Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Laughing at the title of my previous post.

As I'm logging on to blogger for the first time in far too long, I saw the title of the last post that went up since I've started school.

"Why am I not busy?"


Ha ha ha ha.

It. Does. Not. Last.

Fear not, Heather from two months ago. The busy will come.

Those empty chairs at that empty table will not be empty for much longer. You're going to meet some people soon. It won't take long, and once you meet these people, you'll find that you'll grow close very quickly. You'll find yourself spending every day with a wonderful group of people, and you'll have strong bonds that help to pull you out of the loneliness (that you are currently in denial about. It's okay. You just left home for the first time. There's nothing wrong with feeling a little lonesome.)

You'll soon find it perfectly normal to spend the last few hours of your nights down the hall, studying with your friends to the sound of laughter and the Beatles. You'll also spend quite a few nights in there watching movies and drinking tea. Or maybe just taking turns throwing an unopened pack of crackers into an empty coffee mug. It doesn't matter. You're just enjoying being with your friends. You're expanding your comfort zone.

You'll also find yourself, though you won't be sure how you got there, spending hours in a freezing theater with some of the craziest people that you've ever met. You're going to sit on the sidelines for a while, only hanging around long enough to say your lines, and only talking to the wonderful friend who brought you there. But then you're going to start warming up to these people. You're going to have conversations that aren't a part of the script, and you're going to have some good laughs, and you're going to be glad that you decided to stick with the play (even though it will take its toll on a few test grades. It's okay. Ob La Di.)

Oh, and you'll find yourself going on a retreat with people who you don't know that well, but afterwards you'll feel like family. It'll be great. You'll think about how long it's been since you've had a weekend to listen to the Lord. (and study. Don't forget to study.)

You'll take a lot of tests. You'll write a lot of papers. You'll get a bad grade or two, which is new. But that's okay. You're gonna grow from it.

You're gonna find yourself stretched thin a few times, because now that you've got a life going on at school, you have to learn how to balance it with your home life. You're going to have some busy weekends, and you're going to figure out which are your strongest relationships, because those are the ones that are gonna last through the distances and the absence. You're going to have some fun, and realize how much you love your family and friends at home.

There's going to be some rough things going on at home. You're going to find yourself driving slightly panicked straight from school to the hospital on a few occasions. It won't be fun, but you can do it.

You're gonna find yourself driving home in tears a few times when you first get started, because you're not very good at realizing how much you're actually dealing with. It's a lot of change at one time, and it's okay if you can't handle it at first. You're trying to be big and grown, and prove to everyone that you can transition just fine, and that they underestimated you. And you're probably right, but that doesn't mean that you don't have to admit when you're overwhelmed. There's nothing wrong with crying out to God in a fog of self-pity. You need to get past that. You need to hand it over. You need to let it go, and then move on.

Don't feel the need to romanticize everything that you go through. Not everything is gonna come easy, and that's okay. When you go home and people ask you, "How is college?" It's okay if you say "It's tough, but God's working."

You've got a lot of growing ahead of you. In just a few months, you're going to change a lot. But it's good. You're becoming who God's intended for you to be. You're becoming you. And this is just the first semester.

There are greater things to come.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why am I not busy?

I've been meaning to post an update on here for the past three days, but only now did I remember to keep my computer on me in order to accomplish it. I'm sitting in a cafeteria, surrounded by the noon-time crowd. My table is currently empty, which has been the norm so far. I don't mind so much, because it gives me an opportunity to catch up with the happy little messages on my phone. I find it interesting that everyone who I spent time with on a regular basis this time two years ago is now spread out, living all over the state. The drives between us are growing, and at the same time I find it easier to communicate. This must be what all this social media was made for. It hardly feels like I've moved an hour away from my home (and twice that distance from the others who have left) when it's so very easy to send a quick hello or even engage in a substantial conversation with just the push of a button.

It took quite a few things to ease my heart into leaving home. First of all, the promise that I could still return whenever I needed to. Second, of course, the companionship of technology's ability to keep me connected with the friends and family (and friends who have become family) that I love so much.
But more than anything, I was encouraged by the knowledge and continual assurance that this is where God wants me. I rest at night knowing that I am where I need to be. I don't think that there is any way that I could have come here if I didn't know that.

There is always that whisper of doubt, though. Not a doubt in God's sovereignty, but a doubt in my ability to discern His will. I've never been wholly sure of myself, but I've learned recently that if I do make a mistake and choose the wrong way, there is nothing that can happen that the Lord cannot redeem. No matter how distorted the path that I could choose, He is always there to pick me back up and lead me. I couldn't have made this journey without something absolute and sound and infallible to place my faith in. God has always been that, and if He did lead me here, then I have nothing to worry for.

I'm sure that as the days pass, my lunch table will no longer be empty, and the time between classes will no longer be dull and quiet. For now, that is how it is. I'm at peace, because my mere presence in this place is a reminder of all that God has done for me to get me here. He has opened and closed many doors, and taken care of everything that burdened me. I have no doubt in His faithfulness or His promise to always take care of me.

Now, to my precious friends either still at home or off on their own schooling adventures, I offer this little word that was given to me and fuels my spirit:

Remember who you are.

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
'Til it was a battle cry
I'll come back when you call me
No need to say goodbye

Just because everything's changing
Doesn't mean it's never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war
Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when it's over
No need to say goodbye

Now we're back to the beginning
It's just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too
Doesn't mean that you have to forget
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger
'Til they're before your eyes
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye
You'll come back when they call you
No need to say goodbye

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hope That Goes Unseen

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Romans 8:18-25 ESV

            Here I wait, with patience, for something infinitely greater than anything that I could ever know here. If anything, I have spent my life desperately chasing after faint tastes of what is to come. In my wildest dreams on this groaning planet, I can only hope for the shadow of the cloud of His glory. Only an echo of Heaven’s chorus has ever been heard: only the chance of singing in unity and agreement with the never ending songs of the angels.

            But there is something greater, and it is coming. Everything that we are here is preparation for that eternal home. We are not yet home, but inwardly we long and yearn to walk upon its shores. The greatest stories told among us are re-tellings of our journey there, of our longing for home. Once we become aware of this, our innermost heart’s cry, we can allow these hopes and desires to flow out of us and resonate with the whole of creation.

            My heart is stirred from its numbed slumber at the most subtle mention of the country that I will call home. Nostalgia for a place that I have never been echoes in songs and words, and my heart is overwhelmed with joy and a holy sadness. All I have for now are stories, told by others who know of what is to come. And I, in turn, tell stories that overflow from the hope that swells in my heart. Together, as story tellers, we rejoice in the hope of what we do not yet see. We wait with patience for what we know is coming. We are almost home. 

~Heather Rose