Hello TCU Family,
Our reflection today comes from Kennedy Bigham. Kennedy, from Salem, OR, is a religion major with a double minor in communications and psychology. A member of Disciples on Campus, Kennedy loves being connected to her denomination, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) while she calls TCU home. Kennedy is pursuing a calling to ministry and has a gift for spiritual writing. If you want to read more from Kennedy, check out her recently published devotional book Perfectly Unqualified. There are also copies available in the Office or Religious and Spiritual life as well.
John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Imagine being a brand new adult (freshly 18 years old and didn’t even attend High School for a full 4 years because of a global pandemic) and then being dropped into a brand new environment 2000+ miles away from your home with expectations to learn how to do virtual school and also not die from a contagious virus. Ok…well that has been my life recently.
The current state of my life and the world has been a challenge for me. However, I have also grown more this school year than I think I ever have before. I have had to learn how to manage my time extremely well and navigate the online classroom. By now, it is safe to say I have mostly mastered the art that is being a “Zoom University” student.
Managing homework is one thing, but the inner work God has pushed me to do in regards to my own character is a whole other challenge. I have had to discover who I am in this new environment. And being that I’m a young woman from the Pacific Northwest who feels called to the pastorate…there’s been quite a bit of culture shock that’s challenged me to rediscover my approach, my intentions and my convictions as I walk in obedience with Christ in a sometimes disapproving world. Sprinkle in a whole lot of heartache with health issues happening within my family and close inner circle, the loss of a family member, and a friendship broken beyond repair…my soul has been tired, weary, and often lacking peace.
I think what that lack of peace comes down to is a faith problem. God provides everlasting peace. To live life abundantly does not mean to have everything we have ever wanted with no issues ever. It means we get to feel the joys of life abundantly and we will feel discomfort just as abundantly when God is pushing us to grow in faith.
God has wiped so many sure things away from my life and replaced them with a greater understanding of my great need to rely on Him alone for peace. If I rely on the goodness of circumstance, I will be disappointed time after time. However, God takes every pain and heartache and turns it into “soul work.” He assigns it new meaning in our life if we put in the effort to abide and grow. God will take our discomfort and give us peace, but we have to be willing to relinquish our desire for control over our lives and instead place our trust in the steadfast goodness of our God.
I think of how deeply saddened and uncertain the lives of the disciples must have become after Jesus was crucified. Little did they know three days later He would rise again. With great uncertainty came the great reliance of faith in God’s goodness and with great faith in God’s goodness came great hope.
Dear God, thank you for caring so deeply about each and every one of your beloved children that you challenge us with “soul work” in order to push us to grow in faith and to grow our character to be more in line with what you want for our lives. We will rejoice in your goodness and trust in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.