Resting in God’s Faithfulness

 Written by Nina Longhofer, Veritas London student from Oklahoma Baptist University. See her other blog posts at heartofanintrovert.wordpress.com!


“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest….for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~ Matthew 11:28-29

 

Adventure. Exhaustion. Magical. Exhilarating. Wonderous.

One of these words is not like the other, yet I would use each of them to describe the experience of studying abroad.

Now, I don’t want weariness of study abroad to be confused with not loving it here or having a marvelous time. Study abroad, surprisingly, becomes as mundane as everything else in your daily life. The shine and sparkle of “I’m living in London!” wears off as it becomes “Ugh, construction on my bus route lingers?”

Despite the lackluster shine of regular trips to the supermarket and the normalcy of a class schedule, a new warmth of the experience settles in.wp_20160227_019

The 1%

When I first arrived, we were told at ISA/Veritas orientation we were a part of the 1%. Only one percent of students take part in a study abroad experience.

This detail has remained with me throughout my experiences.

I am so incredibly BLESSEDto be experiencing a world outside of my own. Never in a million years did I think I would leave Kansas to go to college, let alone to travel halfway across the world.

God is teaching me so much about both myself and Himself through my journey.

But learning isn’t easy.

There’s homesickness. And times of discomfort. And exhaustion.

I somehow have it in my head that I need to experience everything I can. Say yes to every opportunity presented to me. Be constantly spending time with people. — But in a way, that changes who I am in my innermost.

I am an introvert. I need small groups of good friends. I need alone time. I need adventures on my own, not with large groups of people. And most of all, I need to allow myself to not go to every single event where I’ll be surrounded by new people constantly.

These past couple weeks for me have been about finding balance. Balance in community and relational investments. Balance in my “me” time and experiencing life in London.

This morning at the church I’ve been attending a woman shared a story that God knew I needed to hear: Last week another mother at the church was holding her exhausted child who had fallen asleep in her arms. This mum was embracing this time of holding her sleeping toddler because it happens so infrequently.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

God, our Heavenly Father, wants us to come to Him when we are weary. He yearns for us to take REST in His arms. Yet in all my stubbornness I somehow believe I can do it all on my own. I can be the extrovert meeting all the new people and go to every {new} place under the sun.

But I cannot.

And in my exhaustion, I feel God pulling me towards Him. Drawing me to His warm embrace.

So whatever it is in your life that brings you to a point of exhaustion: Rest in God’s faithfulness.

I’m sure you, like me, have often heard it said “God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I don’t believe this.

I believe God WILL give you more than you can handle because He will be there through it all, walking beside you and carrying you when you can no longer carry yourself.

No one ever said it would be easy. No one ever said you would have to go it alone, either.

Nina


 

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