Time and the change it brings

Recently there has been a post on my Facebook newsfeed that keeps reappear as those involved keep commenting and discussing the topic. The theme? Time and time in relation to God.

This led me to think about how time has played a part in my life. How things change as time progresses. How as time goes on there is a development that occurs as a result of new experiences. I looked back upon the only other blog post on this blog, one which was written December 26, 2013. One that was written during the Christmas holidays of my first year of LST. It was a reflection on my first term of LST in regards to life away from home. A new experience at the time.

Recently, while reflecting upon time, I’ve been thinking about the common phrase ‘absence makes the heart fonder’. A phrase that is used by many people for many different things – used to describe anything from people to places. Initially, this was something that definitely rang true for me in my life. While I was away from home, I longed in greater depth for at home. Absence from really did make my heart fonder for home. However, I’ve since spent a lot more time away from home. In fact, since starting LST I’ve spent more time away from home than I have at home. The feeling and fondness that was once growing for home while I was absent seems to have gone. As time has progressed, as I and things in my life have changed and developed, the saying ‘absence makes the heart fonder’ appears to be, in my case, a hopeful thought rather than a truth.

I find myself at home again. The summer of my second year. Preparing for my third and final year at LST and I notice this – the period of absence that I have now experienced from home did initially make my heart fonder for home, I appear to have now progressed from this. The absence has now made me realise something – the place that I once called home is now home in the regard that it is where I live. It is, however, no longer the place in which my heart calls home. The affect of time has been that I have reconcidered my surroundings and where my life is going – time has changed me and has led to the realisation that it’s soon time to move on.

A development that has come about as a result of my character and life being influenced and developed in my time away. A development and a change that I strongly believe has been influenced by God’s formation of my character.

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Life Away From Home

Life away from home is something that most people will struggle with, or maybe more likely, a struggle that occurs the first or longest time that a person lives away from home. As a student living away from home the issue can be made worse in the fact that you are only away from home for 2-3 months at a time before returning for a month break. This can affect your ability to actual settle in the place that you have been living in. It is easier however, in this time at home to reflect on everything that has happened in my first term at LST.

For me however, this was probably not what I experienced. Life at LST was proving to be different from what I was anticipating. It would be untrue to say that initially it was challenging to be away from home for a period of time. This being made worse in my mind by the fact I was moving to a campus with several other students that I had never met before. It took time to adjust. It took time to settle in. The strange thing for me was that it came to the point where I was comfortable and settled in my term-time accommodation; to the point where I was torn about whether I wanted to leave for a break. Part of this was due to the comfort of surroundings and the incredible people that I have met and now grown to know and part of it was the knowledge that this process is inevitably going to repeat in January when I return to campus; a comfort is taken in the fact that I now know those people that I will be rejoining.

Something that makes it a little bit easier to cope with, for me at least, is the fact that I know that I am studying at LST for a purpose. What exactly is that purpose? The fact that I believe this is where God is calling me to study Theology. It goes beyond just this, it comes from the fact that I believe that this is to equip me for the thing that God has called me to do; the purpose for which I was made. My purpose for studying at LST is to gain a deeper understand of the God that I serve and that I will live my life in service to; the God that I believe has called me to ministry. This is the reason that I study at LST.

The thing about my life since becoming a Christian in the summer of 2010 is that it has pretty much revolved around serving or ,in the case of my gap year, working full time at Church. This church is the church that I call my home church. It is the place that I gave my life to the wonderful God that I serve, the God that sacrificed His only Son (John 3:16) for the redemption of the sins of the world; the world that turned from Him. This is the thing that has been the hardest thing about being away from home for me. The fact that I have not been around or able to go to the church that has been my life, the church that I began to serve and life my life for God in; the place that is, for me at least, the beginning of my ministry. If I was to be completely honest, as much as I would love to say it is the ministry that I was involved in that I am sad to leave behind, the thing that I miss most is the people. The friends that are like family to me, the ones that I worked with, but more importantly the people that I never thought would be my closest friends; those that I can confide in and are there for me in crisis (both of life and of faith!). Thankfully, I have found people that I am now living on campus with that are there for me and have made it easier to adjust to this change!