Take Me Deeper: The Truth About Sophomore YearFriday, December 26, 2014
I've heard about all the college cliches and dreaded them for so long. The freshman fifteen. The sophomore slump. The senior scramble. (It looks like the junior year skipped the list of maxims.)
The main thing I faced during freshman year was dealing with the Midwestern weather. But sophomore year has been different for me.
The illusion of perfection dies away. The novelty and the compelling mystery of the new experiences are no longer the driving force behind the "romance" with the school. Instead of being welcomed in by every committee and making hundreds of new friends, sophomores are now faced with the challenge of going deeper and sustaining relationships in the midst of the personal stress of making significant life decisions regarding majors and careers.
The irony in my life is that everything I've experienced this year really had nothing to do with the fact that I am now a sophomore. It had everything to do with experiences that have challenged me, hurt me, encouraged me and changed me. And I'm learning more and more that the secret to depth in relationships and honesty as a writer can be summed up in one word: vulnerability. So, friends, I'm going to tell you about my sophomore year.
Just because someone is a Christian doesn't mean they will always flourish. It isn't that facing difficulty is valorous. God gives us the adversity we need to be deep.
I have grown a great deal this year through everything. I've known great joy, such as hitting my clay pigeon in the prairie or hosting a successful swing dance for Wheaton's campus. But I've also known great sadness. And I trust that God uses both experiences for good in the framework of His master plan.
My life song this year is one that perhaps many of you know: Oceans by Hillsong. I sing it on the mountaintop and I sing it in the valley. It is an anthem to which many can relate.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Did I face a sophomore slump? Maybe. But if so, it really had nothing to do with being a sophomore. It had everything to do with being human. And I am so much stronger now because of the things that have happened, both the good and the bad.
May you be made deeper through whatever it is you're facing. Know that you are not alone. Remember that you are loved by God — that is the truest thing about you. Before anything else can be said about you, that must be said. It doesn't matter if you feel like a success or failure, He loves you. It doesn't matter if you feel all alone or surrounded by people who care, He loves you.
May you rest in this fact always and never forget it.