the final stretch.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

How is it already the last week of classes?
I feel like I blinked and the last 10 months went by.
But alas, here we stand, at the starting line of the final stretch.

The last week of classes, on the verge of finals week, and then...summer vacation.


The last few months have been marked by long nights, heavy academia, and lots of coffee. I spent $10 on a coffee maker during black friday last year and I think it was the best investment I've made...ever. I've brewed at least a cup per day, usually two, and sat at my desk each morning, bible and journal open, and a thin pen in hand...jotting down feelings and observations, decisions and fears, everything going through my head.

There's a lot going through my head.

I'm finishing my third year of college. I'm spending my summer somewhere new. I'm finally done thinking about things that don't deserve my attention. I'm moving forward. I'm almost done being an RA to my wonderful section. I'm almost done with rhetoric. My friends are getting married. My brother's getting married. I'm about to start this Residence Life adventure over again. I'm going to be a senior in the fall. I'm a little scared about graduating. I'm growing up.

A friend asked me that today.

"When did we grow up? When did we become adults?"

I don't know. But here I am, 21 years old, in a dorm room in Santa Barbara, blogging amid twinkle lights and Vanessa Carlton on spotify, 10pm on a Sunday night with a paper to print out and four more days of classes to demolish before finals rear their ugly face once more. When did I get here? I'm no longer the girl I was in high school. I've grown up.

Everything is a little bit frightening.

I mean, I know I'm fine. That the unknown will come and pass, I'll look back on it in retrospect and wonder how I could have ever feared something like that. But the fear is always there are the start. It's a constant when I'm about to embark on something new and unfamiliar. Like growing up. Or starting over. Or forgetting someone. Or moving to a new city, for a fresh start I think I so desperately need. It's all a little bit frightening.

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God's unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name, in the presence of your faithful people.

I have had to trust God more than ever this semester. It feels like every night I find myself laying awake in my bed, staring at my ceiling in the dark, asking God for wisdom and discernment as I make my way through big decisions and confusing situations. I've had to trust that God is faithful. He has been, he is, and he will always be. But there have been nights I've laid in bed and been so frustrated that I can't control the outcomes of certain things, that I don't want to trust anyone. I try to do things on my own. And time and time again, I learn it doesn't work that way.

This year has been about community.

Living in community, learning in community, building a community, feeling encouraged by a community, realizing just how vital it is to our lives. I wouldn't trade anything that happened this year for anything else -- because it showed me how much I love community. My favorite moments from this year have been late-night conversations with my women in my lounge, one-on-one dinner dates with friends, indys with my RD, anything and everything to do with community has been my rock this year.

And it will continue to be.
Past tonight, past tomorrow, past the final stretch and past this summer.
Into my senior year, and the great unknown that is life after college.

I will always trust in God's unfailing love.

Respectfully submitted,