The feeling of being home is incomparable. The feeling that comes from being around people you connect with, people you can cry in front of, people who know your story, people who genuinely care about you….it’s something to be treasured. I know that sounds all lovey-dovey, but if I’ve learned one thing while being away from home it’s that home is worth missing.
In my devotions I’ve started reading through the book of Revelation, and, wow, it’s a really deep, strange, crazy read. I’ve read through it once before, but that was a long time ago. Sometimes you read a passage and you don’t really get anything out of it, and then you read it again later in time and it suddenly clicks, or it’s meaning and application has changed. I like reading through Revelation because, when it comes to prophecy and theology, I’m a sponge, a nerd, a total geek. I love talking, debating, and learning about theology. One time I went to the Growing Leaders Conference held annually at Baptist Bible College in Clark Summit, PA. They gave the leaders an option to sit in on some of the college classes. I chose to sit in on Theology 5, and I have never had so much fun in a classroom setting (by fun I mean totally nerding over the subject matter). I know that some people try to stay away from theology for different reasons, but if you ever have the opportunity to take a theology class or dig into the deeply theologically hard readings of the Bible, take it as a dare to go for it.
Charlene and I, after not being able to hang out all week, were finally able to get together for lunch. We sat in Connecticut Muffin, talking about how exhausted we both were and how crazy this whole college thing is. I like Charlene because she’s on, if not above, my spiritual level, and she can not only keep me accountable but encourage me without having to do anything. God has truly blessed me with her as a friend. She also happens to be my favorite Asian 😀 She’s the person who introduced me to Connecticut Muffin’s heavenly creation that is red velvet cake. Today she treated me to a red velvet CUPCAKE. It’s like cake, but mini. I have yet to eat it….it’s sitting in my fridge, taunting me with its deliciousness.
Writer’s Studio was really refreshing today. We talked all about editing, writing, and mechanics. The reason why this subject matter was so refreshing to me is because you can’t humanize or mess with mechanics, grammar, editing, or revision. Yes, the styles and approaches differ, but the conventions are the same throughout. Today was one of those rare days where I could go into class without having my spiritual guard up, without having to be skeptical or prudent, without analyzing every idea presented and taking every word with a grain of salt. I was able to go into a classroom and just be a student and learn! I smiled the entire class and I was so insanely relaxed AND I learned a ton of new information. I felt really good 🙂
But here’s the BEST part about today. After class I hopped on the subway and headed over to Sam and Maria’s house. I’m extremely proud of myself because I found their house with zero hassle and without getting lost. Hold your applause, please.
Anyway, I came to their house and when I stepped inside, I forgot that space in New York City is a luxury. It was only my second time being in a city house, and I still wasn’t quite used to how everything was situated. Back in the sticks, “houses” are predominantly either two-story Victorians with full kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, and a few bedrooms or they’re wide to double-wide trailers or a simple, widely spaced one-story home, still designed with plenty of room in mind. Houses in the city however, are not so. As I moved about Maria’s house, baking cookies and walking to and fro, I understood just how luxuriously I live back home. No, I didn’t always have the most expensive clothing, the most money to spend, or the finest cuisine to eat, but I had plenty of room, enough space around me to be alone if I needed to, my own room, and a yard composed of grass and dirt.
Maria made the spaghetti and garlic bread while I finished up the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I just want to say how happy I was to be able to bake. I was grateful that my mother had taught me how to bake and how to cook. I think that’s a skill every girl should have: if not a full meal, every girl should at least be taught how to make a good breakfast. Some people would see this as being sexist (or something like that), but I don’t see how; I mean, cooking is a great skill to have. And it’s fun! It’s also therapeutic, a way to relieve stress and to wind down after a long day.
Everyone started showing up and helping themselves to food, and everyone loved the cookies 🙂 I felt really good about baking something that everyone appreciated so much. Food is cool that way: it has this weird way of bringing people together, of making things more lighthearted and more comfortable than if it wasn’t part of the meeting. God was really clever to give food to man, to allow so many varieties of cuisine to come about in this tiny human world. God could’ve just given us some gray paste of sorts that fulfilled all the requirements of our bodily functions, but instead He gave us millions of different kinds of food. Wow…what a God.
The discussion among us revolved around Galatians and the influences we allow into our lives. In Galatians 1:6, the Galatians have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior but they’re already falling away from Him. We talked about how we, as Christians, believe that we are righteous before God because of grace, but we sometimes fall into this habit of trying to “keep” our salvation by keeping the Law. Then, when we mess up, we feel like we have to separate ourselves from God. That’s exactly what happened to me when I messed up last week: I felt like because I had messed up, I couldn’t talk to God, even though I totally knew that wasn’t the truth. Thankfully, God came to the rescue via my mother and Charlene and I was put back on my feet.
By the time we all had finished praying, it was past 10:00pm. Considering my last time walking through New York City alone at night, I asked Sam if he could drive me to campus. He was taking two other people in the group home, so I didn’t feel like too much of a burden.
I appreciate the fact that I have this outlet, this group of people that build me up and encourage me. It’s just amazing how well God has taken care of me since I came here….but see, it shouldn’t be so surprising that He did and is doing exactly what He promised. Why am I so surprised that He’s fulfilling His promise to me? Why am I amazed that He’s actually been there for me, like He said He would be? You would think, after everything I’ve already been through with Him, I would expect Him to be there, to be strong, to be my protector, my Knight; I would no longer be surprised or amazed at how faithful He is. But I am. It blows me away. I hope that I never get used to God…that will truly be a sad day, to be numb to God’s glory and His amazing faithfulness. But considering how adventurous and eventful my relationship with God has been thus far, I seriously doubt I will ever get used to Him, or to how He rescues me from myself time after time, or to the way He uses my situations and the people around me to grow me and fulfill His plan for me. He’s just not boring….ever.
“Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. ” ~ Mark Twain