Boston University: Agápē (#3)

Currently listening to: I Am not Alone, Kari Jobe

Something that no one tells you about college is that it’s lonely. Of course, I think that it depends on where you go, so I’ll rephrase that. Something that no one tells you about going far away to school is that it’s lonely. Aside from being in a city, colleges, no matter what size, feel enormous. There’s no familiar structure of home, and that’s the thing that you really miss: the familiar. 

The familiar is not just faces. The familiar is a place. Anywhere can become familiar, because how we construct the familiar is purely psychological, I think. We associate things and people and places with a closeness in our hearts, which is why the familiar becomes such, and uprooting ourselves leaves us feeling small and a stranger.

I’ve been craving the familiar for a while now. Friends aren’t made as quickly as you’d expect, and you don’t adjust to new environments as quickly and as easily as you think you will. Personally, I thought that adjustment would take a week. Maybe three. I didn’t expect to find myself still adjusting, still trying to make more friends, still trying to find where I belong.

Because adjustment has taken an unexpectedly long period of time (and is still an ongoing process), I’ve been feeling very alone. Sometimes it’s literal, because my roommate/quickly becoming good-friend sometimes goes home on the weekends, and during the week our schedules don’t line up, and the other small handful of friends I’ve made aren’t around, because school is work. Other times it’s purely mental loneliness. The social walls I had constructed at home cease to exist 3,000 miles from home, and I feel small and alone in the very big and rapidly approaching adult world. I feel a certain pressure to do something or be someone. I feel lost and uncertain as to what direction I’m supposed to be walking. The journey is very isolating.

Although I’m not happy to report this, I’ve been a very big doubter these past couple months in the goodness and perfectness of God’s plan. I’ve been struggling (and am still struggling) to see it and to trust that He has something good for me. I’ve been wrapped up in trying to get myself places, when really I should have been trusting that I will end up where I need to be. I should have just reached for things and trusted that He would bring the right one, open the right door. But I didn’t, which is when the loneliness engulfed me. I’m surprised that I’ve cried so much since I’ve  gotten here.

However, through coffee dates with some inspiring, caring, and beautiful people, the world is starting to feel less lonely and more familiar. And through Kari Jobe’s song, I have slowly accepted the fact that no, I am never alone.

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I’d like to take a minute to explain why the series Facing Fear, Trusting God is now called Agápē.

At CRU’s fall retreat the speaker talked about love, specifically two: philía and agápē.
He told me something that I’d never heard of before.
When Jesus asks Peter if Peter loves Jesus, Jesus says, “Do you love me?” with the word “love” being agápē. Peter answers, “I love you,” with the word love being philía.
Jesus asks again if Peter loves him, again with agápē, and again peter answers with philía.
The last time, Jesus asks if Peter loves him, philía. 
Jesus meets you where you’re at, but he wants you to love him, agápē.
So over the weekend, I decided that I want to be able to say, “I love you Jesus.” agápē.
I don’t know how long it will take me to go from philía to agápē, but I know that it will happen in good timing.

agápē: love: the highest form of love, especially brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.
philía: affectionate regard, friendship, usually between equals.

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