First of all, shout out to Jared for giving me this opportunity! You’ve done a great with these posts and I’m glad I get to carry the torch for a day.
Looking back on my college experience, it is not a stretch to say that it has been a wild ride. But it has not been hard to see the places where God has blessed me! For this post, I want to talk about one of those blessing that has been consistent in my four years at Lipscomb: my wonderful friends!
First, let’s talk about the OG squad from freshman year: Austin, Jared, and Chase. I was roommates with Austin freshman year, and quickly got close to Jared and Chase because of him. When I think of the impact these guys have on my life, two verses come to my mind:
Proverbs 18:24 – “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Proverbs 13:20 – “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.”
These guys have been for me through all the good, bad, and ugly. There a few times freshman and sophomore year when I did/said some dumb stuff. Thankfully, these guys kept me straight and called me out when they noticed this happening. They did it in a loving way, but they still let me know that I am better than how I was acting. It was hard in the moment to not be resentful toward them, but I would not have matured had I not listened to what they said.
Because of these guys, I urge you to find some real friends, not just people that will just tell you whatever you want to hear. We cannot just stop growing in life, and true friends like these will help you to continue growing in the right direction.
Now let’s talk about the LU XC/TF team. These people are my second family. Now, this family has changed in so many ways as the years have gone by, but my love for them has not changed. When I think of this team, another verse comes to mind:
2 Corinthians 12:9 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
I believe there are few other places to learn what true strength and weakness looks like when you’re out training and running races with your team. But in moments of both strength and weakness, this family has rallied around me. A perfect example of this came over the weekend. We had a meet at Georgia Tech, and I was excited for this meet because it had gone really well for me the last time I was there. Unfortunately, I had one of the worst races of my season. All I could do was hang my head and feel like crying. Despite my distraught demeanor, one by one different people on the team came up to me. They would give me some encouraging motivation, talk through my thoughts with me, or simply give me a quick hug. It could have been so easy for them to just leave me alone and not say anything. But they are a team that cares even in the hard times.
Because of this group, I urge you to find people in your life that you can be vulnerable with! As a guy, this is something that I struggle with, but every time I can be vulnerable with my friends, God finds another way to show Himself to me.
If I didn’t shout you out this post and you’re a friend of mine, know that this was not done to hurt you. This post would have been so long that people would have fallen asleep (if you haven’t already). But if I could sum this post up in three things, remember these:
- Count your blessings (they are everywhere!)
- Find friends who will call you to be better
- Find friends who you can be vulnerable with
Oh, and you are always loved, don’t forget that either!