Thursday, March 15, 2012

6/30: Struggle

What's the hardest thing you've ever experienced?

College as a whole was by far the hardest thing I've ever experienced.

My freshman year started out with me going to UT and hating it before classes even started. I can't even put my finger on what made me hate it so much, but I can't help but believe it's because God never intended for me to go there. My freshman year ended a short 6 weeks after it began with me having to medically withdraw because of a serious case of mono. My mono was so bad that my liver got seriously messed up and my eyes started turning yellow. I remember my friend Austin saying, "I'm not trying to freak you out, but your eyes are turning yellow. Now I'm no medical expert, but I saw that happen on House the other night and it was bad news." I went home to a mom who was going through chemo treatments for breast cancer so we basically were just two sicklings, not allowed to touch each other, keeping each other company.

I took the spring semester off completely and just focused on getting 100% back to normal. The first semester of my "sophomore" year, I started at Tennessee Tech. I lived in an apartment with a girl I knew from church and one of the friends she had made freshman year. The first semester was great. I LOVED college and just knew that this was the experience I always wanted. I didn't do anything special, just typical college stuff, but I loved it.

The second semester of my sophomore year started a long, drawn out spiral down, down, down deep into sadness. To make a LONG story short, I ended up being kicked out of the group of friends I had made my first semester at Tech. These were my best friends then. The girls I did everything with. We talked about our weddings and bridesmaids dresses. Took spring break trips together. Ate together weekly. Did life together. To this day, I have no idea what happened or what I did to make it happen. All I know is that it hurt. Bad.

I've never felt so utterly and totally alone in my whole life.

I'd cry myself to sleep multiple nights a week. I lived in straight-up silence, going weeks without speaking to my roommate. I worked my schedule out where I was only there Monday afternoon-Thursday morning, but even that was too long for me. I tried to mend some relationships and thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel, only to find out I was wrong when I got engaged and no one cared enough to ask me how it happened.

I looked for ways out of Cookeville and Tech on a weekly basis, but God just kept closing doors right in my face. That's when I knew I had to finish school there and began begging Him to provide me with friends my last semester.

I worked my butt off the summer in between my 2nd and 3rd full years of school and took 15 hours at a community college so that I could take 20 my last semester and graduate a semester early. The Lord was SO GOOD to me and provided a sweet old couple with room for me to live with them during the week. I randomly reconnected with girls from high school I hadn't spoken to in years and they started inviting me to hang out with their friends a few nights a week. I was taking 20 hours, working 30 hours a week, and trying to plan a wedding so I couldn't always go, but they continued to invite me and include me the times I could. I don't know if they know how much that meant to me, but God used them to keep me going that last semester. I don't think I could've done it without them.

Since then, I've learned the Lord let all of that happen to me so that He could use it for His glory. I work with high school girls here and I'm able to tell them that no matter how lonely they feel, it will be ok. They'll make it out alive and the Lord is still good.

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