I have a new friend. I feel a little like a second grader putting those words in writing, but I am excited, wildly.
God has been stirring up all kinds of things in me since the breakup. One of them is this: live in the moment and be faithful in doing what you know you are supposed to do.
One of those things is the encouragement and exhortation of the church which surrounds me. One of them is being a good friend.
I've been hearing for years about how I need to be "faithful in the little things." I know it is important, and sometimes mundane. But God has given me joy in the mundane lately. (You should see the burning anger in the eyes of my classmates when I complain about the lack of classes on the weekends). I love having things to do right now, and I am learning to relax as well.
I am at peace. Having faced myself and God. I am ready.
I'm not sure just what I'm ready for.
A little over a week ago, I set out, walking across campus, to a little ministry group I often go to in the old prayer chapel on campus. This group has been a place of encouragement, somewhere that I feel safe and also the presence of God in a powerful way.
My roommate from last year, Rebecca, tried over and over to get me to come to the group. It was not until the Holy Spirit stirred me, on the day (ironically) that Lincoln began the process of breaking my heart, and I started to press into the workings of the Spirit again, that I told my new roommate (Katy) about my morning at church and she invited me to this group that I finally went. Rebecca is not bitter.
It's been so long since I have been around people who pray for one another. Who let God be God. Who are quiet and let Him speak.
This is a place of encouragement. God has been stretching me as I remember how to listen - as I see visions and hear words and watch Him use little things to convict and encourage. It's been awesome.
So, I was on my way to this group recently, not this last week, but the one before. I was excited, but I wasn't all together sure why. All I knew was that I was right where I should have been.
The group was amazing that night. God showed up and moved in a very powerful way. He brought healing to some very hurting hearts and He ministered to people through worship. It was awesome.
I watched, I participated, but that wasn't all.
A little late, a girl came in.
She's a senior, writing minor, I've had classes with her all year. I smile at her and she sits next to me.
We have never said more than hello and goodbye.
Her writing captivates me.
God's gentle leading throughout the evening convinced me to talk to her. When I did, I found a kindred spirit. We ended up talking for hours, long into the night. As I climbed into bed at 2AM, I realized that I hadn't stayed up that late since I'd broken up.
God connected Lauren and I. I don't know all of the whys and I certainly wouldn't have thought that I would be so excited to have a new friend, a new friend who is graduating in less than three weeks.
Our backgrounds are so similar, and I was reminded of how very capable God is of bringing just the right people into our lives. Even if they have been in waiting while you get ready to receive them.
A lot happened that week. Academically and ethically, it was a challenge. I felt betrayed by those who shared my major, by the church.
Through Lauren, God reminded me that, I, just like Elijah, was not alone.
I love that story where Elijah is in the desert having run for his life.
God asks him "What are you doing here?"
He says, "They are seeking my life and I am the ONLY ONE LEFT!"
God tells him the truth "I have kept a remnant and there are 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
God goes on to tell Elijah to go back and do (you guessed it) what he knows that he is supposed to do.
I felt a little like I was the only one left. But God reminded me of His remnant, and gave me a writer friend. Now I'm trying to do what I'm supposed to do. To keep being faithful.
There is so much new right now.
It's crazy. So exciting.
I've been hanging out with a lot of seniors lately. Though I have been getting to know Lauren, and doing so at an easy, trusting pace (while still getting less sleep) I've also been seeing other ones, ones which I'm saying goodbye to, instead of hello.
I got a very random email from a guy I hadn't talked to in a year. He wanted to have lunch last week. I went and we talked and things were very much the same. He tied up the loose end of our friendship. He is almost flying.
A good friend, in the throes of busyness sent me an email saying she wants to hang out before she graduates. Likely, I will have just one more time with her.
I have to let go.
Some of the people I love the most at Taylor are getting ready to spread their wings. I have to remember God's faithfulness, and His power to connect people. I must let go of these relationships, and trust Him to work out the details. There are people with whom I keep in touch. It takes effort, but has an effortless quality. There are others, people I can't seem to catch. No matter how hard I try, I can't keep in touch. Some people are for a season. I'm trying to trust and relax into that. This isn't the end. There is no "I'll never see them again."
Often, when I give something up to God, He gives it back and it is better, and not crushed. Sometimes He doesn't. Blessed be His name.
I like to focus on things. I like to give a lot and pour energy into people and things that I am passionate about. Sometimes it gets to be too much. At times like that, often God clears out the old, the dead, the done. Sometimes He does that even when I don't think it is too much. Sometimes, I get blindsided, and I have to trust that He knows what He is doing. I run to Him and let Him hold and strengthen me.
Then I wait.
Soon comes the new.