September 25, 2012

In A Moment

I wish I could tell you the moment that everything changed. 
The pivotal moment in my life when a million pieces fell into place and my world shifted.
Part of me thinks that it may have been the moment at Six Flags in 2010 when I accidentally enrolled myself into Southern Nazarene and the course of my college career changed.
Or maybe it was that moment in high school when I chose to graduate early, on that August afternoon I made a decision to work hard with vague dreams of doing an internship a year and a half later.
Maybe that pivotal moment was the day I came back from running, all sweaty and gross, and replied to a "Hey..." from a guy I didn't know, as I walked up my 2nd floor suite in Hills. I remember thinking after I said "hi" that, "I don't think I've ever talked to that guy before..."
Maybe I don't have just one pivotal moment. 
Maybe I have one hundred. 
Because somewhere in the course of the past 3 years especially, my life has taken so many unexpected directions.
I love looking back at them and seeing the surprises and the blessings of God's direction. 
If I had known that day at Six Flags that I was filling in an SNU application, I would have put it down and walked away...but God had a bigger picture. 
All I could see was the right then, right there. 
I didn't know that I would get an internship in Florida. 
I didn't know that my life would change dramatically and I would grow up in a hundred ways over the course of the next year. 
I didn't know just how much of a blessing coming to SNU would be for me. 
I didn't know that going to the library one ordinary night would completely change my life. 
I wish I could tell you the moment when everything changed...
but God has been changing my life in every moment of surrender, every moment of stubbornness, every moment of growth...
the "plans" that I have had have been replaced by things more tangible and more wonderful than any dreams that I have dreamed. 
Even in the struggles. 
Even in the fights. 
Even in the rough nights. 
There is a peace that passes all understanding when you are standing in the will of God. 
It's crazy. 
Absolutely crazy. 
But I am learning daily about the love. the patience, and the forgiveness of God. 
I wish I could tell you the exact moment when everything changed...
but it's so hard to limit God to one moment, when every moment in my life has been covered in the fingerprints of God.

September 18, 2012

Awakening To God's Voice

Four nights ago I was on the phone for an hour crying my eyes out.
Absolutely crying like I haven't cried in a long time. 
Wobbly voice, cannot breathe, heavy heart...crying.
I specifically said, "What am I even doing here?"

God answers, even when my questions aren't directed at Him.

God answers.

Friday afternoon I received an answer. Encouragement. Endurance.
And then tonight. Tonight, God showcased his faithfulness. 
There are circumstances, specific, hard, circumstances that shaped me into who I am today. 

So many words come to many images. 
Finding a home and then having that home ripped out from under me. 
Specific moments in my life.
Detailed moments.
Moments when my faith was more solidified than any other moments in my life.

There are lessons that I have learned that have shaped me tremendously, but I never ever thought about the way that they could benefit other people. 
My circumstances were unique, my trials exclusive.

At least...that's what I thought.

And God is faithful.
Faithfully good at shaking up my perception. 
How selfish of me to believe that my trials were exclusive. 
They were given to me for a purpose, a purpose beyond myself.
My trials, even the old ones, the ones that are years old, are often placed in my life for reasons so much bigger than I can see. 
Like relating to someone whom without the situations I've been through, I wouldn't relate to at all. 
Having a heart to heart conversation with a girl who is living through what I've lived through.
The variables are a little different but the formula is the same. 
And God is faithful.

"What am I even doing here?"

This week, that was a much needed question for me.
It forced me to look myself in the mirror and be real. 
To search out the purpose of why I am where I am.
To listen closely to God.
He answered.
His faithfulness is continually on display.
There's a reason why my story is written the way that it is written, and there's a reason why my current chapter has me where it does. 
I will never see the end to all of the loose ends to my story.
We never do. 
But sometimes, God gives us glimpses of His purpose. 
In those moments, those life shaking moments...
everything makes sense. 

I cried out...

and my God answered. 

September 15, 2012

Twenty-Something Autumn Thoughts

Hands shaking, shivering, teeth chattering. 
Grey cloudy skies overhead. 
And pins and needles all up and down my leg from my foot falling asleep. 
The tennis club is cold this afternoon. So very chilly. Unless some unexpected people show up the club is mine today. If I were a good student I would begin to work on the pile of homework that needs finishing. 

But...if I were a bad student...

I would be blogging right now. 

Well lookee there, I appear to be a bad student. Oh well oh well. 
I'm cuddled up in an oversized jacket that I found in the back room of the office, contemplating 2012 and all of the things that have happened this year. 
Oh, and I'm switching between Jon McLaughlin's "Promises, Promises" album and Graham Colton's "Twentysomething". Want to know something cool? I know Graham Colton. He plays tennis here all the time. I only discovered last week that he's a bigger deal than I thought. And I like his music. A lot.
Anyway, point is: 2012. 
It's already September, which is such a crazy thought. 
One year ago I was saying "Last month at Disney World..." and "I don't think I'll ever get married..." 
Last September I was listening to Daughtry and reminiscing about walking through the Magic Kingdom.
Last September I was experiencing running injuries for the first time in my life, and for the first time in my life I discovered what it feels like to have a team supporting you every step of the way.
In the course of a year, there have been some God sized shake up's. 
I specifically remember thinking as I started college, "I just learned so much in Florida, I honestly can't even immagine what lessons I need to learn." 
I didn't mean that in a prideful way, but I really couldn't see how God was going to work in my life.
All I could see was my little portion of pie. 
In those moments at the beginning of last fall, I had climbed a mountain top and didn't know where the next peak or valley was. 
God takes those moments. 
Tenderly he takes them, if you let Him. 
He took my life and gave me friends and acquaintances that challenged me in my faith. Situations that encouraged growth. Challenges that demanded humility. Moments that needed patience. 
Right when I begin to reach those points when I say, "What else can you teach me, God?"
He sure shows up. 

Something creepy just happened.
I started hearing noises likes someone tapping on a window and I didn't know where they were coming from. Let me stress this idea, it is totally empty in here.
So I just slid down behind the counter and began creeping around to see where the noises were coming from. 
It was, to my embarrassment, maintenance cleaning the windows outside. 
All in a day's work. 

This is one of those rambly blogs that I like to write every once in awhile. 
A mix of what God is doing in my life and what I'm doing at this current moment.
 Sometimes the two things line up, sometimes...not so much.

My thoughts today are almost anywhere but where I am. I keep jumping location to location in my head.
Thoughts of Hawaii are spurred on by the pictures my parents are sending me right now. Today's their last day on the Big Island for this trip. It's weird knowing that they're there right now without us. We have so many good memories from our Hawaii trips. But if I'm honest, I like having parents that have adventures, with or without their kids. I want to be like that.
Then I'm jumping in my thoughts to Joplin, where SNU XC raced this morning. Wishing with a hundred wishes that I could've cheered my team on this morning. 
But primarily, if I'm really going to be honest, I'm wishing I was curled up on my couch at home, next to a warm fire, sipping hot chocolate and reading a good book.
It's one of those days. 
One of those days that feels like fall is coming. 
Boot weather. 
Jacket weather. 
Writing weather.

Oh and hey, thanks for reading this blog, even when it's just thoughts. 
Because that's the best I can offer right now.
But I sincerely appreciate you.
Yes, you.
So thanks. 

this is where it all begins
i'm giving up on giving in now
i'm not afraid of where i've been
halfway between somewhere and nothing
woke up and i'm twenty something