Big Breaths and Baby Steps

By Becca Halberg

Waiting.  Wishing.  Hoping.

It can be a lonely business.  How does one continue when they feel alone, when they don’t feel like they belong anywhere?  When we find ourselves feeling this way, we often become afraid and lose hope.  In every stage of our lives, we can feel like we don’t belong. My entire first year of college has been a series of ups and downs, of “this is great!” to “why am I here?” and sometimes both in the same day. And I wonder, why? Why have I been called to this place of hard friendships, feeling like I don’t belong, not being able to find my place, feeling lost?

Lately, I’ve come to realize, that I will never feel like I belong, not on earth.  Because I was made for something incredibly better than anything this world could offer. And I’m longing for that.  I am always yearning for what I was made for.  Saint Augustine said it perfectly when he said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord.” How many times have I heard that, but I have never really experienced that restlessness and longing in my own life until now. And I realized that it can never be fully satisfied in this life.

C. S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that we were made for another world.” As hard as this is, it is comforting too, that we do have a place where we belong, and that is in Jesus’ arms. Jesus is waiting for us to recognize Him, right there. He is waiting.  He is “yelling to our deafness,” (St. Augustine), longing for us to come to Him and give our problems to Him.

Even though things haven’t been easy this first year of college, again and again I have been reminded that I cannot lose hope.  We have recently celebrated the great feast of Easter – the feast of hope. We have nothing to fear. We have a God who died so that we have the chance to spend eternity with Him. He loves us that much!  I can’t even wrap my head around it. I have to hand over my burdens to Jesus, trusting that He will “give me rest,” (Matthew 11:28) and satisfy my every desire.  When I try to handle it all myself, I always end up being crushed and running to Him because it’s too heavy for little me to carry it all. And He takes it, so willingly, and says, “I never wanted you to carry it anyway.  Just walk with me and give it all to me. Depend on me wholeheartedly. Trust.” And when I remember to give it all to Him, it’s amazing how the world looks a little brighter.

My lifeline this year at school has been my wavering trust in Jesus’ unfathomable mercy. I found that even when everything seems impossible, and I feel alone, and like I don’t belong, He’s still holding me, just waiting for me to turn it all over to Him again. And He will never let me go.  He loves each and every one of us into existence at every moment.