Bailey Meyne

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland. 

Isaiah 43:18-19

GOD IS DOING SOMETHING NEW! Pay attention to what God is doing right in front of you... he is giving you so many opportunities to experience His gifts! I understand why you were in your head for so long. I know that you want to figure everything out right now and try to understand why everything is changing around you. I want you to acknowledge that things are hard and to let people know you, but keep your eyes on what God is doing, not what is dragging yo down. God uses EVERYTHING for you good, so have hope that you are growing even if you do not feel it! Finally, this eating disorder will not last forever. Ask your friends to help you take your thoughts captive, don't be afraid to go to counseling, it really helps! Choose to remember that no body changes that happen freshman year will EVER determine your worth to God... so now ask God to help you view yourself with that same lens. There is hope, there is hope, there is hope! 

 

Megan McGarrah

When I was a Freshman, something that negatively impacted my faith and growth was spiritual comparison. I had gotten involved in awesome community and had a lot of great new friends that knew and loved the Lord. But as I engaged in genuine community, I found myself comparing my relationship with God to other people's. I wish that Freshman me had understood that God made me uniquely on purpose and because He made me uniquely, He desired to have a unique relationship with me. That it didn't have to look the same way as my friends' relationship with Him looked. That what He desired was to know me and have intimacy in our relationship - but that intimacy does not look one unique way. For example, the fact that I didn't hold my hands up when I worshipped did not mean that my worship was not genuine. I could stand and hold my hands together and still be worshipping just as passionately and genuinely. My relationship with the Lord was not meant to be measured by what I saw other people doing, it was meant to be measured by the intimacy I had with God. Understanding this unlocked a new freedom and depth in my relationship with God - because as I stopped looking around and started looking up, my relationship with God grew as I was interacting with Him in the way that He created me to: personally, uniquely and comparison-free.

 

Devon McCoy

I actually wrote a letter to myself my freshmen year. Here it is:

Hey Dev,

I know you've had a rough year so far. I know that giving up seems like the best option right now. You're homesick, heart broken, lonely and hopeless. You're day dreaming about leaving Athens and moving back home, back to Marietta, back to familiarity and comfort. 

But I want to tell you something - it gets better.

So take a deep breath and know that you're going to be ok. He has a plan for you. His will for your life is better. You can trust Him with everything - you don't have to be afraid anymore. So let go of your expectations; let go of the desire for control that you're gripping so tightly. Let go, and let Him start to guide your life. He is going to guide you into SO MUCH MORE because you are worth SO MUCH MORE than what you're currently living in. You are worth healthier, long-lasting friendships You are worth a boyfriend who will love and honor you. You are worth the love of the Father. You are His daughter and he will never let go of you. Take heart and hold on. It's worth it.