Friday, May 12, 2017

The Close

My apartment is a travesty of cardboard boxes strewn and stacked all over my bedroom and living area. Life is in upheaval. Everything is about to change and I am not quite sure what the future has in store. A lot of my friends are graduating from college this spring. Many of them are getting married, starting families, going overseas to teach, and accomplishing fantastic feats. This is a big year for a lot of people. It's a year of uncertainty, newness, and probably a whole lot of insecurity. Not every year has been this way for me. During the past few years I have felt mostly left behind, stagnant, and a little lost. While everyone was out making plans and making big things happen, I was just here, plodding along from day to day. But looking back I can see how the biggest and best things happened in the plodding, in the monotonous day to day, in the still quiet moments. That's where big things grow from.

If I am completely honest, when I first moved here I never thought I would be sorry to leave this place behind. I never thought I would look back on the last few years with anything but sadness and regret. I never thought that I would find a home here – find myself here – and put down roots of my own for the first time. As I move back to my hometown, it feels something like going home, but at the same time it feels so different. I am not sure how to describe it. It has been really difficult to write anything worth sharing here. Everything feels so uncertain and uncomfortable right now. But for all the uncertainty and inhibitions, I am incredibly happy and confident that whatever happens, God will have his way and I can trust his plan is good. As a sort of closing to this chapter of my life I want to share some of the biggest takeaways I have gleaned from the last few years.

Your heart is stronger than you think. I know this sounds cliché, but I'm going to say it anyway. I am not speaking about the actual physical organ in your chest, though it is a pretty resilient and strong muscle. I am talking about your proverbial heart, your spirit. Heartbreak has literally killed people. There are people who have been physically overwhelmed with the stress and trauma of loss to the point of death. Still, even more people survive heartbreak. Maybe you are one of those survivors who has walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and remarkably come out the other side, alive, with your heart still beating. One thing heartbreak gave me was a gauge – a gauge of what I can and cannot persevere through in this life. There have been so many disappointing and sad days since I moved. There have been even more good days. Through it all, I know I can keep going. I know I can keep moving and living. This is the beauty and redemptive power of Jesus Christ. The things in this life that should break us instead mold us, bend us, and fashion us into his image. His grace sustains us. His hand forms us in the fires of this life. We don’t have to be afraid. We don’t have to resent trials and tribulation. We only have to trust and obey him.

Put down your roots. As a young adult, life is all about moving onto the next thing, whatever that next thing is. And if you are not moving onto the next thing, whether that next thing is marriage, a career, or an education, then you are obviously failing at life. When I moved here I never thought this would be a place I would stay in. I was thinking, “Maybe a year until I find the next thing I need to do.” Let me tell you a secret. The best things in life come when you decide to put down roots, when you decide to invest in the community, job, church, people right where you are. Putting down roots can feel scary, especially for an opportunistic personality like me, because putting down roots feels a lot like settling. Maybe the grass is greener on the other side, but maybe the grass over here would get greener if you just invested a little time and effort into it! Let me tell you another secret. The best things in life take time. Good things come to those who wait. So don’t be afraid to put down your roots. Don’t be afraid to take your time. Stop being in such a hurry to jump from one thing to the next! Invest where you are and be willing to have patience before you see the fruit of your labors. Just because it is not what you had planned or did not turn out how you expected does not mean life is not good or that good things cannot come from this. If you can see and enjoy the goodness even when circumstances are less-than-ideal then you are pretty much set for life.

It's okay to leave people behind. When I first moved from my hometown I was really scared how my relocation would effect my relationships and friendships. Now that I am getting ready to move again, a lot of the same old fears have resurfaced. There is a temptation to cling to everyone and everything in my life, as if my holding onto it will prevent things from changing. Life changes on you no matter what. The things we grasp after and cling to are typically the things we lose. Ultimately the people in your life who are meant to stick around will stick around. The relationships that you feel you have to cling to, grasp after, and fear losing are probably the relationships you need to reevaluate and rethink. I have had these kinds of friends and I have lost these kinds of friends and it was probably one of the most painful and simultaneously best thing that ever happened to me. Do not be afraid to leave people behind. If anything, moving and changing things up exposes our relationships and friendships for what they are. You might be surprised with the ones who stick around, the faithful few who are invested in you no matter what, but I promise those people will always be there. You will never walk alone, so go forward boldly.

You Might Like: 
Grief, Guilt, and Comfort for the Saint 
Why I Decided to Go Back to School || Confessions of a College Drop-Out 


  1. Moving is really tough. I've done it several times now. I think the biggest thing that effects me about it is just change. I'm not good with change. Good luck with the mood!

    1. I agree! The change is definitely the most difficult part for me as well.

      Thanks, Victoria!

      Dani xoxo

  2. Christ will give you the strength to say goodbye. In our weakness, we are strong because of Him (1 Corinthians 12:9). Thanks for sharing this post! :)

  3. This is a great post, thanks for sharing in spite of all the upheaval! The last two points especially resonated with me.


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