I originally began this blog as a journal. Then, it transformed into this place into which you were free to enter, but with the disclaimer that I was writing for me, specifically for a future me who had probably forgotten what might become a hazy time in life, and that burdened me, since I really like this time in my life. Now, of course, it’s a place where I not only accept you, but invite you, because now this writing is in the same category as breathing and eating brownies: Must Do. This is a place where my writing never gets nipped, tucked, or graded; it’s a place where I decide who does what when, and I tell you my stories. Sometimes you think, “Hm, she should have kept that one to herself,” and other times, you get swept up in them and you come up to me at church or you leave a comment or you send me a Facebook message and you say, “I read your story. I loved your story. Please write more stories.” And we’ve walked through that together haven’t we? Well today, you must forgive me, because this story’s purpose is all about me again. It breaks my heart to imagine a day when I can’t remember yesterday, and for me, the first line of defense against that it writing it down (and then publishing it on the internet, of course.) Because yesterday? Yesterday, people, was a day I can’t forget.
I have a theory (that I may or may not have formed right now) that every day changes your life. What do you think about this? Are you with me? (This could go one of two ways: 1. I am very dramatic [this is true] or this theory is a good theory [this could be true.]) Well regardless of how you’re feeling, as you may or may not be thinking, “No, last Tuesday was actually pretty bland,” let me go ahead and confirm what you may have suspected: Yesterday changed me.
The biggest—or perhaps most easily calculated—difference is that I’m now 21 years old. People, that’s weird. I’ve spent my whole life forming ideas about what it was to be 21, just because it always seemed like a definitive age. Lots of people asked me yesterday if I felt older, and I had to say, “I don’t even know what older feels like.” And I don’t. This whole bit of collegeness, where you’re growing up at warp speed, seems to be a series stepping into newness without any assurance of success. I’m all fake it ’till you make it, baby: Yes, Mom, I can move away, make pb&js, and brush my teeth regularly. Yes, I can take a job that demands blood, sweat, and sentences numerous times a year. Yes, I can serve in the nursery at church (other people’s kids, man. R-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y.) So do I feel older? No. But I will pretend to do that ASAP.
But yesterday was not really about being 21. It was a breathtaking, bold day, with moments called “You Are Loved” and “You are Cherished” strung along one after another until I was so overwhelmed by the pure joy of it all that I cried. With every person who took care to craft snippets of the day for me with words and hugs and shout-outs, I grew a little more. Each person was simply a messenger, a portal from the Lord, allowing His love to cover me over and over again, and that love is powerful, kids.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God. . . ” —1 John 4:7
The ones that He used? Why they are the best. The best. And love betters what is best.
See, my day was like this:
“You love others so deeply, and you serve as Christ would. I love that you are so you!”
“I am so grateful for your big hugs, love of coffee, brilliant spirit, toleration of my musical choices, sense of humor, love of literature, and desire to be my friend.”
“Your friendship blessed my heart and brightens my days.”
“Everyone needs one of those day-brightening-contagious-smile-lights-up-a-room kinds of friends, and you’re it!”
Do you see what I’m saying? I’m so, so thankful to these people (these people being the ones pictured here and the ones who called me and the ones who hugged me, because I could only give you pictures of a few things, but it didn’t stop all the day long, people.) While all of this was a happenin’, another great big thing and one medium-sized thing happened too. It was Deadline Day, which usually consists of 12 hours of emotional roller coaster anyway, and it was also my very last lecture day in a literature survey class, which isn’t a big deal until you realize that everything changes and wait! I love literature. But I did this:
I felt so stinking accomplished I would have jumped up and down if I wasn’t totally dumbstruck about my next move (I’m saying looking back, jumping up and down was my next move, but that didn’t occur to me at the time. Rather, I just stared at my inbox with my mouth open.)
And then, to combat end-of-literature-survey blues, though they didn’t even know they would be doing so, my roommates passed me this gem over sushi and jokes.
If you’re thinking, “Man, they know her so well,” you’d be right. If you’re thinking, “Man, they love her like it’s their job,” you would also be right. If you’re thinking, “Man, she’s never going to post another normal Facebook status again,” well, cross your fingers and say a prayer. I lost all my geese right there over my fried rice, and they all gave each other those knowing smiles that said, “We knew this would happen,” and looked at me with these eyes that promised, “Yes, we love you.” So in the end, it wasn’t the book at all, but it was them and their love, and the way they shared it with me over e.e. cummings and plates of raw fish.
And all the same, I now own every single bit of e.e. cummings poetry.
All of that was followed by Jesus, and more people who love Him and loved on me, and my gosh, I can’t even start to put it in words. All I can say was that when I entered His presence in worship, all I could say was, “Thank you. Thank you for them. Thank you for You. Thank you for love.”
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” —James 1:17
Good and perfect, indeed.