I'll follow you into the dark


I haven't posted in a while, and so much has happened in my life and my heart and my mind since I did. Obviously the 3 people who read my blog already know some of those changes, but I'm sick and sitting in my room watching the Duke/UNC game so I have time to express myself for a while.

At least once every day lately I've had a moment where I just thought about how blessed I am and it almost took my breath away. In the middle of 3 weeks of sickness, stressful and frustrating tests, and loads of Zeta responsibilities, I can't remember a time in my life when things have felt this focused and comfortable and just happy. It's been a rough few weeks and I feel pretty rundown, but I am so undeservedly blessed. And of course, noncommittal, negative me tends to second-guess my situation every time I have a takes-my-breath-away moment and think "oh great, this is all going to crash around me eventually and things will be harder than they've ever been." And I mean, that may be true. But thank you God for giving me a time of solace, comfort, refocusing, and learning. Because these past 2 months have definitely been that for me.

Firstly and most obviously, I have a boyfriend. Which is weird, surprising, fun, different, encouraging, and definitely wonderful. Our friendship started at a Luke Bible study where he made a comment that I thought was genius, and for weeks we just texted about scriptures we were studying, blessings we were counting, and ways we saw God working around us. Interest dawned slowly but surely and I can't express how good William is for me. My whiny nature, tendency to be constantly stressed, and lack of focus seem to have not scared him off yet, and he consistently helps me remember where my focus needs to be. No one tell him I'm crazy, please. He's pretty great. His family has been so welcoming, fun, sweet, and it's a blessing that both of our families live so close and can be involved in our relationship.

But that friendship isn't the only good thing happening for me. Scholarships, school, car prospects, all the things I tend to panic about and stress about are fitting together as I pray and sit back and God works. Bible studies and lessons I've heard fit everything together that I need to hear and I'm healing and growing and being challenged every single day I'm here. Our God's greatness really can't be exaggerated.

We talked in Luke a couple of weeks ago about Luke 12 and how we shouldn't worry about food, friends, grades, money, because worrying about those things just ties us down here and doesn't allow us to be ready to go when Jesus comes back. Anything that ties us down here is hindering us being alert and ready for Him, and hindering us from WANTING Him to come back. What a wake-up call.

In Genesis we talked about Jacob, and how until he leaves and runs from Esau, he's far from having a real relationship with God. And the Bible says that as he falls asleep at the place that would be Bethel "the sun goes down." Starting a time that was ridiculously challenging, dark, and traumatic for him and what would be his family. But when he comes through that time, the sun comes up and he has grown and begun a real relationship with God and tells God he won't let go of Him until He blesses Jacob, trusting that he'll receive what God's promised.

Tonight at Lutz we talked about Lamentations 3, and how Jeremiah has to deliver a terrible message, and sees abandonment all around him and almost in language like Job speaks of his body decaying and God being against him and people plotting against him. But Hebrews 13:15 says that God "will never leave you or forsake you." And Jeremiah knew healing only came from God. That God's faithfulness and mercy are new every day. That responsibility for sin lies with us, but that redemption lies with God. And He who punishes will heal again.

OUR challenge, then, is to use suffering to remind us not to be tied to this world, to use dark times to grow and be ready for the light to expose a new character of growth, and to see our trials and wait on the Lord's healing and mercy.

So many lessons I have needed and so much that I can learn from. It's seriously amazing that all these things tie together for lessons that encourage my growth so much.

Thank You, God, for these last few months with my wonderful and darling roommate who I can pray with and talk to and learn from daily/nightly. Thank You, God, for time with my visiting Sister and Gwen. Thank You, God, for a boyfriend who encourages me and respects me and reminds me who I need to be. Thank You, God, for parents who make sacrifices for me every day, and who I learn to appreciate more every day. Thank You, God, for Micah and Kathryn, and the time I've been able to spend close to them. I'm going to miss them so much.

Even if you're in the darkest place and can't find a light, we serve a God who can turn the light on. He's turned it off, He'll turn it back on and bring you out better and brighter for the darkness.

"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."