Monday, July 28, 2014

Joy


A few days ago, as I was whizzing through Des Moines on the illuminated interstate, my heart suddenly filled with joy. I don't know why I got so excited in that moment, but I rolled with it. I cranked up the volume on the radio and sang like no one was listening.

The next day, I tried to record my experience in my journal. But suddenly I felt guilty for being ok. For being better than ok! I had genuine thankfulness and I couldn't find it in me to admit it. I was scared of offending those who were hurting. How dare I smile and sing and be glad when people are suffering? When there is death, sin, rejection, and abandonment in this world?

Was I forgetting that the Christian life should be characterized by joy?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time That Adds Up

Today, a couple birthday party invitations just about broke my heart. I was discussing my niece's first birthday with my nephews when they invited me to their parties. I had to explain to them that I wouldn't be around for their birthdays... I don't think either of them were too upset-- mostly just confused-- but I hated the fact that I wouldn't be there for them on their special days.

This summer has just been a series of similar stories of times when I realize I am going to miss out on a lot. I am thrilled for the new memories and relationships I will be making at Northwestern, but it doesn't make leaving my Iowa family and friends any less difficult.

I want every last moment to be meaningful. I want to get together with everyone, give them gifts and thank them for loving me. But time is running out. I only have three weeks left before orientation, and the days are filling up quickly! Will I be able to make them count?

What I don't seem to realize is that the weeks, months, and years that led to today are so much more valuable than the weeks leading to my departure. I may only have three weeks left with my loved ones for a while, but I have spent years with them already. Three weeks is not going to do much to add or take away from that.

Besides, I would take a year of living life together in the daily grind over three weeks of unforgettable last-chance events any day. The lackluster moments have added up, and these are what I will miss when I am at school. I look forward to all the memorable times I have planned before I head off, but I only need and love these moments because of the ones that were just life.