ebb & flow.
Hey blog fam! It's SO good to be back in this space after taking quite a bit of time away. It wasn't intentional, but just happened! Thanks for coming here today and reading!
This summer has been stellar in a number of ways. It's hard to believe we are already half way through July! For starters, I get to live in the Fort again, and I can tell you that it's been so wonderful to just BE here. The river is great for running, school/gym is close by and I could not be more thankful (let me clarify, I don't just workout... :P).
At the same time this summer is SO different than last. I can't help but compare it to last, and I find myself saying, "Katie, you've got to stop, that was a different season!". It totally was. God was SO GOOD last summer and that remains now, but it's simply a different season. The three main things He has been teaching me short and simple are:
- being quiet and being okay by myself (okay, okay, that's two in one). Yesterday was a pure testament to this. I woke up at 630am, drove myself to Kits (that's in Vancouver for you folks who aren't from around here), went to a KILLER hot yoga class and then spent my morning getting work done at a small table on Granville Island overlooking False Creek. SO many great memories have been made at Granville, but do you think when I was 6 going there for the first time I would imagine myself 15 years later sitting by myself at a coffee shop doing work? Nope. Being independent is terrifying in the sense that you really solely on God, but at the same time holy smokes is it beautiful. It's strengthening and I feel fierce, as a daughter of the KING.
- being with people. in being single for the past 2 years, it's been amazing to see just how much time I have spent being by myself, both in time solely with Jesus but in terms of companionship. I find myself always wanting what I don't have - if I've been alone for a while I CRAVE being around people. When I've been around people for too long, I need to surround myself with a warm blanket and just be alone. Maybe you resonate?
- trusting more. something I am going to talk more about in a future post, but in a recent sermon series from Flatirons HERE we are going through what it means to be growing in the fruit of the spirit. while "trust" is NOT a fruit of the spirit, I think it encapsulates so much of our faith and so much of the processes and seasons we go through in getting to be more mature in the fruit. The crew down in Denver speak about how we often ask God for clarity when we pray (I KNOW you agree with this, because you probably asked God for clarity in some part of your life within the past 2 weeks). Instead of asking clarity, why don't we ask for more trust. Really really simply, just more trust. This ties in with the analogy of: "God would you open more doors for me? Would you guide the way?". Instead of asking God to open doors, why do we not TRUST Him, move forwards based on what His word asks of us, and believe that He will CLOSE doors. (I could go on about this forever, but I'll stop there).
With all that good stuff being said, my conversation with a dear friend on Friday night spoke to how this post would shape up. We got talking about friendship and just how fluid friendships are. While I fully trust that God places specific people in our lives to see us through lengthy years and the majority of our growing in Him (say, 40-50 years), I am coming to realize that some people are often present in our lives for an extremely specific reason, a specific season and then they go. It's this neat ebb & flow that sometimes I love, and most of the time I really truly dislike.
I want to keep all of my friends. Does that sound weird? I want to keep all of my friends, I want to be able to text them all and have deep conversation with every single one of them but the truth is that this just isn't the case. For starters, I don't have time. At first thought, that sounds shallow, but in reality God calls us to surround ourselves with people who are good (iron sharpening iron anyone?). That doesn't mean we do not have a mission to reach those who are not, but it means that we are often the sum of who we surround ourselves with. I heard once we are the summation of the five closest people we spend our time with. If that stands firm in your life, wouldn't you want to be with people who a. speak truth, b. give life and c. feed you? Not saying you are created to be constantly taking, in fact, friendships are meant to work both ways with each side giving to the greater relationship. But, wouldn't you want friendships to be beneficial and come out feeling as though you gained, have joy and trust them completely?
So, if I want to keep all of my friends, it just isn't possible. There is literally not enough time in the day. Perhaps I could quite my job and stop doing school and just spend time with people (which would be SO COOL!), but that's really not realistic and like I said earlier in my list, I would probably have a huge yearning to have alone time. Then the whole process becomes redundant. Catch my drift?
When I think of people leaving my life who were extremely influential, it makes me flat out sad. So you're saying my best friends from high-school, the ones I wrote in their yearbook "can't wait to stand by you at your wedding...and...our husbands/kids are gonna be best friends!" do not mean anything to me anymore (yes I wrote that in my two best friends yearbooks, don't judge lol). Not necessarily - it means that they carried you through a time when you needed people like that. Truth be told, there are women and girls from my first two years of university that I barely speak to anymore. If I had it my way, it wouldn't be that way, but we are led on different paths that have taken us away from each other both in physical distance and in friendship. And that's okay.
I think that's the hardest part of all of this is simply being okay with the ebb & flow. Being okay with someone leaving, knowing when it's time for them to leave and asking that God would help reveal to you when it's time to just let go. It's just not a comfortable thing I think. It's quite a drastic analogy, but it's like Rose letting go of Jack at the end of the Titanic (*SPOILER HE DOESN'T LIVE*). Like a physical hand grasp when they leave, I don't get all emo over the moment they do leave probably because it's more of a slower transition than a Rose-let-Jack-go-hand-grasp (and I can't recognize it until much much later). But that's how I imagine it anyways.
Think to your own life - are there people you let go of? Take a moment and appreciate the time that you had with them for what it was. Think of what they taught you. I think of my mentors, the women (and guys too!) I've called my best friends. They aren't gone from my life entirely, but seasons of change mean that we just don't hang out as much, we just don't talk as much anymore and there are other people who are filling the role of friend. Nobody ever told me this was going to happen when I started making friends in kindergarten. Come to think of it though, school was like that too and it's a natural course that I think is evidently a gift from Papa God. Since we are all so uniquely gifted, we get to share what we have with others, accept what they have to offer and then move on. For some, we remain present for a long period of time and get the privilege of experiencing big events - marriage, children, anniversaries, and the list goes on. And that's cool too.
That's all for today friends. Thanks for reading. If you find yourself praying tonight, it would be so neat if we could uplift the families, firefighters and communities being affected by the wildfires raging in BC. I can't imagine what they are going through and at this point I know that our strongest hopes for them going out when you have no way of being there for people when you are so far away is prayer.
I leave you with what is quite possibly my FAVOURITE worship song ever.