I've become that Senior.

That Senior who is sitting in the library currently working on an Annotated Bibliography and starting to become nostalgic.

There are days when I don't want to be at this school anymore, but today is different.

A few months ago, I was sitting at a table with my roommate of three years and her fiance, of whom I've watched grow a beautiful relationship in college. And I thought, I really want to get this assignment done. Then I look up and one of my best friends, Sam Skold, walks in to talk to someone across the room.

I began to realize how much I will truly miss this. I will miss being around Julie who continues to remind me to stay focused and stop making faces at her. I will miss seeing Sam Skold and all my other wondering TC friends at Touring Choir practice. It will be completely different a year from now, and I don't think I appreciate these moments enough.

I talked to an alumni friend on homecoming weekend. We sat outside under a tent as it rained and had a life-giving conversation. At the start, I asked him, "So, how are you doing?" He turned to me and said, "Well, Rachel, I just really miss this place. I miss the vibrant community that encouraged me so often. I miss being around earnest hunger for more of the Lord in every person." As I listened to him I started feeling convicted. Convicted about all the time I had become annoyed with this campus. Convicted about the times I didn't take opportunities to understand God more deeply with other people. And I especially felt convicted about the times I had said that I hate this place, or I'm so ready to get out of here.

Sure, the work sucks sometimes. And sure, people can be judgmental, forgetful, unintentional in friendship, and just plain inconsiderate.

But people are like that every where else too.

College is a rare time in your life when you can run down to your friend's room (or in other words "home") at 2 am and pray with her because she doesn't know if her parents will stay together in the next month or she's stressing out about a test the next day. It's this weird time of life when everyone is in the same stage of life and living within a mile of each other. College is weird. But it's a very special time. I should be appreciating it more.

And now, I'm taking my last final of the Fall Semester at 2 pm, and I'll be heading home for Christmas break. I don't really know what next semester will be like, but I know that I will savor every moment - good or bad.


Single isn't Single

It's been a year since I've been "in a relationship." I put that in quotes because I never labeled it as such during the fact, but I was pretty emotionally committed to someone.

I've learned a lot. I've messed up a lot. I have cried a lot.

I've done a lot of growing with other people.

Yes, as a single young woman I am growing "on my own" as most would say. Although, I think there's a huge misconception about being single. Many people think you are literally a single person, and you don't have anyone around you to lean on. You are completely alone.

I'll tell you one thing: You don't have be alone when you're single. 

When I first became "single" I felt very alone. I had closed a door to someone that I had emotionally depended on for a good bit of time. It's when you feel most alone that you must reach out. The enemy loves to steal, kill, and destroy, so he wants you to think you are all alone. Don't give him that power. Reach out in prayer and petition, ask someone to pray with you or for you, or go talk to someone trustworthy about your hurts and stresses.

Maybe you're saying, "Well, there's no one I can talk to! Everyone has been busy or turned away from me." Pray for the Lord to provide. He will give you someone to talk to, I have faith for it.

Since becoming single, I have surrounded myself with people that honestly care about my heart. God always had those people right in front of me, it was just a matter of me actually opening up and allowing those people to truly be my support system.

If you are going through a lonely time, don't stay secluded. Cry out to the Lord for help. He desires to show you that He can provide you with anything and everything you need.