So quick update: What has this year held so far? Hmm...studying, oh and more studying, and a little more studying! I faced some of my most challenging courses this year with taking Form & Analysis 1-3 in the early semester (Really, who needs to analyze Debussy's quartet? Why?). Then I had my HUGE Liberal Arts Capstone project. What does this involve? Glad you asked. It involved a LOT of researching, LOTS of writing, late nights (stayed up until 4 a couple times...:-/). Yes, and even some tears. But I finally finished, and received an "A" in the class (made up for all the late nights and tears!).
I officially finished all 33 hours of my music courses at the end of May, and had all those hours accredited and on my transcript. Whew! Then came the "easy" part. Finishing the testing out of the rest of my basics and free electives.
Fast forward to the first week in June, and I took a trip to North Carolina for a week to take some of the most AMAZING and life changing training I've ever experienced! I took a week of Creation Apologetics teaching, and learned how to teach it to others. If you want to find out more about my week, clink this link, which will take you to their website. I strongly believe that this training is essential for every Christian who wants to be ready to defend their faith! While there, I met some of the most amazing people! And an extra blessing was meeting a dentist who gave me some unbiased opinions about my TMJ disorder, and also meeting an amazing biochem teacher who gave me some terrific help on my Natural Science CLEP test. I plan on writing more in depth about my experience in this training, but for now, check out that link!
July 3rd, I had my 21st birthday! And no...I did not go out and "party" as some may describe it. Instead, I spent the morning with my family, going swimming with my sister and a friend and their combined five kiddos, as well as my "at home" family and cousin. Then I spent the afternoon helping with little kids (everyone wants to do that on their birthday, right?), had great friends over in the evening, spent some "just girl" time with my sisters and friends, and my day ended with a dear friend spending the night and us staying up late watching one of those "girly" movies.
So, it's July 16th, and where do I find myself now? Studying away! Withing the last 7 days, I have taken three exams for college credit. Yes, you read that right. THREE college exams, giving me a total of 12 hours of additional credit. I took one last Thursday, giving me an additional 6 hours, and took two tests today after only 5 days of studying. I'm looking ahead at the next five weeks (my projected FINISHING date), and I'm realizing that the crazy schedule I gave myself of finishing SEVEN more tests in the next FIVE weeks is actually completely feasible!
So, what has the first (almost) seven months of this year taught me? One main thing.
God's grace is ALWAYS enough!!
I cannot stress that enough. In fact it's so important that I will say it again. God's grace is ALWAYS sufficient for my needs! Folks, I have literally seen Him work miracles this last seven months! How, you might ask? Because I have made it this far in school! It is only by His grace that I am where I am today, and have made it this far! I could NOT have finished those classes on my own. Believe me. I was in TEARS over Debussy (Debussy and I don't get along very well). I was in tears over my massive thesis-type paper. I have no idea how I managed to keep such late hours for such a long period of time, except that I know that God gave me all the strength that I needed! And God definitely gave me all the inspiration I needed for such a challenging subject (why did I pick to do a BA thesis on the aesthetics of music again?).
So all this to say, even in the smallest minute things, God cares, He is faithful, and He will be your strength, if you only ask! I'm not stupid, but I know that I could not have come this far in my schooling without God's continued grace and strength pouring through me. I have learned to ask God on a daily basis to empty me completely of myself, and to pour Himself completely into me. One of the verses I am claiming for this next year of my life is from Ephesians 3, where Paul prays that God will fill the Ephesians with "all the fullness of God." My dad explained that in his sermon this is like throwing a coke bottle into the ocean and watching the bottle become completely filled with the fullness of the ocean, yet there is still so much ocean. But in order for that coke bottle to be filled, it has to empty itself of its contents.
So my prayer for each of you that reads this article is that you would humble yourself and empty yourself completely of anything inside, and ask God to fill you with all His fullness! His grace and strength are ALL we could ever need, and way more than we could ever hope for! I hope that this has been at least a little encouragement to you.
Until next time....
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, and may you be filled with ALL the fullness of God! Blessings!
Because of Jesus' Blood,
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10