I know I've been a terrible blogger as of late, but the truth is, I can hardly keep my head above water right now! We are in the madness of summer, that is "youth ministry's version of summer, and we are so busy! I seriously haven't been home this past week for more than a few minutes each day, not including the hours I'm sleeping. It's been one of those on-the-run kind of summers and sadly, there is no relief anytime soon. We're having fun, but the truth is, I'm exhausted!!! So, couple that excuse with the fact that our internet server has been down this week, and now you know where I've been and what I'm doing!
This morning, I am blogging from my parent's house in Iowa, because we're in town this weekend for my 10 year high school reunion. Yes, that's right, I've been out of high school now for 10 years. And that makes me feel old. It isn't too depressing, but a little shocking when I think about it. I was looking through my senior yearbook yesterday and reminising about so many memories, and people I lived life with. It seems like those years are a lifetime ago, so much has changed for all of us. I looked at pictures of myself and I hardly recognize who that girl is. Obviously I know who I am, I haven't had any plastic surgery or anything, but who I am today is not who I was at 18. Physically I've changed, emotionally I've changed, and spiritually I've changed. In good ways I think, but also due to pain, mistakes, and lessons learned. There is no way I would want to go back to 18, I see the immaturity in my eyes, the struggle of finding my self-worth, the uncertainty of my future...all kinds of emotions resting on the shoulders of a newly graduated 18 year old...
And it makes me wonder, what would I have done differently if I could go back to those days, 10 years ago? What decisions would I have changed if I could have known then, what I know now? Obviously the temptation is to say that I would change lots of things, but you know what? I'm not sure I would. The pain of a broken heart, the devestation of a deep loss, the anxiety of big decisions, the inner fight for self-esteem, the search for faith in the midst of confusion...all those things have contributed to who I am today and they have shaped me and molded me like only hard things can do. And I'm grateful for it. Yeah, I look at my senior picture and I wish I could whisper a few warnings to my 18 year old self...like, "don't waste your time on that guy, hold that friendship loosely, listen to the wisdom of your parents, spend more time with family, and trust the Lord with all that you fear, get to know His word and believe it." Those things would have helped, but in a way, it would be like cheating. I think I'm glad that I didn't get the "cliff notes" on these last 1o years. I needed to live them in my own way, mistakes and heartache included, so that I could discover who God is for myself, and who I am in response to Him. No one can do that for you. Lots of people can help, and I look back at so many people who did, but ultimately what you believe and discover about life, is a product of the journey you take. I love that I didn't know how my story would go 10 years ago. I never could have painted the picture that I have today. God has taken me on a wild ride, answering my heart's desires, teaching me His desires, and loving me all along the way. He has been unbelievable faithful these 10 years, even when I have not...no, especially when I have not. He hasn't let go of me and He truly has worked "for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). 10 years of living on my own, 10 years of God loving me as His own. It's a big milestone weekend for me, and I'm processing it deeply. I don't want to miss the significance of what it represents.
Last night we had dinner with some of my classmates, tonight we'll do the same. I'll take some pictures and fill you in on what we've done and learned. I'm walking such a weird road this weekend, trying to blend who I am now, with who I was then...maybe a little like our immersion in Heaven? Minus the Heavenly body, the presence of Jesus, and the mind that sees and knows in full, of course. But still odd. I hope you have a great Saturday! Think of me and my trophy husband, Travis!! He's such a great sport about weekends like this, he participates with a smile and a warm heart...makes me love him even more. I have to go now and brush up on my facts from 1998, I'm in charge of a little trivia game for tonight's activities!! Do you remember what the world was like 10 years ago?? I think I may have to brush up with a little google and wikipedia help! Have a great day!