1. Sushi, urban fries, and Indian food will always be my favorite foods. Petting dogs is still vital to happiness. And the life I want to live is creative, beautiful, abundant, and full of signs and wonders. And that’s exactly how I would describe the last 18 years of my life chasing Jesus.
2. Learning to be present and take things one day at a time doesn’t mean ignoring the effect your decisions have on the future— it just means doing the best you can each day.
3. Community is so important.
4. But at the same time, if you’re relying on a church or small group as your only spiritual food for the week, that’s not going to work.
5. If everything you know about God is based on one pastor, one church, or one person, that’s also not going to work.
6. Following Jesus is a journey that will take you places you would’ve never dreamed you would end up at but only if you let him.
7. Joy is one of the most vulnerable things to have because when we have it we are always fearing it will fade away. But always fearing the times it will leave is no way to live, because when we look back we will never regret the times we leaned into it, but we will regret the times we didn’t hold on to those moments enough.
8. People are going to try and give you a lot of advice. You are the one in the end that gets to decide what is worth listening to and what is worth throwing in your mental trash.
9. There are other people who will surround you and come alongside of you where you’re at and give you rides to church and let you text them your math homework. They will make a huge effort to connect with you and reach out to you and partner with you in your dreams. They are the kind of people who are just so passionate about making others feel known and loved. Those are the people you should hold on to for dear life, rather than the people who are always trying to give you advice to make them feel better about themselves.
10. The only way to surrender everything to Jesus is to get lost in his love, full of awe and wonder, and to want to know Him more than anything else. Trying to surrender because we’re afraid of the situation in front of us doesn’t work. (Believe me, I’ve tried.)
11. And when we are just so in love with Jesus, that’s when the miracles start happening. But you have to want Jesus more than the miracles. You have to want the savior more than the saving, the healer more than the healing, and the giver more than the gifts.
12. Sometimes the places we need to be most are not glamorous. Now that I’m in college, I can finally reveal that I worked at Taco Bell over the summer without putting myself at risk of getting fired. And that was not glamorous at all, but I was definitely supposed to be drive-thru gal for that season. 🙂
13. You don’t know how grateful you actually should be for what you have until you’ve seen the lives people have to live to simply meet ends meet. And now I wake up every day in college and I think about my old co-workers, and I can’t believe I get to be living in these dorms with a dining hall and everything I could possibly need so close to me, with the privilege of studying to one day work a job I am passionate about. We take for granted more things than we realize.
14. To turn on our shower in our community bathroom, you have to pull the knob out before you turn it.
15. Living with a roommate is so amazing. We discovered a kitchen on the first floor yesterday when we did our first batch of UC Davis laundry. We also learned there’s a much closer staircase to our room than the one we’ve been taking for the last 2 weeks. Yesterday we locked ourselves out of our dorm because we both left to shower at the same time and both forgot our room keys. We had to get our RA to save us and since we had taken out our contact lenses neither of us could see a thing. It’s just awesome to get to figure out life with someone else.
Some other random college things: Bike parking is a commodity, the gym is intimidating, it is very easy to meet new people and make new friends wherever you go as everyone is going through the same thing, and living right next to cows means you will hear them moo at night. You can pet the cows if you’re bored but most of them won’t let you and will just look at you and walk away.
16. The balance between chasing meaning rather than comfort and completely burning yourself out comes from knowing your boundaries and always making an effort to care for your soul.
17. A revelation is what happens when your head knowledge finally sinks deeper into your soul and becomes heart knowledge. I have more of these than I do realizations now, and you can always discover things you previously knew in deeper ways. Never be closed off from growing.
18. I am more scared of getting to a point where I think I’ve figured adulthood out than I am of going through some really challenging things.
Wow. I’m an adult as of Thursday. It’s so crazy.
I’m currently writing this in my dorm again. I just got back from the most fun dance class of my life. There’s a guy named Ryan from Davis Christian Fellowship who created a dance group called “agape,” which means God’s unconditional love. My roommate and I went to his workshop, danced terribly, and had so much fun. It was honestly the best class I’ve ever had. They prayed before and after, and our choreographer shared her story which was so inspiring. And none of us knew how to do anything so we just were laughing our way through and cheering each other on.
College so far is literally a dream come true. I wake up every day and see the cows outside my window and I can’t believe I’m here. The Christian Fellowship I’m a part of has exceeded my expectations and dreams. DCF is just like my church back at home, Jesus Culture, except it is 1000x more welcoming if that was even possible because I thought my home church was really welcoming. Last Tuesday I went to a worship night and cried my eyes out because the spirit was so heavy in that room. The girl next to me accepted Christ, and the next day told me that most of the reason why she was crying so much was because she could hear the emotion in my voice when I was worshipping. We both became crying buddies after that.
I woke up on my 18th birthday and it was tough. I never thought I would be spending my birthday in a new environment with people who didn’t know me. But I got to spend it at a DCF event, and they made me feel so loved and known. When I got back to my dorm, I found this:
I asked Nikita to pray for me at the worship night because I had been feeling so tired. College is crazy, and very tiring. But the upper-classmen get it and are all so passionate about coming alongside us. The fact that I’m tired just means that I’m giving myself fully to this new experience. There was no other place I would’ve wanted to spend my 18th birthday. I’m so happy I got to spend it somewhere that I truly belong. I have never felt this loved and known somewhere in my life, and I would’ve never guessed that God had all this for me here in this gigantic, scary school. But wow. I love it here so much.
College honestly just feels like a summer camp where I have to get good grades. I’ve been studying a lot between lectures, discussions, and labs but have also been having so much fun. I don’t really like my classes, haha, which I know sounds terrible because that’s kind of the reason I’m here. But I love everything else about college. I love the people. I love the food, dogs, and bike rides to class. The diversity here makes me so happy. And I just keep meeting new people every day that make me even happier.
So here we are, 1 year older, finally in the wilderness that God was calling me into. So far, choosing Him in the wilderness of UC Davis has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I remember when this school was the last place I wanted to go, but this is all proof that God is good. And I am so grateful. 💗
Our dreams are God given. Never forget that.