“I spent this year as a ghost and I’m not sure where home is anymore.”
I’ve been absent from this blog for a few months now. Not because I didn’t try to write posts: I did try more than once. I’ve been absent because for the first time in I think my entire life, I’ve been spending more time actually living than I’ve spent thinking and writing about living.
The initial quote is something I came across on a friends blog. I identified with it. At least, I identified with it for the first part of the year. If one looks closely, at the progression of my posts here this past year they could probably pick up on that fact. There are a lot of things I’m proud of that happened this year and then there are the things I’m less proud of. And because I am constantly talking about honesty and the importance of story, here is my honesty: this year brought so many doubts into my life, there were times I struggled to simply keep my head above water. My senior year of high school, I was doing so many things I’d always wanted to do. After graduation, I had a great summer job, college on the horizon, and nothing to worry about except having fun.
But spring and summer proved to be more of an emotional train wreck than anything else. I’d wake up and go to work. After work, I’d usually go to some social outing with my friends and get home late. Rinse and repeat. It was draining, I was sick for pretty much all of it, and looking forward to a different routine.
I don’t believe anyone can or should run from their problems. But I have learned that sometimes distance is a healthy thing. Sometimes you don’t even really have a reason for the depression, the feeling of being boxed in. Sometimes, without any clear cause at all, you feel like you’re suffocating and can’t seem to get enough air, no matter what you do. And sometimes, because of that, you have to remove yourself from your old life completely before you can breathe deeply enough to create a better one. That’s what college was for a me: a new start and a catalyst for something better.
I learned a lot of things this semester. A lot of those things had to do with saying no to voices calling me to be selfish, or unhealthy. A lot of those things had to do with saying yes to voices calling me to be more honest, more kind. Sometimes those things involved learning how to ask for help. Taking advantage of a professors offer to talk about life problems, not just class problems. Sitting with my friends at Starbucks, and being honest when they asked how they could step into my life and help me. Those same people constantly following up, day after day, praying, talking, living a better story than I knew was possible.
I don’t cry over many things, but at 3 am when someone I loved tried to hurt herself, again, despite all the time I’d spent trying to convince her how much I loved her. I was weeping like a child and my roommate, my dear, amazing roommate, told me she loved me even though I hadn’t meant to wake her up. Even though I couldn’t talk about it. Even though a few weeks earlier we’d been nothing more than strangers and bonded more over our mutual fear of large crowds than anything else.
I have seen a lot of things, but when, in the first few days of school, three people sat down with me, and willingly opened themselves up to and with me; sharing their stories while we were still strangers. Praying there, together, aloud, honestly with one another. I felt the true Christian community I’d been craving for so long. And I still feel it, cause we didn’t let it end there. We stuck with each other through the semester, and with others who joined us. We created something true, and honest, and pure, and Godly, and I’d like to say I hope it lasts for the remaining years we have together.
If I could explain in just one sentence how the past few months has affected me, I would merely say that in leaving home, I found a different home.
I think that home is stepping into moments before you know how they’ll end. It’s being able to speak truth into peoples lives and help them grow with grace and love. It’s being able to live a transparent life. Not with everyone, but with a few people, who are there, with you, alive and in person. Who are reading the Bible with you, and losing sleep with you, studying with you, and living with you. That’s what I found this semester. And that’s a hard thing to write about, because most of the time I’m just trying to live it.
My roommate and I read the entire bible through together in 90 days this semester. I want to do that at least two more times in 2014. Here’s to knowing Jesus better than I did 6 months ago, and the possibility of knowing Him even deeper in the year to come.
[[Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, / And my faith will be
made stronger / in the presence of my savior.]]