I am currently sitting at a rest stop on the New York state thruway. I have been driving for hours, and thinking for hours, and simply had to stop... and write.
What a week. What a semester. What a lifetime.
Time is one of those things that gets away from me. It's a hard concept for me to grasp that it has been 4 and a half years since moving to Grand Rapids. Or 10 years since I first went on a Youth Unlimited event. Or only 36 hours since I went to bed for the last time at the Griggs house.
In the past week I have had coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner with just about every person who has had huge impacts on me while in GR.... just about. And yet, I'm sorry that I missed a few. I have cried huge crocodile tears because of the need to hug goodbye those I love, and because of misunderstandings that left me feeling a little unloved. I have driven around GR looking out on the ways I have previously defined my life, and I have had short panic-attacks when I have realized that I am primarily in the dark as to how I am going to be defining myself in just a few short weeks. I have been excited for the amazing things yet to be done in my life, and I have yelled at God for the things that have made it hard to leave the life I knew just 48 hours ago.
And yet, I keep coming back to a phrase that was coined almost 2 years ago now by my old roommates Jessi Miller and Kristin Haagsma.... "only time will tell." No clue where to turn, no clue what turns are coming, and only time will tell.
Somedays I am so excited for whats ahead. I charge into the idea of loving people and loving God, wherever I am. I crank up some good ol' Christian music and c-walk to 'My life be like' or re-realize the glorious message that first captivated me in 'Secret Ambition' or 'Color Outside the Lines' when I was young. I am productive in my packing and planning, and they don't seem like chores. People ask me about 'what I'm going to do' and I am bursting at the seams to tell them all I know of what I am going to get to expereince in Zambia.
Other days, it all feels so jaded. Theres not a Christian song out there that I feel like I haven't heard, nor a peice of encouragement that someone hasnt already said. My phone calls go unanswered and accomplishing anything seems impossible. And then I get frustrated at amazing people who love me, but make it sound like I'm about to go out and save the world... when all I want to do is learn how to love God and love others better. I'm no savior. I get scolded because I haven't done every little thing (I just realized I should have probably ordered extra contacts last week....), and everyone seems shocked to find out that I'm not perfect. And so I sit and dream instead of being able to do.
But that is about to change. I have to pack. I have to tie up loose ends. I have to finally submit my grad school applications. I have to, I have to, I have to... and then I get to.
And that's where I'm at.
Fundraising is almost finished. God has been so incredibly faithful (!!!) that it kills me that I am not more upbeat about everything 24/7.
But I think that's all part of it.
Because if I was 100% gung-ho and able to have everything together, I wouldn't need amazing people to show up at my house to help me pack... or friends who just hug me and let me cry. I wouldn't need parents who are probably at their wits end making sure I get all my ducks in a row (as frustrating as it seems sometimes to have them asking about things that I HAVEN'T gotten done... does that ever change??), and who love me despite not finding a way to earn enough money to pay my loans back. And I wouldn't need all of you, who are reading this blog right now and inevitably will end up offering me the same Bible verse over and over again until I actually READ that Bible verse and take comfort in what it says.
But, I do need you.
Because there are days I feel like I'm in this alone... and that nobody understands....and that the only way you could possibly understand would be if you got off your duff and go do the same thing I'm doing.... BUT..... then I realize again that God has blessed me with an amazing oppertunity to go out and do something that most people HAVE dreamed of, but have never been able to do for one reason or another... and that I get to be the link between that dream and the reality... and that people do care about the state of the world and the church... and that you are all at the exact place God has brought you to, just as I am... and that God is going to do mighty things in people (both here and in Africa) both because of and inspite of me.
And so I go. My car is currently packed within 10 squre inches of being too full to see out of any window. My family is waiting at home (including my brother flying in from Japan!), my friends are scattered around the country wishing me well, and the next two weeks that seem somewhat overwhelming at the moment will fly by just as fast as the last week of goodbyes in Grand Rapids.
On Calvin's seal there is a phrase printed around the crest that reads: "My heart I offer to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely." It's a phrase that I have never really put too much thought into until Friday night when I was standing on the roof of Spoelhof, looking out over the campus.... friends coverting senslessy in the background. What does it look like to seriously surrender your heart to the Lord, when he asks, how he asks, in every way/area of your life, and with everything you have? I'm not sure yet, but I think I'm learning. And I think I like it.
Here we go (thats you and me, for the record), promptly and sincerely.
"Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith." - Margret Shepard