In just three days I leave. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m expectant, I’m confident, I’m terrified, and I’m ready.
The getting there will be the hard part–not the flight–but the anticipation: the time between last Friday and this coming Friday, when I say goodbye to my family and my friends, and I finally meet my new roommates and classmates, the staff–the family I will be doing life with over the next two months. The day is almost here, and I know this is where I’m supposed to be going.
A year and a half ago when I first wanted to do this, it was an escape. An escape from home–the fear that maybe things were falling apart–an escape from Miami–because I really never felt “happy” there. An escape from friendships that seemed to be disintegrating before me, friendships that were physically and emotionally making me sick. An escape from the mundane things of every day life.
But, what I have learned is that obedience, even in the mundane, is world changing. And even though I’ve been fighting the Lord about where He’s positioned me these last 3-4 years, I chose obedience, trying to trust His plan. And in this season, He’s taught and loved me so much. He showed me how to be present in the place He wanted me, and showed me what I could do to be a reflection of His light, right here. And in this, He began revealing things about Himself to me.
God has filled me with love, and in His love for me, He was able to heal me, my relationships, my heart.
A year ago, a year and a half ago, even five months ago… I wondered if some of my relationships would ever be fully healed. But God did it. I was so hurt, and could not see how I would ever be able to forgive. But He showed me. He taught me grace in extreme circumstances, in hurt and pain, not just when it was easy (like being graceful has been for most of my life). He showed me how to love even when it was hard. He filled me with joy.
So many things have changed in the last four years–my family, my friendships, my relationship with the Lord, my hair color, the things I spend my time doing, my appetite, etc…deep and shallow things.
Four years ago I loved a boy. I would do almost anything for that boy. But even through all the pain of that relationship, God taught me about caring for someone in a selfless way, but also where the line is between that and being someone who gets walked all over and taken advantage of. And in His healing after that relationship, He taught me to forgive–others and myself. In that time, I never thought I’d be whole again; but God did it. He will always do it if we ask Him.
The past four years have been painful–but growth usually is. I’ve had to grow up so much–necessary growing up though. In all of the pain–whether from boy or family, from soccer or friends–through all of it, God loved me and because of His love, I was allowed to love Him. Even when I fought Him and cried and told Him I didn’t like it, that I wanted Him to put me somewhere else because I couldn’t handle it, that I wanted Him to help me escape, He held me, continued to love me, reminded me of His healing, His mercy, His grace and faithfulness, His promises; then He set me back on my feet, and told me that in my weakness, I am stronger, because I rely on Him, and He is stronger than everything and anything.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV).
He never left me or forsook me. He was here–every moment. And now, as I’m about to leave on this trip that I fought Him to let me escape on a year and a half ago, His blessing is on it; He is going with me. He knew the timing wasn’t right before. He saw the big picture that I could not. But now it’s right. It’s time, and I’m leaving home; not to escape this time, but to grow and continue on the path He has set before me.
I’m so thankful for His patient pursuit and loving correction. I’m so blessed by my Maker and Heavenly Father. His grace is sufficient; His healing all-encompassing; His Truth revealing and unchanging.