As I ponder this being the end tears spring to my eyes. Are the tears for fear of the future or loss of the present? I can’t quite tell. I have been through a lot on this last leg. My time completing my undergrad has been years of pain and turmoil in every form – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual – and now we are at the end.
For all the complaining I’ve ever done about college, I love my school. I love my professors. I love my friends. I love the strangers who have graced the pages of my life in this place. When I wonder about what I have learned the most during my time here… the first thing that comes to mind is learning about myself. Who am I? Why am I here? The answer to that I know for sure to be God’s glory. Does it all make complete sense to me? No, definitely not. There are more than a few experiences I’ve had in this place that I’m still not sure I’ll ever completely understand why they had to happen. But among the confusion are beautiful, breathtaking moments. And now, at the end, I hate letting go.
Letting go of something you cherish always feels like losing a piece of yourself. The future is so unknown. The thought of the unknown is thrilling just as much as it is terrifying. I know God is always telling us not to be afraid of the unknown future, but I am afraid. I am afraid because while the future could lead to anything and everything good… I have the potential to mess it up. I suppose it’s a very good thing that the future is not dependent on me then, isn’t it? I hate letting go.
As I watch myself type those words I’m reminded that if I never let go of anything, I’m preventing myself from having open hands to receive any of the other surprise blessings God has in store. Blessings that, in truth, are already waiting for me. A new job, students of my own, independence, a chance to make a difference in someone else’s life… who knows, maybe the love of my life (other than Jesus) is waiting for me on the other end of that stage. My mission, my global heart, is moving one step closer. I’m amending my previous statement. You don’t lose a part of yourself when you let go. In fact, only when I am willing to let go, am I able to take those people and places with me as part of me.
I am so thankful for this place and these people. I have accomplished so much under the guidance and support of so many here. I was wrong. This needn’t be the last chapter. This is not the end. Instead, it’s just the end of one simple chapter. A chapter that will be followed by a much more exciting one full of new experiences and people. Don’t worry however; if I’ve learned anything from Gandalf the Grey, it’s that your favorite characters always come back around when the time is right.
I was a very scared little girl when I came to this school. I have grown a lot since then. The girl that writes to you now realizes that she still has fear. However, instead of trembling in the presence of the unknown she rises to take it head on. She dares it to throw everything it has at her. She is much more confident in her front man than she was at the beginning. Jesus has got her back 100%, even when she does not realize He does.
The sun has set on this day… but that does not mean it won’t be back right on schedule tomorrow morning. Tomorrow it will be bigger, brighter, another day older and wiser, facing the same unknown as me. No regrets for this girl. You have lived. There is nothing to be lost in living. My childhood hero Peter Pan changed his heart’s cry at the end of his story. He said, “To live, will be an awfully big adventure.” It was not, fighting a pirate will be an awfully big adventure… or saving an Indian princess, or befriending a mermaid... none of that. Simply LIVING is the awfully big adventure. All the specifics come into the adventure after the living part. Live, girl. Live to glorify the one who gave you life and is your reason to live. He will never lead you astray. His adventure is bigger and better than you could possibly imagine.
Growth comes with the unexpected, change keeps you moving forward, and love, God’s love, is never ending. Cheers my friends! Here’s to letting go and letting God lead me on my next big adventure!
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27