Friday, September 26, 2014

T W E N T Y - S I X | A Year of Change

Happy Friday, everyone! I spent most of yesterday thinking that it was Friday, so I am especially thankful the weekend is finally here. We have four days left of The Blog-tember Challenge, so let's make the most of them! Today's challenge has the potential to get rather lengthy, so I'll try to keep it short and sweet. No promises though ;)

Today's prompt: How have you changed in the past year?


This time last year I was living in Seattle.
This time last year I was settling into a home with four other girls. 
This time last year I had just started my job at Anthropologie and was teaching theatre.
This time last year I had no idea that twelve months later I would be in Oklahoma for grad school.

It's funny the way life works, isn't it? I moved to Seattle after graduation and honestly I never would have picked it for myself. I was a home-body, a Texas girl who never expected to leave the state for more than a few weeks MAX. Then through a long series of events (which deserve their own post entirely, and it actually happened over a weekend) Seattle was suddenly on my radar. Graduation came and a month later I flew to the Pacific Northwest to begin what I now call my "adventure year."


This time last year I was eager. I was excited, anxious, insecure, terrified, and so much more. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Seattle was where I was supposed to be. I didn't know the why but I knew the where. I was in a new city far from home, a college degree in hand and wide open spaces in front of me. Actually, Mt. Ranier was in front of me and boy was it beautiful!

If I think about the past year, there are several big changes that come to mind. The one I am most proud of is my security in my calling. When I decided to pursue theatre before and during college, I had a hard time explaining why I knew it was the life for me. I would introduce myself and admit my major, almost apologizing for it as I explained why it interested me and why I thought it valuable. The same happened when I moved to Seattle. Working part time in retail and for a small theatre company seemed to be too much to ask someone to understand or an impossible thing to reveal with confidence. It sounds silly, but the struggle was real.

But somewhere over the past year --between explaining my theatre journey over and over and over again and beginning the grad school pursuit-- I found myself able to finally wrap my head around why I do what I do, and I became certain that my work is valuable to the Kingdom. I may not be in full time ministry or I may not be saving lives in the medical field, but I am investing in the lives of others and engaging in difficult but necessary conversations and stories that can and will change this world, even if it is one person, one actor or audience member, at a time.


When I look back, it's easy to question the impact of a year. One year in Seattle. Why, Lord, would you send me for one year, I'd ask. What's the point? Why put down roots for them to be uprooted months later? I wanted to know so badly and wrestled with these questions for quite some time. Do you remember several posts ago where I gave the advice "hold everything with open hands"? This is where that lesson comes in.

I want to be settled. I want to build a home and a life and a community that I know I can invest in for the long haul. I want to do permanent things like paint the walls, change my license, become a member of a church. I want to be settled. I want to be rooted. But we are not promised that anywhere in the Bible. I battled with the Lord on this over and over again --still do-- and it has come down to trusting that He has my best in mind. He is the rock I stand on. He is who I should dig roots deep in so that when He moves, I move. It's not always easy, and I'm not always good at it, but it's what I aim for. My one year in Seattle brought personal transformation and revelation that I know I would not have found elsewhere. It brought friendships that I know will last a lifetime, and it sparked a vision for my future that I can trust the Lord with as we run forward.

That is why my adventure year needed to happen. That is why my adventure year was significant.


“The seasons change and you change, but the Lord 
abides evermore the same, and the streams of His 
love are as deep, as broad and as full as ever.” 
 Charles Spurgeon

When beginning this prompt from the challenge, I immediately thought of Green Lake, pictured above. I lived four blocks from a manmade lake and saw the seasons shift so clearly around the water. I watched my own seasons shift, saw the high times and the low times, the days that felt frozen with fear or doubt and the moments I was ready to cannonball into the unknown.

In the past year, I have learned to trust more fully in the plans of the Lord and in His goodness and love toward His people. Over and over again He asked me to trust. Over and over again I failed him, but over and over again He came to my rescue. The past year has been so moving, so challenging, so impactful that I know the ripples will continue into the years to come. For that, I am eternally grateful.


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