You Can Do Anything, But Not Everything

My mom knows and understands my appreciation for letters and notes of encouragement. I have favorite birthday cards saved all the way back to when I was 5 years old. I’m always writing someone a letter or leaving notes on the whiteboard complimenting my staff at work. So this birthday, my Mom gave me a booklet of cute inspirational quotes that you can tear out and give to people to encourage them. Needless to say, I love it and immediately began thumbing through to read some of them. Then I came to one that made me stop. Turn back. Reread that. It hit me like a pile of bricks. 

You can do anything, but not everything. 

Wow.

And that’s not a bad thing. 

So here’s the deal, if you know me in real life (oh have read at least like two blog posts) you know that for most of my life *and still sometimes* I thought I could do everything. 

Beyond that, I thought anyone that told me otherwise didn’t believe in me and I set about to prove them wrong. 
But the people who came alongside me in life and said “Taryn, you shouldn’t try to do this…” they were the ones who believed in me the most. The ones who did believe I could take 7 hard classes at a time. The ones who did believe I could work full time. The ones who did believe I could be a camp counselor and lead on the praise team and teach Bible Drill. 

But not all at the same time. 

“You can do ANYTHING. But NOT everything.”

This is what my parents, boyfriend, mentors, best friend… what they all tried to tell me. What they all did tell me. And I didn’t listen.

They didn’t want to shut me down, to tell me I wasn’t good enough, to undermine my abilities. They wanted to empower me. They wanted me to have the strength and energy to do my very best at what was important. Not to feel like I was running a thousand miles and hour and could still never be enough. 

So to my dearest friends graduating high school this weekend, this is the one biggest thing I learned my first year of college and what I want to send you off with. 

I believe in you all. You can get a 4.0 next fall if that’s your goal. You can work a job while in school. You can get involved in leadership roles on campus. You can make the best friends of your life. You can, and I truly believe, will thrive. But you won’t do it by doing everything. 

So pick what is very most important to you, and do it to the best of your ability. Prioritize and cut back what doesn’t make the list. Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. 

I believe in you. 

My prayer for you all is in the lyrics of my graduation songs from a year ago:

I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow, and each road leads you where you oughta go. And if you’re faced with a choice and you have to choose, I hope you choose the one that means the most to you… I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams, and that faith give you the courage to dare to do great things. 

Class of 2017, go and do great things

Everyone else, you go do and great things too:)

You can do anything, just not everything. 

Taryn

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The Power of Prayer

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” – – James 5:16-18

The Bible doesn’t make light of the power of prayer, and if the Word says it, I am going to take it on faith.

Beyond that, I have seen the power of prayer evidenced in my own life in more ways that I can count. So for me, it isn’t so much of taking it on a blind leap of faith, as knowing and having experienced God’s matchless power.

God answered prayers that I was nervous even to pray. In times when I felt like my prayers were too little, too insignificant, to selfish to bring before and Almighty Creator — He proved to me that He loves me and really does care about even the smallest details of my life.

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” — Corrie ten Boom

I prayed prayers that were answered to the T years later, and I can truly feel God smiling on my life when I see those prayers come to fruition years later. It has brought me to tears this week. The detailed prayers I prayed that were answered so clearly and completely.

So why am I saying all this?

Pray for big things, y’all.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with praying for health, with praying for forgiveness, with praying and thanking God for things. God commands that kind of prayer. And God also asks for the kind of faith that asks big, specific, bold prayers in Jesus name knowing that He loves to answer His children.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” — 2 Corinthians 1:20

Pray for unrealistic things. Pray prayers that put you out on a limb with God. Pray for bigger faith, and know that He is going to answer full well.

Pray that God would take anger and bitterness from Your heart in every situation. Pray that you wouldn’t fight or be angry with those closest to you. Pray that no anger would reside in your heart.

It sounds crazy, right? It sounds unrealistic. But it isn’t. It lines up with God’s will, He asks us to turn away from anger and do good. So ask boldly in Jesus name.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” — 1 John 5:14

God is sovereign. His will always prevails and He is going to do what is right and just and good. But God loves to love His children. God delights in making Himself known to us, and when we pray according to His will, He answers, I promise you He does.

My youth minister once told me that God’s will isn’t one precise dot, one specific situation down to the most minute detail. If that were the case, we would have screwed up God’s will thousands of years ago and never gotten back on the right track.

On the contrary, God can work things for good and according to His will and for His glory in every situation. Even in situations when and where we have messed up. Even in situations that are less than perfect. When we pray and ask for the Spirit’s power in our lives, He shows up.

I’m not trying to say that the only good things that ever happen in this world are because of prayer and that those that don’t pray fervently can not have a good life.

But I would be lying to say that God hasn’t blessed me specifically, directly, and abundantly through answered prayers.

What do you have to lose? Pray big, pray bold, pray often… and expect God to work. I can promise you that He will.

— Taryn

What I did Right and Wrong my First Year of College

Hi Everyone!

I know I missed posting something last week, finishing up the loose ends of the college semester has kept me more than a little busy, but I’ve had this post in my mind all day so I wanted to get it written (and am maybeee procrastinating on my Economics project, but that is beside the point…)

I have loved my first year of college. Some things about it have been absolutely brutal, but so many of the new experiences and opportunities have been amazing and have taught me so much about myself and the world around me. Even just one year into this crazy experience, I can look back and see so many things that I’m glad I did, and so many things that I wish I had done differently or sooner. Today I just wanted to write about some of those things to give you a glimpse into my own life and to maybe help out some of my younger friends who are about to start this journey themselves!

Right: Taking Classes just because I want to

Both of the semesters that I have been in college, I took one class that wasn’t required for my degree plan but that I just wanted to take!! With taking so many classes, it was so nice to have a breath of fresh air in the middle of it all. This semester especially, I took an elective with my favorite professor that I had from first semester and it is hands down my favorite class and something that motivates me to get up in the morning

Wrong: Not Making Friends

Especially first semester, I really didn’t make friends… at all. I don’t have the phone numbers of anyone I met first semester and there’s only one person that I even smile and wave at if I see now. This semester, I got slightly better, but it was honestly only because a really outgoing girl sat next to me on the first day of Calculus and has been a great friend and helped me in so many ways! Make friends! They can help you with homework, go with you to office hours, and beyond that, just make your life better and make you actually want to go to school when you really don’t want to.

Right: Asking Questions

I’m that girl that always sits on the front row even in the massive lecture halls, and after classes, I like to go up and ask my professors questions. Not even just “I didn’t understand {such and such}”, but things like “What is your opinion on…” or asking for more detail on something that especially intrigued me about their lectures. This not only helped me to learn things that I truly was interested in, but also helped me to make great connections with my professors. They are people with an amazing wealth of information and several of them I have gone back and visited and talked to about a myriad of topics since then.

Wrong: Not Taking Advantage of my Resources

My large university campus has so many resources set up to help students succeed! From the math tutoring lab to the Career Center that will help you perfect your resume and choose what to wear to interviews, to the study sessions for every subject imaginable. I wrote all of these things off as things I didn’t need or didn’t have time for and that was a grave mistake. College is hard in a really different way than high school is. I can’t emphasize studying and asking questions enough. I never felt the need to study for exams in high school and did totally fine, but that doesn’t exactly fly in college and I so wish that I had taken advantage of all the help around me much sooner.

Right: Learning to Let Go

I learned the hard way that I can’t do everything. But something I feel like I was good at realizing is that sometimes certain things are more important than what people try to tell you is important. For example, I felt a huge emphasis from people in academia that I should be getting straight As in college. And you know what? That just didn’t happen. And that is totally okay. Other things were much more important this year, and I don’t think that is wrong. I still tried really hard and learned a lot of things, but I didn’t kill myself to get perfect grades, and I still spent time working and doing other things that are important to me beyond just school.

Wrong: Not Getting Involved

There aren’t many times in my life when I’m going to have the opportunity to get involved in anything I could possibly want to within a tenth of a mile of where I already am. I’ve scrolled endlessly through the lists of events and organizations on campus and so many of them pique my interest! I wish I had set aside time sooner to check some of them out and get more involved.

Right: Found a Church Family

But one very important thing that I really know I did right is that I found a church to call home. I spent some awkward Sunday mornings walking into brand new churches where I knew no one, but I am so glad that I did. It was on one of those Sunday mornings that I didn’t even drag a friend with me and walked into a classroom all alone that I found my new church family. They invited me to lunch that first week and even though I don’t know all of the people yet, it really truly feels like family. I feel God’s presence and love talking about the Bible with these people and it builds me up and encourages me so much.

 

All in all, it’s been a fantastic freshman year of college, and I can’t wait to see what the next several years are gonna hold as I keep going on this crazy journey!!

— Taryn

 

You’re Gonna Miss This

<<You’re gonna miss this, you’re gonna want this back,

You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast

These are some good times, so take a good look around

You may not know it now – but you’re gonna miss this>>

 

Second semester of senior year my best friend shared this song with me and I would listen to it every time I was in the car by myself and bawl my eyes out.

I was gonna miss the lock-ins at church with my friends, I was gonna miss picking my best friend up for school every morning, I was gonna miss the bus rides to church camp when we sang Disney songs *a little too loud*

And you know what? I can’t deny for a moment that I miss those things.

Last night one of my close friends from youth group posted a silly High School Musical video that sent me spiraling back to the times when all of us would watch them together in middle school. It sent me back to a time when life was carefree and lighthearted. It sent me back to a time that I probably took completely for granted and that I would love the chance to relive.

I do miss it. I do want it back. And oh how I wish I could have even one of those days back.

But the God began to shift my perspective.

////

You’re gonna miss this. These times. Right here and right now. You’re gonna want these back one day. Don’t wish these away either.

////

I sat in class yesterday during one of my favorite professor’s lectures, and it struck me.

I’m gonna miss this.

I laughed with my coworkers way too hard over things that probably weren’t that funny.

I’m gonna miss this.

I came home and all of my little siblings ran to give me hugs and were so excited to see me.

I’m gonna miss this.

////

There are always going to be new things in life that I am later going to miss. Life comes in seasons, and our God is oh so good, so He blesses me in unique and special ways through each and every one of those chapters. When I made it past that high school season, a lot of doors closed, a lot of beautiful things were turned into memories – but they are great memories, and life in college has been great too.

There’s always going to be hard things in life, but when I take a good look around me, I am so so blessed. And every day of life is a gift that God has given me that I don’t want to take for granted anymore.

And from an even longer term standpoint, when I get to Heaven one of these days, I’m not going to miss any of these days here on earth. So while I have this time, I want to use it to make the name of The Father known and shout His Name from the mountaintops.

— Taryn

Just Start Somewhere

I love coming home after a long day at work and school to find this…


My little sister began 2017 with the determination to read the Bible through, and I couldn’t be prouder. 

I was about her age the first time I ever attempted to read the Bible through.. and little did I know how hard it would be to get through Leviticus, much less the whole thing!

Over the past six years, I’ve tried different things every year as I attempt to read God’s Word cover to cover. Some things worked, and a lot didn’t, but I’ve learned so much about what’s really important… so if your New Years’ Resolution to read through your Bible is already crashing and burning… here’s my advice 🙂
1. Don’t let getting a day (or a month) behind stop you!!

I’ve been guilty of this one so many times. I like following my checklists to a T, and when I don’t, I feel like a failure. I trail off, or I try to double up to catch up and just end up even more stressed and behind. Now don’t get me wrong, I think following a plan and setting goals of when you want to finish is great, but that’s not the point. Just read!! Open your Bible and spend time with your Savior!! Don’t let getting behind on your plan stop you, please, please keep reading!
2. Start with what you can handle

The first time I set out to read my Bible, I started in Genesis and took off straight through. I made it through the stories of Creation and the patriarchs, but before long, I got bogged down in Levitical law, dimensions for the temple, and the counts of all the Israelites by family. 

I know those are there for a reason, but if you’re just starting, try the New Testament first or you’ll lose morale way too quickly. Find a plan that fits you — whether it’s alternating an Old Testament chapter and then one in the New Testament, just reading through one or two books that interest you, don’t make it about tackling the whole thing, just start!!
3. Make it yours


My Bible honestly looks like a coloring book. I used to envy the girls with Instagram accounts or perfectly color-coded journaling Bibles and wish I could be like that. But you know what? I’m not. And that’s okay. 

Read your Bible — whatever that looks like for you, just start somewhere, and I promise it will be worth it. God speaks so clearly through His Word. It changes hearts and lives, and I’ve experienced it firsthand in my own life. 

Let the perfectionism go, let the perfect plan go… life happens, and our God is a God of grace, just start somewhere:)
Taryn

Flashbacks

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I was going to attend a small, Christian university four hours from home.

*flashforward to now*

I live at home and commute to a large, public university.

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I was leaving everything I knew and loved

*flashforward to now*

God has kept me right here

*flashback to one year ago*

I thought I had everything figured out

*flashforward to now*

Man, was I ever wrong


2016… It was an adventure. There was so, so much good in it. But it is not at all like I was expecting when it started 367 days ago.

And you know what?

It was better.

Because God’s plan always is

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” — Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

Walking into 2017, I’m tempted to believe the same thing I did a year ago, to believe that I have everything figured out. And then I stop and laugh at myself. If God taught me one thing… it’s that I will absolutely never have Him or His plans figured out:)

So I don’t know what’s coming, I don’t have a clue! And that’s the best place to be:) I know one thing about 2017. God is going to prove Himself faithful. Like He always does, like He always will.

A year from now, I don’t know what kind of year I will be looking back on, but I know that whatever it is, that God’s fingerprints will be evident all throughout.

I hope you stay for the ride, I don’t know what’s coming, but I’m sure glad He does:)

Happy 2017, everyone!

— Taryn

New Year, New Me

I am 100% a goals and tasks oriented person. 
Todo lists are my lifeline. 

I always set crazy *unrealistic* expectations for myself, and then set about trying to prove to myself and everyone else that I can live up to them. 

This semester is a very good example of that. I took 7 college classes, I worked about 30 hours a week, and amidst that, I still kept looking for new and more ways to prove that I was enough, that I could do it all. I would write myself task lists a mile long and burn myself out trying to finish them. Because I felt like I had something to prove. 

I was wearing myself down mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore. I was leaving myself almost no time to rest, no time for the most important relationships in my life, and no time to be in the presence of my Heavenly Father. 

One day, I sat on my best friend’s bed and completely broke down. I cried and cried telling her how I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be enough. I didn’t have the strength left to please anyone. 

Her answer was matter of fact and to the point, “Taryn, why are you trying to please everyone? They don’t matter. You just have to please God.”

I don’t know why I had over complicated my life to such a degree that I forgot to believe such a simple truth. 

I love the way Paul puts it in Galatians,

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” — Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

All of that to say, I love my goals, but this year, I learned that they can’t be about pleasing anyone else. They have to be about me and my life and honoring God, not about making myself into what I think the people around me need or want. 

The last week of December every year, I think about what I want to change in the new year. I think about what I want the “new me” to be like. Healthier, prettier, smarter, more organized, more productive, more spiritual… once I start the list, it’s almost impossible to stop. 

But the Bible has something to say about what that “new me” is supposed to be and how I achieve it. 

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away and behold, the new has come.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17

That right there is what makes me a new creation. 

Being in Christ. 

And that’s what I want my biggest goal of 2017. To be in Christ. That will penetrate and manifest itself in all the different parts of my life but at its core, it’s so simple and freeing. All that’s expected of me, all that God wants, is for me to be in Him. That’s all that it takes to be a new creation. 

Yes, I have plenty of goals — the number of books I want to read, habits I want to form, but what will truly cause my life to fall into place is the Savior who directs it all in the first place. So the “new me” this year won’t come from an exercise regime, a color-coded planner, but the new me came when Christ redeemed me 11 years ago, and that’s the only new me that really matters. 

What I Got for Christmas

Most likely, the title of this post has you all fooled into thinking I’m going to list off the shirts and books and jewelry that my loving friends and family got me for Christmas. And although I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that, and I’m extremely thankful to each and every one of the special people in my life, I want to take a different approach to this. 
Over the past year, God has blessed me with more amazing gifts than I can count. 

* Relationships 

“Two are better than one… for if one falls, the other can help him up.” — Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

God has most certainly filled my life this year with people that help pick me up when I falter. Life has been a whirlwind, but I haven’t had to face any of it alone. 

* Health

“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

To be sure, I am not fully healed. But a year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined being able to handle the semester I just made it through. I still have a ways to go on learning to be healthy and eat better and get my strength up, but God is proving so, so faithful. 

* Direction

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding. Think about Him in all your ways, and He will direct you on the right paths.”

A year ago, I was halfway through my senior year. And thought I knew what my future plans were, but boy was I wrong! Thankfully, God’s plans are so much higher than mine could ever be (Isaiah 55:9) and He showed me exactly what they were in His perfect timing.

* Opportunities

From starting this blog, to being in a university program where I can work on my Bachelors and Masters at the same time, this year has been full of blessings in the way of opportunities. I’m learning not to take them for granted and to appreciate all the things God is doing around me. 

—–

Isn’t it ironic that on the day we celebrate the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we are the ones receiving the gifts? And yet He continues to pour out blessings and all we have to return to Him is our lives and our praise. It may not be much in the comparison to all His radiance and glory, but I want to focus on it more nonetheless. 

Thank you, LORD,  for this beautiful year, and for the hope and joy You bring through Christmas. May I never take for granted what You sent that very first Christmas, and may it impact my life forever. Amen. 


— Taryn

10 Things I Learned My First Semester in College

Hey everyone!

So technically, I’m not done with college until next week, but as I’m in the midst of finals and projects and all of that fun stuff *not* I had all of these things bouncing around in my mind and wanted to go ahead and get them out there:) Some are basic college tips, some are about life and growing up, and as always, God has revealed some pretty awesome things to me about Himself as well. Thank you to everyone who has come on this journey with me through reading my thoughts a couple times every week, you’re brave 😉 Here we go!
1. Use Rate My Professor — Just do it. Of course it’s beneficial to stay away from the bad professors, but also, look around and figure out who those professors are that you just have to have. This may be just me, but it’s much easier to get myself up and to class in the morning when I’m actually excited for the lectures. I have two professors whom I absolutely love and that gets me to class on days I really don’t want to go.

2. You have to be proactive about making friends — In high school, especially going to a small private school, making friends came naturally. Here on a campus with 30,000 people, I could easily go all semester without speaking to anyone *guilty as charged* I told my Mom I have one and two-half friends on campus, and even that is a stretch. Honestly, I know some of my professors better than any classmates! I’m pretty upset with myself and how I let this semester get away from me. Be willing to start conversations, get to know the people around you, it won’t just happen if you don’t put any effort in.

3. Go to office hours and ask questions — I already mentioned that my two “best friends” on campus are professors, and this may sound really nerdy, but talking to professors excites me so much!! They are such smart people! I love asking questions after class or going to office hours to talk about things in more depth. They love when students come to talk to them about things other than makeup exams and late assignments. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge at your disposal!

4. I’m no longer a slave to fear — I have sang these lyrics for years, but honestly sang them without much thought. It seemed like a no-brainer because I had never felt enslaved to fear in the first place. Until this semester. I have no idea how or why, but anxiety has been taking hold of my life bit by bit this semester. And honestly, it seems like it is still getting worse before it gets better. The littlest things can set me completely off, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night absolutely sure that something terrible has happened. I worry about anything and everything, and yes, I know the Bible says “do not worry” 365 times. But when I go into panic, I have no control over that. I make myself physically sick and life seems completely and utterly overwhelming.

Now all that sounds really negative and not at all like something I’ve learned this semester. But God has been right here leading and guiding me through. Even though I can’t always feel His presence. He keeps reminding me through His words and promises that His grace is still more than sufficient, He has a hold of me and is never letting me go, and although Satan wants me to be afraid, I am no longer a slave to fear. He has called me by name and I am His. I am His child, and nothing can ever change that. He wants me and loves me just as I am, anxiety and all. And that is something worth rejoicing and celebrating about.

5. Don’t take all your classes on one day — Especially seven. Don’t do seven classes in one day. Because inevitably exams and group projects come up and you will be at school for 14 hours straight. I won’t make that mistake again.

6. You’re not a failure — In a way, these next three all flow together. I have always been a perfectionist and put way to much pressure on myself. But I finally had to realize that I’m not a failure by Christ’s standards. I can’t make everyone happy. Not my friends or family or professors or even myself — and that’s not the goal. The goal is to pursue Christ with everything I’ve got and let that be enough. And when I do that, “failing” is irrelevant.

7. Push yourself, but give some grace too — I had to realize this semester that I couldn’t push myself in absolutely every area or I was going to crash. I pushed myself to take a lot of classes, so I had to realize I couldn’t beat myself up if I couldn’t keep a 4.0. There’s balance in life. I worked incredibly hard and studied for all my exams, but some nights I just needed to read and eat ice cream and forget about it all for a few hours. You won’t survive without the grace, so don’t feel guilty for it.

8. To say no! — Yes, that extra Bible Study on Thursday nights would be great. Yes, going to the grocery store every single week would help my family out a lot. Yes, I would love to be able to take my siblings to McDonald’s and the library all the time. My two best friends are captains of their soccer and basketball teams and I would love to be at all of their games. But I can’t do everything. Even all the good things. Even all the things I want to do. So sometimes I have to step back and say no to things, even good things, so that I can say yes to the things that are really most important.

9. Group projects aren’t pretty – -True story. I have a group project due on Monday for a group that has seven people in it. We had our first meeting three weeks ago and four people showed up. The next three still haven’t ever done their parts. Some people don’t care, some people never text back, and that’s going to have to be okay. You aren’t responsible for all of them, just do your best and let it go:)

10. God has already won — In a song by my favorite band, Anthem Lights, they sing Our King has won the war, He reigns forevermore, Hallelujah Hallelujah

The lyrics are simple but so true. God has displayed that truth in my life over and over this semester. When I struggled with health issues, He reminded me that He was the ultimate healer and His ways are so much higher than my own (Isaiah 55:9). When I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks, He reminded me that He was my peace and He was never ever leaving me (Isaiah 26:3). When Satan threatened to attack, when I ran out of time to study for my math exam, when everything around me tried to knock me down… God had already won. He is so much bigger than anything I faced this semester and then anything I will ever face. He speaks victory over me, and I get to live in that victory every day for the rest of my life.


Wow, as much as I wanted to share all of this with you guys, it also reminds me of how faithful my God is and makes me realize how much He has brought me through and taught me over these past four months. I can’t wait to take on whatever He has next, however crazy, I know that His grace will be more than sufficient for all of it.

Taryn

Adventure Is Out There!

“Adventure is out there!”

Pixar’s Up is one of the most emotional children’s movies I have ever seen. But this line never came across as one of the heavier parts until I was thinking through this blog post this week. First off, I am stubbornly and adamantly against change, or at least, I used to be. I like plans and order and consistency, but life with Jesus is an adventure, and when I stopped fighting it so much, I started learning to love the adventure, even when I can’t see the road ahead.

up-blog

My best friend embodies an adventurous spirit, and travel excites her like nothing else. I have always been hesitant to try anything new and instead have been perfectly content staying right here at home. It’s taken years of prodding for her to convince me that some trips might be fun… and may even be convincing me to travel out of the country! But regardless of how much I do or don’t travel in my life, I have plenty of adventures to experience right here and I don’t want to be afraid of them or take them for granted anymore. She hasn’t taught me to love travel as much as to be ready for any and every adventure that life has in story, scary or not. 

Five weeks ago, I started my first semester of college classes, and I absolutely love them so far! The immersion into new ideas and experiences sparks passion inside of me. I have a burning desire to learn and absorb information — and I am getting excited about things that I never would have imagined enjoying . My favorite two classes are Government and Business Law and reading old court cases can now intrigue me for hours! All of these new classes and opportunities have made the past month of my life an adventure to say the least, and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything! I was scared of it a month ago, the large campus with tens of thousands of people seemed daunting, but I’ve enjoyed it so much!

When I look forward, adventure scares me to death, but looking back, I can’t pinpoint a bad adventure, only good ones. I don’t regret the risks I’ve taken, the new things I’ve tried, the passions I’ve pursued, they’ve been some of the best and most monumental parts of my life… and they have made me who I am today.

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God didn’t call us to a life of comfort filled with what is expected or usual. The disciples are described as immediately leaving everything to follow Jesus. Leaving their families, their jobs, their livelihoods… To take on the adventure of a lifetime. They didn’t know where they were going, they certainly didn’t know the whirlwind that would be their next three years, but they said yes to the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Can you imagine saying no to that? It might not have seemed like a big deal to stick with being a fisherman rather than following a carpenter you had never met. But can you imagine looking back three years later at what you had missed? I wouldn’t ever want to look back and regret missing an adventure with Jesus. He’s brought me safe this far, and I know that His faithfulness is never going cease. 

So honestly, I can’t rightfully say that I don’t like adventure. Does it scare me? Absolutely! But is it worth it? Every time. I have one life on this earth to live for Jesus, so I want to take advantage of every opportunity that He places in front of me and embrace all of the adventure that is out there!

— Taryn

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