I live too much in the future. Far too often I find myself daydreaming, telling myself stories of what my life will look like in a month, a year, five years, ten. In my head, I have conversations with my future husband about how our sons will most certainly not wrestle in high school. I take my non-existent eight-year-old to get pedicures and lunch. I plan vacations with my girlfriends where we lie on a beach, sipping margaritas and laughing about our college-age antics. I'm not crazy -- just thoughtful. I love to think about things like this, to try to plan the path that will lead me to this final goal of bliss.
It doesn't scare me; the future has never scared me. I have never looked at my life and said, "This is it. This is as good as it's going to get," because it's just not true. I refuse to think like that. Consequently, I have always been ready to move on to the next chapter. I was ready to leave Heritage, excited for a new start. I was ready to leave high school, to move to college, to begin my life. I was ready to leave my dorm at the end of last year, and I was elated to move into my apartment at the beginning of this one. But now? As my second year of college grinds to a halt and prepares to march off into my past? As my world turns upside down and everything changes yet again? Am I ready for the next chapter now? Am I facing this next part head on, excited and ready? No. Oh no, I am not.
For the first time, the idea of this change terrifies me. It breaks my heart more than anything, but I find myself struck silent in fear. Suddenly, Time is my enemy. I don't have enough of it -- and I don't just mean between finishing my finals and packing and moving home; those are the least of my concerns. I don't have enough Time with the people who own my heart. I haven't had enough Time to get to know them properly, to show them how much I love them, to simply be with them. Relationships feel like they are being ripped away before they even begin. And I'm scared. I'm scared of what this means for my future, for my community...for my life. I'm scared that this summer will be a hinging point for everything. Decisions will be made. Changes will take place. People will grow and leave and turn more and more into who they are supposed to be. It's a beautiful process, really, but painful and terrifying too.
As I peer over the edge of this precipice, though, I realize something. If God waited until His people thought they were ready for the next step, nothing would ever get done and His role would greatly diminish. He has called my friends and I to huge, incredible things in life. Some are heading across oceans to new continents. Some are heading back to the hardest place to go at this point, back to that changeling place called "home." Still some of us have no idea what lies ahead or which direction we are pointing toward. But we all have faith; there is no other option, really. We have faith that the same God who brought us together will bring us back one day as better people, more whole and more in love with Him.
In August, I wrote that this was going to be the best year of my life so far. I had no idea how right I was, for once. This year, God showed me community. He showed me love. He showed me men and women, how we are different, how we both reflect Him, and how we are meant to live together in harmony. He showed me beauty. He showed me friendship. Through these things, He showed me Himself. I have spent the past three days crying over what I'm leaving in my past, but tonight? Tonight I am going to celebrate what is in my future. Tonight I am going to take hope in the fact that I could not have imagined the fullness of my heart a year ago. Tonight I am going to encourage my friends on their journey, wherever that might be. Tonight I am going to take a deep breath and face what is in front of me. It is huge and shapeless and terrifying, but my God stands at the center, beckoning me closer to Him.
I am ready to answer His call. We all are.