so the past month here in santa cruz has definitely been something to write about. just in terms of my own steps with the lord and life in general, it’s been sort of like i’m re-learning myself at 22 years old… which has been pretty strange. i guess revelations about who you are should be something that you consistently want to have throughout life, but it’s just been interesting to have that happen in the midst of so much other transition as a “staffer” with crusade this summer. in terms of “staff life” it’s been pretty eye-opening to be on the other side of things since i was a student on an international summer project last summer. i’m not sure if the lord is leading me more towards or away from this life, but either way, i’ve definitely gotten to see a different side of things. i’ve felt so blessed to have the groups of girls that i’ve been leading this summer… the lord has definitely shown his faithfulness in that area as i was VERY anxious and nervous about how they would mesh and whether or not i would feel the least bit significant and needed in their lives out here. i’ve also gotten to realize a lot about the relationships i have, and my eyes have been opened in a lot of ways in terms of how much i trust the lord with them and whether or not i truly desire for him to be my first love and closest companion… it’s incredibly easy to stray away from a hunger for that.
one of the main things that i’ve seen this summer is that it’s ok to grapple with this strange transitional place that i am in life. i think i’ve sort of downplayed the intensity of being near graduation, being in a serious relationship and thinking/talking about where it’s going, having a great deal of my closest friends graduate and start “real life” while i’m still finishing up with school, thinking about what i want to “do with my life”, and just being in transition in general. it’s not that i feel TOTALLY lost, but it’s just that i’ve never been here and have thought to some extent that i can just live and things will fall into place since i don’t really know what i’m doing…. naive? i’d say so. : ) but i think the lord has been showing me that THERE’S HOPE and A PLAN, and that he’s gone before me and knows all that’s coming up. not that i don’t need to make decisions and keeping walking through life, but that he’ll be right beside me through all of it. maybe those statements sound pretty simple, but i guess they’re just things that are coming alive to me this summer. i was having a pretty hard time when i first got out here. i just sort of felt like i was grieving the closing of some areas in my life and also feeling pretty lost about what’s to come, and coincidently was led to read in lamentations one night (way to bring up the spirits, right?)… but it really did…
i read this….
i remember my afflicaiton and my
the bitterness and the gall.
i well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
yet this i call to mind
and therefore i have hope:
because of the lord’s great love we are
for his compassions never fail.
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
i say to myself, “the lord is my portion;
therefore i will wait for him.”
the lord is good to those whose hope
is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the lord.
it is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.
let him sit alone in silence,
for the lord has laid it on him.
let him bury his face in the dust-
there may yet be hope.
i know that’s a lot, but it was so amazing for me to see that it’s the times of wandering and wondering and affliction that god uses to bring us to his compassionate and loving faithfulness. he NEVER leaves us alone, and he’s ALWAYS aware of exactly how we feel. it’s ok not to know what’s coming, and it’s ok to look back with fondness at where you’ve come from, but WHAT BETTER PLACE to be than walking clinging to the heavenly father because you know he wants what’s best for you. i just frustrate myself so much because i want to trust the lord and put things in his hands, but then as soon as i feel unsure or start to doubt what’s to come, i run up and take everything back so that i can make sure that it works out how i want…. as if i could do a better job with my future than he can. so it’s starting to sink in that there is hope even when i don’t feel like all of my questions have been answered… and i so badly want to relinquish control, and live in the truth that the lord is my portion… to wait on him.
i’ll be home in about a week.. and i’m sure (and hope) that that will be the time when i start really processing through all i’ve learned here this summer.. so i’m sure there’ll be more to come. : )