The leaves on the trees are slowly turning reddish-orange hues; the crisp smell of fall is sensed in full force throughout campus. We're starting to face the reality that assignments pile up and papers need to be written… eventually. It's that time of the year.
The reality is that university is full of obligations. You need to do your schoolwork, attend that extracurricular you signed up for, eat right and exercise (a little), spend time with your dorm or your friends, and rush off to that job you got on campus. The reality is that life doesn't really stop, does it? And it's getting to be that time of the year when we start to feel that a bit, don't we?
Whoever you are, this is just your little reminder that you are loved. And you aren't just loved because you did well on that midterm, or because you’ve been keeping on top of your readings. You're not loved because you went down to Deedz a couple of times this semester, or just because you are loved by the people here. None of those things really add or take away from your lovableness.
You were loved before you got here. You were loved before you did anything right. You were loved before you did anything wrong, and you're still just as loved after. You're loved even though your peers spread a little gossip about you, and you're loved even though you slept through your morning class the other day. You're loved by the King, and He's steady, even when you're not.
Your value isn't in what you do (or don't do) at all. Your worth isn't in your studies, your friendships, or in your impressively long list of extracurriculars. Taking on that “other thing” isn't going to add value to your character. You know this already. Your value is in who are you are, and guess what? The Lord knows who you are. You are His. You are Beloved. Nothing will change that; therefore nothing will ever change your value. Find rest in that.
So try to be like Him: love yourself. Spend time getting to know you. Ask the hard questions about your character. Ask what your limits are and be honest with yourself as you answer. Take long walks through the orchard and pray out loud. Take a load off. Sip a little tea and unwind before bed sometimes instead of cramming for that test. Listen to the Lord whispering in your ear through the mess of your worries, to-do lists, and the clutter of your life: “Shhh. It's okay, my child. I'm here. It's okay.”