I don’t know if you have ever felt this way, but lately a feeling of restlessness has been creeping into me. This last semester, for me, felt like four incredible months of rejoicing–I could not get enough of Jesus and what He was doing in my life. Still, I could not help but feel as though this rejoicing was partnered with an inescapable sensation of preparation for something bigger and for something new that was to come in my life.
Often, I got impatient in my restlessness because I wanted all my desires to be fulfilled and I wanted to begin running down the path God has for me. In Romans 8, though, Paul talks about the patience that is involved in the Christian walk, in seeking God’s guidance, and in the journey of redemption.
“For in this hope we are saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet
have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our
weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself
intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches
our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for
the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Rom. 8:24-27)
As a college student, I know how frequently my mind gets wrapped up in solving that restlessness in my heart on my own, in figuring out what leadership position I should apply for, and in determining what I should do for the rest of my life. While I was so excited for what God was doing already, I became uneasy because I felt the Holy Spirit drawing me to something more.
And let me tell you, there is SO much more.
Currently, I am sitting in my chalet in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa looking out my window at a lush, green jungle and rushing waterfall. Okay, that was an extremely understated introduction to my current location. I am in South Africa! Studying abroad for four and a half months without the United States, without my close friends, and without the comforts of home seems crazy. But let me tell you, excitement overcomes any fear or discomfort I may feel. Over and over again, I have felt, read, and heard confirmation that God is going to do great things during my time here and I cannot WAIT to see what it is.
After twenty-nine hour plane ride, two days in a hotel, and three different buses (and I thought I was restless before), I am finally settled in this beautiful place surrounded by the most incredible group of people and the rich presence of God. I still have no idea what to expect out of this semester, but, conveniently, that means I have no expectations. I do have big hopes and dreams for the Lord in this place, but I am sure He will out-do my plans, like always.
One thing I am sure of, the uneasiness I felt before has quickly disappeared. Maybe that is a sign that I am in the right place. Besides, there is nothing a run through the jungle with a herd of zebras cannot cure, especially boredom.
For those of you who relate to the restlessness that I was feeling last semester, I encourage you to journey on. Keep your eyes open for those opportunities to serve, to lead, and to dive into things the Lord may put in your path. While this semester has only begun and I have yet to see all that this experience has to offer, I also encourage you to look at places to study abroad. Get out of your comfort zone and go somewhere where there are nuclear bugs and no hot water. Trust in the Lord to lead you down HIS path. Enjoy the journey because He is faithful.