On Giving Up On My Dreams to Follow God’s

Dear LSU,

I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to feel as at home here as I do. When I applied, to be completely honest, I didn’t even know you were in Louisiana.

Then I moved out here, on what seemed like a whim, and my world changed. I found a school full of vibrant, crazy people, and for the first time I fit in. I feel completely comfortable here, so at home four hundred miles from my home. I began to love a school and a place more than I ever imagined possible and in a way I wasn’t expecting.

You gave me a place to grow as a person. I’ve become more open-minded as a person. I’ve become more responsible. I’ve grown up and I’ve grown closer to God. There’s no doubt in my mind that I ended up in Baton Rouge for a reason, that God wanted me to be here. But now I have to leave.

For months now I prayed for a sign about if I was supposed to stay here or go back home. A sign so obvious that even I couldn’t miss it. And Friday when I finally got it, I got mad. My sign has pointed me back home, in the exact opposite place of my dream. God’s dream for me doesn’t include me in Baton Rouge anymore, it includes me back in Macon. And now I’m sacrificing my dream to follow God’s dream for me. I know this dream will be better, and that there’s a reason I’m supposed to move home. I know He’s gonna use this to do great things for me or for other people. But it hurts right now. I’ve cried, I’ve had panic attacks, I’ve prayed, I’ve screamed.

I’m not just leaving LSU, though. It also means that I’m gonna move nine hours away from my forever friends after only getting to spend a few months with them. I’m going to move nine hours away from my sweet church family, the people that have surrounded me and accepted me and pushed me to grow closer to Jesus. The people that saw so much in me they put me on a leadership team. The people that made me so confident in my relationship with God that I’m getting baptized in two weeks.

It means when August rolls around, I won’t move in to my dorm room with one of my best friends. When September rolls around, I won’t be tailgating and spending Saturday in Death Valley. When October rolls around, I won’t be crying because of my 7:30 thermodynamics midterm. When November rolls around, I won’t make the trek back home to spend three short days with my family for Thanksgiving. When December rolls around, I won’t put a tiny Christmas tree up on my desk. In January I won’t come back for another semester, in February I won’t listen to the couples planning to go to Memorial Tower for tradition, in March I won’t die over midterms again, in April I won’t find internships in Louisiana, and in May I won’t get to say I’m half of an LSU engineer.

When graduation comes in three short years, I won’t take pictures with my best friend in matching outfits. I won’t take pictures with the giant Tiger Stadium sign behind me. I won’t take pictures in that coveted purple cap and gown.

And who knows? Maybe our paths will cross again one day. Maybe I’ll decide I need graduate school and I’ll come back for that. Maybe my kids will come here. Or maybe I’ll just have to accept that I’ll be a Tiger football fan for life and nothing more. Only God knows what’s in store for my future.

I’m trying not to cry because my dream is ending and my time here is winding down. I’m trying to stay positive because what’s coming has to be better for me. I’m trying to be happy about following God’s new path for my life. One day I won’t have to try, but for now I’ll just smile and eat donuts when I feel like crying. I’ll study for my finals, and when I drive off my last Sunday, I’ll smile and probably blast some music so I don’t cry while I see campus in my rear-view mirror.

So thanks, LSU, for all the great memories and learning opportunities. Thanks to all of the people who supported me, and thanks to all the people who made my freshman year here truly unforgettable. My heart will forever bleed purple and gold, even if I won’t be wearing it.

-Cam

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Good Days and Bad Days

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Oh man. Where to start.

The past month of my life has easily been one of the best and one of the worst months, simultaneously. I’ve been asked to be a part of a super cool group in my church, I went to a Mumford and Sons concert last minute and touched Marcus Mumford, I held a baby sloth (I almost started crying), and my family came all the way to Baton Rouge for Easter. Holla.

At the same time, I let myself stop reading my Bible as much, get caught up in the daily stress without turning to God, and this has led to me being consumed by my anxiety. I took a small step back but it has had crazy repercussions throughout my daily life.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. -James 4:8

I don’t know when I decided to push my relationship with God to an “optional, if I have time” place, but I realized that I did. Oops. I can feel it though. Whenever I am consistently reading the Bible and praying, my stress levels are lower than normal. I’m more prepared to take on my day and life. I enjoy the fun things I get to do more. I get less annoyed at stupid things. And when I stop reading and praying, I am far more stressed. I’m constantly running around, one step behind where I should be. My fun things are still fun, but they miss a little sparkle. I become way more irritable. Pretty simply, God’s presence in my life is much more clearer to me when I’m working on my relationship with Him.

So tonight, when I tuck in to another chapter of Esther and pray, I’ll be sure to thank God for all the cool things that have happened this month. There’s a lot to be thankful for, after all! I’ll also admit that I fell into a little puddle of sin, and ask for the willpower and strength to get out of it. Tomorrow, when I’m exhausted because it’s been a long week and I only want to sleep, I’ll sit down and read another chapter of Esther anyways. I’ve had my oops moment, but now it’s time to get up and keep rolling. The bad times are coming and I can’t keep trying to face them alone.

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Another picture of the precious little fur baby because I almost had a meltdown. Sloths are one of my favorite animals and it was a dream come true.