It’s funny…

It’s funny…5 years ago I certainly didn’t think that at this point in my life I would be 22, just starting an 8-year degree, about to live completely alone, and yeah, honestly, single. All of this happening in a foreign country by the way.
5 years ago, I expected that in 5 years time I would know SO much about God and be SO sure of who He is, and that my life would revolve around joyfulness and community and strong relationships.
I dreamed that I would be singing in churches with a baby on my hip and a steadiness in my heart.
I dreamed that I would be settled.
I dreamed that my heart would be so full of love that I would drown in the bliss and be the kindest person to everyone I met and have a strong tribe that walked through life with me.

I never imagined my heart would get so bent up and bruised that I wasn’t sure it would ever be the same.
I never imagined I would be starting over again for the 100th time.
I never imagined that at the end of the day, it would just be me and Jesus, not a single other soul in sight.
I never imagined I would be so TIRED.

I’ve pleaded with God these past years for stability, to be able to just settle and get comfortable.
But it’s been a roller coaster. Passion and heartbreak and overwhelming joy and indescribable sadness.
My heart has burst, deflated, grown soft, been tender, and felt hollow.
I’ve seen the Lord’s hand move so powerfully and heard His voice speak so gently.
I’ve felt the weight of my unworthiness, my incapability, my ignorance, and I’ve felt Him hold me through it all.
“I’ll teach you,” He says.

As you may have read, I made the decision recently to take a break from full-time missions and pursue a medical degree that I believe will be the start of the ministry the Lord has been preparing me for all this time. In the beginning, when He starting nudging me, I was like,
“Noooooo, I think I’m good here!”
This is the longest I’ve been with a ministry, and my original plan was to be involved with it for at least 5 years.
I am head over heels in love with the small beach town I live in and the people who have made me family.
I couldn’t bear the thought of having to start over again.

If you know me, you know I’m an extrovert, and humans are my life. Seriously, I could make friends with a rock…and probably get it to talk back, let’s be real.
I am most content when I am having conversation and talking about everything and getting to know the beautiful inside of a person. A lot of nights, I go to sleep thinking about all my incredible friends and all the wonderful things about them and how completely awesome they are. You guys are my collection, by the way, and I treasure it with all my heart.

I hate leaving people behind. I love making new friends but it gets exhausting. I seriously cannot have a surface-level relationship…we’re either best friends or you probably hate me, WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!
Haha…my friend and I like to call our type of personality “dog people”. I am literally a puppy that all day long wants to know how you’re doing, what you’re doing, when can I see you, and LET ME LOVE YOU.

So….this starting all over – beginning at the university, living in a different city, having no free time from studying and classes – this has made a hollow in me.

Awhile back I read “Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet” by Sara Hagerty, which I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about before.
I just came back to it because, well, IT’S MY FAVORITE BOOK EVER.
And there’s a part in the first chapter that always hits me so hard. Ok, every part hits me hard. It’s all good.
But this specific part says, “Pain had created space. Space to want more. Space to taste a sense of being alive.”

As angsty as this post is, I hope you know that I’m not discouraged. I’m excited about starting a new adventure because I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest I’ve been on yet.
I’m not discouraged but I am feeling a lot right now. It’s not a very happy feeling, honestly, it’s those stupid growing pains that are so fruitful but so uncomfortable.
This hollow that I feel is the space in me that’s my being getting ready to be filled. I’m not trying to make this soul a hoarder’s house, if you feel me.

So, my dear friends from afar that I miss and love, let’s pray through this together, yeah?
Let’s be praying that God gives us hunger for something radical that He wants to fill us up with. You can’t be hungry without clearing some room out in your stomach though, so, as much as I hate dumb analogies, let’s de-clutter!
Nope. I hated that.
However you want to imagine it, think about making some room to taste joy, and peace, and grace like it’s your first time again.
My prayer for you is that you would be aware and accepting of things that need to be let go of, and that you would have hopeful anticipation of the Lord blowing your mind in an area you least expect it.

And if you want to FaceTime, I would love to immerse myself in some good English language time. Seriously.
Or if you have any amazing video devotionals or series that you are loving lately and that’s inspiring you in all kinds of ways, please give me suggestions!