If you have followed this blog at any point over the last year plus, you can probably guess that I’m procrastinating. As I sit in the church office using internet to study I couldn’t help but let my mind wander over the last four years. This weekend I helped my parents move out of the house I moved into, on this exact day four years ago, while they prepare to move back to Conway this summer. In this moment I realize how much God has shaped me in every trial I have face in my life.
It feels like yesterday that I moved to Texas with a few boxes in Dad’s car, and the first night we stayed in the house it was so empty. Their was a brutal Texas thunder storm, one that makes light posts shake, and thunder rattled through the house, lighting coming through my curtain-less windows. That first day of school I fought back tears as my guidance councilor asked how I felt about the move. Jacob and Keith’s visitation had just been two days prior, I was in a new town and I hadn’t slept well in days. I didn’t know that three years later all of this would still be impacting me. I thank Kelly Carpenter and Dr. Steve Hunter for helping me cope with those memories. Here I am at year four, and I don’t need to cry anymore, and I have them to thank for that (and God of course for opening my heart to the healing process). I didn’t know that I would still appreciate memories like Mary Dunlap taking Meghan and I to coffee that night after the visitation, or even remember it as vividly as I do. Four years ago I never expected to find my person, or love in a church family I chose by my own happening. Who would guess I would still have three our conversations with Drew, and end up falling asleep on him like we did four years ago as we tried so hard not to get caught by our parents. I’ll never forget sitting backstage at graduation with Josh Crim singing Friends Forever by Vitamin C, or our after from party at the Creamer household. Over the course of four years Ansley and Callie, you two have never stopped being the first two I call when something major happens or when I come back to visit, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.
I could address so many more people and memories…
As I look back at where I was this time last March, I can’t believe how different everything is… I can’t thank everyone enough for all the prayers and support.
I have bad days like everyone else, but I can’t explain how night and day my life is compared to last March. God has opened so many doors for me, and I know that if I continually cling to and seek him, things will continue to be beautiful.
It was rough the first few years, and I don’t know that Texas has benefited my family overall in a way that any of us hoped for, but as for me personally I can’t thank God enough for bringing me here. I have been dragged through some of the word yet best days of my life, and I wouldn’t take a single one of them back. I’m lived with my cousins, danced in the rain, set goals, broken promises, fallen on my face, gotten back up, and run until my chest hurt.
So here I am, living in Oakcliff, serving as the manager for Connect to the Kingdom at Tyler Street UMC, painting houses, going to Home Depot in orange shirts, eating tacos, hanging out at The Branch, doing done stuff, getting tattoos, piercing my nose, laughing my donkey laugh. Under all of that I feel my flesh struggling. I feel it suffocating every time I sit down to study instead of spend time with students. I feel the pit in my stomach every time I have to go to class instead of visiting a new partner. And I hate it. I can handle an empty stomach, I can cope with roaches, I can wash my clothes in my bathtub while I wait for the washer to get fixed. I can’t sit still while I hear about kids being sex trafficked at the age of six, my neighbors sitting in their houses alone praying for company, families going hungry, vets unable to find jobs, and individuals in my community dying of overdoses.
I’m not comfortable sitting here as my student loans continue to pile up, while my parents pay my car payment. God has provided so much for me, and I feel as though I am sitting here on my hands while I take classes. I am so overwhelmed by his love and grace. The power he possesses is so apparent, and I am so undeserving of his love, yet here I am.