I've had many influences in my life that all came from different directions. Some of these influences came from friends, family, coworkers, artists, and lately from online resources such as websites or blogs that I follow. I say this because in some way they have all formed part of who I am today. They have had an influence in how I think about certain things and how I approach certain topics. In other ways they have also been a heavy influence on how I feel about things and how I handle certain events in my life.
One of the healthiest times in my life- spiritually speaking- was when I was in college. I can remember how I plugged myself into the BSM (Baptist Student Ministry) and Chi Alpha (Christ Ambassadors) and how much they helped me stay rooted in Jesus throughout my years in college. If you know anything about these two college ministries you will know that they are both very unique to each other but both are rooted in Christ. The influences I had with these two ministries was just amazing because of the people I was able to become friends with during that time. I can't imagine how my life would have been if I had never gotten myself involved with these ministries. When I started college I immediately knew that I wanted to have nothing to do with the crazy "college life" I had always heard about so I was super thrilled and happy to find out that there were actual organizations on campus that held gatherings and bible studies.
The people I became friends with during my college years became my support and encouragement. I grew so much by being able to see other young people like me love God and serve him with love and yearning. I could see the humbleness in each and every one of them ( well at least most of them ) and that motivated me to keep seeking God in my life. I loved the fact that I had a band of brothers whom I could count on for support or when I was down they would pick me up. They would always encourage me in walk with God and were very loving about it. I thank God so much for those years because He allowed me to see that his love pours out to his children and his children pour it out to others around them. Most importantly, this love was poured out upon the brothers and sisters. I can remember the times when we would cry with each other because of the love we felt from God through the Holy Spirit. They were truly amazing moments that brought an unbreakable and soothing peace.
These were the influences that I had in college that made me grow in Christ like I had never had before in my life. A lot has changed since, though.
Right now I struggle with finding friends like this and maybe it's mainly because of my own stubbornness to humble myself or step down from pride that lurks secretly deep inside of me. I have since graduated from college and now have a job as a teacher in a town/city that is an hour and a half from all friends and family and it makes it difficult for me to feel that unity with believers/brothers in Christ that I once had. I long to have that relationship back in my life because I know I want to be influenced in a positive way that will encourage me to seek God and to get through life's struggles and hardships because I know that God did not intend for us to walk this life alone.
College seemed much more laid back and free of reality. It was a time where you knew was limited but yet you used it as if it would never end. The 'real life' has not been as depressing or uneventful as some might make it seem (even myself at times), and I know it's not what it should be either. God didn't make life to be some dreadful time for us but instead an opportunity to live this life in glorifying Him in everything that we do as freely as he has allowed us to do so.
Soon enough you realize that you need close friends who can be there to support you and encourage you in your faith with the Lord. I have friends that love God and support me in many ways but like I said, it just feels as if I am the one who suppresses the opportunity for growth in that area. I know that I need to allow myself to be humble and open to whatever God has willed for him to do and not to attempt to trump that with my own agenda.
Mainly the reason I have been so distanced from letting myself get close to a group of helpful brothers and sisters is because I know my heart is troubled at the moment. If I can be honest and totally open with you, I have to say that my heart is hurt and troubled. Hurt from what, you say? Well to be quick and to the point; girl problems.
And it's not even a problem really. This girl is just amazing. I don't want to go into detail about it all but I will tell you that I am in love with this girl and we have a history of about two years with each other. We aren't currently a couple, just friends (that was her wanting-not mine). I am so thankful for our friendship though because I know that God has his plans, even if it means being just friends now and forever might be the case. She is more than what I could ask for. She is the girl that you dream about and think about marrying one day because you just know in your gut she is the one God planned for you to be with. I still have that gut feeling right now even though things between us are not mutual. I love her.
The problem lately has been that my focus has been mainly on her. I have spent countless hours thinking and over thinking about her and I know this is not healthy nor good for me. I have come to slowly realize that I cannot allow myself to let her become the reason for my happiness, joy, self worth and identity. I know that I love her, that I can't deny because I know I would do anything for her in my power. I have prayed about this and talked to my closest friends about this and it seems that everything that I have received from prayer and advice is just to be patient, seek God and trust in Him.
Seems easy huh? That's where my stubbornness, impatience, and 'I want to do it my way' attitude comes in. It's wrong I know. But when I start to really think about it, I know that the advice I get and the thoughts that I feel God is instilling inside of me are all right and good. God has good and perfect gifts for me. The one I should be seeking more with my heart is God and not a girl. Although I may love this girl and I wish to be with her, I know that I must first seek God in my relationship with him and stand firm on him so I may not be moved.
The reason I began this post with influences is because I want to have positive influences in my life that will help me through this moment in my life. Everything inside of me wants to seek God even through this rough time where I feel like I need to hold on to her because I don't want her to leave me forever. I feel that if I let go I will never get her back and my life will be lost without her. But I also realize that God is and should be more important than a relationship with someone else.
I'm so thankful for the friends that I do have who help me in this time of loneliness and brokenness. I thank God even more for his love and grace towards me and because he gives me peace through this moment in life. I want to surround myself with people who can help me grow with them in our walk with God, that our faith may be strengthened. I'm even thankful for the girl I love because she also motivates me to seek God more than her. That's so attractive and makes me fall in love with her even more because I know she is selfless and wants the best for me.
It's hard to keep moving because my heart is troubled. It's always easier said than done with many things. Right now I just want to be able to trust in God that He is in control of my life and who I'll end up with.
Stay influenced by the right people and seek God. Even though it might hurt that it won't end up the way we want.