When I left Eugene at the end of June, I was so ready to be home. I was excited and expectant and free. I tried my best to tie up loose ends and pack away the boxes of my sophomore year so that I could shift my focus forward. To me, forward seemed glorious. I felt like I was on the edge of a revelation.
(That sounds super dramatic, let me elaborate; when I hear God speak to me it is never audible, and most of the time it isn’t a crazy sign either. It’s not this freaky religious scenario where glass shatters and the shards spell out my destiny, or where the clouds open up and a booming voice calls my name—not even close. It is sometimes through stuff other people say, or music or books, but most of the time it’s just in my gut. You know when you get a gut feeling—you keep thinking about a certain thing, or hearing a word or a sentence in your head that you can’t get rid of? That is what it’s like for me. It is usually repetitive and loud, which makes it hard to ignore. I try to always run it by a few people I trust to make sure that it is consistent with God’s character and with scripture—but then I just shut up and listen.)
So when I left Eugene I felt like I was on the edge of a revelation—meaning I felt like God was telling me something BIG was about to happen, and I was jumping-out-of-my-seat excited about it. I didn’t know what it would be, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was on the brink of something wonderfully transformative.
What I found is that the the goodness and the healing and the radical revelations all came quietly and humbly, wrapped up in the small every-day moments. It sounds too good to be true—and it kind of was—but no joke, I feel like God took my prayers and my cries from the first half of 2017, and then stepped up to the plate and delivered on every level.
This Summer God gave me the space and the freedom to slow down, which is not something I do often. It was the most simple routine I think I’ve ever had, and it allowed me to soak up everything that was going on around me. I lived day to day, instead of fixating on what was coming next—and it was SO much more enjoyable. I got to read tons of good books, lounge around with my family, and appreciate the fact that we were all living under the same roof for the first time in years.
This Summer God taught me more about faith. I read books and I talked to people and I sought answers to a lot of big questions. Whether you believe in God or not, the bible is fascinating (cue eye roll from just about everyone). I know that sounds lame but I am serious!!! If you think it’s a book that is too big and too boring, you haven’t actually read it. It is a library of books rich with culture and history and love and loss and war and triumph and everything it means to be human. When it comes down to it, the people in the bible aren’t that different from you and me.
This Summer God showed me how to dream big. He revealed to me with startling clarity what I am passionate about, and gave me resources to act on my ideas. I took in every bit of inspiration I could, and began to think about how I can use what I love and what I am good at for His glory.
This Summer God provided me a community of like-minded women to live and learn alongside. It is hard for me to even explain because some of these relationships were so random and unexpected—but that is how I knew it was God. There is no way these friendships would have came to be if it weren’t for His influence. Authentic and honest and equal friendship is rare, but my Summer ladies love me well and challenge me to be a better follower of Jesus.
What I got the past few months was exactly what I needed—and then some. You see, I’ve realized that when God shows up, He doesn’t just give us the minimal we need to survive. Instead, He gives graciously and generously and blesses us BIG.
Looking back at this sunny season I seriously have so much joy. Like almost annoying, too happy, you’re-freaking-me-out joy. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” (John 10:10), and this Summer was exactly that. Two years ago I wasn’t able to understand what FULL life meant, because I had never felt empty. But this year, directly following one of the toughest seasons of my life, God provided the richest and most nourishing season of my life. Real talk—I have never felt so much joy, felt so complete, felt so FULL, than when I am including God in my day to day life.
So here I am, bottom of the 9th, heading back to Eugene TODAY. I feel equipped and encouraged and so filled up it’s not even funny. I don’t know what God has for me next, but I know that this Summer was one of a kind and perfectly timed. Whether this next chapter of my life is fabulous or less than ideal, I can look back at these last few months and take a deep breath because I know He is faithful and trustworthy. See ya soon Eugene—SCO DUCKS.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)