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these hands / miracles

In the past year, these hands have wiped many tears from my face, held razors between their fingers, been clenched to either resist urges to relapse or to collide with my flesh (or an easier way to say that-to relapse), have been covered in dirt one too many times from falling off my skateboard, have gotten me out of bed and through the days I didn’t want to, have embraced many and pushed away many, and have written one sad poem after another.

But today, these hands give God praise. Four days before the beginning of finals week and hours after a successful meeting with my success coach, an unexpected obstacle (and for now private for the time being) had approached me head-on, putting me under much stress, pressure, hurt, and exposed. I lost all focus for finals week, cried many times in public from my fears of failing my finals sitting right in front of me in information I could not recollect because of the aftermath of this particular experience, could no longer be in my dorm for long periods of time, and felt completely hopeless.

In order to keep my merit scholarship, I needed to have a cumulative GPA of 3.25. Just last semester I barely made the mark with a 3.27. With the grades I was holding in my classes this semester and how I expected my finals to go, I needed a real miracle to either match my GPA from the fall or to raise it even higher. Two days before finals, I truly had believed that it was better for me to just end it all rather than be stuck between being the victim and also the “abuser” and take the shame of losing my scholarship home with me (though I and many others knew that I could easily get my scholarship appealed, I still felt ashamed that I even had to consider that route). This was a battle I could not fight alone.

These hands had to give these problems and frustrations to God. They were just not strong enough to hold the weights of the world. As my final grades were coming in, it became harder to trust. I was fearful that though the grades I was getting were pretty good for such a short notice event to occur in my life that I wouldn’t make that mark. But I literally told God that though I didn’t want to trust him that I was going to because He has never failed me, nor will He ever. The past few days I had been waiting for one more grade to be put in to find out my overall GPA. Last night…well…I’ll let the photo speak for itself.

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Now if you think that’s a miracle, let me give you a little bit of a background on how those grades came to be. The classes I was most fearful of were law and graphic design (which both go towards my minors, how ironic). Talking with my success coach about how I felt my grades were gonna turn out, I had no hope of changing my law grade from a C to at least a B-. I had received a 77 on both my law and BCA exams. At that point, there was definitely no hope after I had calculated my total points in the class from what I had in Blackboard. Last night, he curved my grade to a B. I didn’t feel that I was worthy of a B, let alone a B-. As for my BCA class, the 97 I had received on our data analysis project and my performance in the class is what pretty much saved my grade. My performance in Math had saved my grade as well, though I got an 80 on that exam. As for my graphic design class, my second hardest and most time-consuming and frustrating class, I had received an 85 on the exam. (somehow). My professor for once gave me grace and gave me a 94 on our final project, a project that I was fearful of due to my professor and I’s difference in style. There’s no need to explain why I got an A in English, that’s a given.

It blows my mind how God made a miracle out of something that I felt was not worth trying for. I’ve learned a lot in terms of what I need in my life next year, as well as what I deserve (in this case-I really didn’t deserve to have this all happen to me at once in such a short notice). I’ve had to trust God with a lot of situations in my life-this situation was honestly one of the scariest things to trust Him with. But I am so so blessed to have a God who loves me so much and always provides, even when there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to trust Him when things are hard. I’m so thankful to have a God that leads the way when I’m lost, who always finishes what He starts.

Finishing off a post with saying have faith and know hope has never hit me so hard or meant so much. Seriously, HAVE FAITH, KNOW HOPE.

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year one perspective

As of Wednesday, I had completed my freshman year of college and let me just say that I envy those who can sum up their freshman year in a simple Facebook or Instagram post with countless photos. While the good majority of some key events of my freshman year had been documented through my blog in some pretty upsetting and depressing posts, I wanted to make a post that also included some more positive updates and go back to some of the best memories I’ve had this past year.

Like I talked about in my previous post, I came to CMU hoping to recover and heal from my past back at home. And this year, I found that recovery wasn’t easy. I ended up being mistreated and hurt by others, and it slowed down not only my healing process but also affected my academic success. For the first part of the year, I ended up handling all of my emotions alone (perks of being too scared to schedule an appointment with a counselor-let alone talk to anyone). One desperate prayer New Years Eve became a text asking if I’d be joining life groups the following semester, regularly scheduled meetings with a counselor (after a series of unfortunate events already previously talked about), and a more open relationship with my Mom-who also doubles as my mentor. I also have an amazing success coach that I’ve been meeting with and will continue to meet with next year who has helped me rescue my grades to the best of my abilities (I was very unlucky the week before finals-that’s another story) BUT who has already helped me a ton with my performance in my classes-so so grateful for him.

Remember when I felt confused on why they wouldn’t be rooming with me and what God’s big plan was for all of this? Long story short-I understand now. And one of the things I’m most excited about for next year is taking what I’ve learned about who I am and what I ask for as a roommate and applying it to next semester. I’ve learned that I’m easy going-I generally mold myself around what my roommates ask for in a roommate. And because things with my roommates didn’t end so peacefully as expected (thanks for still being my friend even after this year Emilee), it’s made me less fearful of my roommates next year. While its still a work in progress, I’m working with the resources given to me to be the best version of myself-not only for myself, but for those around me. I now know what I deserve, I know that my worth is more than being treated any less than what I deserve as a human being.

While there are many memories that are very much worthy of being talked about, I think the best way to recap my year is by talking about my top ten memories from this year-with pictures, of course.

10. Pretty much any football game from this year.

Give or take that I was fresh with friends and was before the middle of the semester came crashing down on my friends and myself. rip our GPA’s.

9. My rise to fame. Also a primary source of communication.

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Eager friend-less Hayley began making art and leaving it on the white board on the front of our door for her fellow floor-mates to take and put in their dorms for décor. This became notes on my board and letters under my door asking for more art. (Obviously, I couldn’t leave my fans hanging and made more). I unfortunately never found out who was taking my art. Sad.

8. My new frens. (Can’t forget the frens from back home who came up to see me-bless u)

Without a doubt, I’ve met some of the most amazing group of people ever. These pictures don’t even include the many other individuals I’ve met through social media. These people are what made my year so great. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Maybe if someone offered to pay for my college, though. (I’m sorry).

7. Every nap that I’ve been able to crunch in ever. Even if it was at 12am. [not pictured].

6. That one time Emilee and I had a hermit crab together.

Emilee let me name it Sonic, despite finding out it was a female later on. Long story short, it only lasted a few weeks before it died. RIP.

5. Traveling pretty much anywhere.

Anyone from CMU can tell you that there is pretty much nothing to do in Mt.Pleasant-which is pretty much true. Luckily, I did a lot of adventuring on my own and pretty much know the ins and outs of downtown and the three parks the last two weeks before I left. I also went to Midland for the first time in the beginning of the semester and I can’t lie-it was pretty neato.

4. That one time I solved the Rubik’s cube.

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I’m tellin’ ya-I took this cube to dinner with me for two weeks trying to solve it. Five notecards, three websites, and one friend later I finally solved it. I eventually went to solve the Pyraminx (thank you Jessie for the gift) and I ended up replacing the cube above with a much nicer and smoother-moving cube (thank you Andrew for being the MVP).

3. That one time I cried over my broken Ocarina. Or any time I’ve bursted into tears ever.

These are actually frames of a video Emilee took of me after I walked out of my room in tears after finding my ocarina broken under my bed (thanks a lot, Jt). Luckily, he replaced it, and we forever have this memory in an 8-second clip. If you ever get the chance to see it for yourself it’s definitely worth the watch, unless if you were stuck watching me look up at the ceiling and start crying like my roommates were. The only other time I’ve ever cried like this was when I wasn’t able to take a 10-minute shower without our shower filling up with water or when I got super sappy over my high school band director. I’m a mess.

2. Concerts, concerts, CONCERTS.

Once upon an August, Jt ended up buying me tickets to see Our Last Night for my birthday, but the most important part about this concert was that The Color Morale was opening for them (along with Hands Like Houses-who I dearly love, and Out Came the Wolves). I’ve also included a photo of Jt after being rammed into the barricade, a sad but rad moment (mostly for me). Then came another time when Brady persuaded me to go with him to see I Prevail-which eventually was rescheduled a month later-and this time we had friends tag along. As much as I love The Color Morale, this was by far one of the best concerts I’ve been to so far, not to mention the amazing group of people I went with. I was blessed to have met some great people-both from the bands and not. 11/10 would do again.

  1. Any moment with Jt ever.

Jt and I go back to June of last year when we met on an app meant for making friends and finding roommates and we had three of the same classes together-just at different times. That mistake alone has given me the greatest friend I could ever ask for, and without Jt, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am. Just as he’s learned from me, I’ve learned from him. He’s taught me how to be tough, defend myself, and let loose. I’ve never been so goofy and so angry at anyone in my life than him. These pictures aren’t even half of the amazing memories we’ve had in less than a year. I am so so thankful for Jt-and I can’t wait to live next door to him and play melee and Mario party together.

I won’t lie-this year was nothing like I had hoped it would be. But I can’t deny some amazing memories and lessons have come from this year. I’m thankful for everyone who has been a part of my freshman year, everyone who has helped me out in one way or another. And for you, reader, I am thankful for you. Thank you all so much for reading what’s been on my heart, for the support, and for the love. I can’t wait to share with all of you the many things I’ve been working on.

As always, have faith, and know hope. From your sophomore-in-college. (so weird to say that now)

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my new recognized fear

Generally, I know a lot of people. I have many acquaintances and a wide arrange of friends, but only a few close friends. Since moving to Mt.Pleasant, I’ve met a widespread of amazing (and few that are terrible) people. Whether it was through Instagram, Tinder (yeah, I get it, Tinder isn’t a place for making friends-still did), group chats, church, and even through just being neighbors. Despite the fact that I lack the ability to communicate with others in a way where I don’t look or feel uncomfortable when it comes to meeting new people, I manage to grab my friend’s attention in one way or another. But this problem of not knowing how to maintain friendships that aren’t through a screen has caused many of the friends I have to collect dust, expecting them to come to me if they want to keep talking because I’m not good with determining if someone likes me or not. This has resulted in my “clique” at CMU to be myself, my roommates, my neighbors, and my lovely friend Jt who lives in a galaxy far away-also known as the north side of campus.

So here’s a rundown of the problem with my “clique”: I was romantically involved with my neighbor, obviously didn’t work out at all. One suitemate is moving out of state, the other is moving into apartments, in the span of two weeks I found out my roommate was planning to transfer her junior year, (which terrified me with knowing that I’d be roomie-less my junior year), and then found out she was moving into apartments-with my bestie that is my current neighbor. This news had sent me into a spiraling panic mode, realizing that the people I’ve poured my heart to, who’ve accepted me for every weird part of me, who have helped me through my difficult times and relapses throughout the year, would no longer be with me. It didn’t matter if two of them would still be attending the same school. It didn’t matter if my best friend would be living next door in the fall. What mattered was my fear of who would be my roommate next year, if my future suitemates would accept me like my roommates have, and who would be there first-hand to help me if I was having problems that wasn’t a boy (sorry Jt). This opened my eyes to a fear I never thought I particularly had when it came to friend groups and the reason behind my desires for a stable and working relationship: I was afraid of feeling more lonely than I already secretly did.

From time to time I would feel lonely when I was going through difficult seasons because I was afraid to reach out to my friends for help, resulting in me isolating myself. When it came to Swartz Creek, I was better off not having any friends because the culture of that school is not something I agree with and the people that I had grown to love were people I distanced myself from. Mind you that I’ve lived in Swartz Creek all of my life, so I never had a fear of making friends since I grew up with most of them and I was very involved in after school activities. I had walked onto CMU’s campus with this mindset that making friends would be easy, I would be in clubs, I’d get good grades, and I would be able to heal from my past and become independent. My seasonal depression once again returned, I gave up making time for clubs amidst trying to keep up with my schoolwork and my mental health, my depression set another obstacle for me overcoming the issues I moved to CMU with, and I once again isolated myself and kept my friend group limited to my “clique”.

As my difficulties grew, I kept breaking promise after promise with my roommates concerning my health. Eventually came a point to where they could no longer fully help me the way they had once before. On my end, the relationship I have with them was strained through my belief that they no longer liked me, that it was my fault they didn’t want to room with me next year, I was too much of a burden, and that they were more of my peers than my friends. As for my neighbor, I had felt all of these same things with him on top of the feeling of worthlessness and doubts that I fed to myself to give myself an explanation on why I ended up getting hurt the way I did. All of these feelings in such a short time (3 weeks to be exact) ended up putting me in an unsafe place with my depression, forcing me to seek outside help.

In this time, this was where I’ve grown the most spiritually in my walk with Christ. I had to surrender these doubts, the heartbreak, and my feelings of loneliness to God. I had to open myself to Him so he could make miracles out of my entire situation. I had to learn to lean more on God when I felt vulnerable to the darkest parts of myself, listen to him and his truth over the lies that Satan was speaking over me and remember that God only gives us what he knows we can handle. I had to take initiative with speaking up about how my friends were making me feel and remind myself when I did the truth about what they think of me. I had to literally speak that truth over myself and drive Satan away with the armor of Truth. I began spending my mornings drinking coffee and writing out my feelings and prayers, and God would answer every single freaking prayer I wrote for that day. ( Like how cool is that?). I had to trust in His timing, his plan for me and make purpose out of the pain I was feeling. I had to be firm with the truth that I am good enough, and be firm when anyone tried making me believe otherwise.

Since getting the help I needed and talking to my friends about how everything was affecting me negatively and seeking guidance and encouragement from my life group and my double-duty Mom who also is my mentor, the relationship I have with them is no longer strained and the weight I once felt from their distance from me had been lifted. I’m trusting on His timing in terms of the people He will bring into my life, being grateful for the people who’ve stayed, and I’m learning to be humble in a way I never have before.

To sum up what has been put on my heart: trust. Understand that pain is temporary, no matter what form. Trust in the truth about yourself, speak that truth over the lies about yourself. You are good enough. You don’t have to be good enough for someone else, but you have to know that you are good enough for yourself and only you alone. And by God if anyone dares to tell you otherwise, speak up, stand up for yourself. Because you were made perfect, and you are so loved. And if you eve feel alone, you’re not. There is a God who’s arms are open to you, He is waiting for you. Honestly guys, I’ve found in this season that God is the greatest friend. For real, I pray and talk to him like we’re best friends. Because once I gave up the desire to become good enough for my friends so they wouldn’t leave me and leaned on God’s truth and let God be good enough for me, our relationship has never been the same. Friends don’t always stay, but God does. You are good enough in God’s eyes. You are worthy. You aren’t awkward or weird or too depressing to God. He loves those things about you. And if you let Him, He can even use those things and give those “imperfections” a purpose. Let truth prevail.

God’s grace was the only way I could get through that difficult period of my life, and by God’s grace, I did. And you can too. Have faith, know hope.

 

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