I wish being done with classes was more exciting, but sadly, we all can’t celebrate too much because finals are fast approaching. Lots of stress, but after we will celebrate!! This time next week I will still be taking finals, which is depressing, but I can honestly say that going into this, I am feeling very content. This semester has been great, but it has been a real learning experience. Honestly, at times I have struggled with that. It is not that I have been upset, but more confused. I put 110% into my friendships and when I came back to TCU second semester last year my goal was to form deep and meaningful friendships. I can tell you that I did that to an extent, but when I came back to TCU after the summer, things were different. I knew they would be, but I don’t think I was really prepared for that. There are a couple of different reasons why it was harder than expected:
1. After launching Southern and Thankful as a brand it became a bigger deal than I realized. I cannot tell you how many people know who I am, but I have no idea who they are. They say they follow me or they read my blog. It warms my heart to hear these things because that means that I am doing the exact thing I intended this site to do. To be God’s light. But I will tell you in doing this, I felt like I lost a little of Cade. People think they know me, but in reality they know the Southern and Thankful Cade. I realized that very few people know Cade Bethea for Cade Bethea. Very few people can see past Southern and Thankful. Y’all this was hard. I think people felt like they already knew me, but to me they did not. And because they already felt like they knew me, they didn’t need to take the time to get to know me because they already did know me. I struggled with this, but thankfully I am now content.
2. I was living in a different place, around different people, and my friends were no longer as convenient as they were freshman year. I was also living around a bunch of males, who I knew because we were brothers, but who I was not comfortable with. I have also always struggled with having guy friends. I think a HUGE part of that is because of some things that happened in those critical teenage years that makes me not really trust guys as my friends. I have guy friends, but I haven’t really ever had an actual guy best friend. It is sad for me and it is something I am determined to get out of my college experience. That is a whole other story and that is a huge part of my testimony that I would be happy to share at another time. Because I have never really relied on male friends I think that is why my relationship with God is so special.
So coming into this semester, things were different. They weren’t convenient, friends were really changing, I was surrounded by great guys that I did not feel I could be a part of, and worst of all I was putting on a happy face because I am Southern and Thankful. How could I ever be lost or confused, right? Thankfully, I prayed and leaned on God more than ever because it is what I do in times of uncertainty. It was hard at times, but I am thankful that I have someone like him that can always be there for me. If you don’t know him, I would be happy to help you. He is an amazing dude to get to know.
I wouldn’t say things are perfect because they are never going to be, but last week I had this moment of clarity. It was like God was literally saying,
“Cade, I know the gift you have at being a friend. I know that is important to you. I know you yearn for deeper, new friendships like you haven’t had before. I want that for you, too. But first, my son, you have to look deep inside and take care of yourself. I will work everything out in time, but right now I want you to be open to new things and new people. I know you are tired of doing that, but I promise something great is coming. I want you to love yourself and be happy with who you are. I want you to know that You are Southern and Thankful. Southern and Thankful is NOT you. You are doing my work. I am proud. I am thankful. I love you. Be content. Be happy in this moment. Don’t latch on to friendships that no longer need your full attention. Sometimes you have to live and let go. I promise you in the end you will look up and thank me.”
It may be hard for others to understand, but y’all I am so content for the first time this semester. It is the best feeling. AND the best part is that I am content in Him.Today I am overflowing with thanks.
Friends, if I can encourage you to do one thing ever in your life, I encourage you to get to know God. He takes you through the darkest places, but you come out on the other side a whole different person. Being content in Him is actually one of the best things in the world. I know you may have questions or you may be looking for a way to know more. No matter who you are or where you are, please reach out to me in any way, I would be overjoyed to help you know my God.
These things that I wrote above are very personal to me. Buytoday, as I was looking back on the semester, God put it on my heart to share. I hope I can encourage you and I hope you can see God’s light shining.
Thank you God for blessing me, teaching me, and allowing me to be content in You.
Southern and Thankful