Well. Here I am.
After last summer, I promised myself it would be my last summer home. Somehow, I would find a way not to come back. Working up at school, going abroad, hitchhiking across the country -- I did not care, but there was no chance that I would repeat the mind-numbing, soul-crushing pace of last summer.
As always, Jesus had other plans.
Here's the thing: I love making plans. I don't know why, necessarily. Maybe I just love to be in charge. Maybe I just love to tell other people what to do. Maybe it's because I love stories, and I love to tell myself stories, and they inevitably end up being about my future, at which point I'm making the plans to get there. I think away my life.
All through high school, for example, I lived to get to college. I could not wait to get out of this town, to see the world, to experience new things, and meet incredible, fascinating, strange, beautiful people. If you asked me where I was going to go, I would smile smugly and say, "Chicago." I wasn't sure where and I wasn't sure how, but I knew that Chicago was the perfect place for me. Then I found a school, a nice Christian school in the northern part of the city, and I fell in love. The campus oozed that collegiate feel that is most potent at autumn. It was tucked away, like a secret Ivy League, in a diverse little neighborhood that would give me hours of exploration. It was small and it was Christian and it was in Chicago and it was beautiful...but it wasn't right. In my head, though, it was my only option. I had to get to Chicago.
As always, Jesus had other plans.
I ended up at Grand Valley quite on accident. Distracted by my beautiful little Chicago school all fall, I went through the motions of applying elsewhere, all the while confident that I knew where I was going. By winter, I accepted my situation as bleak, and visited GVSU. After the visit, I had a quiet, yet acutely disappointed, feeling that I was going to Grand Valley. By spring, I had begrudgingly accepted the fact. By summer, I felt tinges of excitement just to go to college, albeit in Allendale instead of the big city. By my second night as a student, I could not imagine myself anywhere else.
In my two years there, God has blessed me beyond belief. He has such a specific plan for me there. The idea of having followed my own ideas and thoughts to Chicago is laughable now -- there is nowhere I would rather be than Allendale. So when all of my plans fell through for the summer [and believe me when I say there were a lot of options that I threw around and it was not for lack of trying], I knew that I had to accept it. I knew that I could fight it and struggle and cry and complain and throw general fits ad naseum, or I could trust. I could have faith. I could choose to believe my God when He said that all things work together for good for those who love Him. I could choose to believe my God and know that there bigger plans and a higher purpose for me in Kalamazoo. I wish that I had a more glamorous calling at this point, but I here I am. And I have a purpose and God has a plan and that is all that I need for right now.
One thing needs to change, though: this title. When I realized that I was, in fact, going back home, it popped into my head instantly. Forgive my shameless Mamma Mia plug...but I mean, how can I resist ya?