breathing in the now.

None of us will be here forever. I don’t mean that in a metaphorical one day we’ll die sort of way. I mean it literally. I won’t be 22, nannying full-time, living in Colorado, and just out of college forever. That becomes more obvious as I continue to creep toward my 23rd birthday. Amber, Janae, Ruth, Ashlea, Grant, Zach, Nae, etc, won’t be here forever. I have a habit of looking toward the next thing, and if I’m not careful, I will miss this—this sweet time of friends, fellowship, love and learning.

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It’s so easy to want something that you can see in the future (whether it is distant or near). But we (and by we, I mean I) have to breathe in this time—these moments. We have to take each moment we’re given and not wish it away for something yet to come. God puts us places for a reason. We go through seasons, and they’re not all “fun,” but that’s not always the purpose of them.

I wish I could put into words how much I love this season and how realizing this has made me long for things to stay the same. But you know something, when things don’t change we don’t change, and if we don’t change, that means we aren’t growing, and it’s very likely that that means we are not walking with the Lord.

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So even though we are to build for the future, and eternity, we need to cherish and grow and breathe in the now. Because if we don’t, we will miss moments, relationships, chances, etc, and even more importantly, we will miss the journey God has us on and the testimony He is glorified through.

And even though things can’t stay this way, God keeps showing me that there will be light and hope in every season through Him.

Every time Baby-E gets bigger, he also learns something new, and he blows my mind, melting my heart with the wriggle of his eyebrows or a crooked little grin. How amazing to see the promise of God in that sweet little face! Or when He brings a friend into your life who you’ve only known through letters, and then suddenly here she is in person…

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Babies grow so fast, visits with friends are brief; time is so fleeting. But God is so cool, because He reminds you that no matter the season, good or bad—one you want to last forever or not—there is more to come that can only be brought to fruition in the continued forward movement of each day and each moment—through living life—walking the path He has laid before you—and breathing in your now.

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Leaving

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.