24 Oct Leaving Home With God By Your Side
WRITTEN BY: Arianna Baez
Do you have big dreams about your future that you strive to earn but have had second thoughts? As for me, the vision I had for my future was far away from home to a college in a new location where I could make a fresh start. It wasn’t until the week before I was to move into my dorm, a place unfamiliar to me and twelve hours away from home, that I started experiencing these second thoughts. I wondered, “Can I really do this?” These intrusive thoughts constantly flooded my brain and kept me back from the excitement that I was supposed to experience when going off to college. If you are in the same boat that I was, and still am some days, just know that it is completely okay! You are not alone. At all!
Growing up, from elementary school through high school, I never had a grade lower than an A.
That’s right, I was one of those teachers’-pet-never-missing-an-assignment-always-crying-if-I-got-a-bad-grade kids.
I have an older sister who was the complete opposite of me, and when I say complete opposite I mean it. My sister did not go to college, meaning all the pressure was on me. Although, I didn’t mind because it compelled me to be ambitious. Since I had these high ambitions for myself I thought, “Hey, why not go to someplace far away?” This thought sounded so glorious, and if you live in Delaware I’m sure you can back me up on that one. When the acceptance letters and scholarships came rolling in, it made my plan of leaving home seem better and better. After long consideration and conversations with peers and adults I looked up to, I made my decision to go to Clemson University in South Carolina (Go Tigers!) I figured it is not too far away, but also far enough away from home. It was almost like the best of both worlds.
As the days went on and the countdown to August 18th–move in day–approached, I really second guessed myself. Could I handle moving away from home? Yet, I knew that I would rather try and fail than not try and have regrets later in life. I pushed myself to do what almost seemed emotionally impossible for me to do. I have been here at Clemson eight weeks–which is so odd for me to realize. I vividly remember my second morning here waking up drained by sadness from being so far away from my family (and my little doggy), opening up my Bible app and reading Genesis 28:15:
“What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
Before leaving, I went to Rise Summer Camp for students at The Journey. One of the recurring prayers I had and asked others to pray for was, that just because I was leaving home, I wanted and needed to know that God would never leave me. So, as I was already crying that morning from sadness, after reading that verse, my tears turned into peaceful tears just by seeing that fingerprint of God that he is always with me no matter what.
So, whether you are going through this emotional time now, or whether you fear this moment is approaching fast in the future, just know that God is always with you. As we read in Genesis 28:15, it is so powerful to hear that God is with you no matter where you go. God himself says that he will not leave you until he has finished everything he has promised you. When school gets hard and emotions get heavy, it is so hard to understand that though we may be going through a rough time, God is always by our sides.
Just because we left home does not mean that God has left us.
I think that it is almost one of the most glorious things about a relationship with the Lord, that in deep and dark times when we need him most, he shows us that he is right there with us. Now, this may not mean that the school work will get easier and the emotions will all turn to joy, but even just knowing that God is walking right by your side, no matter where and no matter what, makes it so much easier to cope with everything that is being thrown at you all at one time.
It is so important to remember that leaving home and going to college, whether it is five minutes down the road or a five-hour flight away, can be emotionally draining in so many different ways. But the key to bringing joy and happiness to your mental well-being is to remember that God is walking with you, always. If you are having trouble feeling him, ask.
Ask God for his help and ground yourself. Start by reading the Word of the Lord. Start by praying. Start by having that conversation with God when you feel lost in your emotions and don’t know what to do.
It is so beautifully said in Proverbs 3:6 and 16:9. “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take…We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” And he is always by our side.
Arianna Baez /Communications, Impressions, and Journey Students J-Teamer
Arianna Baez has been attending The Journey since October of 2021. She started serving on the Impressions team as she loves to meet new people and encourage others. Arianna branched off into the Communications and Journey Students teams where she can show off her creativity and help other students find Jesus like she did. It’s a passion of Arianna’s to encourage and lead other people to find Jesus and their calling from him!
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