"Don’t know why we fear the change when we've only just begun, because with fear comes hope the same, and tomorrow's gonna come."

Well, this past week has been one of the most emotional and transitional of my life thus far. Anyone who knows me well knows that I don't like change, surprise, transition, or not knowing what to expect. This past week was all about change and all about the end of an era, the end of a comfort zone. I said goodbye to countless friends, most of whom will be back at FC this fall with me. But most of the very closest won't. That's pretty hard for me to stomach. I'd be happy to just live at FC with these same people for a very, very long time. Last Thursday morning I said goodbye to Drew, the first of my best friends who isn't going to be back at FC next year. Friday I graduated college. COLLEGE. Saturday I said bye to Daniel and David, two of my biggest influences and closest mentors since I've been here. Sunday I said bye to Emma. What a week.

Any week of change, though, and the end of so many good things, can only inspire retrospection and thought and excitement for what's to come. I've been so blessed by these people and influences over the past two years, and I'm so blessed with the opportunities ahead of me.

Drew. . . .What a guy. I'm thankful for the laughs, spiritual discussions, duets, Pink Berry, sweet teas, early mornings at Starbucks, tears, arguments, puns. . . .He was my first best friend this year and I'll always be grateful for everything we've shared. Thanks to camp friends tour I'll get to hug him in less than a month, even though he won't be back at FC this fall.

Daniel and David. . . .Seriously two of the most amazing and Godly guys I have been privileged to know. I've known Daniel my entire life and just in the past two years have gotten to really know him spiritually and it's been such an honor. He's such a leader and yet such a servant. I'm grateful for every Bible study, prayer, long talk, laugh, and cry we've shared. I know he'll do amazing things. David Watson. . . .The ultimate Dave. So grateful for the time we've had at Lutz to grow and learn and for all the inside jokes and complete ridiculousness that are part of our friendship. He and Hannah have taught me so much about generosity and love and I'm so grateful for that.

Emma. . . .(and I'm not talking about myself) How ridiculous is it that we had to say goodbye?! My closest friend who knows me insanely well (she'd probably say TOO well). She's lived with me, put up with my mood swings and tendency to always be stressed, she's put up with my immaturity about boys and my severe caffeine addiction, she's put up with my messiness and my selfishness and somehow she still manages to be loving and sweet and so much fun to be around. I'll forever be grateful for God's plan in putting her in my life, and I'll forever consider her one of the best things that's ever happened to me, spiritually and emotionally. She seriously has changed my life and I hope we are always close enough that I will be able to keep learning from her for a very long time to come. California can't keep you away from me! "if i don't get married i'd love to live with you forever." "ok! We can get some hypoallergenic cats or something!"

At this point I'm reminded of the verse in Hebrews 11 where the writer says time and space would fail him to write of the other heroes of faith....Time and space would fail me to describe William, Katie, Clay, Beau, Hannah, Danae, Andrea, Ashlyn, Alli, Jenna, Hayley, Rachel, Maria, Brianne, David S, Nikki, and so many more. God has given me so many people I don't deserve in my life, and I have so many examples to imitate. (Emma-tate?) I'm so excited for next year with these folks. It will certainly be different, but in so many good ways. Thanks for all the laughs and tears and encouragement this year. Jenna and Hayley can we be chapel buddies again next year? Okay great.

This summer so far has been sleep and scrapbooking and William and family and food and laundry. Tomorrow I start back at the text book store for a few weeks. June 6th I leave on CAMP FRIENDS tour, on an 8 week trip of madness to OH, MO, Chicagoland, MN. . . .Can't wait to spend way too much time in a van with Ashley and Caleb and Alli and Andrew. I know I'll learn a lot and have a blast. Then it's back with a couple of weeks to recover before I move back in and jump back into the school routine for my Junior year. American Civilization BA, here I come. :)

Music muses lately: John Legend, Jason Mraz, The Civil Wars, Justin Bieber (of course), Ben Rector. . . . Those are the flavors of my spring and summer.

Now I'm back to writing thank you notes to my amazing teachers, reading 1 John, texting my boyfriend, and listening to my Mom and Jesse getting things done around the house. What a blessed life I live.

I'll leave you with this thought from the book I'm reading, the writer is anonymous but it is quoted in Secure in the Everlasting Arms by Elisabeth Elliot. (Thanks, Kathryn)

"My goal is God Himself--not joy, nor peace
Nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.
'Tis His to lead me there, not mine, but His--
'At any cost, dear Lord, by any road!'

So faith bounds forward to its goal in God
And love can trust her Lord to lead her there;
Upheld by Him, my soul is following hard,
Till God hath full fulfilled my deepest prayer.

No matter if the way be sometimes dark,
No matter though the cost be oft-times great,
He knoweth how I best shall reach the mark--
The way that leads to Him must needs be strait.

One thing I know, I cannot say Him nay;
One thing I do, I press towards my Lord:
My God my glory here from day to day,
And in the glory there my Great Reward."

I pray that I'll have feet of iron, like Asher, to live out my days with strength and faith. I pray that I'll have sight like Jacob to see God's plan even when my eyes are dim. I pray that I'll live like Joseph and that my life will be a clear type of Christ. I pray that I'll follow God's plan even when it requires discomfort or change, like Abraham.

"Sometimes it's good to stop in the pursuit of happiness and just be happy."

I'm working on another blog this summer that will hopefully be less about ME and more about God. Join me and read it and tell me ways you have grown closer to Him, and hopefully this whole worldwideweb thing can be used to glorify Him and teach us some things this summer. Grow nearer with me here: growlearnlead.blogspot.com

I'm praying for you, pray for me too. Let's all stay near the cross this summer, and carry others to Jesus' feet. We have been shown unlimited grace, don't be stingy with God's love.