You are so much stronger than you think.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I think anytime I decide to blog after 11:30 on a weeknight, interesting things are going to happen.

Let's set the scene.

11:37 on a Tuesday night.
Home alone, unless you count the two sleeping cats on the floor.
Glass of water nearby.
Stomach full of a mix of mac n cheese with hotdogs and peanut butter ritz crackers.
4 hours of the office watched.
Yoga pants on, hair up in a china bun.
Mind full.

In two short weeks I'm going to be sitting on a plane, hopefully asleep, flying back across the US to the west coast. I will then drive home to Dinuba with my parents, pack up a car with my college stuff, and proceed to drive back down 99 to Santa Barbara, where I will arrive that same evening, unpack as much as I can, and fall asleep in Armington D101. I will wake up the next morning, and go straight into RA training, and my final year at Westmont.

I suppose you can understand why my mind is full.
There's also a lot of other things occupying my "thinker" as I begin to tie up the loose ends on this summer and get ready for a new season of life.

When I decided I wanted to come out to Boston for the summer, I was so sure that I would find an internship out here, get some corporate training and live on my own. Instead, I found myself working in a restaurant, wearing a black button-up shirt and polishing silverware, running food and drinks, pouring wine and living in an apartment with my brother. Maybe the theme of this summer has been that things don't always work out the way you thought. I "thought" a year ago at this time that I would come back to Calvin Crest this summer, but that didn't work out either. Don't get me wrong, this summer has been exactly what I've needed.

Fresh spaces, new faces, it all sounds cliche, but I needed this summer. I needed a chance to be around people who didn't know me. Who didn't know my story and who knew I would only be around for a few months. I needed a fresh start, after such a hard season of my life, after months where I would literally have to tell myself to hold it together before falling apart each night. I am so thankful God has given me this summer. A chance to just get away from it all. There have been hard days here, but I know days would have been harder had I done what I thought I would have this summer.

After a while, you learn.

If you're a constant reader of this blog, you know I wrote a post about that 6 months ago after I felt like the roof collapsed on my life, and I had a stand up and go on afterwards. I had to continue moving forward after I felt like I got punched in the stomach, and the entire world was waiting for a reaction. I had to move on. It's an understatement to say that those months were hard. No, that semester was the hardest semester mentally and emotionally for me. I don't like to think about it, to remember nights when I laid in my bed staring at the ceiling so angry with God and my friends, and everything that happened. I don't like to remember almost breaking down in the Admissions Office during work, stumbling into my boss' office and asking to leave early. I don't like to remember my residents wandering into my room and asking me why I seemed sad lately. And I don't like to remember sitting outside the gym after a grueling workout to get my mind cleared, reading words of a facebook message that only made everything sting worse.

But I did. I spent some time thinking about it all a few nights ago. I read through my journal, re-lived how I felt through the past months, and one theme rang true.

I am so much stronger than I think.

The curve of emotions that flooded out of the events of last January were a melting pot, to say the least. I went from days where the only thing scribbled in my journal were "fuck you's." The next day, it was a humble prayer asking God to help me forgive, and maybe forget. A week later it was regret over not saying what I should have said. The day after that, joy, and happiness...a rare occasion. But the one I remember most was at the beginning of February, when I wrote the words "I have to continue on. I have to live. I have to just keep going. It's going to be the hardest thing I've ever done...but I have to do it." And so I did.

With that decision, doors opened that led me here for the summer. Boston, where no one knows my name. A fresh start, away from absolutely everything. A chance to just be away from people, that situation, memories and regrets. A chance to learn. A chance to be free.

I'm sad to see this summer end.
I'm also scared.

I'm nervous about going back to familiar places and questions. Having responsibilities and "busyness" again. Being a senior (when did that happen??). Growing up, graduating, facing the world past my undergrad career. It all seems crazy, but it's going to be here soon. But I am stronger than I think. I've gone through a lot this year, and I probably will every year after this.

I guess what I'm trying to say with all of this, is maybe you are stronger than you think. Maybe you need that reminder, that push, to tell you to keep going, even if it's hard. One day you'll read back over your journal and see where you were, and where you are now. You'll see your strength in the hill you had to climb during the hard days. You'll know you are strong enough to face whatever is coming next.

I think that's a reminder that everyone could use, sometime in their life.

My heart is full with the promise of our Lord and Savior: "I will never leave you, nor forsake you."

I wish I could pair that sentence immediately afterwards with my reminder: "You are so much stronger than you think."

I think if Jesus was sitting right in front of me, in the white Ikea chair my brother has chosen to furnish his apartment with, he'd put his feet up, smile, and say, "You took the words right out of my mouth."


So that's that.
I'll leave you to mull over those words in your own time.

I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are so much stronger than you think.


Respectfully submitted,
Leah


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