I have been back in the swing of things for a couple days now, and I have to say I didn't realize how much I truly love this place until I left and came back. I went to church tonight, and it was amazing how at home I felt just hearing the musicand seeing familiar faces. It's funny to me how a year ago I didn't even know any of the people Iam now calling familiar faces...God works in mysterious ways hey? I think one of the sweetest things about being back that I realized as I was sitting in worship tonight was that it wasn't necessarily even the church or the place or the people that made me feel at home. It was that I knew God was there. His presence is becoming more and more familiar to me. Like I know what he feels like. I don't remember who it was that told me this before I left, but whoever this sweet and wise friend was told me not to be sad about leaving home, because Jesus is my home. And He and I are going to be together from here on out...whoeveryou are that gave me that beautiful wisdom, thank you. I remember what you said and it made me feel a little less scared and crazy today :)
Leaving my house Wedneday was not as easy as I had hoped. My last night, some of very dearest friends sat on my bed with me, and we laughed and shared our hearts and then even cried a little at the end. I woke up and hugged and kissed my sweet family...my wonderful grown up brother who is going to college soon, my beautiful young lady of a sister,my crazy but precious baby brother, my sweet mom who takes care of me more than she does herself, and my hero of a dad who makes mefeel like the best daughter in the world. Going home is refreshing for me, and I am really grateful because not many can say that. I will miss knowing that if Allie is in town we will spend every waking moment together. Getting coffee and food with Kasey and talking about literally everything and not feeling bad about eating so much while we do it. Talking to Erica about all the things we want to do and be someday and knowing that I won't feel stupid if I tell her about the dreams I think might be too big. Knowing that even though I have been gone 6 months, the Tillerys still treat me like part of their sweet family. I cried as I sat at the gate waiting for my plane thinking of all the sweet things I was leaving behind for another 7 months. And there are few times in my life where I would say I felt like I actually heard God say something to me, but I heard him as clear as day saying. "It's ok, I'm with you. You are not getting on or off that plane alone. I'll be there, I'll be here...I am with YOU."
You know how when a baby starts crying, and no one really knows why, maybe they got scared or something. And often whoever is holding them just holds them really close and says over and over "It's ok baby, I'm here, It's ok." They rock back and forth, and keep whispering quietly until everything is ok, and the baby calms down and usually falls asleep. A good parent isn't mad the baby is crying, because babies cry. There are things that are scary and the parent knows that. But they also know that whatever made that baby cry isn't going to hurt them, and that they will be ok. And they just let them cry and comfort them till it's alright. That's what I felt like God was doing with me that morning. Leaving home and people you love is sad. It is scary to not know what the next step in your life is and to want to know so you can be ready. It is ok to cry and be sad and show emotion and be human...and He knows that. And He talked to me and stayed close to me till I was ok. I was being a baby...but it's a good thing that He is a good father.
"The Lord God is a sun and a shield, he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you." Psalm 84:11-12
He does not withhold good things...He doesn't keep good from you. He bestows favor and honor. That is the God we serve.
A man from Sweden spoke tonight and had some really good thoughts I will share real quick. He was talking about how all life depends on freshwater, and how salt water looks really similar, but if we drink that...we will slowly die because it will shut down our kidneys. He made the parallel that some things in life look alot like good things, but they are actually things that slowly but surely break us down. These were some of them.
We crave affirmation, but we settle for simply attention from the people we are trying so desperately to impress.
We crave love, but we settle for just romance because we don't know what love is.
We crave total transformation, but we settle for just people just having a little compassion and understanding, so they know where we are at, but don't really help or expect us to change.
We crave truth, but we settle for quick pep talks that make us feel better and build our self esteem because the truth might hurt too much.
I don't wanna settle for any of those things. The attention one really got me. Affirmation is way different than merely attention. Affirmation satisfies something in you, and attention is something that once you taste it, just makes you want more and more and willing to do whatever necessary to get it.
I love you all. Goodonya if you made it this far, my heart is full tonight :) God is good, and I hope you are seeing that more and more everyday. Praying for you as always and missing you dearly!