You know that saying, “Everything happens for a reason”.. Yea, we’ve all heard it. And probably said it a time or two to justify certain situations and circumstances.
I’ve been reflecting on this blog post for about a week now, and with that- a reflection of my life rolled in.I made a t-shirt quilt using only college and sorority t-shirts for the sweetest girl in NC. She graduated from NCSU as a Zeta Tau Alpha.. and the stories that quilt could’ve told, had it been able to talk, would’ve probably made you blush. (I’m only guessing..)
When I was in high school I had no clue, repeat: NO CLUE, what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’.. I was one lost pup. But I had an idea of the college I would attend, matter of fact, it was the ONLY college I wanted to attend- or even applied to (insert parental hissy-fit here). The College of Charleston is where I saw myself attending, maybe joining a sorority, possibly falling in love, and eventually graduating from.
I fell in love with Charleston, SC at an early age, and even more so when our high school History teacher, Ms. Drew, took our class there on a field trip in the 10th grade. Even though I’m horribly allergic to horses.. (Oh, you’ve never been? There are horse and carriage tours ALL throughout this historical city), I could imagine myself meandering through the old streets, making all sorts of new friends, and ‘finding myself’ at the CofC.
Well, that didn’t quite happen. I did get accepted and I was ecstatic. But something just wasn’t right. I was anxious and afraid, nervous as Adam’s house cat, and though I wouldn’t admit it then- I didn’t want to be that far (ahem, 2 hours) away from my folks. I made a last minute decision (late application fee applied) to attend Coastal Carolina University, because as much as my folks loved me, they threatened to kill me (okay, not kill.. but they’d be reallllly angry) if I didn’t go to college come August.
I went in as an accounting major, because hey- I was good at math, so that had to mean something, didn’t it? Well, that was a bust. I hated accounting, statistics in particular, and changed my major to art, unbeknownst to my “get a good degree, land a good job, make good money,” parents. When I finally told them, my Dad flat out said- “Lauryn, you can’t paint pictures for a living- so why don’t you become an art teacher, you’ll have great benefits and summers off.” Umm, no thanks. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE kids, and I LOVE art, and I LOVED my childhood art teacher, Mr. Clay, but teaching kids wasn’t something I was passionate about. I believe that’s written on your soul when you’re born. And my soul was not marked with the word teacher, like so many of the amazing teachers I know and love! Props to all of y’all for your hard work & dedication!
Skip ahead a few awkward semesters as an art major, and I was just as lost as the day I graduated high school. I decided maybe interior designs was my thing, since I liked to make my living space .. uh, pretty? With much pleading, and explaining, and promises of dedication to my enraged parents, I transferred to a tech school because they offered MY degree. Well, shoot. I was wrong, yet again. And my only other option there was engineering, which would transfer me to another 4 year school to pursue a degree in architecture. Now that got the parents’ attention. Only problem was, I hated the engineering aspect of it all. Call me crazy, but being in classes all day long with only guys (yep, I was the ONLY girl), talking concrete, rebar, soffits, and CAD was NOT my thing.
My sweet, loving, ‘we love you no matter what because we have to,’ parents, simply nodded when I told them (for the 4th time) that I was changing my major. Again. I’d be checking out with an associate’s of art. An Associates degree. After 4 years of college.. a 2 year associates degree that I wasn’t proud of at all, so I never walked, and I never even bought my diploma.
To say I felt like a failure is definitely an understatement. I wasted 4 years on my life doing what I was ‘suppose to be doing’… Thinking back to my CofC dreams, a little regretful that I chickened out, wondering where I’d be now..
It’s all about those silver linings though. The beautiful, meant to be, heart grabbing, soul clenching, silver linings. I met Cory in one of those ‘it’s an elective, but you must take it to get your degree’ classes. And that’s the most beautiful detail of my entire college experience.
Our paths aren’t always like we’d thought or planned, they’re often bumpy and messy. But God. But God. But God. He’s always looking out, with plans so much greater than anything we could ever imagine. He knows each of us by name, the words written on our souls, and He’s got our future’s already planned out.. for my Bible tells me so.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
My quilt certainly doesn’t look like this one, but the memories are just as wonderful. Full of fun, laughter and love, tears, heartache, and sadness- memories that make us who we are. Things that can’t be undone, unseen, or rewound. And things that we’d never change, not in a million years. These are our reasons for being and believing. It may not all make sense, but I know that God is always there. No matter what!
This brings me back to the beautiful Holy City. The city I still love to visit. It’s beautiful beyond compare, and the history is everywhere. Charleston suffered a devastating act of violence and hate last night where a 21 year old kid went into the most historical church of our area. He shot and killed 9 innocent people attending Bible study on Wednesday night (6/17/15). This beautiful church, known as “Mother Emanuel,” has been a headquarters for civil rights activity over the decades, and praised God with every breath. It’s breaks my heart that this beautiful city has endured such a tragedy. I pray for the families, friends, and the whole city, and I pray for Dylann Roof- the 21 year old killer. Obviously lost, full of anger, hate, and rage.
This is one of those circumstance that the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason” just doesn’t make sense. Why would a merciful God allow such a horrific act to occur.. much less, in His House? It’s confusing, frustrating, and brings all types of questions and worries. My morning devotional was spot on this morning where Zig Ziglar wrote, “The writer of Hebrews encourages us to pursue peace in every relationship and to be careful so that a “root of bitterness” won’t cause problems. God doesn’t promise protection from every hurt we experience, but He doesn’t want our anger and hurt to fester into bitterness and ruin every aspect of out lives.”
God hears our cries, He hears our prayers- Go to Him with your heavy hearts, questions, doubts, and all of your troubles. Pray for understanding, peace, and a forgiving heart. He’s always there for us… for my Bible tells me so.
#PrayForCharleston #PrayForHumanity #PrayToGod