I started this post around Christmastime but it’s just as relevant today as it was a few weeks ago. And by ‘started’ I mean I saved a draft with this title in the hopes of reflecting on it at a later time.
Immanuel means ‘God with us.’ God sent His Son to earth in the most humble of ways– as a helpless baby, so that He could become flesh.
Matthew 1: 22-23 says:
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
I love how reassuring it is to know that He is with us and not just when we’re praising Him at church during Christmastime. He’s with us no matter what– when we’re struggling to pay rent, and when we’re trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions, when we’re having a tough conversation with a friend, and when we have nowhere else to go, but He’s with us also when things are going really well– like when Costco is giving out cupcakes as a free sample, and when you’re best friend actually becomes your fiance. We’ve all been in scary moments, sad moments, and joyful moments and He’s there with us no matter what! Even when we feel alone, we’re not.
Reading this should be comforting, not frightening. God being with us is a good thing. He knows of our trials whether or not we come to Him in prayer. No matter how far we stray, He is still with us.
Today was my last first day of undergrad! My first class wasn’t until 5:30pm and I was almost late because my nails were still wet! #senioritis
I walked to Panera this morning/afternoon to have an early lunch with my friend L. It was so good to see her and catch up! She has the cutest new puppy! We also read the Bible together and what’s better than Jesus + bread bowls + long time friends? We’re old boarding school friends and our friendship has taken a turn where God has allowed me to be a spiritual mentor to her.
We read the story of Jesus and the woman at the well from John 4. We reflected on how sometimes we feel like the woman, an outcast, alone. And other times we feel like Jesus, able to share with others about ‘the Living Water.’
We admitted that it’s hard to share God’s love to someone that seems unlovable. Sometimes we need to admit that things are hard. That’s where grace is needed.
Then I came home and did some unglamourous laundry and watched Lie to Me while doing one of those adult coloring pages (which sounds dirty but isn’t!). But in the afternoon, I received an email that said the University owes me money now that I’ve dropped ballroom dance class (haha), which was a huge a blessing because textbooks are expensive! Thank you, Jesus!
Then I talked with my [sometimes] sweet sister Hannah on the phone and we discussed Ruth 1! She got a new Bible for Christmas. Although we were raised in a Christian home, Hannah has very little experience interacting with God’s word in the Bible. It was so GOOD to be in open discussion about the passage. We retold it to each other, keeping accuracy in mind, which is a practice that helps me be able to share passages with others.
Then I went to my only class of the day: The Life and Letters of Paul, which is totally different from the public health classes that I take for my major. I also finalized when the Bible study I’m leading will meet: Monday nights! It’s a ladies Bible study where each week we will focus on a different woman of the Bible.
I went to Zumba with my bestie, where we looked like fools but had fun doing it!
I really felt close to God today (because He wants to be close to us– Immanuel: ‘God with us’) and that this is the kind of life I want to be living: full of time spent in the Word, full of spiritual conversations with believers and nonbelievers, and lots of fellowship.
And just in case you thought I had my life together, let me share with you that I said a very bad word after this happened to my nails: See exhibit A. And I drove through Wendy’s drive-thru between class and the gym (oops) because well, life is messy– just like me eating a burger in my car in the gym parking lot. Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time, we get frustrated and stressed, and we forget things like snacks. Yet even in the mundane and messy, God is with us.