A year ago today, I wrote a blog post about God calling me to move onto campus for this school year. Tonight, I sit on my couch in my living room at home, re-reading blog entries from throughout this year, trying to process the close of this whole year.
Whippety-whip, spring quarter went by in a blink … starting out relatively slow upon returning home from a Salt Lake City spring break trip with Cru, picking up speed with classroom visits on Fridays, beginning to plan a National Conference, and then full-speed, I blew through May with backstage crew for “Bat Boy: the Musical” at Eastern, reading 93 books for my various Ed classes, and wrapping up the year with my HYPE kiddos. And boom. Monday I moved out of the dorms, and here I am back at home almost like I never left.
Nights of spontaneity with Danika & Haliey. 🙂
But I did. I did leave, and I know this because I came home a different person. In crazy honesty, I came home at last feeling my age. Not feeling “old” [although go ahead and laugh at me you young high schoolers & college freshmen & sophomores, I know 25 IS old to you!], but no longer feeling like my age was a higher number than I actually was. Perhaps I finally reached the maturity my age required. Perhaps I’m just finally ready to accept it. But whatever the case, I discovered new parts of me this year on campus that I didn’t previously know. Life experiences, though small at the time, shaped me to take on responsibilities, be proactive, and reach out to others in ways I never did before.
Being a part of a Life Group and a discipleship group with Cru made me become more honest and vulnerable. It made me trust others more with my heart, and it made me realize even more that we are not meant to live alone. We are meant to live in community, and I experienced some of the most beautiful community ever this year. Community with my Streeter Life Group. Community with Sunday night Influence. Community with our Salt Lake City team. Community with the third floor of Streeter. Community with Danika singing to our playlist at the top of our lungs on our way down to a Chris Tomlin concert. Community with hundreds of other believers dancing on “God’s Great Dance Floor.” Community with the theatre department at Eastern as we put on a show together. Community with my HYPE kiddos as we finished out the year as a strong team and welcomed in new members for a new year together.
Chris Tomlin Concert … amazing!
This year was hard. I will be truthfully honest when I say that it was one of the most difficult years of my life. God taught me lessons I wish I didn’t have to learn. But He knew that I would never fall deeper in love with Him if He didn’t teach me those lessons. He had to break my heart to show me the depths of His own. And yes, these lessons were best learned in a little dorm room on campus.
Remember how at the beginning of the year, I wrote about wanting to create a dorm room that was cozy? A “home-away-from-home?” The last morning that I was in my dorm room, staring at my blank bulletin board where once resided my pictures & quotes, I realized that we did make that dorm room a cozy place of refuge. As I looked at the empty shelves and walls, I realized that it is love that makes any place a home. And if you impulsively love the things you fill your home with – essentially extensions of yourself – then the home will be filled with you and the bounties of your love. And a place can’t help but be transformed by that.
My wee side of the room.
Together, Briseida and I made that little room 303 a place of our combined loves and interests … a place of laughter & quotes & Hoot-Hoot & the Kardashians & her calling me “Lydia Beth” every time I disappointed her life & me promising to punch her in the face if she didn’t get up on time & late night deep conversations & me talking in my sleep too much & getting distracted from our homework & our mutual agreement to not talk to each other till we came back from the bathroom in the morning … we had our own miniature home right there, created by two girls from very different backgrounds but who were similar in so many ways.
Roomie night back in January!
Life will never be the same after the experiences of this beautiful past year. I will miss it greatly. I will miss all the conveniences of just living out there in Cheney and easily getting to be a part of so many adventures. I WON’T miss the food … 😉 But I will miss the friends that I made, the spontaneous dance parties, the late-night conversations or ice-cream runs, the theater people whom I love, the high-up bed where I got so much reading done … I will miss the beauty of a life created out there.
I’m back home now to create a different type of beauty for another year before God sends me off on another grand adventure. What it will be, I don’t know yet, but the hints of it are exciting enough to make me burst at the gills. What blessings He pours into our lives! And for the one that just happened this year, I say thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful that God led me to campus, that He provided every step of the way, and that He confirmed constantly that I was supposed to live there. Because I was … and I will never forget it.
Couldn’t have done it with this beautiful girl by my side … I love you so much, Danika dear!