If you had to redo this entire year over, what would you do differently?
I got asked that question the other day and was almost speechless. I thought to myself, who would I have reached out to if I had the chance again? What chances would I have taken if I were offered them one more time? How would I have reacted to that one situation if I knew what I know now?
So far, this year has been one of the best years of my life. But it’s also been one of the most challenging. I have learned more this year about myself, my purpose, and my passion than I ever have before. But more importantly, I learned that my biggest insecurities, fears, and setbacks are the reasons I have missed out on some of the things that God has been calling me to.
I was at my sorority’s senior banquet this past weekend and all of the seniors were saying their goodbyes. Of course, I was sad to see them go because some of those girls have changed my life. But I think I was more affected by the fact that in just one year i’ll be in their position looking back on all of the experiences college has brought me. My biggest fear is that my self-doubt, anxiety, and all the other insecurities in the book will hold me back from taking the opportunities that God has placed right in front of me.
Have you ever gotten that urge to tell someone something that you felt like they really needed to hear at that moment? Or maybe there is a person that you see EVERYWHERE. I mean you see them on campus, off campus, in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru, or even in the RAC bathrooms.
P.S. When you start seeing someone you don’t know in the bathrooms over and over again, please refrain from sparking conversations at that time. It creeps them out, trust me I’ve tried it.
But I firmly believe those urges come from God. I believe that God places certain people in our paths so that He can use us to glorify His name. God likes to use people like you and me to communicate messages to others that He wants them to hear.
This past year, I started seeing this girl I had never met before everywhere I went. I was seeing her pretty often. I was even hearing her name spoken by other people. One day, I caught myself sitting in the computer lab on campus when I saw her there and overheard a conversation she was having with her friend. She was telling her how she spent her winter break in the hospital due to depression. She said it had gotten worse and was admitted for more serious care. As soon as I heard those words come out of her mouth I wanted to hug her. I wanted to tell her that Jesus is taking care of her, that He loves her, and that I was here if she ever needed someone to talk to. But I sat there and continued to type my paper as if I hadn’t heard a thing.
As I walked out of the lab that morning, I felt a pit in my stomach. Anotheropportunity to reach out to someone who is lost and in need of hope just slipped right through my fingers. I think what was holding me back from saying something was my own insecurities. I worried she would think I was weird. I feared she would think I was nosy and ease dropping on a conversation that was none of my business (she might be right about that part). But still, I let my fears and insecurities about what people think about me get in the way of telling this girl about the freedom that the Lord is offering her. The freedom from depression that she was facing.
I don’t want to be sitting at my senior banquet a year from now and wonder what would have happened if I reacted differently to an opportunity like that one. I don’t want to wish I took the chance to reach out to that person that God was so clearly placing right in front of my eyes. I wish someone would have came up to me in the midst of all the pain I was experiencing my freshman year of college. So why not be that person for someone else? There are hundreds of people on this very campus that are longing for the joy, peace, andcomfort that God has promised us. Take those opportunities that God is calling you to be boldin.
“Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means.” – Mark Batterson
Sharing your past, your failures, and all your junk doesn't only bring you the freedom and healing that the Lord is so clearly offering us, but it reminds others that they're not alone in this broken world.