I suppose I should simply stop apologizing for when I do not blog: it is mine, after all, and I can do with it as I please!! But o, how wonderful it is to hear people tell you they read your blog and they enjoy it! For those people, I apologize. I have needed to get caught up on all of YOUR blogs (which, I might add, are fantastic ☺).
Where did we last leave off--spring break, was it? Well, mine was fabulous. It didn't all go QUITE according to plan: I missed my window to go to Temecula and I had to cancel my trip to Woodleaf to see camp friends :( It's all ok though! I am hoping for time to make up for lost time.
I guess that is where I should share, dear friends. My heart has been in a very hard place, a very sad place for the last 8 months. You see, there is really nothing I love more than the people that God has given to me to enjoy: I mean, I have like 1,500 friends on Facebook! Some of them, I don't really know; but for many of them, I could tell you something I love about their soul, a great memory I have of them, a trinket they have given me, or how they loved me. And guess what? My family is the same way! I was recently watching a video of my mom blowing out the candles on her cake last summer for her **nd birthday: it's just my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, and myself filming, cracking up at a movie quote spoken at the perfect time (if you know my family, you know we LIVE on movie and television quotes) while singing my mom "Happy Birthday." It was so peaceful, so content, so comfortable, so perfect. I am BLESSED, because I don't know too many other families that have what mine does. My family and my friends are the best thing I have in my life.
So you can only imagine what it has done to my soul to be away from them this year. ALL OF THEM. Do you know how much time I spend on Facebook on average? HOURS a day, trying to soak up the moments, the smiles, the hugs, the laughter, the joy that I am missing. There are some days when it is not as hard, and some when it is nearly unbearable. This is one of a few places where Satan can really do damage--he encourages my fear of losing my friendships, my sadness of being away, my uncertainty about the future. Essentially, he drags me away from the present and this is dangerous.
I am following Jesus. I am following him wherever he takes me--I am most certainly NOT doing this perfectly and my year in Oregon has caused me to think a lot about what it REALLY means to follow Christ; to do all that Jesus asks me to do. Interesting to find that there are areas of my life that I am REALLY not ready to surrender, and conciously not doing so--I never thought I would be that person! There are areas of my life that I find myself REALLY immature! I am not afraid of all of this, because Jesus has promised to finish the work that he began in me. And I, dear friends, am a HUGE work in progress.
So, I am following Jesus. I am following him wherever he takes me--this year, he has taken me to Portland, Oregon. My comfort zone has been violated; my core temperature has dropped; my hair has darkened to a very, dark brown with no sunshine (I kinda like that, not gonna lie); I am practically transparent; my endurance has been measured; my patience has been drawn thin; my feelings have been hurt; my heart has been grieved.
But the problem is that we are are not supposed to look backwards! We are not supposed to be focused on the things that we are missing:
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62 ...Later on in Luke...
"It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife!" Luke 17: 30-32 ...Alright then!...
Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. ...UHHH...
Yeah, I have no desire to become a pillar of salt. Ash is not a good color for my complexion.
And there have been good things about this year: I LOVE MY INTERNSHIP. Seriously? This is the coolest career ever and I am so excited that this will be my job!! I have met some great people through my program. I LOVE SOLID ROCK--best church ever! And if Portland wasn't so darn cold/rainy/gray, it has some totally amazing perks!!
So for tonight, I'm unfortunately letting the melancholy overtake me :( Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. I must go to bed now. Tune in tomorrow!