Journeys take time.

After walking full force into my screen door, I finally got outside and settled into a lawn chair on my little porch. Between careful sips of hot chamomile tea, leaning back to stare at the enchanting moon through the trees and foggy clouds I will tell you my thoughts and feelings on this quiet beautiful night.

Here’s the luggage I have ready so far to take home. My mom was out a couple weeks ago and took most of my things back home with her, so I really don’t have much packing left–thankfully!

Last night I was finally able to know I will move back to Nebraska on Monday. Until then my plans were up in the air and I didn’t know if I had another month to stay in Colorado or less than a week. Now I know, I’m geared up for packing, and I’ve updated my iPod with many sermons for the drive home. I’m looking forward to home. My heart has longed to see my sisters so much the last few weeks. 12 weeks without seeing either of them is almost too much for me right now.

On the flip side, I’m screaming and fighting inside myself about this move. I have to go because I can’t financially afford to stay here. I wish I wasn’t forced back to Nebraska. I love my life in Colorado, I feel so alive with the Christian community I’m a part of here, and the friendships I have (with both Christians and non-Christians). I expect a major struggle in order to be content and at peace with my life when I return to Nebraska. I will miss much from the community I’ve had here for the past 9 months. I have many friends who love me deeply here with a love that is actually seen and felt (which just proves it’s real love), not so in Nebraska–and quite the opposite in a few cases.

In a sense I feel like my own person here in Colorado, whereas I don’t in Nebraska. I am a daughter blended into a family–a little girl–an unknown in Nebraska, but here I’m a single woman, a good friend, and a favorite babysitter. People here know me, not just of me.

None of us know where our lives are heading, or even what’s around the very next corner, but we often at least have a good idea of what we’ll be doing in a few months down the road. Not me. Not right now. I have no idea which state I’ll be living in or which jobs I’ll have next fall. (This sounds so much like a post from last fall) I hope I’ll be in Colorado–I hope that’s God’s will for my life. I know I won’t be homeless or jobless, so that’s not what I’m worried about, it’s just which jobs and home to accept that makes me wonder and unsettled. Oh, how I want to be okay with not knowing the unknowable! It isn’t for me to know what my future holds, if it were how would I learn to truly depend on God and trust in his goodness and faithfulness?

Each of the past few years in my life could be summed up by a couple words to name the lessons God has taught me during each of those times. A couple years ago: courage and faith; last year: love and humility; this year I think it will be dependence and patience.

I have desires–certain personal wants. If it doesn’t look like my path is headed toward them, I feel restless against God. I’m a tiny child being led by the hand of her father. At times I turn to him with tears streaming down my face, I twist my body around and yell, “No! We need to go THAT way!” and I point in the opposite direction he’s leading. “I don’t know why we’re going THIS way!” I did it 9 months ago and now I’m doing it again. It’s easy for me to believe I’m trusting God completely when life is going the way I would choose, but when it doesn’t I finally see how much I do rely on my own strength and desire my own control. He smiles and kindly responds, “I know you don’t know. You’re the child and I’m your father. We’re going this way because I know better and if you knew what I know you would choose this path too.” I relinquish my present desires for his better plan. I rest in his care knowing he wants the best for me and he will bring about his Will in my life if I let him. I have such a small understanding of life, so I want to entrust all to him because he knows best since he knows all. I would be a foolish child to break free of his grasp and run my own way. I truly do want what he wants, but sometimes my heart takes a lot of convincing.

I have certainly had struggles while living here in Colorado. In many ways these have been the hardest months of my life so far. I’ve cried in anger, I’ve cried in despair, I’ve cried in loneliness, and I’ve cried in frustration; but these past months have also taught me more than years of my life had before. God can put us through some pretty tough lessons, can’t he? I am joyful God has graced me with these lessons though, he wants me to have good character, strong faith, and love for him and he knows me–if he let everything go easy and sunny in my life, I wouldn’t look to him or care for him as I should or could. With every new trial he’s giving me an opportunity to step closer and closer to him. Trials are interesting, we don’t choose to, but we must go through them and they won’t leave us the same. We’ll either become more Christ-like in developing good character, or we’ll distance ourselves from God by becoming angry, bitter and resentful. I choose growth over shriveling.

Hmmm… it’s not summer yet and the soft wind is giving me goose bumps. I’d better move in.

Okay, back in now with a fuzzy blanket around my shoulders. Now to get back on track with my thoughts. Sorry they’re so scattered tonight.

“God, why do you allow broken hearts?” I want to scream the question into the silent sky and watch the stars shoot down. I know the answer, but I still ask the question. What’s the answer? God allows us to feel pain because he wants us to love him. He’s given us free will so we’re able to love him. A forced love is no love at all. In this freedom Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s command, and the rest of humanity carries the consequence of their sin. We all now have a sin-nature and a broken heart is just one of many aspects to this fallen world. I am thankful God made us humans with hearts and souls rather than forced worshiping robots. I am also thankful I know a God who binds up the brokenhearted.

God desires I love him and others, that I’m open, vulnerable, and trusting. So I do and have these traits, but in return I often receive pain. Why? The better question would be, “Why not?”  Justice for me would mean death and anything more than that is by God’s grace and love. When I love, it shouldn’t be about me. Jesus is the one who truly deserves wholehearted love from every soul, and he loved selflessly, but he was rejected and hated so much it brought his undeserved death. He understands what it’s like to love without love in return. Granted, a broken heart will still hurt, but it’s not the end of the world. I can move on, I will love again. I will learn to put my heart and passion into relationships again . . . somehow I will learn.

I was with friends this evening, and I wanted them to know my heart on these matters, but my voice strayed from sharing what was really on my heart. Why is it so hard for me to speak? My mom always said she could read my face like a book by looking at my big expressive eyes. This evening I could feel it. My heart is brimming to share, but I only shared my eyes, for anyone patient enough to read them.

You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
All of the friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know I’m in this mess

No they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what I’ve been through

–The Story

I see my relationship with God and my relationship with the man I’ll marry in the same way to an extent. They’re both a romance and a beautiful path I can’t see down. At times in a romance I may yearn to know what the future will hold or to skip ahead to the “good parts,” but who of us really wants this? As soon as we would find out, the anticipation and excitement of wondering would vanish. Isn’t uncertainty the essence of romance? I know Jane Austen thought so.

Time is also an ingredient to romance. It takes time for beautiful things to develop: weeks for a seed to germinate and grow large enough for flowers to bloom, nine months for a child to be born, and many years for an oak tree to grow strong and sturdy to give pleasant shade and protection against wind. Sometimes God says “wait” because he knows, what might be good at the time we want it could be so much greater if it had time to develop. The journey is life. If I were to skip ahead to the destination, I would have missed everything along the way. In a world of high-speed internet, microwaves, jet planes and instant-play Netflix movies it can be particularly hard to learn patience. Our culture certainly puts little value on it–“You want it now? Okay, there’s no need to wait” they say. In America, our self-centered, consumer mentality is fostered by developing technology as we’re given reason after reason to live faster, busier, fuller lives dismissing all thought to virtuous character.

Just as I was writing the above paragraph this song played from my Pandora station and I thought it went well with the thoughts I was writing out:

Journeys take time. Journeys can be both painful and beautiful. The most exquisite journeys are those taken with Jesus at your side and patience and contentment in your heart.

Jesus, thank you for the way you’ve led me so far and for all the incredible people you’ve brought into my life. Please teach me to depend on you and learn patience now, when I feel like turning around. Help me to wait on you.


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