I've been blogging now for over a year. My first post was November 3, 2008. So very much has changed between then and now. 2009 has been my most challenging year to date, bringing with it grief, joy and hope. It is coming to a close.

As I get ready to leave campus for Thanksgiving Break, I am reminded of my post from last year "Strangers and Sojourners" which talks about being adopted, and about being a gracious stranger.

I'm learning all those same lessons again this year. I'm remembering that sometimes you have to ask for help, even if you want to have it all together. I'm being forced to face my own stress, and how easily I slip into it. In fact, when I look over my entries from the past, I realize that I'm not saying much that is new. I might be saying it deeper or stronger or better. I might be more mature or more adept, but it is not usually new.

It reminds me of school when I was younger. The curriculum we used allowed us to go deeper and deeper into subjects as we got older. The program was cyclical. Each time, when we studied the same things, they would take on another level. More would click together with what we already knew. It sometimes felt that we were repeating ourselves, but now, looking back, I think it was a wonderful way to learn.

God must think so too, because that is how He is teaching me. He doesn't take one thing in my life and fix it. I don't get to check off struggles in my life like my to-do list. It's a cycle, and it's constant. Like the seasons of the earth, there are seasons to my learning. I guess God likes seasons.

One of the ways that the Lord has been challenging me is in my relationships with people. There are those people who have been out of my life for a time and then pop back in again. Sometimes, those people hurt me, or didn't notice me or didn't make a large impression. The Lord has been challenging me to treat them like a season. Both in the way I hold onto the relationship as the season is ending and as I embrace the season as it comes. This is hard work.

I'm trying to embrace November and all the memories and emotions that come with it. I know that even though this past year has been hard, sometimes so much so that I didn't think I could continue, it is just the current season. All too soon it will be blown away.

One of the things that was blown my way in the last couple weeks was an old friend I haven't really talked to for a year. This renewed relationship has reminded me that when I embrace the people that God puts into my life, I am blessed.