I GRADUATE IN 6 DAYS Y’ALL!! 6. LESS THAN 7, BUT MORE THEN 5. SIX.
While I’m pretty pumped to be done with my undergraduate schooling, I can’t say that the feelings I have are not bittersweet. I can talk about those in another blog post, though. This post centers heavily around the past 3 weeks, but mostly a question I was asked last night.
Let me set the scene: *cue lights* Saturday night. College town. I’m watching a comedy with my roommate in our apartment. In the middle of hysterical laughter my phone goes off….
Fast forward: Two of my friends come pick me up and we embark on our journey to the parkway. It’s a pretty clear night, so stargazing was going to be prime! (Spoiler: it actually wasn’t that great because the moon was so dang bright–it was the only thing we could see). Anyway, we hiked to one of my favorite lookouts: Rough Ridge. We fought our way through bushes and brambles, briars and brush until we found ourselves sitting on top of a rock that overlooked hills upon hills. We could see the outline of our town framing the space between the earth and sky. (Poetic, I know. Boone will do that to ya 😛 ).
Most of the time on the rock was spent joking around, per usual when hanging out with these two friends, but then the joking was interrupted by a question. “Jayna, what’s your advice for us?” he said. “What do you mean? In general or for your last two years of college?” I asked back (these friends are younger than me, by the way). He responded, “For our last two years…What advice do you have?” I thought for a moment, and truthfully I couldn’t really think of anything. Put on the spot, I figured that I should say something really wise and intelligent that would make me seem like I had a handle on this whole life thing. I knew I didn’t need to impress either of them, but there was still a part of me that wanted to. I thought and I thought, and I couldn’t really think of anything that I wanted to say. So I gave a decent answer, but even after I finished speaking I wasn’t satisfied.
The night carried on and we parted ways. I went to sleep thinking about what I had said. I thought, Jayna, you’ve GOT to have something better than that. Well, at church this morning the Lord reminded me of something:
“There’s no fear in love.” -1 John 4:18
And then I thought of dandelions. I’ve actually been thinking about them a lot recently. I personally like to think of them as grass freckles. They add character to the green. I know they’re weeds, but they’re not ugly. Considering all the different types of weeds out there, I’d say that dandelions are some of the best in the bunch. I think I like dandelions so much because in a way, they’re fearless. When they’re in their wishing form, they’re extremely fragile. Dandies are so easily blown by the wind, children that want a puppy, or college kids that want to pretend they’re 5 again. But you see, even though these “weeds” are so easily moved, they’re not so easily broken. They find fertile ground and blossom into those pesky yet pretty little yellow spots we all know so well. They don’t quit. They’re persistent little things. It’s almost like they love being in the grass so much that they’ll do whatever it takes to get there. While they’re blown around, stepped on and plucked, the dandelion persistently loves and becomes stronger eventually freckling yards upon yards of wide open, grassy fields.
I’ve been kind of selfish over the past 3 weeks. In a lot of ways. Sometimes that happens, ya know? You just slip into modes of narcissism… But regardless of my flaws, I was made to love and for love. I was made to love without fear because perfect Love casts that away. Dandelions do exactly what they were designed to do, and in that way we (the dandelion and I) should be the same.
So I’ve changed my answer, friends. My advice for you is to love fearlessly. To live out your identity as a child of God. To find fertile ground when you’re blown by the winds of life. To bloom and add character and beauty to the lives of others. But above all, to never ever forget the amazing love of our Father.
[Jesus, thank You for dandelions and for how You used them to remind me that I was made to love without fear. Help me not only to remember that, but to walk in that daily.]