I am not going to sugar coat my feelings about 2014. To put it bluntly,
LAST YEAR SUCKED.
It sucked out my patience, my elegance, my stability, my health, my emotions, my tears, my pride, and my plans. Sucked it all out to where I was a dried up sponge. Due to my health being at an all time low (I am dealing with some pretty severe yet still nameless digestive health issues that slow me down), I am taking a semester off of school to work things out. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but it pretty much took all of the courage I had in me, and then some (Thank you, Jesus) to make this decision.
I have always been in school since I was 4 years old. Not only that, I was already getting into the habit of defining myself by achievement by age 11, being an overachiever by age 16, and a know-it-all scholar at age 21. I have let my educational status define me much of my life.
I made the decision pretty last minute and had even ordered my textbooks for the semester. However, as I clicked to purchase paper for paper, I had this sense that I would not be participating, and that those textbooks were as foreign to me as the summit of
Mount Everest: being so very distant, out of sight, and cold. It was a few days later when I was sitting on the floor of my parent’s living room discussing “it” with my mom, then relief settled in my bones as I let go of the rope I had gripped while trekking up Everest; I decided to take semester off. The questions that flooded my mind were: What am I going to do? Will I become depressed? Be unproductive, wasteful, useless?… What am I going to be? I felt like I was taking a life Hiatus, (to continue my extended Everest metaphor :p) I was gonna sit there is the snow, slowly go mad, starve and then freeze to death. This may seem a bit dramatic, but my recovering overachieving friends would understand.
I just hear God speaking to me know as the question echoes from the bottom of my heart… What am I going to be? God is saying to be: You will be mine. As I say, will I be depressed, unproductive, wasteful or useless? God whispers so gently, No, you will be content, fulfilled, joyful, and still with purpose. And as I say, What am I going to do? God reassures me, You will do that which I will guide you. Every day has purpose, every day has choice, and every day has challenge all meant to guide you on the path I show you.
I am still in Washington right now, finalizing some withdrawal procedure, and attending some doctor’s appointments I had already established a few months ago. I am hoping for a diagnosis, and will return home ready to restore my health (which is dilapidated in more than one area) and be a servant to the will of God.
Yesterday, I went to my lovely church here in Washington and heard a sermon that went straight from the heart of God to Pastor then to me. The sermon was about the second chapter of Nehemiah, a book I don’t normally frequent, to be honest. Nehemiah went to the king wishing to be sent so he could rebuild Jerusalem. It had been four months since he heard of the destruction of Jerusalem in the month of Chislev. Now it was the month of Nisan. This is coincidental because my semesters are four months long and this is how much my plans are being delayed. Pastor Ben then extracted 5 principles from the text on what to do while in this “waiting” period. These were Priorities, Patience, Pray, Plan, and Prepare. The time before he asked the king (Nehemiah 1) to be sent was spent regarding the principles said above. He emerged from that time having prioritized instead of acting right away (zeal without knowledge, my friends), having patience while waiting to hear from the Lord of what to do, prayed to be united with the will of God, made a plan, and prepared what he was to do. By the time he reached the king, he proposed the plea and plan at the apt time and was able to be sent off well.
This is definitely a hyper-charged waiting time for me. This time, I am 3 quarters of the way up Everest and must stop, pitch my tent, and wait for that manna from heaven (wow, so. many. figures. of. speech.) as I see what God has prepared. Even as a sat listening to the sermon, God had already given me a little spark of what I would be doing during my school hiatus besides focusing on my physical health. It excites and scares me.
It is good to know that no matter what Hiatus comes my way, nothing will separate me from God’s love. His love has not any finite depth and I discover more about him wherever I am in life.
Here is a song that proclaims that truth:
Now as Paul blesses the church in Ephesus and all the saints of generations to come (we that love and follow Christ):
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with the power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-20 (ESV)