When Your Brother Joins the Army

Standard

Please note that I will not put up with political garbage or crudeness in the comment section of this post.  I’m personally proud of the choice that my friend has made, and for that reason alone I will delete comments degrading the military. Thank you for your understanding. 

He’s sweet, funny, crazy, and an all around good natured guy. He’s around 5’8 with brunette hair and green eyes. Life never seems to phase him and by choice he’s been like a brother to me. You see we aren’t really related, but there is something special about this guy and this post has everything to do with him.

We met when he was 9 and I was 11, I didn’t understand then that my world was about to be turned on its head. Needless, to say it was. Since then we’ve laughed together, he’s pulled too many pranks to count, and yes I secretly enjoy defeating him at cards. In high school the topic of the military started to creep up. When you’re in high school you don’t think about it so seriously, sure if he wants to go into the Air Force or the Army fine that’s still three years away. The real truth is that’s not really a lot of time.

On June 29th he left for boot camp. I won’t see him for around six months. In retrospect I realize that there really was no way to prepare for this type of change, but the flood of emotions has been pretty crazy and did catch me by surprise. I’m just grateful that I spent as much time as I could with him last week, because the memories that I have are wonderful. I would not change anything in that regard. 

I have struggled through the feelings of fear, joy (for him,) sadness, and pride for what he has decided to do. I really can’t even recall how many times I have prayed this week, because there really is no other way to deal with all of these feelings at once. 

My greatest fear would have to be what could happen after boot camp, though. Everyone deals with loss differently, but how do you learn to except that you could lose your brother at any moment? I’m still working on that one and I’m guessing that you never really get use to the idea. 

In contrast I am (thankfully) learning that God’s grace is present in each moment, and I’m slowly trying to trust Him more. I would have to say that the best part of this whole process is that I’m reminded of God’s goodness; God has truly blessed my life and this week His blessings have become more beautiful and visible to me, my best friend being there for me, sorting through old pictures, and in the sweet memories that He has brought to mind. Indeed, God’s presence has remainded my true comfort this week. 

Today, is the 4th of July. Some people might say it is pretty ironic that I should have to say good bye to my brother this week; I now think that God had it planned this way to remind me of His faithfulness in the past and His presence in the future. So today as I celebrate the 4th my heart is filled with hope, because no matter what God wills for my hero’s future, I know that His grace will not depart from him.

10 Things You Won’t Regret Doing in College

Standard

This is a list of the top ten things that I’ve learned in the past two years of college.

1:  You will not regret asking for help or clarification. Your professor might not be the nicest person to work with, but if you do not understand an assignment you should figure out what you need to do; your GPA and your brain will thank you and maybe even your professor.

2:  You will not regret setting up a schedule. You might not think it will help, but it does. There will be days where you have so much homework that you have no idea where to start, and I have found that a schedule can help you set up those blocks of time and use them efficiently.

3:  You will not regret learning how to say no to yourself. There will be days when you do not want to study, but you know that you need to. Self-discipline is never fun, but what you plant in one season you will gain in another.

4:  You will not regret taking a nap. I know that this sounds weird, but studying will make you mentally tired. This is just a fact of life, so when your brain can’t even remember how to multiply a number, take a 15 minute nap. Your brain will thank you.

5:  You will not regret being respectful. In the college world today many students are not respectful to their professors or their staff. You may think, “I’m paying them good money to teach me!” That is true, but remember your professors are people, too; they are not perfect. For some reason they decided to take this job to teach you how to debate clearly, become a chief, or to identify each valve of the heart. You may not always enjoy your professors, but they deserve your respect.

6:  You will not regret (within reason) working hard on your assignments. In the world today many people do not understand the value of hard work and it is really pretty sad. You may not enjoy everything that you study, but knowing that you put in as much effort as possible is a good feeling.

7:  You will not regret spending time with family and friends. Most of us have felt that tug more than once, “do I study or spend time with the people I care about?” Your homework is important, but if an assignment isn’t urgent or only worth a small percent of your grade work on it later. Your family and friends will appreciate your effort to make time for them.

8:  You will not regret going to church. It is so easy to feel the lure of, “all stay home; I was up all night trying to read The Federalist Papers.” You may not regret this feeling in the moment, but your soul will. Knowledge is wonderful, but the gospel is actual food for your mind and your heart.

9:  You will not regret recalling God’s grace in college. When you pass a midterm that you should have flunked, when your teacher gives you an apology for a mistake that was made, and definitely when you finish another year of college. We like to think that we studied enough in class, or did enough research, but in reality God was at work; the key reason to look back on God’s faithfulness in our lives is because it helps prepares us for the future.

10:  You will not regret learning to trust God in college. This is probably one of the most important lessons that you can start learning in college. We all have days when we wonder what God is doing. Why is this professor so hard to work with? Why is this question so hard to answer? In these moments we learn who we really trust and the experience can be humbling and scary. The good news is that God is able to give us the grace that we need to trust in Him no matter what our circumstances might be. Indeed, God is using these hard moments to teach and prepare us to trust Him even more in the future. As Corrie Ten Boom so nicely put it, “Every Experience God gives us, every person He puts into out lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.”

Well, that’s the end of this list, I hope that it is a blessing to you!

Quote

Standard

“My faith is to rest not in the outcome I think God should work out for me, my faith rests in who God is…the quietness of my heart is the fruit of an absolute confidence in God.”

~Elisabeth Elliot