My name is Katie and I'm a freshman at the University of Arizona. I'm learning how beautiful it is to give my life away to God.
One of my friends from my church back home lead me to this beautiful excerpt from East of Eden, which, out of all the literary works out there, has shaped my view of Christianity in an entirely new way. The excerpt is below:
"After two years we felt that we could approach your sixteen verses of the fourth chapter of Genesis. My old gentlemen felt that these words were very important too-‘thou shalt’ and ‘Do thou’. and this was the gold from our mining: ‘thou mayest’ ‘Thou mayest rule over sin’. The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou Shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel- ‘Thou mayest’- that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open…..I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed- because ‘Thou mayest."
The choice that God gives us is such a crucial and instrumental part of our faith. WE CHOOSE to follow God because it is in our free will. As I’m growing in God and learning what this life looks like, timshel is a beautiful reminder that this is my own choice, and my pursuit of God relies upon my conscious effort to seek Him. However, seeking Him is not hard when you realize all that He has to offer. It is such a crazy, beautiful concept.
Thus, the title of my blog :)
I guess a little background and context is never a bad thing. My name is Katie, born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona of the USA. I grew up in the church and settled into a very comfortable Christian life quickly. I have amazing parents with a healthy marriage, a little sister who means the world to me, and a myriad of pets including dogs, cats, and goats. I went to a tiny performing arts high school in Downtown Phoenix (my graduating class was 54 people) where I pursued theatre full time. I loved spending my summers working at church camps, was a student leader in the High School Ministry at church, attended my Wednesday night bible studies, and thought I had it good. I was doing everything “right”.
Somehow, despite never having much turbulence in my life, my faith was not very strong. My senior year of high school I got into partying. I sought after popularity, hoping it would fill a void in my heart that only Jesus could fill. I dated guys who pushed my boundaries and made some really poor choices, but I managed to keep it all a secret. I thought it was so great that I could get wasted Saturday night and still show up to church Sunday morning and have no one know. But I was really aching inside. I longed for someone to see what a mess I really was.
I’ve always been a performance-oriented kind of person, so in my mind, as long as I did what I “should” do, I was in the clear as long as no one knew about the sin behind the facade. How wrong I was.
After high school, I was terrified about what I was going to be doing with my life. Everything I had known for so long was going away, and although I was excited for college and being able to pursue my education in the medical field like I had always wanted, I was so scared about entering the unknown. It’s beautiful what came of it though.
God let me enter into a place of desperation. I had sought after just about everything I could in an attempt to fill my emptiness, and coming into college I finally hit empty. Slowly but surely, He revealed Himself to me and I became aware of all that I had been missing for so long. God had been there the whole time and I had purposefully turned away seeking after my own agenda. But now I finally had a taste of what God had to offer and I realized how hungry I was.
God works in miraculous ways. As soon as I stepped onto the University of Arizona’s campus, He put his arms around me and had His will be done. Immediately, I was pursued by so many people to join the Navigators, a Christian organization on campus. And through them I have found some of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. We’re growing and thriving in Christ and I’m suddenly seeing what a beautiful thing it is to give your life away to God. I’m experiencing what real fellowship is like, what a DAILY walk with Jesus is, and how easy it can be to trust in God to provide, for He is always faithful.
I’m so blessed to be where I am right now, and though it’s not just some walk in the park - there are so many ups and downs - I’m learning to unclench my hands and give everything I’ve been holding onto to God.