I think that we can’t fully appreciate grace until we are in a position where we desperately need it. If I’m a perfect man, then I will never know what it means to need forgiveness in order to reconcile a relationship. But if I am a flawed man, I will be incredibly thankful for a friend who chooses to extend forgiveness to me.
The summer leading up to my third year at UCI was full of confusion and uncertainty. UCI, had given me grace and decided to allow me stay in the school as a whole, but they had taken steps to eject me from the engineering program. The only way they were going to allow me to stay at UCI was if I took basic Micro and Macro-economics classes over the summer. I remember all of the summer courses at UCI being full, and the one set of classes offered at a community college to also be full. I remember panicking by myself in my room wondering if this was the end of my college career. If I didn’t get these two classes, I would not return that fall. I remember being so afraid of losing the community that I had become so attached to over the last two years, and I remember thinking that I had blown my one chance to succeed in life.
By the grace of God, the community college offered another set of classes that I was able to take over the summer. Already God was prefacing and foreshadowing the second half of my college career.
It felt like God already knew what I needed even before I knew myself. I was in a completely new major and He brought me friends that could support me and help me out, He deepened my friendship with my college pastor, and He provided me with awesome roommates.
The theme of that year was simply provision and grace. When I needed to find an off campus apartment, God provided me with not only a locationally excellent apartment, but also a roommate who would become one of my best friends. When I needed a friend in my economics classes, God gave me two. When I needed a job, God graciously gave me one that would set up my next job as well.
Up to this point I would have attributed better grades, friendships, and my circumstances mainly to chance with God having a little tagline maybe at the very end. But it was in returning from the devastation of my second year, that I realized that the divine hand of God was providing me with everything I needed.
It’s impossible to reflect on this year without being incredibly thankful.
Thanks Abe for reaching out to me, eating with me, and encouraging me.
Thanks Jeremy for choosing to invest in me not only as a roommate, but also as a friend.
Thanks Josh for inconveniencing yourself, leaving your home, and coming all the way up here just so that we could be roommates.
Thanks Charlene for being my first friend in economics.
Thanks Kim for making accounting that much more bearable.
Thanks Nobel for being my core. I’m sorry for not communicating with you better and for not investing more time into you. Thanks for being patient with me.
Thanks Gigi for conversing with me about life and God for hours and hours upon end.
Thanks Melissa for being the best neighbor anyone could ask for and love-bombing me all the time.
Thanks Christiana, Melissa, Lynette, Tiffani, and Karen for letting me come over to your apartment to de-stress. I’ll always think of y’all whenever someone mentions PLL.
Thanks Brandon for initiating hanging out and for geeking out about Star Wars together. I still haven’t found another friend that shares my same passion and knowledge for all things Star Wars.
Thanks Steven and Tim for coming out to my small group and participating in what was sometimes a very awkward experience.
Thanks Amy, David, and Stephanie for teaching me about sales.
Thanks Christine for being down to hang out and eat random meals with me.
Thanks Crystal for putting up with my ridiculous impressions of our professors and for laughing at my jokes regardless of how stupid they were.
Thanks David for giving our small group a place to be vulnerable at retreat.
Thanks Will for connecting with me. I’m sorry that I did such a terrible job of following through.
Thanks Celina for giving me a chance and for surviving long distance with me.
Thanks Ellen and Loyce for allowing me a chance to de-stress by vacuuming your apartment.
Thanks Robert and Brianna for writing back.
Thanks Mom, Dad, Mary, and Hannah for still believing in me.
It’s not like everything just magically fixed itself during the third year, yet something definitely changed that year. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, 75% percent of my college career came to a close.
Where did all the time go?