God is good.
All the time.
And all the time,
God is good.
The classic "get your congregation involved" routine: the pastor shouts, "God is good!" And the congregation responds, "All the time!" And vice versa. So for my fellow old-school church friends, thank you for responding to my prompt.
But let me just take some time to tell you how good God really is. This is the last week of classes, and then there are final exams next week. It's the point where everyone is freaking out and trying to finish projects and cram for tests, and yet I'm just hanging out at work, reading over some poems and thoughts I wrote down in a notebook at the beginning of the semester.
And I was blown away by what I read.
Here is an excerpt from my writings:
This, God, is my letter to you at the start of my senior year. That my life would not overwhelm me so that I would feel out of control. That the sun which shines in my heart would not disappear with the clouds of winter and looming assignments...That my goal in life would be to be involved in someone else's life...Not to change their life or be a big factor in it, but to be involved...God let me be a ray of sunshine when the worries and stress overshadow.
That's what I asked for at the beginning of the semester. This is how I feel at the end of the semester:
Not at all stressed or worried. And all semester I remember feeling this unearthly calm about my life and my homework assignments. It was unusual, but I just didn't get shaken by problems when the internet shut down or the test was harder than anticipated. And now, at the end of the semester, when it seems like everyone around me is loaded with work and stress, I still have that peace. I kept wondering when it was going to end, but it hasn't. And now I've realized where that "peace that transcends all understanding" has come from.
There was about a week after I quit my job that I was depressed and felt useless. But I found the strength in God to overcome that, and I can't say that I've been incredibly depressed since. There were a few random days when I decided to be in a bad mood, but overall, the cloudy weather has not put a damper on my spirit.
And the most exciting part of all is how I have been able to be involved in the lives of others this semester. I got to travel around with a couple different friends taking pictures of them, and they shared with me how special the experience made them feel. :) I also got to go out with a couple of the high schoolers from work who are taking a photography class. I accompanied them on their photo shoots, which was cool because, yeah, I could offer some advice, but basically I just got to be there for them as support and encouragement. I'm glad I was able to give some of my time to them. And the really cool thing that I realized is, because I work in the photo lab and am not taking as heavy a load as other students, I was able these past couple of weeks to cover shifts for people who were working on their senior shows. Tonight was the opening of this semester's senior shows, and everyone put in a lot of work and did a fantastic job! And I am really grateful that I got to contribute in some small way just by giving people some extra time to get their show done. While they hit the busiest part of their semester, I could at least take some of that pressure off of them, and I am so grateful to God for that opportunity. And I didn't even remember that I had asked for it!