This season has been a rough one. God asked me to change and give up some big things. Instead of embracing it, I fought and fought against the waves and ended up with some pretty rough wounds. And then, instead of letting them heal, I picked the scab off over and over again, until I thought those wounds might never heal.
Recently, I've been struggling with the "what ifs" of my life. In particular, what if I had served as Lake Village Directer at camp in the summer of 2012 instead of being a FOCUS Missionary? What would my life be like? Who would I be?
Great is your faithfulness, oh God.
I think the hardest part about this particular "what if" is that there is no question in my mind that FOCUS is what I was supposed to do at the time. FOCUS is where God called me to be during that time (and still is calling me there now). But I think I will always wish I could have done both. And for some reason, this particular "what if" has even swirling around in my heart all summer long.
You wrestle with the sinner's restless heart.
So after an afternoon of feeling particularly disconnected from community, I opened up Facebook to avoid cleaning my room. My newsfeed was filled with smiling faces of beautiful people loving on campers and camp friends. And then, the tears came. Fat, warm, and constant - the kind that makes it hard to breathe a little. When I couldn't stop, I picked up the ukulele to distract myself, and I found myself praying as I played.
Jesus, why? Why this delayed pain, this strange sense of mourning, this weird resurfacing of an attachment?
As I calmed down, I found that what needed mourning wasn't the loss of that job or my time at camp - it was a version of myself.
You see, everyone's twenties are a whirlwind of change. The past three years have been particularly full of weird and hard changes. I went from being a Panhellenic President/camp counselor/college student to a Catholic Missionary at a large university to a 9-5 desk job Event Planner. And in the wake of these past years and changes, I haven't allowed the to dust settle.
You lead us by still waters and to mercy.
The realization of that I am someone so, so different, yet very much the same hit me hard. And at first I wasn't happy about it. During those beautiful years of summer camp and college I knew who I was. I was confident, good at what I did, and surrounded by people that I love.
Now that I've launched into the real world, I've discovered it's a bit lonely and that it changes you. Parts of me that I love have died. Some I let go willingly, others disappeared without me noticing, and others I clawed at and cried as I watched them leave.
And nothing will keep us apart.
As we move on to new and different things in our lives, sometimes we have to leave behind our old selves to make room for the new. This can be painful, especially when that old self is associated with happy memories and dreams and seasons of our lives. For me, it's painful because I know I'm not quite settled into this new season and this new version of myself.
So remember your people, remember your children, remember your promise, oh God.
It's funny because I've prayed for self-awareness, and now that it has come it is painful and I don't really want it. But in this time of transition, I take hope in knowing that my plans are little and small and nothing compared to what God wants. He leads me by still waters, He restores my soul. Psalm 23. And I know that to fully blossom into who He created me to be, I must continue to let this part of me go.
Your grace is enough,
Though my season of Camp Tecumseh has gone and passed, I am grateful for it. I would take this time of mourning and growing into a new self all over again because I could not become this new person without that time at camp.
your grace is enough,
So though it is painful right now, thank you Jesus for loving me enough to change me. Break me of anything that breaks your heart. Mold me into the woman you see and know, just stay by my side as we work through this. You are worth this struggle.
your grace is enough for me.
And in the end, I hope that like St. Paul I will be able to say, "It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me." Galatians 2:20.