Often times, our youth are wiser than we realize… When I take a step back from trying to teach them, and simply listen to what they have to say, I am left amazed and inspired.
From a lonely dorm room, miles and hours away, came these thoughts on paper from a young college student. A young man reflecting on the ways God is moving in his life, and learning with the wisdom that has been bestowed upon him.
Just listen to what he had to say…
I recently began my freshman year of college. To date, it has been far from picture perfect with having its fair share of challenges.
I had finished my senior year of football and was adamant on being a college athlete. For a large part of my life, sports had been the thing that put me down rather than make me feel good about myself. I was either too slow, too uncoordinated, or just plain unskilled enough to do anything with a ball.
This was especially tough living in a city that lives and breathes athletics. I so desperately wanted to be a good athlete with the expectation that once I was… all my problems would disappear.
Now, I realize that was childhood naivety, but it’s important for where I am at today. It took me seventeen years to catch up with my body and actually develop into the athlete I so desperately wanted to be… seventeen years…
Now, I can’t really explain any of this without explaining God’s role in all of it…
I had prayed and prayed and prayed for favor in my senior year. Like to the point where the number of prayers my family and I contributed probably overwhelmed God. (Obviously not, but you get the point.)
During that year, I started for our state qualifying football team…
Broke my school’s 400m record, and won a title at the state track meet….
I can’t even put to words the kind of ways God moved in my life. He blessed me immensely, and He answered my prayers.
During the midst of all of this, I was in the process of deciding where I was going to go to college. The decision-making process was very hard for all of us, and it brought a hefty amount of stress with it. Similarly, with my senior season we were ALL praying in regards to my college plans.
About four to five months after football ended, I finally decided where I was going to go to college. Mason City, Iowa. The place where dreams are made. (At least that’s what I told myself in effort to stomach the fact that I was actually moving to Mason City).
Why Mason City you might ask…?
Well, I’ll tell you why. Quite simply, it was where I felt God wanted me to be. There was a certain peace I felt about this particular place that I hadn’t felt anywhere else.
So, fast forward six months and we’re all caught up. I have learned a-lot these past 24 weeks, but out of everything – two things I’ve learned have stood out to me above all the rest:
- The importance of trusting God in everything that you do.
- Mastering your mindset.
At the end of the day, God knows our heart. He knows what we need, and He knows our desires. Sometimes our desires don’t fall in line with what is best for us, but that is where the trust comes in.
To be honest, I really didn’t want to run track at NIACC. Not one bit. But I trusted that God knew what was best for me. During my time here I feel like I have been placed with the right individuals at the right time to aid me in achieving my goals. Those goals include being able to graduate with an associate’s degree by this summer, and then transferring to a D-1 track program my sophomore year.
Along with putting God first in all things, working towards this has required a positive mindset. Your mind can be your greatest strength, or your greatest weakness. I have made it a priority to keep my mind focused in the best direction possible.
For me, this has meant not using social media, distancing myself from negative people, and even not going out sometimes… in order to put myself in the best possible state of mind. All of this has been essential to my success thus far.
Everyone on this planet has the potential to do great things…
Removing all the negativity from your life is like uncovering the fog from your journey. Once you can actually “see” where you are going, it makes reaching the destination a lot easier. I know I’m only nineteen and much of this “advice” may seem inexperienced, but I view what I’m doing now as building blocks.
We all change in the ways we view the world and interpret the things that happen to us. But this remains true: that our mind is an incredibly powerful tool that God intended for all to use in combination with Him… And with that, the sky is the limit.
Brendan – thank you for sharing how you have seen the Lord move in your life. Testimonies such as yours from younger generations make me more in awe of the goodness of our Heavenly Father. I can’t wait to see all that He has in store for you…
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