Where have I been lately…?
Well… let’s just say on top of working 25ish hours a week at Starbucks and two full days at my internship, I also started classes in October. Full time student + Two day a week intern + 25 hour a week barista = not much time to blog. Or do much of anything besides those things, if I’m truly honest.
It’s been a whirlwind of a three months. Many of you probably remember that in August a lot changed when a large part of my circle of friends moved. I wasted no time filling my schedule with good things that I enjoyed (work, my internship, church, etc.) but perhaps filled it a bit too much. And then in September on a whim I applied (for the third time) and was finally accepted to the Disney College Program, a Disney internship program that I would have attended this upcoming spring. Yep. You read that right. Would have attended.
I’ve only told a small handful of people, but after finally being accepted into the program, already paying the program fees and preparing to register for housing and my temporary move, many of the other moving pieces that looked as though they would fall into place perfectly… didn’t end up falling into place. After many phone calls with the Starbucks partner contact center, it became clear that my employment status (aka my tuition-reimbursement eligibility status) couldn’t actually be put on hold until I got home from Disney. Basically, that means that I would have to reapply to Starbucks upon returning home, regain my 250 hours there within 3 months and spend my entire summer working again, and then not be able to be in school until next October or possibly even the next spring, if everything went flawlessly. Since Starbucks covers my tuition (what a clutch benefit, by the way- major s/o to you Starbucks!), if I’m not able to hold my eligibility, I’m not able to go to school. On top of that, talking to my academic advisor, because of the fact I wouldn’t be able to be a full time student anymore if I went to Disney (keep in mind the whole time we thought that would work) and because my senior year classes are only offered once a year and require many pre-requisites, if I chose to go to Disney, I wouldn’t graduate for another THREE YEARS. I’ve been in school for two and a half already and am honestly getting ready to not have to take math and english classes anymore.
All of that to say, after many days of praying, talking about it, pro-con lists and emotional struggle, I finally came to the decision that I will not be going to Disney. And it was hard. It wasn’t the decision I wanted to make, but it’s the one I felt the most peace about, if that makes sense. And since making that decision, that sense of peace has only grown, which I’m so thankful for. So there’s some life news!
Besides that, I think God has really just been letting me reach breaking point so I have no other excuse and no one else to lean on besides him- not even myself. The busyness has on one hand been good, because I truly do love each piece of what I’m doing right now. I enjoy my classes, I love the nonprofit I get to work at, and I honestly love getting to be a barista and getting to know regulars and getting to have cool conversations with customers from behind the bar. On the other hand, it’s oftentimes exhausted me. God’s command to rest is vital to our being, and I’m realizing that more and more because I haven’t had much of it and am seeing my need for it. Rest is important.
On top of that, being so busy has made it hard to make friends, and I’ve wrestled frequently with God with feeling lonely in this season. It never, ever helps when other people point out-“you don’t seem to have many friends right now, do you?” Like- thanks, I’m aware. And that’s hard for me, because I’ve always made friends easily and very much been a people person. It’s not that I haven’t tried or am not trying anymore- it’s that I think God is allowing me to go through a season of loneliness to not only feel great empathy for those who are lonely all the time, but also so He can reveal to me the depths and fulfillment of HIS friendship. I believe when the time is right He will once again bring rich friendships into my life, friends who are living in the same place that I am that I can rely on and depend on and laugh with and be with. It’s not like I have no one here now, it’s just that for awhile now, developing deep and lasting female friendships with young women in the same season of life as I am has been a challenge. In the meantime, I’m so thankful for my friends who are further away and the rich community we had growing up, and I’m thankful for their phone calls. I’m especially thankful for my wonderful family right now. And I’m thankful for God’s constant companionship. Community is important.
And lastly, I’m learning on a new level how important it is to be honest. Not like “you shouldn’t lie but be honest” kind of honest (though Lord knows that’s super important too), but more of a “be authentic” honest. Because let’s face it. I’ve been way emotional the last few months. A large part of my community moving, struggling to make new friends, my dog since childhood dying, having freak allergic reactions to a mystery substance, wondering why certain dreams of mine weren’t working out, having the dream of Disney finally be a possibility only for that to fall apart at the last minute, a LOT of new challenges and really hard conversations with Isaac (let’s just say I’m SO thankful for those who are older and wiser pouring into both of us, and if it’s true that conflict either breaks you or makes you stronger, I’m incredibly thankful we seem to be getting stronger)…. I’ve cried a lot. There’s been countless early mornings when it’s still dark outside and I’m awake with an hour to spare before work, downstairs in the living room, pouring out my heart to God more honestly than I think I ever have before. I’ve been confused, elated, heartbroken, angry, at peace, anxious, worried, joyful, and just about every other thing that you can feel. And I remember many mornings where I didn’t feel like I could put into words before the Lord what I wanted to tell Him. And a dear mentor of mine reminded me of the Holy Spirit, who “intercedes for us through groans words cannot express.” Many mornings I felt like all I could do was sit at Jesus’ feet. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to read. So I just sat there in the silence and let myself feel all the things. And I felt Jesus gently hold me, and rock me, content just to be with me even though I didn’t feel like I had anything to give. That’s unconditional love. And I silently thanked Him for caring enough about me to let me be honest with Him. That’s where the healing happens. That’s where the trust is developed. Honesty is important.
To try to wrap all of this up (I work early tomorrow morning and bed is calling), this semester so far has been one of the hardest and also one of the richest. I feel like I’m starting to ask the right questions- instead of “why another storm, Lord?!”, it’s “what are you trying to teach me now? What lesson didn’t I learn last time?”. Or, I may start out asking why but as I keep praying evolve to asking what the lesson is, or asking for deeper trust. My family has never been more of a blessing to me than they have been this semester- some tear-filled conversations with my parents, seeking advice or sharing heartbreak, long hugs with my sister who just holds me, a few treasured family nights amidst crazy schedules… I’ve had to rely on them more this semester than I have in awhile, and I’m so grateful for them.
There’s a season for everything, and some of those seasons are hard. But even with all these other things I’m still learning- rest, community, honesty- the most important thing I’m learning is that God is the only solid rock, and my dearest, most constant and beloved companion and Abba. And He can not only handle all of you and your mess, but He invites it. Trust your whole self to Him. He will never abandon you.