I would like to remind the world that Thanksgiving is in exactly seven days, and Thanksgiving break is in exactly six days. One day less than a week.
I’m beginning to learn that it’s okay to be homesick, that missing your family and thinking “I just have to get through this next week” isn’t a sin, that it’s a special kind of hope that pierces your heart and magnetizes your entire self, pulling you towards the moment when you step off the bus, embraced by the heart-strong arms of your mother, and the cool-teenager questions of your siblings, the smell of pine and the chirping of thrashers and cardinals, the isolation of the country and the quietness of it all. It pulls you towards that moment when you step through your front door, beyond which sits a lobby full of boots and sneakers and flip flops that are practically begging to be put into storage. And despite the cliche-ness dripping from your shoes as you set down your bags, the smell of cookies and brewing coffee soaks the air around you, and you begin to wonder how you ever could’ve left this place. And then you’re reminded, once again, of how big your God is, how He has a plan for your life, how He’s given you this family, these people, and this love, strength, and wonder just to push you forward, always to push you forward. And you see then that going home isn’t meant to be characterized by the sad prospect of having to leave, but the beautiful excitement of knowing that you have this place, and that God purposed it to grow you closer to Him and to refresh you in Him, in everything good, pure, commendable, and lovely.
And that’s really cool 🙂
The past couple of days were an emotional roller coaster for no reason other than the fact that I’m a woman and sometimes have emotion-issues that actually very realistically are out of my control. But I won’t go into detail about that. Anyway, I learned, or relearned the point of my Bible, the reason why it’s there. God’s word is to help me know what to do, how to act, regardless of what situation I’m in. No, the Bible doesn’t offer specific tactics on how to handle girl drama, a step-by-step understanding of how to study for my German final exam, or what not to do when I’m trying to develop a plot. But, it does show me how to love the girls involved with the drama and how to advise and comfort them, it does show me how to handle the stress of tests and life and studying, and it does teach me what to write about and help me discern the difference between what builds up and what does not. The Bible was made to be practical, applicable, and comforting, an immutable book whose every word points right back to the Author. Yeah 🙂
Last night, as I tried to overcome the mountain of work and stress and fear that existed in the forms of my To Do list, my growing account of internship query letters, and the possibilities of upcoming events, both good and bad, God used a certain situation to remind me that the burden is on Him, that I can place my burdens and my incapabilities and my insecurities in His hands, as He’s asked me to so many times in His word and throughout my short time on this earth. And the results of applying this to the situations, both yesterday and throughout today, was such a relief that I can describe it no less than the weight of the world falling from my shoulders and onto His.
Today I spent the morning looking up verses to figure out how I’m supposed to react, to handle, and to pass on certain situations. When God says that abiding in Him, in His word, is my purpose, He’s not kidding. Think about it: God wants me to be like Him, not for His good, but for mine, so wouldn’t it make sense for me to spend time with Him? Wouldn’t spending time with Him help me discern His voice and find it when there are so many others trying to speak to me? When He said that this word (the Bible, His word) is breathed out by Him, “and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) that I might be able to do the things He’s asked me to do, was He kidding? Did He make a mistake when He included those practical action words in Paul’s letter to Timothy? I don’t think so. Results say otherwise. But don’t take my word for it. Take His.
I headed to French and enjoyed every second of it. I love French 🙂 Afterwards, I ran into Charlene. I realized I was looking into a mirror: both of our faces were drawn (we told each other how exhausted we looked), and we talked of our desperate need of caffeine, or something to keep us from falling asleep (there’s really just no time to do anything other than go to class, eat, and do homework at this point in the semester). But regardless of our rather breathless exchange of difficulties, I was refreshed by seeing her and talking to her. God is good in every way, but especially in the way that He gives me what I need in His perfect timing, and that includes placing Charlene where she needs to be, whether she realizes it or not.
God did this again later at night, after I’d registered for spring classes (ALREADY), printed out my bus ticket home (NEXT WEEK), and plowed through an assignment or two. That was until Jenny messaged me, saying there was an opportunity for a free Brooklyn Nets game at Barclay Center. Well sure, why not!?
I bundled up and headed out, reciting French vocabulary and constructing sentences with proper adverb placement and article usage in my head. I was also thinking about the Tokugawa Shogunate and their military discipline. I was also thinking about how preposterous it was that Target wouldn’t let me order fruit snacks and have them be shipped to the dorms, but I suppose that’s irrelevant.
I met up with Jenny at the Starbucks in front of the stadium, and construction that Melinda, Pastor’s wife, calls “The Rusty Turtle.” As Jenny and I shuffled along with the rest of the crowd, we secretly feared that Sam, who’d been the one to tell us about the game, was playing a horrible trick on us, which we totally would’ve deserved. This was a false fear, as most fears are, and we passed through the gate without an issue. We found our seats after a bathroom trip and getting dinner. I’ve been eating more meat lately, and I can honestly say that has really helped my exhaustion and I feel less tired and more able to push through tiredness and not feel so overwhelmed by fatigue. I forgot tonight, however, that I was supposed to be upping my protein intake, and ordered a portabello mushroom “burger”….but it was a good mushroom 😀
At the beginning of the game, because neither of us were serious basketball fans, Jenny and I just talked about random things. It was in the first overtime that we began to get excited. And then the second overtime put us off the edge of our seats. The third overtime was just plain ridiculous, and the Nets lost, and it was past eleven. Jenny and I left with sore throats and tired legs, and I thought about how sleep wasn’t an option for me tonight, so we jumped over to Target and borrowed their wifi to find a 24-hour Dunkin Donuts. Jenny was excited to see that there was one literally around the corner from where we were. I was thinking about buying Target fruit snacks.
We left promptly and arrived promptly at the Dunkin’ Donuts, ordering medium coffees, light and sweet, one being French Vanilla (Jenny’s). We walked along through the cutting wind and I was nearly ran over by a taxi driving too close to the curb while we waited for the traffic light to change. Both of us eventually got home safely.
As I walked home, I realized that the neighborhood in which I live, the walk from Atlantic Ave. to Willoughby Ave., is very safe, and I recalled how overcome with anxiety I’d been my first time coming back to campus at night. Imagine that.
And now, as I write this, I’m passionately pursuing an all-nighter, due to a large amount of work that was neither hindered nor encouraged to completion via the outing to the basketball game. I needed that time out with a Christian friend. My goal to complete all of my work before break is slowly coming into view, even if I have to look around the steep ski slope of homework, complete with lifts, bunny hill, and a black diamond trail. There might also be a ski lodge, but I haven’t found it yet.
God is kind of awesome, ya know? He’s given me a home to go to, and adventures to have away from home. The trip to Ft. Campbell will really be an adventure within an extension of home, because Hannah and Beth and Christina and Jacob will be involved, and I’ve missed them almost as much as I’ve missed my actual family. Today will be a long day, but I don’t mind. In a week, things will be different, and I trust that God can help me get there and be diligent. It’s all a matter of what I’m willing to put forth, whether I’m willing to be disciplined and determined, not just in doing my homework but especially in spending time with Him, gleaning important truths from His word and constantly reminding myself of who He is and depending on Him for every answer and every weapon and every comfort.
Bring it on 🙂
“Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.” —Ecclesiastes 11:7, ESV