parents divorcing at 7, changing schools in 3rd grade, meeting her in 6th grade, meeting a different, but greater, her in 10th grade, graduating high school in the top 80 of my class. finding Jesus somewhere along the way, falling helplessly in love with the hope that there’s hope for me yet. touring Anderson, loving Anderson, applying me and my little gpa and my suitcase of things and my little bit of Jesus to Anderson, changing a major, once, twice, three, four times. flying across the country and seeing a little more of the world than my South Carolina backyard tells of. meeting that friend, losing that friend, gaining three more that I couldn’t have dreamt up. starting that medicine, the one that stops anxiety and depression because those things seem to like you well. counseling your way through 18 years of things that you never talked or talk about, even today. that little office with the good-smelling scent and the noisemaker outside the door that allows you to keep all your little secrets between you and her and a notepad and a lot of questions, maybe some tears. living with that girl, living with these girls. having family dinners, documenting all the little memories on little notecards and in way too many photographs and in little words, typed across a keyboard, sprinting across a screen as if running from your mind, and in doodles and words and calligraphy held in spiral bound books, hell-bent on keeping it all here, here, here in my little heart. having the hardest, most brutal year (isn’t senior year supposed to be the best?) I could have imagined, feel emotionally and mentally exhausted and maybe a little miserable, hoping to graduate, not ready for life just yet.
I eagerly look forward to the day that I will look back and see that none of this is random. that suffering is not a worthless effort. that fulfilling the call to which you have been called is a fight worth fighting for, that grace is worth championing for, that friendships are hard, but they are so sweet, and without them, surely you’d fall apart. that someday, my little nuggets will add, add, add up into a path that I can look at and say, “yes. surely the Lord led me all the way to here. here in this job, with this community, surrounded by this love, adoring the life I have been given. yes, surely that was all His hand.”
as of now, it all feels all too random. like I have all the pieces, but they don’t quite connect yet. this year is hard, overwhelming and tiring. academically, it is challenging but not the worst I’ve had. however, emotionally, this one takes all the cake (and I’m eating lots of cake bc transitions are hard). this is the most transitional period I’ve ever faced and I’m scared about the life-after-college things.
it’s curious how all the insecurities that you thought you had faced or bottled up or whatever it is that we do with them seem to bubble up and overflow, like someone shook your bottle too hard. the feelings of “I am not enough”, the question of “do I really trust Jesus with my life?”, the relentless desire for “this is my life, I am in control.” the worries that used to just sneak in at night are now sneaking into your day and the wheels are turning as you try to understand life and the one that you will have.
I’ve been studying Esther and wow, what a woman. she understood that none of this was random, she risks her life to save her people. she is the most talked about woman in the bible and it was all because she got it. in the defining moment, for “such a time as this”, she chose the right thing over her thing. God is never mentioned, yet he is always driving the underlying agenda, paving the path to deliverance by all of Esther’s little things. what a testament, what a beautiful, brave, faithful woman, what if I lived like her.
God, give me faith in who you are. help me to believe that you create plans and that you hold control. thank you for the crumbling because it tenderly reminds me that I never knew the way. help me to look to you, today and tomorrow and the tomorrows after that one. help me to know that you are a good father who has good things for his children. help me not to simply speak those words, but to allow them to resonate with this heart of mine. give me faith to trust what you say. give me hope in the person that you are and the love that you give. help me to live today full of today, not of all the tomorrows that I am uncertain of. help me to fall hope-fully in love with you, trusting in “there’s hope for me yet” that I once knew so well. help me to feel the wind and see, surely, that this is you, that it’s all you. that the nuggets of the path will make a way much greater than any path I could create. help me to write you into this story, like Esther. help me to see you in it all even when it doesn’t feel you’re mentioned. give me rest in this season and give me hope for the next.