So I am sitting in my favorite coffee shop, thinking, reflecting, wondering. Thinking about the past year, how so much has happened and time feels as if it flew by. Reflecting on the things the Lord has taught me through different situations and circumstances, and thanking Him for His steadfastness and unfailing love. Wondering what the future holds, where the adventures of this summer will take me and where I will be a year from now, what will I be reflecting on then.
If I could describe in one word where I am now from where I have been, the best word I can think to encapsulate all that it was and what has become is healing. Kind of like the healing you experience when you scrape your knee and get a small cut in return, so you stick on a bandaid on top, but it still doesn’t quite do the trick. It still hurts sometimes and isn’t completely better just yet. I have learned that the reason for that, dear one, is because you must give it time to heal. Not overnight, not in a week, not even in a month. Time has no limits to the healing that can occur, and neither does Jesus.
He means what he says in that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways aren’t His ways (Isaiah 55:8). I believe my Savior when He tells me that He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Beautiful child, I trust my God wholeheartedly when He whispers in my ear to be still and know (Psalm 46:10).
As I drove home from College Station after another year, I saw more than just backroads and open fields of grass in my rearview mirror. Darling, I saw people. People I didn’t know a year ago and now call my best friends, people who inspire me to pursue my dreams, people who build me up when I fall down, people who relentlessly love without conditions, people who wear a smile on their face when the world gives them no reason to, yet they have an eternal hope that reaches far beyond the measures of this temporary home. When I looked in my rearview, I saw loneliness. Multiple Saturday nights spent at coffee shops around that little town, with a wide eyed girl sipping on a latte and dreaming about all that is to come, but pouring out her thoughts through words, the best way she knows how. I saw community. Something I have deemed absolutely essential in any walk of life, friends to do life with who celebrate each other when all is well and help each other up when one falls down. Friends who know the best and worst parts of you and love you anyway. This community is rare, my friend, but hold onto it tight, because these people will be precious jewels. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw laughter. Laughter when everything is right and laughter when everything is wrong. Beloved, if anything from reading this blog post, know that everyday provides a time to laugh, and seize those moments. And oh dear one, when I looked in that mirror, I saw footprints. Footprints, however, that were not my own. Footprints that are much larger than my own, and that carried me through the entire way. Lord, thank You for lifting me on Your shoulders in a crowd of people and places and chaos screaming in my ear things about myself and about You that I know are not true, and showing me that there is more than what is right in front of my vision. He carried me above the water so I would realize that this world is not all there is. There is much more to live for than what merely meets the eye.
Around this time last year, I started writing in a pink journal with gold writing on the front that reads, “It’s A Beautiful Day.” I started an ongoing list titled Reasons I’m Happy to be Alive. Looking back and reading them is one of my favorite things, to reminisce on sweet and cherished memories in my mind. I want to share a few of them with you.
- Early morning coffee dates
- Long road trips
- Driving with your windows and sunroof down in the summertime playing country music on full blast
- A really good workout where you sweat a lot
- Facing a fear
- Bright yellow walls
- “Just thinking about you” texts
- Getting a package in the mail
- Playing guitar
- The buzz of the fan at night
- S’mores by a fire
- Speaking Spanish
- That cleansing feeling you get after a good, long cry
- Singing High School Musical with wooden spoons as microphones
- Dancing on parking garage rooftops
- Dressing up and wearing lipstick and feeling beautiful
- The drive home to Dallas
- Hard work that pays off
- Night time flights and unknown adventures
- My family at the dinner table
- Hour long phone calls with friends to catch up and talk about everything under the sun
- When you have a great idea and it feels like a light bulb above your head
- Laughing really hard about nothing with my roommates
- Getting in bed early
- Breathing in grace and breathing out redemption
- Getting to know someone well
- Having a really shambly day and remembering that tomorrow is a new one
- Frozen pizza
- Watching a sunset and feeling small
Maybe you can relate to a few, or perhaps you have some of your own. All that to say, beauty abounds in thankfulness, in counting blessings instead of things lacking, in viewing each and every day as another opportunity to be alive and to exist for a purpose greater than we can imagine.
Love, you may be looking forward and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next big thing. The moment where your life will change because of this thing and everything else will magically fall into place. But when you look in hindsight, you will see the bigger picture, where all of the little glass pieces of the mosaic of your life fall into place to make something astounding. It is the moments, the breaths you breathe, the steps you take, the people you meet that put together the pieces of the in between.
And then suddenly you realize, that “perhaps you were born for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).