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Thursday, January 30, 2014

It's been a while...

Life happened.

A lot has happened since last I wrote on this website. A whole lot. And I am here to say that I am already a little different from who I was this past summer.

My friends and I on Halloween! That guy there is Theo,
a survivor of genocide in Rwanda! One of the sweetest,
most inspirational guys I've ever met

I began college at Wingate University in August and had some of the best experiences of my life in those first two months of school.
Made some of the best friends I have ever had.
Got two tattoos in one night.
Went on adventures every weekend.
Visited the French Cafe, Amelies in Charlotte, NC like I have dreamed for a long while.
Explored all that the city had to offer.
Began attending Elevation Church.
Joined a loving and lovely Bible study.
Learned more about God and my faith than I ever thought I would in my first semester of college.

Amelies food! MACARONS!

But along with all of the new and exciting and happy times, came sad times as well.
There was one particular week where all my friends and I went through some very tough things. We now call it and have it labeled on our calendars as "the week from hell", however, now I think that it was probably a week sent from
heaven to test and strengthen us all.

My other tattoo is the skyline of Paris with the Eiffel Tower!
For me, I had a LOT of car problems and got stranded in a strange place (why does this always happen to me haha) and ended up chucking out $600 in the long run on Marilyn (my car). In the midst of my bank account nearly emptying, my family began facing hard financial times at home when my father lost his job. From November until the last day of my first semester, I was quite an unhappy camper. I couldn't go anywhere for fear of my car breaking again (which it did, like three times) and I couldn't afford to go anywhere, really, because I was broke. I was worrying over my parents' situation and how could I help them being an hour and a half away and I was worrying over being "helpless" and "pitiful" not being able to go where I wanted to go and literally all I did was worry. By the time exam week hit, I was an emotional mess and exams certainly didn't help. Lets just say too much time was spent in the dorm room being anti-social and miserable. I missed my family, I missed the life I had only 2 months prior and I missed feeling free. Apparently you aren't free until you have a full bank account.
I prayed a lot during that time and I began asking God how in the world could I begin to trust Him when I was so human and untrustworthy of anything at that moment.
But throughout it all, I could hear Him whisper, "Trust me." And one faithful day as I was driving home through the city.. with all of the big buildings around and people whizzing by and my radio wasn't working and I had just chucked out another $100 for a dead battery... I said "God, I cannot begin to tell you that I can trust you like I need to. I can't. But I'm going to trust you with everything that I have left, despite my human tendency."
Charlotte, NC
When I got home that day, my house was fully decorated for Christmas and I cried for what seemed like ever because I was so grateful for the things that I had been blessed with my entire life... How lucky was I that I was able to have a wonderful Christmas that year?
There is more to the story of the ending of my first semester but some of it is quite honestly too personal to put on the internet.
I learned to be grateful and feel blessed for everything that has been and will be.
I learned that some people are meant to be put in my life so I can learn from them.
But I left my first semester of college feeling empowered and prepared for the next learning experience.

Which leads me to where I am at today...

An opportunity to live my dream...

I just left a meeting about the opportunity to study abroad next Spring. 
It is absolutely surreal that I can think about being in another country, pursuing my dreams in less than a year. I have so much to consider and plan and save up for but today it has occurred to me:

This can happen. My dreams really ARE going to happen.
I've struggled over the idea that maybe my dreams are not important because how can MY dreams be the same dream that is God's will? But I've come to the realization that God doesn't throw away my dreams. Because this trip that I am wanting to pursue isn't going to be about material things. If anything, I'm going to have to forget a lot of that. No... I am wanting to go to learn about people.. and love all of their complexities and mental processes (psych major speaking here) because God has made us that way. 

I have a lot of choices to make within the next month and a WHOLE LOT to plan... 
But I am so excited to see where God leads me next!

Please be in prayer over this situation and that His will be done! 

And in case you have never heard it...
Jesus loves you.
And so do I.

Michaela Beaver