Monday, October 25, 2010

The Daily Christian Walk of a Full-Time Student With Two Jobs

When I first began my journey to living on my own everyone told me to make sure I keep the scriptures first in my life and never take my eyes off God. I wish I could say I've kept this advice perfectly ever since I moved out on my own, sadly I cannot. Daily life has gotten in the way my prayer life and Bible studies. I work most Sundays and Wednesdays just to pay the bills and get through life. This is a fact of life, I cannot always make it to church ever single service, I wish I could but there is no way I can and still support myself. So how do I keep my heart focused and on God? To be honest, it has been a huge struggle for me before and still is. I get busy and caught up in my studies and working two jobs and trying to balance my friends and my loved ones. What is a overly busy girl to do?

One, I start by praying. I ask God to give me time to spend with Him. I ask him, sometimes I even beg Him, to help me make time for Him daily. One strange way God has give me extra time with Him is during my runs. I love running and run around 3-5 miles a day, usually 5-6 days a week, and when I don't run I cross-training (meaning biking or using some other type of cardio machine to strengthen my knees). These runs normally take around an hour a half for a long run and a short run is usually around 45 minutes. I find these runs a wonderful time to pray and talk to God. If I am running in the woods I sometimes turn up the music on my I-pod and just praise God for this beautiful creation and listen to Him speak to me. Other times I go for hard runs up hills and these are the time I am crying out to God for help or guidance. Before I prayed for God to increase my time and help me make time for Him my daily runs was just time blaring music and thinking about daily life.

Two, I talk to my boyfriend and other like minded friends. My closest friends, my “college family”, with whom I study with, do some group work outs, cook with, hang out with, and just have fun with, are all Christians. We all struggle at times with things but we all try to keep God first and to stay focused on God. All of us are living on our own, all but one of us are either from out of state or out of country even, thus dealing with a lot of the same things. Surrounding yourself with people who will lift you up constantly is more helpful then I ever dreamed possible. My darling boyfriend is a wonderful Christian man, with who I have Bible studies with and pray with. We bother share our struggles with each other and keep each other accountable. When one falls or needs to be reminded of things, we are there for each other. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Your close friends MUST be like minded. And that special person in your life 100% must be on the same page as you! If they are not, you will fall. I couldn't imagine how I would be if my friends where not believers and I couldn't image my man not being on the same page as me. It just wouldn't work.

Third, The Bible will truly keep you focused. When ever I find my self skimping on my reading or I just skip it, things are ALWAYS worse. Maybe not blatantly so at first, maybe I am just a little moodier, or maybe I am just a little off focused, other times it is like a neon sign. I am frustrated, I don't feel well, I can't focus on anything, and I get hacked off at the little annoying things of daily life.

Four, online sermons. I know that this does not replace sitting in a church service and hearing the word with other Christians but it is something. Hearing the word of God taught keeps me challenged and focus. It keeps my heart tender and usable.

Five, Ignore what others say. This is something I've had to do since my senior year of highschool when my life took a different path from that which I had grown up on. When I challenged a lot of things I was taught and that many of my peers and friends and even family believed. I had to focus on God and tune out the other voices telling me Gods will for me.(see this post) God has lead me here and has placed me in the situations I am in. While they are not ideal and I wish I was able to attend a normal church service every single Sunday it isn't doable. I think God still blesses me for this and gives me other was to worship, learn His word, have good fellowship, and to talk to him.

Sometimes, often, I get frustrated with this but then I am reminder that there is a higher reason that I see. Maybe this is just because God wants be to depend on Him and not a church right now. Maybe He needs me strong in my faith on my own before He leads me into further service, I honestly have no idea. All I know is this is what I've got and this is what God had lead me to.

3 comment(s):

Zoe said...

Hello! May I ask if you are at a Christian college or a secular college? I am looking into a state school right now and am so concerned that I will be unable to find like-minded friends. Your post was very encouraging, however. Thank you!

Sydney Smith said...

Sure! I am at a secular college, how ever, it is a rather small private university, but it is not a Christian college by any means!It is very diverse and is actually about 2/3 international students. Christians are in the minority for sure!

Just pray and seek God. He will lead you to all the right people. I spent my first month and a half mostly alone because I was was so scared to go meet people. I'll try to write somethings up about the first year of college and how to survive, just somethings I've picked up =)

Zoe said...

That is so encouraging to know! Most everyone I know either stays at home for college or goes to a Christian school, so this is new territory for me - especially being homeschooled my entire life. :)

It would be great to hear the things you have learned about surviving the first year of college! I'll keep an eye out. :)