20 September 2006

His ways are not my ways

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11)

When I began classes as an incoming college freshman in the Fall of 2005, I had big dreams -- much like any starry-eyed student with plans to save the world. I was quickly disappointed to find that my ideas were not realistic. My major changed several times as I struggled to make sense of what I was doing in college. I thought I knew exactly how I was going to spend the next ten years of my life... but all my plans came crashing down as I realized that my plans were not His plans.

My first year of college found me floundering after my academic pursuits were crushed in the grip of painful reality. Previously, I would have said that my first year was a waste, but God was preparing me for things I would have never imagined.

Since February of this year, the Lord has brought situations into my life to spiritually develop me at an alarming rate. I now have a new reason for finishing college and a goal of completing by Spring of 2009, but there are so many times when I'd like to simply quit college and jump into ministry.

It is tiring to be exposed to such filth as one encounters on a college campus. A lot of my innocence was lost between the arguments with professors over entropy and The Big Bang, liberal social/political policies being banged over my head, filthy language assailing my ears every three seconds, and exposure to the sexual perversion that infests the hormone-driven hedonistic culture of college students. I often find myself longing to retreat into a state of sweet innocence that I feel is lost to me forever.

So why on earth am I still in college? There are many times (if not most) where I would like to drop out and throw myself head-long into ministry teaching women's Bible studies. But I am already in the ministry. There are people I have been able to reach that I would never have come into contact with except through college. How else would I have been able to minister to a bi-sexual marijuana smoker? Or a young single mom who got pregnant in high school? Or a Mormon? Or a Catholic? Or a college professor with enough religions to fill a swimming pool? They are the reason I am here -- not so I can obtain a bunch of degrees and titles. God gave me the opportunity to reach the "untouchables" that I would never see in a sheltered Christian bubble.

It is a good thing that God does not let me live my life as I please. I am living a life I never planned to live and desiring things I never wanted, but what great joy I have found! If you told me a year ago that I would be as I am now, I would have laughed at you... but all the time I think God was laughing at me.

In one of my favorite films, Sergeant York (1941), Gary Cooper plays the WW1 hero, Sergeant Alvin York. A phrase he often repeats during the movie, with a strong Tennesee accent: "The Lord sure do work in mysterious ways." Indeed, He does.


At 20 September, 2006 12:32, Blogger Barbara said...

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man (or woman) who has his (her) quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5. I didn't homeschool you to hide you. You are speaking "in the gate" as He planned for you to do. Press on! You have only begun.

At 20 September, 2006 13:08, Blogger Ednella said...

Hey Carey, its been a while since I stopped by! I wish I had been visiting more often. I usually just check the blogs in the RoC network, and unfortunantly, not everyone is in the RoC network! How have you been? I was going through my old Hebrews posts and I was like "Boy, it sure has been a while since I stopped at Matthew's blog, or Carey's!"

You will be in my prayers! I hear college is tough, although I do not speak from experience :-) I have a few more years of high school.

I also wanted to let you know that next week (Lord willing) I will be starting a series of posts on Philippians 1, similar to what I did with Hebrews.

Grace and peace, sister!


At 20 September, 2006 19:16, Blogger Redeemed said...

And what a blessing that His way are not our ways! You are certainly where the Lord wants you to be and College is your ministry right now.

The Lord will see you through your college years as He prepares your for bigger and better things. You go girl!

At 21 September, 2006 09:32, Blogger Carey said...

Thanks, Mama.

Hey Nella! Glad to see you back. Thanks for your prayers. College is no picnic -- it's more like a battle -- but the ministry outcomes far outweigh the difficulties. Looking forward to your series on Philippians 1!

Thanks, Sarah. *hugs* I hope you know how much I appreciate your sweet encouragement.


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