Something I used to do a lot in college, that I’ve honestly put on the back burner, is writing. I am an internal process at heart, and process through writing rather than speaking. In college, I’d share about all sorts of different things — recipes, little adventures, but mostly, what the Lord was teaching me & sharing about my walk with Him in all different stages.
Friends, it’s time to use this space to share. I’ll still be sharing beautiful photos, memories, and all things JNP. But also, it’s time to share on a deeper level, and I’m excited and nervous about it!
The Lord laid it on my heart years ago to openly share. To share about my journey with Him, share about my struggles, share about the triumphs in my life, the good, the bad, and everything in-between. My hope and prayer is that this space offers a safe place where you feel heard, understood, and can share in the “me too.“
For the first few Tuesday’s, I’m going to share a few posts I wrote in college that still stand true today. Before then, what better way to kick it off than to share a little about my story. One day, I will share the full story, but I feel like that will take a few posts in itself. For now, I’ll start with how I came to know the Lord.
Throughout childhood, middle school, high school and the beginning of college, I was always moral and a “good person.“ I tried to love my friends & family well, to be kind, and to help others as much as I could. We went to church on holidays, but didn’t attend regularly. I definitely believed in God, but had no idea what it meant to be in a relationship with him. Outside looking in, I was successful in school and confident, and truthfully I felt like I was doing great on my own. However, I was struggling with multiple things — doubt, body image, some loneliness, and truthfully didn’t know which direction to go after I graduated high school. I decided to go the comfortable route — to stay near home and attend USC.
My freshman year at USC, I truly didn’t do much to meet new friends. I stayed in my safe bubble with my friends from high school, and visited Clemson every chance I got. After one month of being at USC, I knew I wanted to transfer. That year was hard. I felt lonely and I felt like I was constantly missing out, plus your first year in college is just weird. You’re living in a new place, making new friends, taking classes in a huge class environment, and your friends all moved to different places. It’s hard & I really struggled with all of that change.
After freshman year, I transferred to Clemson as a sophomore. My friend Taylor invited me to join a small group with her & to try out FCA. One of our dear friends, Katie, invited us to join a small group with other girls from Lexington, which felt comfortable & made the situation way less intimidating. This small group was vulnerable, life giving, and introduced me to the idea of having a relationship with Jesus. I had never been exposed to that — all I knew about Jesus was that He existed and that I wanted to go to heaven when my time on earth came to an end.
At this period in my life, I knew there had to be more. I felt an emptiness, a lack of joy, I knew something greater than myself was missing in my life. I wanted to know more, to feel more, to be a part of something more. I craved to feel deeply loved & accepted. The second or third week of class, FCA held a kick off event called FCA After Dark. This night marks the point in my life where I had a huge wake up call. Joe White came and spoke about how Jesus died for me, he died for my sins. He took my place. I was completely broken, crying over the weight of what this meant.
"The great key to living a life that truly matters, a life that is rich and fulfilling, a life that can weather life's greatest storms and still come out smiling is to get your spiritual roots moving daily into the fertile soil of faith." - Joe White
I dedicated my life to Christ right there and then on October 28, 2010. Since that moment, I have lived my life solely to bring Him glory and to pursue His purpose for my life. I still don’t fully understand the weight of that, and I know that will be a learning process for the rest of my life. It’s not easy, at all. I stumble and fall, I get consumed by sin, I struggle, I fall flat on my face. We all do and we are so not alone in that. That’s the beauty of grace, it’s never ending & neither is His love for each and every one of us.
But, what I knew to be true that night 8 years ago, and still know to be true — is that Jesus loves me, and He’s always going to, no matter how many times I fail. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.“ — Lamentations 3:22-23. Resting in this truth every day, but especially today and this month as I relearn to intentionally rest.
Here’s to vulnerability & the start of something new around here <3