Congratulations, *insert name* you have been accepted into **insert college/university*...
When people think about success, one of the main things many people tend to think about is where they are going to college/where they went to college. You constantly hear news stories about college acceptances during the spring. New beginnings, of course.
For me success is perseverance. How do college acceptances and perseverance link to one another? Well here's a small piece of my story.
Growing up, education became my identity. Specifically, my grades were my foundation. They were the one thing that I thought was the pillar of who I was, my greatness, my success. Little did I know that college would be a time to break me, as well as build me up.
When it came down to deciding where I was going to college, a lot of factors went into place. I held on so much to my education and my pride. I wanted the biggest and best. I wanted to boast and enjoy the prestige behind where I was to go to school.
My first semester of college was probably one of my worst semesters ever. I was so frustrated, discouraged and so much more. Being in a new place and feeling pretty much alone definitely did not help. Through that process, I was broken. I wasn't as "invincible" as I thought I was and that was tough to handle. Through my struggles, through my tears, I managed and longed for more, specifically for true identity and stability. At that point of brokenness and repair, the Lord truly sought me out all the more.
I'm actually thankful that I didn't do well my first semester because it opened up the door to where I was vulnerable enough to let go of my pride and what I thought was my identity and find the Lord. Now I could easily say that after I gave my life to Christ my life completely changed and I started doing amazingly in school. That was not the case either. There were times where I felt frustrated, stuck and angry because I wasn't doing well in school. Yet this time it was different. This time, when I made a mistake or just outright failed, I still had hope. I knew that there was a purpose, that there was a plan...that there was a testimony through the failures. That when something doesn't go right, there is definitely a good reason why. For me, it was to break down pride, self-reliance, and stubbornness and reconfigure my thought process on many things, such as what being successful is in this world.
The trials and tribulations with my education has definitely been rough, but I also look back with joy. I say that, because through the process it has allowed me to not focus on myself but to truly die to self and to trust in the Lord that He has the best things for me. Honestly that has been proven time and time again throughout the years. I have found something even greater to treasure. I have learned that everything is a process and with the process there's good and there's bad.
Things may not necessarily go the way that you wanted it to go. There are days where all you want to do is curl up in a ball and probably cry. There are days where all you can really pray is "Help me Lord" and that's it...you have no idea what else to say. The Lord still hears your prayers, the Lord still sees your struggles and He sees every tear that falls, every laughter that comes out of every situation and He's also there in your corner, encouraging you along the way.
Don't give up.
I repeat: do not give up. You may be going through something that's only a few seconds long, a few hours, or even years. Still, DO NOT GIVE UP. When you keep the faith, when you keep straight ahead even if there are setbacks...you are still learning, you are always constantly learning. You are not losing out on anything despite what some people may say or think. Your journey is your journey between you and the Lord and He's in your corner fighting for you.
When you can go through your trials and tribulations and persevere, then there is a greater story to be told on the other side. There's a story of victory, a testimony that others would definitely love to hear. Keep pressing forward. Some amazing testimonies are waiting to be experienced and shared.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. -Romans 5:3-4 NIV