Today’s title was inspired by a song that we sang during praise and worship. Before today I had never heard it, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I left church. “Let It Happen” by United Pursuit featuring Andrea Marie.
I don’t know if I found what I was looking for during this journey. It was filled with ups and downs. There were some good moments and some not-so-good moments. There were challenges, failures (like the vegan ramen that I made for dinner tonight), and triumphs. There was uncertainty, but also clarity. And I was honest and vulnerable with complete strangers.
One day last fall I called my mom in tears. I came back to a city that I had grown to enjoy and friends that I had grown to love, but I felt so lonely. During the two and half months that I was gone, the city didn’t stop for me. It seemed like everything had changed. Things at the university changed. Things at church changed. People changed.
If I’ve learned anything at all during these past few weeks, it’s the importance of intentional relationships. Through my journey I’ve been able to meet wonderful people and grow closer to people who I already knew. Most of them, not all of them, have helped provide me with a better understanding to a journey that many of them didn’t know I was on. I’ve accepted more invitations to lunch and coffee (which I dislike) from friends, colleagues, and church members over these last forty-six days than I did in my four years as a student. I’ve been able to sit down with people and exchange stories. Many of my experiences and feelings aligning with theirs. I have a colleague at the university who never thought she’d be working in higher education who is questioning whether it’s time for a career change. I have a friend who also graduated with a degree that he’s not passionate about, is trying to figure out his purpose, and is lonely in a different state away from all of his family and friends (Unlike myself, he still decided to work as an engineer). I have a church member who’s new in her walk with Christ and is also trying to dig deeper in faith and scripture. I’m not the only one dealing with these things. And I’ve realized that I’m far from lonely. I’ve realized now that I’m loved and appreciated by many.
Pain is the sensation that indicates a transformation is needed. There is a weakness where new strength needs to enter in. And you have chosen to pursue long-term strength rather than temporary relief. So don’t berate yourself for being in pain. It just means you are walking toward victory by not numbing yourself right now. You are making progress. – Lysa TerKeurst
This morning I was reading our chapter of Uninvited for today’s ladies group. This chapter was titled “Moving Through the Desperate In-Between” and in it Lysa mentions how she uses scripture-led prayers to press through the pain and the in-between. She also mentions that she shares these personalized prayers to press through the feelings of pain, rejection, and loneliness with one trusted friend. This way she has one human voice that can repeat them back to her during moments of doubt.
I have a trusted friend (or two). More recently, I have this blog. This, plus my prayer journal, is a reminder of the last forty-six days. And like Lysa said, on those days when life gets hard, these things will help me stand on the bold faith of today so I don’t forget that bold faith is within me. I don’t think I’m going to continue blogging. It was a great experience and a risk that I’m glad I took, but it’s hard work (Kudos to all of the bloggers out there). Double checking spelling and grammar. Making sure that what I type makes sense to others. Even thinking of a topic was difficult at times. And I’m just not sure if my words and thoughts are as honest as they would be if they were written on paper for my eyes only. For now, I’ll stick to my journal. Maybe in a year or so I’ll decide to give this blogging thing another try. Maybe.
My journal will help me get through those feelings of the desperate in between. And on the days when it doesn’t, I’ll remind myself that I’m more whole now than before. I smile with gratitude as I type this. I may not have found the person that I was before I let higher education consume my life. I may not have discovered my life’s purpose. Heck, I couldn’t even complete my eating cleanse. But that’s okay. I’m regaining control of my life one day at a time by finding comfort in the things that I once enjoyed. I’m making myself a priority again. Most importantly, I’m pressing in further to see Jesus more clearly and to understand that, “He has a perfect plan with flawless timing already mapped out for me.” I just need to let it happen.