I’m sitting at home, alone, in a quiet house. Yesterday I finished my last finals of my sophomore year of college and today I moved back home. Room 113 is empty tonight and it’s hard to realize that I won’t be going back. I’ve never been good at goodbyes. I don’t usually cry. I try to push all emotions aside because they’re too difficult to feel. Today I cried. There was too much sadness to try to bottle it up.
This year God has blessed me in more ways than I could have ever asked or imagined. I expected to enjoy living in the dorms. I didn’t expect to come out with a best friend. I knew I would love living in community, but I never imagined that I would get to live with such a loving, respectful, kind, caring, supportive, and amazing group of girls. I expected God to provide nice roommates, but I never expected that we would become so close and love each other so well and that I would miss them so much.
This year I’ve been honest with God in a way that I have never known. I’ve come to realize my shortcomings in my relationship with him. I understand that it isn’t always peaches and roses, but that’s ok. I am not perfect, he is. And because I am not perfect, I cannot live out a perfect relationship either. There will always be something that I need to work on and strive for. And that is ok.
This year I have figured out what I love and what I’m good at. My intended major is still Communications and I hope to go into the field of publishing, perhaps as an editor, but we’ll see where Communications takes me. Also, I’m good at art. Though I always put myself down and think that I’m not a creative person (comparative to others), I have come to embrace that I do have an artistic side and it needs to be challenged in order to grow.
This year I’ve come to realize my weakness of not accepting others for who they are and for not loving them as Christ loves them. I realize that I have every intention of doing that and I want to love in that way, but when I am put into a situation where love needs to be demonstrated, the judgments keep on rolling. This is something to work on, but simply realizing it is a big step.
This year I learned how to stretch my limits and reach goals that I never thought were attainable. In studying for finals I pushed my physical limit and stayed up until after 3am. I have always been the one to go to bed at the first yawn, never past 1am. Though maybe not the best decision to make, it showed me that I do have the will power to do hard things when hard things are demanded of me. Also, I finished a hat that I learned to crochet this year. I’m still working on knitting a scarf I started 2 years ago, so finishing a hat is a pretty big deal.
This year I learned that God is faithful beyond what I expect, deserve, and could imagine. In my absence I realize I’ve failed to tell you a lot of important things that deserve longer explanations that I cannot give right now. Here are a few highlights of his faithfulness: I have a barista job that I love with managers who are supportive and encouraging, the laptop thief was apprehended and Rachel and I got our computers back with nothing deleted, and I got a job as a swim coach at the pool this summer — something that I have been wanting to do for a long time.
This year I learned to find beauty and joy in unexpected places. I’m not sure she knows it, but my good friend, Victoriana, taught me a lot about that. Victoriana makes beautiful things with whatever she can find and she seeks to find beauty in everyone. She has made me stop and think many many times. I am grateful for her desire to see God and see beauty in everyone and everything. She is such an encouragement to me.
This year my friends taught me a lot about life and God. Rachel taught me so much about faith. Though I’ve grown up in the church and been a believer for slightly longer, she continues to keep me on my toes and remind me of the fundamentals of my faith, like trusting God with things that are really hard to trust him with (i.e. where I’m living in the fall). Megan taught me how to say, “Yes,” to God when he tells me not to do something that I have my heart set on. Her example was humbling. It was a hard lesson to learn. Sammie taught me that things don’t always go as planned, but God is still good. She was disappointed many times this year with job positions falling through and not being picked for other positions, but throughout it all she knew that God had a very good plan for her. It was so encouraging to watch God work in her life and in my life through hers.
I’ve learned a lot this year, made a lot of friends, eaten a lot of coffee and bagels; I’ve been disappointed a few times, hurt, sad, and violated. At the end of it all I feel satisfied in where God took me, loved by who God brought into my life, and blessed by all that has happened since September.
I know God has more good in store for me, but tonight I am missing all that was this past year. Most of all, I miss my roommates and our late night conversations — some of them deep and insightful, some of them… not so much. It was a good year, and I am thankful.