Rooted

“Always hold onto Christ. Stay rooted in Him.”

These words have never meant more to me. I’ve heard a variation of these my entire life. Heck, I might’ve even heard this phrase verbatim several times before. But spoken from a Latvian missionary with a cross from Bethlehem traveling from her hands to mine, these eight words have changed my life and my heart. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

This semester, God’s been chiseling away at my broken humanity. In the midst of the refining fire, I’ve angrily asked Him why there’s so much suffering in my life, demanding answers from my low perspective. I’m not saying that this whole season of life has been terrible with no moments of joy. Yet more than once, I’ve been walking on the beach by myself trying to figure out where things got so screwed up, where I went wrong, where I lost my joy. I was achingly familiar with the principle that the Lord is good to those who wait on Him, but I’ve never been good at patience. I knew in my head that although crappy things were happening left and right and my little world felt like it was crashing down, there was incomprehensible joy ahead. Yet in the drought of the desert that wasn’t very comforting to me. I wanted the answers and quick fixes ASAP. Too bad that’s not how it works; also, too good that’s not how it works.

After I’d cried enough to water my desert into a rain forest, I began to see more and more why I endured the suffering these last few months have brought. Definitely not saying I have all the answers or anything like that. But God has revealed the answers to some of the why’s in my own life.

A fault of mine is that I hold on to things way too tightly; like death grip, wrench this out of my cold dead hands, tight. My first semester of college at TAMUCC, I loved everything about everything. My school was amazing, my major was cool, I was super involved in a campus ministry. I was making new friends, making new more-than-friends, and was at a good place with God. Everything seemed really great. Then suddenly, it just didn’t.

I can’t even really explain how it happened. I want to say it all started with a car wreck I got in at the beginning of April, but I know that’s not it. As the days rolled by in my second semester, I discovered a deep sense of dissatisfaction within myself, a deep sense of longing for who know’s what. I felt empty. I had this great life, but I’d fallen out of love with it. Then, as family members got hard diagnoses and relationships dissolved and cars got wrecked, I became bitter and angry with God. With all these things happening on top of my already dissatisfied heart, I was a wreck.

But looking back now, it all makes so much sense. Isn’t that one of the best feelings? Being able to recognize that things really did suck, but that those same sucky things are worth the present day they helped produce.

I had gotten so attached to my university, my community, my sweet living situation (thanks, mom), my earthly things, that I was ready to sit and stay in Corpus forever. I’m so thankful for the blessed time I had at school in Corpus, but it became difficult when I started to hear a calling from God that didn’t align with what I planned for myself. I was holding on tight to Texas A&M Corpus Christi. In my mind, there was no way that anyone was going to take what I had away from me. Then, my heart shifted and crappy thing after crappy thing happened. From my slightly raised perspective, I think that all the hard things that happened last semester were part of a divine equation that came together perfectly to equal me being ready to transfer universities in the fall. So, this is me announcing that I’ll be going to Texas Woman’s University, moving out of my hometown (eight hours away, no less), and diving completely out of my comfort zone.

If my college career were a book, this decision would be the end of part one. Then the next few chapters would be anxious ramblings and devastated musings, communicating the immense amount of fear I felt about the transfer. I was so scared. My life is in Corpus, my friends are in Corpus, my family is in Corpus (love you, mom), my beach is in Corpus (I really like the beach, okay?). After making the choice to move schools, I couldn’t shake the fear I had of being depressed and alone once I moved. It became crippling, holding my heart captive.

Fast forward about a month and I’ve found myself in Latvia on a mission trip (which in itself was a total God-thing. Ask me about it sometime). What a life changing experience!!  This is where we loop back to the beginning of this blog post.

“Always hold onto Christ. Stay rooted in Him.”

During the middle of the mission trip, I had the opportunity to hear a Latvian missionary speak. She was the coolest. After she spoke, she told us that anyone who wanted to talk with her could stick around. Everyone left, including myself; I was out of there so fast. But minutes after I left the room, I felt the tug on my heart to go back and talk to her. So I went back and lemme tell ya, the floodgates opened. I hadn’t cried that much in a long while. She sat and prayed with me while I cried and that moment physically felt like healing. I poured my heart out to her about the fear I had and how it felt like things had been hard for a long, long time. She told me she thought the move to a new school might just be the perfect opportunity to deepen my roots in Christ. We talked about how if I have Christ, I have all I need. The lies I fed my fear with fell silent.

Later that night, I was sitting with some friends before the nightly worship service and that same missionary found me. She kneeled in front of me, took my hands, and passed a small, wooden cross to me.

“Always hold onto Christ. Stay rooted in Him.”

That moment changed my life. Coming back from my mission trip to Latvia, I feel like a new person. I feel so filled up. If I have Christ, I have all I need.

If you’re struggling with fear or anxiety, I’m here with you. But we have hope! Hold onto Christ. Deepen your roots. These are actions, things we can actively do. We don’t have to stay stuck in our fears. We can grasp and pray and dig deeper and sing praises and read the Word. We can grow.

Friends, He is here; hold onto Him.

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3 Comments

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  1. This is beautiful! So proud of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful blog post! Some of the things you have said, & I’ll admit this, I felt the same. I felt super sad when I moved out of Texas leaving everything & everyone I love(d) behind. Looking back I thought I wanted & was ready to move on from something I was so bitter about, and I now realize I took some things for granted but gratefully I took some things not for granted. After a year & a half of living in a different state & being a refining fire at the same time, I’m a much different person from who I was; I will say it as that. There were some things I had dreamed & planned out since my freshman year of high school. I even wanted each of my dreams to be at a certain time, but it hasn’t happened yet and I’m grateful even now that it hasn’t happened yet. Because I’m learning somethings lately in a way that God is telling me “It does not matter what some other people think of you and what you’ve done right or wrong. Because at the end of the day, you don’t need to stress it out!” This now leaves me with more joy and less anxiety. Anyways, I have missed my home so much and still do. However, even though I’ve been through some hard things that even my past self wouldn’t have wanted to go though in a new place, I have been through moments of joy. Traveling to different places I never thought I’d be, meeting some awesome people in my life at church, work, and anywhere else, try new things, & feel God’a tender mercy, love & healing from some horrible things that had happened to me and my family. I’ll also admit that I do miss part of myself that was nostalgically spiritual (habits, lessons I’ve learned then, etc.) when it came to learning about the gospel myself when I lived in Texas but is now gone. And I’m still trying to find it. Thank you for sharing this blogpost, I feel less alone now. Sorry that this is a long comment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, friend! Thanks so much for commenting! I totally get how you’re feeling. Moving into new seasons can be extremely hard, especially when we don’t feel like we’re ready. But hey, God is faithful. I find it so comforting that He never leaves our side and He’s always orchestrating things for our good. I’m glad my blog post was able to encourage you!

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