Looking Back and Looking Forward

Looking Back and Looking Forward

It's graduation season! Are you leaving College or University this summer? Wherever you are, why not pause and take five minutes to reflect on the ways God has grown you and shaped you to be who you are today? MP team x

College and University years are some of the most formative, and special years of our lives; particularly in our faith and walk with Christ. 

On May 25, I graduated from Cape Cod Community College with my Associate’s in Liberal Arts. As I look back over these four semesters, I wanted to reflect on this precious time where I can see areas that I grew more in my faith in God, hopefully encouraging those graduating or leaving school to reflect on how you have grown too:

1.      Public Speaking.

Do not fear, for I am with you,
    do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10)

Although in high school I avoided it, college taught me that you can’t avoid pubic speaking forever. Besides my Human Communication class (in which I gave 3 speeches), I also gave solo and group presentations in most of my other classes. My fear of public speaking was undone by the truth expressed in Isaiah 41:10, that God is both with me, and that He is my God. With this understanding, I began to realise that I actually enjoy public speaking, participating as student speaker in my college’s open house, feeling relaxed and confidant.

2.     Teamwork.

Teamwork really does, make the dream work. It's a fantastic way to honour, love, and serve others even if you don't always agree with them. It teaches you about the importance of unity. It's important skill to learn as we move into the world of adulthood. I’m one of those people who likes to work along, quietly, and without interference. I like to do everything myself. So, clearly, teamwork is not my strong point. When I was introduced to group presentations or projects, I had to learn how to work slowly, not step on peoples’ toes, and make sure communication is always clear. 

3.     Leadership.

'Do nothing out of selfish ambition, or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves.' 
Philippians 2:3

I never called myself a leader. I liked to follow. But at College, I became involved in various leadership roles, including mentor programs where I helped new students get the hang of college life. I took the opportunity to gain and nurture leadership skills, and it also taught me how to lead with humility, particularly learning to value others above yourselves, in order to glorify and show Christ's love to them. Being a leader is another fantastic way to serve, and honour others, as well as how to lead patiently, with understanding, and to use delegation carefully. 

4.     Standing up for my beliefs

For this is what the Lord has commanded us: 
“I have made you a light for the Gentiles, 
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."

Acts 13:47

For many of you, University and college years highlight first-hand the many people who live without Christ, and this can be really hard. On the other hand, it has been an incredible challenge to stand up for my beliefs and witness to those in my life here at school. I thank God for the opportunities to witness to those around me, and for the chances to show God’s love to my friends.

5.     Reliance.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

College and University is in many ways a transitional phase of life; it can be full of uncertainties! Last semester, I realised that I would not be able to complete the degree I wanted to earn. My advisor made a mistake and told me I did not have to take several classes which I later discovered were mandatory for my degree. And since I had to graduate in May, 2017 (because of plans made for Fall 2017), I had no choice but to change my degree to 'Liberal Arts.' I was frustrated and disappointed.

Through this time, God helped me to trust Him and not worry about my degree change. When I received lower grades for some of my class assignments, I had to trust the Lord with my grades and check my heart. What is my motive in earning A’s? I realised that having high grades was becoming an idol in my heart. I gave my grades to Him and trusted that He would take care of them when I did my schoolwork to His glory.

So, I'm encouraging you to take some time to reflect this morning: 

What has God taught you through your college experience?

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Schylie

Schylie is the second oldest of 7 children, living with her parents on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She is graduating from Cape Cod Community College, class of 2017. This September, she will be leaving for Uganda for a year-long mission trip. She enjoys writing Christian fiction stories, taking long walks, eating delicious healthy foods, and spending quality time with her siblings

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