Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a journal entry: leaving

May 31, 2011

In just 3 days I leave. I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm expectant, I'm confident, I'm terrified, 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 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 "comfortable" 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." Pastor John said that in a sermon a while ago. And even though I fought God in the beginning, about where He's positioned me these last 3ish-4 years, I chose to obey Him because I trusted His plan, even if I wasn't too thrilled momentarily. He showed me how to take hold of what He was calling me to for the time being, 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. Two of the gifts God has given me are compassion and grace/mercy. But there have been times when I have felt so broken and hurt that those gifts have been hidden. Without the Lord, I would not have the gifts in the first place, but furthermore, I would not have experienced such incredible healing and grace and restoration from Him. He has formed me. He has blessed me and designed me. He has cultivated the gifts He gave to me. 

A year ago, a year & a half ago, 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 God showed me. He taught me grace in extreme circumstances, in hurt and pain, not just when it was easy (like it had 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 God, 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 a pushover and getting walked all over. And in His healing after that relationship, God taught me to forgive--others and myself. In that time, I never thought I'd be whole again; but God did it.

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 I loved Him, and 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 God 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. 

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