I think my favorite thing about God (I have lots of favorite things about Him, but this is one of the big ones) is that He never leaves me hanging. He brings me through ridiculously uncomfortable and difficult situations and processes, but He never lets me go through them on my own. Even when I don’t feel like He’s there, He is, listening to me, sifting out the nasty things in my character and in my heart that need to be out of me.
That’s kind of what’s happening right now. Sifting.
It’s annoying, and it’s painful, and totally uncomfortable, but I’m not going to stand in the way of whatever God needs of my heart. I don’t know what it is, but I want Him to have it.
Amazingly enough, God waited (or it seems that way) until the day I moved in to my new dorm room on the Pratt campus in Brooklyn to weaken me and bring me low and begin this sifting process, right after I learned (or, re-learned, that is) a very important truth about His character and about His love for me and just how solid and unchanging it really is.
Gracie, Jimmy, Mom, and I left the house at around five this morning, making sure all of the bins and nonsense were securely stuck in the bed of the truck. I would like to praise God for having all of my everything fitting perfectly. Gracie was gracious and let me take her bike to The City, so I could ride it from place to place. How cool is that? 😀 I get to ride a bike through New York City! I’m excited to learn how to maneuver the bike paths and try not to hit people, oh, I mean, wave to people as I move around them without even coming close to touching them…yeah.
We drove for four and a half hours, stopping for breakfast and enjoying music and we even watched Captain America (one of the best movies ever). As we crossed over the lower level of the George Washington bridge, my stomach did this weirdo-head flip-flop thing. I think it meant I was nervous but at the same time I felt oddly excited.
This was my home.
I’d grown to miss this place and the people here, and being here made me appreciate my family and my friends back home even more. They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Well, I believe it’s true 🙂
So we made it to Pratt and unloaded everything. Mom and the munchkins left promptly after that, not because they don’t love me or they wanted to get rid of me (I think) but because they had a tour at West Point in a couple of hours and they needed to get a move on. They hugged me and said goodbye and walked out the door.
And I was alone.
Unpacking is just a stressful activity. I don’t care who you are or what kind of personality you have, unpacking is by far one of the most cruel and unusual punishments for traveling. Quoting Karly (yes, Karly’s back at Pratt!!! 😀 😀 : D but I’ll talk about that in a second), “your life is in boxes.” And then you have to take the stuff out! After you’ve carefully chosen every object and book and piece of clothing and packed it away in bins and bags and boxes, you have to take it all out! Why???….
Anyway, I got halfway through packing before Karly came and hung out in my dorm for a while. Can I just say how absolutely thrilled I am to have another Christian person on campus? Karly and I sat and talked for a long time before we went to the grocery store. I was avoiding finishing packing.
Apparently the Key Food store we went to gives Pratt students a ten percent discount, which I took as a blessing from God, because I hadn’t known about that. Karly bought groceries and I bought sugar packets for my tea and we headed to her dorm. After dropping off her groceries I headed back to my room to finish unpacking…ugh.
Eventually, I did unpack everything. The room is much bigger and, because the building is old, the atmosphere is comfy and homey and it’s really wonderful :). Bree came in later (her and I stayed roommates from last year). I had to ask her a few questions concerning the room and such (did I mention we have our own bathroom? Oh yeah! We also have THREE windows) and it dawned on me that I didn’t know where to do laundry or where to get a laundry card. I asked Bree and she informed me that laundry was free, already put into my tuition. I could do as much or as little laundry as I wanted.
Thank You, Jesus.
That means I won’t have to pay for laundry this whole year, an expense I was counting on and had budgeted for that is no longer present. God just totally blessed me and I didn’t deserve it, and I don’t care about how simple it is or small it is or “fortunate” it might seem—when the Bible says “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change,” I believe wholeheartedly that it means EVERY good gift, including no laundry for two semesters, a ten percent discount at the grocery store, and a wonderfully old and spacious dorm room.
Throughout this time of unpacking and such, I could feel the weight of the sifting process on my heart and my mind. But even as I write now, even as I still feel that weight, I know this struggle is not in vain, that God is going to use this time for something amazing. I can have confidence in His purpose for me and His love for me and His desire to use me, and I can’t wait to see what He’s going to do 🙂
Tomorrow I head back to IBC, and Karly is coming with me. I’m excited about this too. I’ll also be walking to church for the first time ever. I wonder what the walk looks like? 🙂 I bet it’s beautiful and fascinating. Anyway, I’ll be able to see everyone at IBC and it’ll be awesome 🙂
Thank You, Lord, for every good thing.
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” —James 1:16-17, ESV