Life update ahead. Read on at your own risk because I'm currently a blubbering mess of grateful and friggin' pumped and also continually saying "wait, what? This is actually happening?" over and over and over again. I think my roommates are ready for me to leave already.
Sometimes dreaming big is worth the risk, and you need to just go. Sooo this Kansas girl is heading out west!!! I will be moving to San Diego, California after graduation. (Celebrate with me because you don't have to hear me talk about figuring out the next step anymore! Aren't you blessed?) I get to work with the City of Coronado, a perfect tiny "island" (peninsula) off the coast of SD, to help kiddos have the most adventurous summer of their lil lives. I'm also gonna be volunteering with GenerateHope, an organization very similar to the Homestead. And then maybe be a barista or something because that's just fun.
That being said, I don't have words to express how I feel about leaving Manhattan, Kansas, even temporarily. My time in Manhattan has shaped me and brought me abounding joy that sometimes makes me get all shaky and teary and I freeze up and go mute because it's actually unreal. These last four years have been unbelievable. I am more loved and blessed than I ever could have hoped. Seriously, I could write novels about what God's done in me here. I am undeserving of the ways he's radically changed my life and my heart, the ways he's used me, and the ways he's just loved the crap outta me. Literally. I am not who I was in 2013. Hate me for saying it, but these have been the best and most difficult four years of my life. I'm a walking cliche, I know.
There's no doubt that I'll be making the most of these last six weeks here, remaining fully present to the best of my wandering little heart's ability. We all know what it's like to come to the end of chapters in our lives and feel like we're running out of time to wrap them up well. But not all chapters end perfectly. Oftentimes they end with a lot of ugly crying and hugging and even some screaming, if you feel like it.
But if I've learned anything through this season of chasing after a dream, it's that God has us right where we are when we are there with the people we're with for very specific purposes. The present is part of our destiny just as much as our dreams are. Which is why it's so important to soak up the times that feel "in between" because really, they aren't.
A piece of this heart o' mine has been planted here, real deep down under the prairie soil. I am thrilled for the adventures to come, but MHK has been the greatest adventure I could ask for. Maybe you'll catch me back here...who knows? (AKA, do not ask me about next fall because I don't know, okay? I just don't. AND I DON'T NEED TO KNOW, OKAY?)
I'm excited to turn my sights on this new adventure. But if I'm being honest, as these dreams have solidified, I find myself freezing up. My breath has been catching in my chest. My heart skipping its usual rhythms. It's been pissing me off because THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. Come on. Why would I not just be thrilled? What's the matter, autonomic nervous system? Can't you like, just chill for a sec? (Freaky Friday, anyone? No? Okay.)
I love personality tests. I love them. Because I really don't feel like I know anything about myself. I'm not the best at being self aware. And so the RHETI Enneagram test saved. my. life. No joke. Pay the twelve bucks, people. It's worth it. You will be frightened in the best way because this test knows you better than yo momma does.
According to my results, I love comfortable. I love safe. I love familiar. I love my people. (Any other Sixes on the Enneagram? Raise yo hands proudly.) And I am leaving all of that. For a West Coast city I've visited twice. I think I know a total of seven people out there well enough to call 'em up. Okay, make that like four. So basically that's my worst-case-scenario. Not knowing a place very well and hardly knowing anyone.
There are a million cliches I could throw out there about why I decided to pursue this dream and also why I'm now second-guessing the whole thing. But at the end of the day, my fears do not come out of truth because God does not speak words of anxiety or fear to us. And yeah, I'm leaving the best community I've ever known, and some would say that's foolish. Maybe it is. Or maybe there's another community out there that God wants to show me. Or maybe I'll be back. Honestly, I'm not just saying any of this. This could be a foolish decision.
But I need to go. I don't know why. I honestly don't. Just like I didn't know why K-State was my last-resort school and then when I visited Manhattan, I was head-over-heels in love. Just like I didn't know why I felt completely at home the first time I visited a house church my freshman year. Just like I don't know why sometimes my day is nothing like I planned it to be and then it's the best kind of day you can have.
My heart is overwhelmed and I don't know how to express anything well at all. I realize I'm just babbling at this point. I have so much I want to say, so much I want to make you understand, so much I want to process. I think I just want you to hear this one thing:
God is with us and for us. No matter what.
Tears are welling up as I write this because I am never alone. My greatest fear - loneliness - will NEVER come to fruition. How could I ask for more than that? The Lord is leading me and guiding me and he has purpose in every single second, even the toughest ones.
Especially the toughest ones.
I have heard this small, comforting but truthful whisper in my ear for several months now as I have been pursuing California. "This is going to be one of the most challenging summers of your life. But do not worry for a single second." Not the most revealing statement. It gives me no specifics. And I like specifics. So I've been frustrated. Because God hasn't given me a clear-cut answer about what I'm supposed to do or why.
But those are words of a faithful, loving Father who sees and knows all of me and all of my life and all of eternity. He does not promise ease, comfort, or that our dreams will line up perfectly with what he brings to reality. But he promises himself. He promises that my life is not about me. That it's about how I fit into his eternal plan for restoration and redemption. And that, my friends, is more than enough to allow me to move forward towards the unknown with the confidence of a King's kid. You guys, the Lord is not indifferent towards us or our dreams. I have been reminded through this season that He blesses whatever we do if we keep holding His hand the whole way. He is ecstatic to wake up each morning and live life with us. And now I get to do just that in this freaking unreal place - what EVEN. Not to mention I'll be living with my best friend in the whole world (enter Callie). DOOOOD.
Thankful. I'm just thankful. Thanks for sticking through this ridiculousness with me. You better believe there will be more to come.