in my professors never ceases to amaze and humble me.  It was a big reminder of just how truly blessed I am to be at this school and in the program that I am in.

Tonight, I just got back from dinner with my sweet friend Summer.  And for once, instead of her listening to me and helping me through stuff, I actually got to give her advice for a change.  I am so appreciative of her friendship and her heart, and we've basically gotten into this routine of having dinner every Thursday.  She is easily the best friend I have left on this campus, and I am a better person because I know her.  She's one of those rare gems that I just feel like she really gets me.  She's put up with a lot from me in the time we've known each other, and I am so blessed to call her a friend.

And last but not least is a bit of a story.  There's this guy, Bryce, I've mentioned him on here before but rarely.  I met him through Ryann in January of last year.  The three of us had lunch together once, but that was it.  I literally did not see him again at all until this semester at the soccer game Paige and I went to.  Turns out, he is in the Protestant Reformation class that I joined (I didn't even know he was a religion major), so we get to see each other regularly, and over the past few weeks, I'd say I can definitely call him a friend, albeit not a close one (which is totally normal, obviously).  I just knew from the beginning, and from everything Ryann had told me about him, that he is just a genuinely good guy, which is a nice change from most of the guys I deal with around here.  Anyway, after class on Wednesday, I told him why I'd missed Monday; I knew he'd noticed because he says hi to me every day when he walks in.  So I told him what was up with the pain issues and I asked him if he'd mind praying for me.  He said of course, and he made me smile and laugh about it all even though I was still feeling awful.

Then, he gave me a hug.  Now, I'm a hugger.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm a hugger, so that was big enough for me, but then as we were walking away from the classroom, something else happened.  We grabbed hands, I don't know if it was he grabbed mine or I grabbed his but it doesn't really matter, and he squeezed it and looked straight at me when he did so.  The power of physical touch is a very real thing to me, and it was like when he did that, I could feel God using him to reach me.  I can't really explain it, I just know that there are very few times that I have had that definite of a feeling.  That little gesture and the other things he said to me in our brief conversation meant so much.  I could tell he really cares, and that was something I didn't expect considering how new our friendship is.

So all in all, I have spent a lot of time the past two days reflecting on just how truly surrounded by love I am.  Some were people I already knew loved me, some definitely weren't, but put them all together and it's almost overwhelming.  I spent nearly every day of my childhood being told I didn't deserve love, and now I have more love in more places than I know what to do with.

God is amazing, and I am in awe.

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