From my journal on June 6th, 2015:
"i want to take a year off to write and grow and heal. i want to leave college and start new. May your will be done. i only want to want for myself that which you want for me. i am yours."
His will is being done.
i am not going back to college in the fall.
i have been trying to write about this for days. i've been anticipating it for weeks and honestly, it still isn't something i want to do. It's hard to write about something this big. We have an enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy everything that is good, which makes introducing this new season of my life a little harder than i anticipated it to be. The Kingdom of God does not have time for shame, so i will write on confidently.
Three months ago when i drove my car down a forever-long dirt road, i knew that God was going to do a lot of big things. i knew that lives would be changed and hearts would be healed and newness would spring from Him in the lives of every person that stepped foot on the camp grounds because that's the God that we serve. He delights in newness and adventure and i knew that my summer would be full of that.
However, i did not know that by the end of the summer my life would look completely different than it did in May. i did not know i would pray that prayer. i did not know that an undercurrent of my summer would be approaching my friends with a shaking voice telling them that i think my plans are changing. i did not know that God wrote this part of my story.
Last fall i learned the beauty in living with my hands open. i learned that making plans and holding onto anything aside from God is not worth while. i wish i could say that i live like that everyday with everything and everyone, but i don't. Sometimes it seems easier to clinch my hands really tight and hope that i'm right. This summer, i think, was the biggest exercise in living with my hands open. Not just in the sense of school, but even in the little things like how i spoke to campers.
Most of June was spent praying (a lot) about the Fall. A small handful of people knew where my heart was and i still doubted that God would call me away from college. i was convinced that i was lusting after adventure and avoiding school for selfish reasons, but the feeling would go away. Halfway through the summer i sat across from my dad and with artificial confidence i told him that i wouldn't be returning to school in August.
He supported me. He supports me. He is the best.
After the conversation with my dad, things happened and now it's August and the Fall is no longer unknown. There are so many details that make this whole thing so beautiful. We often mistake time as an inconvenience, but i think that God looks at it as an art. Maybe time is a painting that we don't understand or a dance we will never learn the steps to. The good news is that our Father is above time and He is detailed and loving and wonderful.
i am going to be a part of a Gap Year Program (to be named eventually) at the camp where i met Jesus eight years ago and two weeks ago and a lot of times in between then. For the first time in my life i will be living in a Christian home. i am going to learn a lot and grow a lot and heal in ways i didn't know that i needed to. i am going to learn to cook and i am going to get to write (just for fun!). It will not all be easy or glamorous but it will be exactly what i need because my Heavenly Dad gives me no less than what i need.
i think it is important to note that i am not leaving school because i hated it. i am not walking away from that chapter, those people or that place, and never looking back. i can confidently say that my time at school was the most pivotal season of my life thus far. It was so hard and sweet and i am so thankful for what is was, but i am so excited for what is.
i have no idea what my life will look like at the end of these nine months. i have no idea if i will go back to college or where i will go back to college or what i will study. i just want to write and tell people about Jesus and be a mom (eventually) and drink good coffee. i am (by the grace of God) not concerned with what the world says i should do. i am only concerned with who my God is.
As i sit here at 2am and i think about the anxiety that will come with posting this, i'm thankful that i don't write for other people. i am thankful that i have the word "brave" tattooed on my left arm and that my God is good. i am thankful that my story was written for me and for Him, not to gain the approval of other people but just to glorify my God. There is so much freedom to be exactly who i am. There is so much joy with being sure that God has called me to this. He is so good.
In front of me is a big adventure, filled with writing and growing and healing and a lot more. We have been given the abundant life and i think i am finally ready to embrace that.