The beginning of a new year, and the beginning of a new semester is often a good time to reflect, as well as look forward. This last year, with my first semester of college, brought so many changes for me. But through it all I have seen just how good my God is. I've been tumbling in the mad treadmill of life for most of the time, yet He has miraculously kept me right-side-up through it all.

If I could sum up my first semester of college in one word, it would have to be:
Quite literally, it has been a stretching time for my muscles and my endurance. My dorm just happens to be the furthest one away from everything, so needless to say, I've been doing a lot of walking and biking. I've had to push myself to the limit, and then even further. There were some days where I just prayed over and over, "God, please give me the strength to do this." And the amazing thing is - He does!

It has also been a stretching time for me regarding my spiritual life. There are so many things I've learned in my classes that have broadened my understanding of God (take this post for example). I'm so amazed how my view of God has burst wide open to the heavens above the clouds!

It's been stretching emotionally as well, as any separation will be. I've had to deal with missing my family and friends, trying to make new friends (and discern whether people are genuine or not) as well as relating to a vast variety of people. Thankfully God has spared me from experiencing too much homesickness, and He has provided me with some sweet girls who I can see are genuine and really do care.

I've also been stretched in the area of my piano playing, which is something I'm very glad of (after all, that's what I came to college for, right?). ;) However, it does take a lot of humility to hear that the way you've been playing piano all your life is incorrect, and then have to re-train your hands in the right technique. Having to basically "start over" on the songs I had been learning in order to play them with the correct technique was hard. But by the grace of God, I now have much better form, and can practice for many hours at a time without my hands hurting or even feeling very tired. I still have a long way to go, but what I have learned makes me feel so fulfilled and excited to teach it to my future students!

Overall, God has been so good to me. Even when I feel like I'm stretched to my limit, He's right there with me. And I'm reminded of how Christ was stretched out on the cross, suffering for my sins so that I might be able to stretch and grow in Him. I'm so thankful for this growing time at college He has blessed me with. I'm so excited to see how He will continue to bless, mold, and uphold me through the next semester... and the rest of my life.

How has God been stretching you recently?

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