I am trying to learn to feel at home in the space between the notes on the page as well as in my own body and mind. Sometimes I try to imagine myself as being very teeny tiny…crawling around, over, and through the notes on the pages set before me – sometimes getting a little lost, sometimes pausing to rest and admire the beauty around me. I like to live my life in a figurative world full of metaphors and especially full of love.
Love the notes. Love the people. Love the mistakes, the learning, the growth, and even the pain. Everything in life is a process. From rising out of bed in the morning, to making our way through school, work, play…learning all the time. Constantly being aware that we are evolving is a terrifying thing. And even more terrifying – we are all evolving in different directions and at different rates.
Despite the uncertainty, there is comfort in the fact that we are all just small pieces of a far greater puzzle than our mere human minds can handle processing. There is a larger picture to which we are all somewhat ignorant to and, undoubtedly, exceedingly incapable of seeing on our own.
God is the artist and learning to trust anyone, even the creator of the universe, takes great strength and a considerable amount of time. I am learning that doubts from time to time are both normal and acceptable so long as those doubts don’t allow fear to manifest itself in our lives. If there is some way that we can manage to be creative instead of condescending, encouraging instead of egotistical, and fearless but not foolish – if we could strive for authenticity and embrace uniqueness instead of sharing judgments and gossiping, if we could build one another up and offer an outstretched hand instead of turning our noses up at the slightest sign of struggle I believe that we would all find a lot more comfort and joy in our lives.
This morning my daily devotional asked, “How do you feel about yourself?” and the current answer is more like a facebook relationship status than a true thought out, genuine response: it’s complicated. Physically, I am feeling exhausted. Emotionally, I am feeling drained and worn down. I am having trouble staying present – always planning and scheming about future things once I leave MMT…being in VA for 10 days, Michigan with Rachi, the start of school. Spiritually, I am also worn out and weary. I can NOT wait to go to church again – it’s been far too long since I’ve had the opportunity to hear the message of Christ being preached and to worship alongside other Christians. That might be what I’m most looking forward too most about returning to VA (aside from Rachi, duh!). Mentally, I’m just about fried. It’s taking everything I’ve got to focus during practicing and to keep up with my assigned duties and tasks, not to mention taking care of, providing for, and overseeing 12 little ladies who are also all experiencing similar things as myself as far as burnout and fatigue go.
Like I’ve said before – God is breaking me where I need to be broken and mending me where I need to be mended – leading me to grow in places I’ve been avoiding and ignorant to the need for growth. God is using this very isolated and, at times, claustrophobic environment to help me to heal, learn, grow, and evolve. I am so grateful for this chance and opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a counselor for this length of time. There aren’t many other programs around the country that are both this level of intensity and this length of time. 7 weeks is a long time to be under a microscope, under lock and key, under the scrutiny of people around you – in many different ways, some involving music and some which simply could be categorized as “judgment”. It’s unusual to be expected to provide, show up for, and support 12 other young girls who all come together from different backgrounds, locations, family histories, and environments and to try to help them grow and evolve all while you yourself are changing moment by moment also. For this, I am grateful. And for the support and love of others around me – both new friends here and old friends back home, there aren’t words to express my gratitude.
In 2 weeks I will return to VA, return to my church, return to my pup, return only momentarily before whisking myself and Rachi back up north to Michigan for the start of my sophomore year of school. I am a mixture of apprehensive, anxious, excited, and eager about the weeks and the semester ahead of me. I am tired, but ready for new challenges and new growth. I am encouraged by the prospect of finding a new church community in Ann Arbor and sinking deeper into my faith and my relationship with Christ as well as the loved ones who surround me.
“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
― Anaïs Nin
“Grace does not mean the absence of struggles, rather it means the presence of God.”