I swore I wouldn’t cry. Goodbyes are tough and I hate them. So, I swore I wouldn’t cry.
It initially felt like freedom – hopping in my own car, filling up the gas tank, and making friend’s with the interstate yet again after so many weeks. And then it hit me – the realization that those glorious mountains were now growing distant in my rear view mirror instead of looming larger in front of me. My 2 months at Meadowmount truly are done. I felt the tears begin to slip free after months and months of not crying at all.
The tears were a strange mixture of sadness and joy. The sadness was for my beautiful friends that I had acquired over the past 2 months. To say that this specific compilation of souls was coincidence would be to make my God far too small – no, this group of people were specifically called and brought together by God this summer. Over half of the counselors were Christian. This group of people – both the ones who identify as Christian and the ones who don’t – helped me grow and challenged my own faith in God…they lifted me up, supported me, challenged my ways of thinking, and helped me grow in both my musical endeavors and more importantly – my relationship with Christ. As brothers and sisters in Christ it was so refreshing to be able to openly speak of His glory, to pray together, to share bible verses, stories, and attend church. We did more than enforce rules together this summer – we shared the love of God with each other and all the students around us. To God be the glory!!
Some of the tears were tears of joy. It has become so evident to me during the past 2 months that God will always make a way for us to get where we are supposed to be. I would be lying if I told you that coming to Meadowmount this summer was not risky for me, given my past here and all the deep and intense emotional turmoil that the environment potentially possessed. It did, at times, possess that power and turmoil. But I did it. I came out on top with the guidance and love of Christ!
I am proof that wherever He calls us, He WILL make a way. Wherever He leads us, He will never leave us. I was able to share my story with so many people over the course of my travels this summer. I was equipped with the love of Christ and enabled to withstand the trials and stress of this crazy busy summer. I was able to love people around me, grow in empathy, compassion, patience, and yes – hopefully even musically (however the final say of THAT aspect is up to my teacher who hasn’t heard me play in 3 months, so time will tell haha). It wasn’t an easy summer, by any means, but I made it through with the help and love of my Savior.
To realize that He placed these people in my life to refine me in the places where I most needed it, and often times where I didn’t even realize that I needed it, is overwhelming. He took my heart and used it in ways I didn’t know were possible. The conversations, heart to hearts, late nights, early mornings, the interactions, the hugs, the disagreements, the long walks, the cups of coffee, the emergency room, the ice cream shop, the long drives – He was there throughout it all. I was able to show up and be there for others even through my own exhaustion. I was able to show up as myself and let myself grow close with so many new people – I was able to allow myself to be both loved and disliked by people at the same time. I was able to see that I am okay. I can do hard things. I am never walking through this life alone.
The verdict is out: this summer is easily one of the greatest of my life. Definitely makes it into the top 3. Thank you to my friends, old and new, who walked this journey with me – your prayers, hugs, laughter, deep talks, etc all have meant more than you could ever realize. To the students at Meadowmount, thank you for helping me grow – specifically in patience haha. To all the teachers and faculty that I worked with this summer, thank you for taking me under your wing and helping me to grow musically and in character.
To my Savior – thank you for unconditional love, for forgiveness, grace, mercy. Thank you for knowing me – my past, my mistakes, my tears – and holding me in your arms regardless. Thank you for friends, for lessons, for trials, for the mountains, for sunrises and sunsets. Thank you for health, for the funds to be able to make this summer journey happen. Thank you for showing me that, no matter what my current situation is, you will always make a way to get me from where I am to where YOU want and need me to be. Thank you for bringing me to the fire so that I could learn to lean on you and see that you will always bring me THROUGH the fire. I know that wherever you lead me, you won’t leave me there – there is always more to the story than the emotions I am feeling and the thoughts I am thinking. Satan is strong and he will always try to take a hold of my life in one way or another, but you are strongEST and whenever I am in the battle, you will be my prayers and my peace. You brought me this far. Use me for your glory, for your honor, and to share your love and grace with everyone I meet. I am holding to your promises, Lord Jesus. I know, going forward, that my God will make a way.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
― C.S. Lewis
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson
After 85 days apart though, I am absolutely THRILLED to get this one back in my arms tomorrow afternoon and to love on her and bring her back to Michigan with me ❤