"The Word of the Lord came to me: I chose you before I formed you; I set you apart before you were born… But I protested, “Oh no, Lord! Look, I don’t know how to speak since I am only a youth. Then the Lord said to me: Do not say ‘I am only a youth’ for you will go to everyone I sent you to and speak whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to rescue you. This is is the Lord’s declaration. Then the Lord reached out His hand, touched my mouth, and told me: I have filled your mouth with my words. See, I have appointed you today…to build & plant." -Jeremiah 1:6-10

Chosen. Set apart. Called. Reached. Known. Filled. Appointed. Cultivated.

Hey college gal – this Winnefred Writes is for you. It’s crazy to be walking into my last year of college, and lemme tell ya – it’s flying by! There have been exciting opportunities, immense joy, mysterious sickness, and fear of the unknown all wrapped up in one semester. In the midst of it all, God is ever faithful.

I came across the verse above in Jeremiah recently in the midst of a busy week with lots of weights on my mind. (Can you relate?) Somehow God knows the words we need to hear and whispers them with hope and peace. I wanted to share with you – no matter what stage of college you’re in today.

In this passage, God is calling Jeremiah to action, but Jeremiah’s instinct response is to RUN – as we see with other Biblical figures from Jonah to Gideon and many in between. This verse reminds me to draw close to God even when I can’t see the full picture. Here are some of the things He has been teaching me during these college days.

  1. God chose you and set you apart before you were born – Take that in for a minute. He saw you before you took your first breath. Gives me goosebumps every time!
  2. You are created with calling and purpose – both in living a life for the Lord and in how you each uniquely live it out. How can you live it out? Through your work! God works through you, too.
  3. Every day is a gift. Take care of yourself. It sounds like common sense but seriously listen to your body–if you are feeling sick don’t ignore it…I can testify. Move a lot, sleep a lot, and make sure you’re eating your bananas.
  4. Meet others where they are. Bob Goff says to treat people like you’re meeting Jesus. I like that. It goes beyond the golden rule–it changes the way we meet others and do friendship.
  5. Stand up. Stand up for your friends and stand up for yourself. Don’t let people bring you down and definitely don’t let them say who you are. God does that.
  6. Look up. My goodness girl – I need to hear this truth daily. Comparison is the thief of joy. I jam out in my car to Lauren Daigle’s song, Look up Child. We all need a little more looking up and a lot less looking around, amen?
  7. Seek grace over perfection; patience over instant answers. Someone told me that patience is a sacred pace. It takes all the grace and surrendering perfection, but the process is equally as beautiful as the outcome.

I was learning more about this passage from Jeremiah and found a quote from Eugene Peterson –

"My identity does not begin when I begin to understand myself. There is something previous to what I think about myself, and it is what God thinks of me. That means that everything I think and feel is by nature a response, and the one to whom I respond is God. I never speak the first word. I never make the first move. Jeremiah’s life didn’t start with Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s salvation didn’t start with Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s truth didn’t start with Jeremiah. He entered the world in which the essential parts of his existence were already ancient history. So do we."

I would love to encourage you to listen to Lauren Daigle’s new album, Look Up Child. Listen to the songs “You Say,” “Look up Child,” and “Rescue.” Then I hope you’ll see. Most every song speaks to these verses from Jeremiah – it speaks so much truth into where we are right now! It’s my car jam on repeat.

You are loved. You are worthy. You have purpose. Now go get ’em girl!

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