A Few Rambling Thoughts
The evening sky outside is streaked with rough-edged clouds in gorgeous shades of blue. I'm sitting in my second home - a cozy apartment I share with three roommates near the company we all dance for - and reflecting on the very small, very simple things that have been good in my life recently. To begin with, the last couple of weeks starting off in a new place have had their ups and downs, both physically (severely bruised toenails, muscle soreness, blisters, fatigue...) and emotionally. As someone who has a lot of trouble seeing the big picture behind things, I have already been struggling with trying to understand exactly why I'm here. I know how I came to be here - it's a long, divinely authored story which has pretty clearly led me to this point. I certainly believe I'm supposed to be here. But I'm not exactly sure what the long-term, big-picture purpose of me being here is. And, maybe that's the point. God has been and is currently orchestrating a lot of things in my life that I can't see the end of. Sometimes I feel like I'm just clinging to His hand and plodding along beside Him, with only one footstep lit at a time, and then the next, and then the next. I knew when I first found out I had been offered this opportunity, and again when I was agonizing over the decision to take it, that accepting it would entail me learning really fast my complete need to depend on God to get me through - physically, emotionally, financially. Despite what I knew would be some tough elements of going with this choice, and that I knew it was the harder of my two options, I knew it was the right one. So, it's a daily journey of learning to simply trust, follow, and strive to live each day well. When I look back, I know I'll see an amazing, beautiful, cohesive, purposeful trail behind me, and maybe I will finally understand that nothing God does in my life is in vain - and that following where He leads is already purpose.
But back to the point of this post, being the simple ways that God has reminded me of His presence in the past few days. I'm not sure I'll be able to put it into words well, but I'll do my best. After a hard day on Wednesday, He gave me a lot of sleep, a cup of hot coffee, and some verses that I really needed to hear on Thursday morning, and those things were enough to turn my day completely around from the one before. That night, I was planning to drive home for the long weekend, but was a little concerned that storms and traffic would cause delays. I guess God wanted me home that night (and that became evident) because He cleared the weather and the roads in time for me to get home with no problems. Over the weekend, He reminded me in a couple ways that my emotional ups and downs with what I do are entirely normal - that they are just feelings, and that He and His purposes are bigger than the feelings. I had a long phone conversation with a good friend from college, and talking to her reminded me - as it always does - exactly how amazing God is, especially when she read out a prayer she had prayed for me and written down without completely knowing my situation, that spoke directly to what I had been dealing with at the time that she prayed it.This morning, I had the briefest of conversations with an older woman who was visiting our church, and when she found out I was a dancer she told me to just to keep at it, to keep going, and to remember my goals and values. (Which reminded me of another time two years ago, when I was on a bus on my college campus, and a girl I'd never seen before and never saw again asked me if I was a dancer and what I wanted to do with it in the future. After my hesitant answer about hoping to dance with a company but not sure if it would happen, she told me not to talk like that and to just go for it, that I could do it. Needless to say, God always knows when I need encouragement and He provides it from some very unexpected places.)
Those are just a very few examples. Perhaps the most significant one occurred on the night of July 4th. I went out in our backyard to try and catch a few of the fireworks that some neighbors around us were setting off, and it turned out to be the perfect setting for a long conversation with God. I was honest and told Him that different things and possibilities He's bringing my way are scaring me, because I don't know if I'm ready for them. He told me back that feeling ready is not a qualification for Him being able to use someone - and that all I need in order to do anything He wants me to do is Him. And every firework that lit up the sky with beauty and color and brightness was like an echoing refrain from Him in my head: I love you.
My uncertain, hesitant little heart is gradually beginning to understand the kind of love He loves me with. It's a love that will never stop believing, pursuing, challenging, holding, sustaining, encouraging, redeeming, and recreating. It's a love that drives out all fear because of how perfectly, incredibly whole and safe it is. It doesn't mean that my life is going to be easy, comfortable, or tidily planned out, and it definitely doesn't mean that I'll feel like I'm in control or know exactly where I'm going and why I'm going there. But I guess that's part of the adventure. The fact that He loves me the way He does means that no matter where He does take me, He's right there with me. And I think that is enough.