Growth does not come from comfort. Growth does not come from feeling OK all the time. Growth comes from allowing the Lord to work through our weaknesses–which, believe me, are plenty.
On my first day at The University of Alabama, I came face to face with many of my weaknesses. I wasn’t as independent as I thought I was. Considering that I had the same friends since elementary school, I desperately needed to brush up on my friend-making skills. I was never the kindest, the most outgoing, or the funniest person in the room. I fell victim to comparison over and over again.
My constant prayer during the semester was, “God, please just provide and reveal Yourself because I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.” He did exactly that. He provided beautiful friendships and community through the BCM and elsewhere. He provided a solid, Christ-centered church with people who love the Lord and love the mission of the Gospel.
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." // 2 Corinthians 12:9
Most of all, the Lord just provided Himself. I didn’t need a cooler backstory or funnier jokes or better small talking abilities. What I needed was deep relationship and communion with Jesus. I needed the belief that his grace was, in fact, sufficient. Going to college and starting fresh and being on your own will make you feel weak; it will make you feel like you aren’t enough.
And without the Lord, those things are true. Without Christ, you are weak. You aren’t sufficient.
But by His love, Jesus fills those voids and cleanses us from our sin. The Lord works through those insufficiencies and shortcomings to make Himself known, so boast in them.
Find joy in the fact that you aren’t perfect, but Christ is. The best way to build relationships and establish community in college is by being vulnerable and honest about your weaknesses and how the Lord is working both despite them and through them.
At the BCM, I found people who I could share that with, and I would encourage you to find those people, too. Be real, be open, and, most of all, desperately pursue the Lord during this sweet time of growth and challenge.
Bailey Tibbs // @bail_tib
Sophomore // Finance