From Day One to Senior Year

Hi again! I hope everyone has been enjoying the beautiful fall weather as much as I have. As promised, in this post I’ll talk a little bit more about me.

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Just some quick fun facts to get us started. I will be graduating in April from Grand Valley State University with my bachelor’s of science in exercise science. I have a passion for health, fitness and nutrition. They’re fun topics for me. With that, preventative health is kind of my niche. I love to read, be outside, drink smoothies or coffee, run, lift weights, explore new places, and bake. I’m a breakfast food fanatic. Fall is hands down my favorite season, cliche or not. Sundays feels are something I crave. Family is SO important to me. I have a younger sister and younger brother and older stepsister and older stepbrother. I live with my brother and two other roommates (living with a sibling after high school=best decision ever). I have a wonderful boyfriend and puppy who fill my earthly heart with joy.

I grew up in a Christian home, primarily with my mama who loved the Lord. I cannot thank her enough for providing the Christian foundation that has stayed close to my heart through the good and the bad, through the rough seasons and through the happy ones, and through the times I was distant with God and through the times where he’s been my best friend. Without that foundation, I would not what so ever be in the position I am in today. So, thanks to my wonderful family for that.

I grew up in a divorced home. I don’t think that’s easy for any kid to go through regardless of how “well” the divorce might have went. I think all in all kids do struggle with it in their own ways, whether their parents can always see it or not. I was young and the oldest of three, so it was time for big sister to really be big sister. Don’t get me wrong, I always grew up in church and had wonderful support systems and my parents both loved me and my siblings to pieces; however, I think divorce steals a little bit of your heart. It naturally wounds and causes confusion. It’s a traumatic event, in my opinion, for anyone and everyone involved. It set the pace for my rocky teenage years.

From then until my first year of college, I was lost. I had morals that had been instilled in me from day 1 that I held close, but the desires to belong somewhere in school, fit in, act and a be a certain way according to society were difficult to fight through. I talked a way I wasn’t raised to. I acted certain ways to “be cool”. I was constantly on the look out to impress people. And the most interesting part about it all was deep down I was ashamed of who I was. Those morals I had been taught convicted me because I knew I wasn’t acting or being who I wanted to be. I was living for society, not for Jesus.

It wasn’t until my first year of college where I really actively thought about where I needed change. I knew it was time for a reality check. I moved into an apartment by myself close to a community college pretty close to home. I wanted my freedom and I wanted it as soon as I could possibly get my hands around it. And sooner than later I found myself empty and emotionally struggling in an apartment alone, with only one voice listening. It was a long year of personal growth that was MUCH needed and I am so thankful for. God uses the times where we feel broken to draw us closer to Him… his plan all along.

Little by little, He has been pulling me closer. I transferred to a university the following year and my faith was tested once again. All alone in a brand new place with roommates I didn’t know and not really any idea what I was really going to college for. And in that moment of trusting Him to bring the right people into my life, in walked my wonderful gift of a man who was exactly what I needed (and two years later we’re going strong).

Now, I am a senior in college and I cannot believe where the time has gone. I look back and see how much I’ve grown as a person and in my faith and I’m reminded that the journey has just begun. The BEST part is reflecting on the work God has done in my life to put me where I am at today. He has placed the most important people in my life at the perfect times. He has molded my career journey and has constantly had to remind me to trust His plan. He has NEVER left my side. Seriously. As much as I don’t always feel His presence, it is so obvious through how my life has fallen into place that He has been right there the whole time. He has filled my life with overwhelming joy (when I choose to allow that joy into my heart).

In a nutshell, that’s my journey so far. And let me be the first to tell you, it is far from perfect. I have bawled my eyes out in confusion, went through lower seasons, and have questioned many things. I’m still learning how to trust God with every aspect of my life to avoid some of the worldly anxiety I experience. On the flip side, I’ve laughed my stomach out, I’ve found happiness in the small moments, and I’ve smiled at little things God shows me from day to day. Life is a road trip.

If you take anything away from this post, let it be that God is with you through every season. I have had (and still do have) so many times in my life where I felt alone and like I was doing this life by myself. But, the problem was I wasn’t taking the time to really see Him. I wasn’t slowing things down to notice that beautiful sunset He made or that sermon that spoke directly to me but I was too busy looking through the bulletin. He is always there and looking back from the day I got baptized when I was seven until now, He has never left my side. Everything has happened exactly the way He intended. He’s with you through every moment, sometimes you just have to look a little harder. He’s got you. He’s your eternal best friend, don’t forget that.

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Dear God,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a brief history of my past in hopes that someone else will relate to it. I pray that this post reaches out to whoever you intended and they draw closer to you. I pray that you continue to reveal yourself to us and remind us that you’re walking through this life journey with us. We don’t have to do it alone. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Much love,

Amanda

Published by

Amanda Filkins

I grew up in a small country town in East Michigan. I moved to West Michigan to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science and I am currently working towards my Master's Degree in Public Health. I have a passion for fitness, nutrition, and overall preventative health. I love the Lord and do my best to live for Him daily. I don't know where I'm heading or what my future holds, but that's what God's for, right?

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