Wow. The past four months have flown by! Thanks for coming to read, to spend some quiet time in the busyness of your day, and to hear my heart on what this crazy life of mine looks like.
I flew home from Ottawa on Saturday night. I had the most amazing friend sit with me, Marie, on the first leg from Ottawa to Calgary. We spent the first two hours just writing on our phones what we felt about the semester - first impressions, highs, lows, expectations, our feelings, everything! Then, we went through ALL of our photos on our phones from the semester. My heart just burst! In that moment, I played “Prince of Peace” by Hillsong. It was the song I played at the end of the summer with a few friends driving home from a young adults dinner, and one that I have dubbed my “transition song”. I don’t know if that’s cheesy, but it calms heart in ways that I can’t really explain.
We got off the plane in Calgary, grabbed a Starbucks drink, and said our farewells. Marie was headed to Saskatoon, and I had a direct flight back home to K-town! I am usually a crier when it comes to moments like this. In the summer, I was an emotional train wreck saying goodbye to family and friends. On Saturday, my heart was still (thank you Jesus!) and I got to say my goodbyes. I think saying goodbye to Marie was the hardest for many reasons. First of all, she was my roommate and represented the amazing girls that I was saying goodbye to. Second, it was just her and I. We had gone through the day, whittling down the remaining students in the house, saying goodbye to everyone as our CLC drove them to the airport. It was at the moment in which I said goodbye to Marie, that it was just me. Just me, alone. Alone to walk through the airport, alone to listen to music to, alone to board my plane, just myself. But I didn’t feel alone. I felt the love of the people I had just spent four months with. That doesn’t ever really go away. I am confident in that.
So, here I am! Back to K-town and my heart is full. It hurts still, but this farewell is so different than anything else I have ever experienced. I can’t quite put a finger on it yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know!
Sunday was my birthday. If you remember my post from last year, “20” I talked about a lot of things and what I hoped this next year would be. I talked mainly about marriage, vocation and children. While two out of those three things are far from happening (lol, you know which ones), I am confident that I really found vocation while I was in Ottawa. I had never really considered going into journalism, although media and comm could sort of be considered a kind of journalism. That sits at the forefront of my mind in what I want to pursue in the next year. It also starts with Korea, and I think that will be a sort of litmus test for whether or not it is what I am supposed to pursue.
I joke when I say marriage and kids are far away - I honestly don’t know. After writing that post in September about embracing singleness, I think that being single is where I am supposed to be for the time being. God has not indicated to me anything different, so I will continue to pursue His heart, as I always should be, and simply wait. I’m not going anywhere. 😛
For this post, I want to reflect on 21 things for which I am grateful, anticipating, reflecting on, revelling in, seeking and desiring for this next year of life. I divided it into 3 sections: past, present and future. The past being the past four months, the present being right now and the next two weeks, and the future being the next year (and kind of until graduation).
- Thankful. I am so thankful for the past four months. You probably know this already. It’s hard to explain the entire experience in a short blurb, so if you want to know more, let’s go for tea!
- Silence. Do you have friends that you can just be quiet with? Yeah, I treasure those people immensely. Not saying I treasure them any more or any less than other people, but I treasure them simply because we are all too often just going and doing in life instead of listening and being in the silence. There is silence out there, we just have to make time and space for it.
- Schoolwork. Finding a balance with this. When I was in high school, it was a no-brainer. Get schoolwork done, then you can go socialize. I struggled a lot with this, especially this past semester in a house with 21 other people. How do you prioritize schoolwork, work in general, and advancing career-wise, with the appeal of simply spending time with other humans. I would much rather spend time with other humans (let’s be real here), but schoolwork is oh so important! Where is that balance?
- Trust. This is an oldie, but a goodie. We can say that we trust God, but it isn’t until we actually step OUT of the boat that our trust is tested.
- Friendships. Wow. The past four months created for me a new definition of what it looks like to be a friend. Someone who is not just surface level, but who really wants to know your heart, whether or not you like it! I proceed forward knowing how to be a better friend (I hope?) and yearning for deeper relationships with others.
- Tea. This seems a little silly to put in my “21” list, but if I’m being completely honest here (Tim Heinrichs shout out here), I think tea is just the cats meow. You might have known I liked chai, and enjoy copious amounts of coffee this past summer, but after discovering that coffee kind of messes your skin up (at least mine), green tea was the way to go! Also, I just found a new tea that tastes like cookies. Um, yes please.
- Patience. WOW. Okay, so I talk about patience a lot. Probably the most out of anything else. Patience plays into every part of our lives, and whatever we are waiting for, when we receive it, it will be oh so worth the wait. 😃
- Appreciate. Learning to love my body more! Not doing track for four months has been really good, but also a huge struggle. I have never defined myself by the way I look, but it’s hard not to notice changes in your body when you don’t work out 6 days a week. Moving forward loving my body, in the way in which Christ designed us to love it, is at the top of my list!
- Understanding. Understand that I am not defined by what I do, nor by how I look. This ties back into the body image thing.
- Savour. This is really hard for me! I am a forward thinking person, someone who is constantly planning and thinking about the future. Ottawa taught me to really slow down, find some time with God and just be in His presence. And, with that, to really savour the moments we are in, because odds are we won’t ever get to experience them ever again!
- Listen. What is God telling us? I believed for so long that I couldn’t hear God’s voice. I thought He would arrive in a rolling thunder display and step off His mighty cloud to announce some sort of revelation to me. Nope. He speaks to us all differently, which is what I love about having a relationship with Christ.
- Delve. Reach deeper into the Word. What is Jesus speaking to us through His written word?
- Honest. Being honest with God. I find it’s so easy just to go and watch a movie (Netflix for the win!) or consume myself with something that is not God-related. Instead, I want to pursue His heart so much that people will think I am insane. Okay, maybe not that much, but you get what I am saying, right? To be upfront with God and admit what we are feeling, even if it hurts! That sucks a lot of the time, because we are scared of what we are feeling, or rather, don’t know what we are feeling. But, I think if we are honest with God, He will reveal to us the next steps.
- Prayer. I want to be continuously working on this, and praying in times and places where I don’t think it is expected. To continue believing in the power that prayer has! Who says we only have to pray before we eat or go to bed? With this, comes devotionals, and putting aside time in the day to just spend with Jesus. After all, how wonderful is it? With this prayer, I ask for discernment in the choices I am thinking of making in regards to life, relationships and the future.
- Family. This might seem obvious, but I would love to invest more time into my own family. We spend a bit of time together, but after seeing how important it is to truly invest in your parents, siblings, I crave nothing more than to spend time with them. That time doesn’t necessarily have to be doing something, but it could even be just ‘being’ with them, in silence, watching a movie, listening.
- Technology. What?! I am pretty sure my iPhone runs my life. I don’t mean this in a “iPhone before God” manner, I mean that I am constantly on it and constantly using it. If Ottawa taught me anything, it was to be okay leaving my phone in my room (downstairs) while in class. Who even needs their phone in class anyways? I love Instagram, Facebook, other media platforms, you name it…but there is a time and place for them. I want to learn that balance!
- Unreserved. What does that mean? It means approaching relationships and friendships without reservation - disregarding the thought of “what will the other person think?!”. It is often scary to go unreserved, but when we give our hearts in a whole way, we experience life and God in a new way! We don’t do it to reap the rewards, but to grow our own hearts and understanding our own identity.
- Identity. Continue to grow in identity with Christ, in whatever way He has planned.
- Courage. This goes along with being bold. Bold to call people out, bold to pursue our Father despite how hard it might be.
- Expectant. We are allowed to expect great things from God. Why do we EVER shy away from asking for big things from God, and in return thanking BIG prayers. We have a really awesome Father, and that doesn’t ever stop.
- Anticipate good things. Enough said.
This past year, God was faithful. Faithful in rescuing my heart, renewing my love for Him, and shaping my heart into one that is trying to pursue Him daily. I have confidence in His ability to reshape our lives.
There are a few new initiatives on my mind regarding the blog, so stay tuned for some exciting surprises in the new year.
PS - I mentioned on my last email that went out, that I would be writing an Advent series. I won’t be doing that anymore, but I will be blogging about Christmas and the important value that this season brings to our lives. I can’t just not talk about Christmas!
Also, I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU ALL! Ah, my heart bursts at the idea of seeing your beautiful faces and celebrating the Christmas season with you all.
I leave you with the same verse from last year:
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
~ 2 Corinthians 4:1