God’s given me three theme words for this year: rest, relationships, and revitalization. Ironically (or not so ironically, given my love for alliteration?), they all begin with “re.” These words also symbolize new beginnings with those two letters––fitting as I’m starting a new chapter of my life as a pastoral care and counseling major at the Talbot School of Theology.
Here’s why God’s embossed these three words on my mind.
Those close to me know I’m terrible at resting––in some respects. I’m not completely horrible at physical rest. Other than the one all-nighter I pulled this semester and couple sleepless weeks, I at least got between six and eight hours of sleep each night, which is pretty standard. Oversleeping makes me groggy, so that’s the range I generally aim for. However, God’s continually reminded me Jesus’ command in Luke 10:27.
He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
Notice, it discusses a) soul health b) physical health and c) mental health. This semester, I’ve discovered my soul was sick, but I realized my soul sickness often came from mental fatigue. Even after I rested for 15 hours straight couple days this past semester, I somehow still felt tired. Why? Because the problem was I didn’t rest my mind––and that’s why I performed horribly on tests overall in the last year. Our brains are like computers––they can only store so much information at one time and overload results in overwhelm. I filled my mind with so much information I didn’t even remember what I studied.
I literally used to be a fly on the wall, but becoming a journalism major completely broke me of that. I knew I was secretly a people person––even though people scared me at times––and my degree choice confirmed that. Through several interviews and meeting many new classmates, my turtle self emerged from her shell and discovered the great world of people. However, I still struggle with initiating conversations because I fear rejection if I say the wrong thing. However, I’m trying to overcome that fear and just learn people who really desire my friendship will accept and pursue me, regardless of their first impressions instead of judging me and sticking with that image.
I approached friends for coffee dates, talked more with my classmates, and hung around the Talbot student lounge this past semester in an effort to form more relationships. I found out it’s not as hard as it seems if I don’t constantly focus on my fear of rejection––I actually think this fear works against me at times because people perceive I’m afraid of them, kind of like a little dog that cowers at the sight of a tall person. This semester, I hope to form many new friendships and prioritize people over papers.
You know my story pretty well if you’ve kept up with this blog and understand 2017 was a year of both brokenness and repair. God miraculously healed me during the last four months of 2017 and I feel like, as I’m starting grad school, this is a rebirthing time. Now that I’m physically healthy again, God wants me to focus on restoring my mind and getting my life back in balance. More opportunities may come with increased balance––at least, I hope, but only God knows. This is a chance for me to implement new goals and start the year with a clean slate. I previously wrote a post about the different seasons mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3. At that time, I felt like I went through the uprooting and planting season, but now I feel like I’m in a different season. I feel like God wants me to kill unhealthy thought patterns, tear down oppressive fears, heal from my past wounds (mentally and physically), and build a new, healthier life.
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;