Here's to the Class of 2017

Everything you are feeling and thinking about is valid. You are allowed to be slightly crazy, you are allowed to feel like life is messy, because truthfully...it is, sorry but there is no sugar coating that one. You are the graduating class of 2017, so here are 17 things that I want to tell you:

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What's next?

I just finished my last ever fall semester as an undergraduate student. To some, their first thoughts might be... "YES! Finally, a break."

"All I'm going to do is sleep, watch Netflix and eat."

However, here are my thoughts...

"I have to graduate next semester, I haven't learned anything. How am I supposed to get a job...like a real job."

"If I fail all my classes, I'll have to stay in school, and then I won't have to start paying off my loans either, it's brilliant."

Now, I know what you are thinking. "Stop acting crazy, it's going to be fine. You have learned things and you will be ready." In my mind though, fear has it's hands grasping at every thought. I don't do well when it comes to uncertainty and change. The funny thing is that for most of my life, the theme has been uncertainty. Growing up, I never knew what I would be coming home too, I didn't know if I would have friends at school certain days, and I didn't know why I was even living most days. As you grow older, uncertainty tends to grow bigger. In a matter of hours I could have a new apartment or I could be back out on the hunt. I could put in a hundred applications for jobs I care less about or put in a couple for ones I care most about. I can enjoy the crazy wonderful weirdness of being in a relationship or I could end it and go back to the secured independence of singleness. Life is full of uncertainty and it takes a great deal of vulnerability to help get through those times.

When we begin to release vulnerability, we become uncomfortable, and stepping out of comfort is one of the most courageous things you can do.

Uncertainty is uncomfortable.

Being uncomfortable means you are growing.

When we stop playing it safe and we fully give in to the uncertainty that life may hold, walls begin to break and truth enters the soul.

I had the privilege to FaceTime with a friend who is very near and dear to my heart the other day. She is the type of person that I am proud to say I look up to in more ways than one and I doubt she will ever really know the extent to which she has helped me grow closer to God and learn to love myself. We were talking and as I was casually explaining the fears of having to figure my life out in a matter of months, she calmly just says, "No you don't...you don't have to figure out what you are going to do with the rest of your life, you just  have to figure out what's next." In those two words, life looked a little different, it looked a little bit more manageable. I suddenly wasn't as afraid of the uncertainty, I became more excited about what could be next. I love the quote that says, "If you want to make God laugh, show him your plans." I'm pretty sure I could be a jester in God's court by how much I probably make him laugh. So instead of me trying to plan, I'm asking God what's next and letting him do the work.

As for today, I will keep on praying for doors to be opened and doors to be closed. I will pray for wisdom and I will pray for courage. And to those who are feeling stuck in the same boat...

What's next for you?

From one human to the next,

Michelle

 

Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant?

It has been three years since I have given my life over to Christ. In these three years I have been challenged beyond belief in every single part of life. This book has not made anything any easier. If one book has made me doubt my faith and made me question everything I believe in, this has been one of the top. Preston Jones and Greg Graffin create an atmosphere that made me engaged in both sides of the debates in all areas talked about. There were specific things that Graffin had written about during the Theism vs. Naturalism section. Graffin and Jones are discussing back and forth immensely during this section and Graffin makes this statement “The stories and ‘truths’ we we are told in the first six or seven years of life are what form our worldview…(Remember it took about 300 years for the general population to believe the stories elucidated by Copernicus that the sun, not the earth, is the center of the solar system!)” (56) Graffin is talking about evolution and the way society has been teaching children. He firmly believes that within about 100 years, Darwinism will be understood and accepted. This caught me off guard, in school we are just taught what either teachers believe or what they were taught to believe. Graffin makes a strong argument here, mostly because in the prime ages of six and seven, children are adapting to rules of school, and general society. Their eyes become fixed on what they are being shown and becoming enthralled by the information. These children can then grow up only to believe what they are taught, but without the reasoning behind it. Jones however, plays a battle with Graffin. The two have gone head to head, round after round, trying to get the other to slip or Fall. (See what I did there?) The Fall is a huge topic, and one that almost every theologian or basic white collar folk has heard of. Traditionally, Christians view the world today as being a consequence of the Fall or “man’s rebellion against God.” (79) Graffin didn’t really have too much to say about the topic though. Graffin gave the naturlaist point of “a naturalist would acknowledge that suffering exists, feel terrible about it, and search for a way to cure it!”(83) All that sounds good and wonderful, but it leaves so much questioning. Jones does a good job of truly explaining the Christian view of “God doesn’t want the world to be like this; and when the curtains fall--when he ends it--the world to follow won’t be like this.” (81) This to me trumps the naturalist view in one word...hope. Without hope, what do we have? Not everything is solved or cured and who knows how long it could take or if that is even possible. I am I firm believer in biology and the strides it has taken but I also believe in having hope for a better future because this world is broken. Instead of saying “wow, this world is rough, this world is bad” I would rather say “...yes, the world is warped--here’s why, and here’s what you can hope for.” (82)

Finding Strength

 

ImageIt is only the second day of the Spring 2014 semester and already I am downing coffee like it's water. Hopefully, it is just all the excitement that this new semester has prepared that is keeping me up at night and not being able to sleep. Between being a full time student while maintaing a job and social life, things can become exhausting. Luckily, there are these wonderful things between classes called breaks that I have yet to use but can tell they are for sure a blessing in disguise. This week though like many other Jessup students, we have been gathering addresses, stamps, envelopes and trying to get our computers to print out the mass amounts of support letters that recently have gone out! One thing that I truly love about this school and campus is how much of a community it really becomes. There is a huge portion of our school that will be heading out for trips this summer and everywhere you look there was someone stuffing envelopes or yelling at their computer and even with all the stress that comes along with the process of having to get things in on time, smiles are on every persons face. It brings such a warmth to my heart and a strength of knowing that even when things get stressful and we may not know the outcome, that God is still putting this fire in our hearts and passion in our pits to do His work. I have been going through a devotion through the Bible App on my phone and there was a specific one that came up recently that I fell in love with. It was talking about the Egyptians and how they tried to wear down the Hebrews but instead the Hebrews multiplied and grew stronger. "When we are burdened or mistreated, we may feel defeated. But our burdens can make us stronger and can develop qualities in us that will prepare us for the future. We cannot be over comers without troubles to overcome. Be true to God in the hard times because even the worst situations can make us better people." That is my prayers recently, to be open and honest with God. Hard times are always ahead of us, we can't stop them from coming but we can surround ourselves with friends and family that can support us and build us up stronger. I could not be more thankful for the people that God has put in my life recently, between people that have been supporting my trip, continually praying for me and even the crazy ones that take in a stray college student for a few weeks before going back to school. God is constantly showing me new ways that He is providing for me and showing me He is here and not leaving me, even when I don't deserve it, He is constant. 

I also just wanted to give in a quick update to the Support Letter as well, ALL the letters I have been able to mail out are officially in the mail and should be arriving soon so be looking for those! However, being a college student, electronics are a big part of my life and so for those that would still like to help support financially feel free to head over to jessup.edu/missions and make sure you click on the Honduras tab and add Michelle Rompel. If you are also just curious there is a goal time line to see how far my fundraising has been coming and how far I still need to go, check it out! 

Blessings,

M