So here’s a secret: Several of my friends are writers. Not the kind with book deals or publishers. Not the kind that speak what they write on stages across America. But they are writers all the same. Last fall I had the opportunity to welcome one of my best friends into this space. Today I have the pleasure of sharing sweet MH’s words with you. In exactly two weeks I’ll be wearing a cap and gown and it’s crazy how fast life goes by, but no matter the changes or transitions you’re facing – her words will be an encouragement to you today.
I’m sitting on my dorm bed imagining what this room will be like when I have to strip everything I’ve doted its walls with, fold up the comforter and unplug the coffee pot and head on my merry way.
Funny how this little box of a space has gone from feeling like a stale prison to a home, a place quietly inviting warmth and growth for me over the last ten months.
I sit here on my bed and glance out the window, feeling very anxious about the approaching changes quickly heading my way. It’s almost comical. Comical in the sense that this–moving into this very room last August and leaving all of life as I knew it at the time–was the scariest decision I’d ever made. Flash forward to May and the thought of leaving the little world I’ve known for 10 months has me in tears. How fickle feelings are.
Becoming comfortable can be dangerous. Maybe that is precisely why time spins on effortlessly and the sun rises without thought. The days are long, but the years are short. A friend recently challenged me by saying, “MH, if time never changed and everything stayed just how you liked it to be, you would never learn to appreciate the beauty of living.” The beauty of living. What an idea.
I don’t want to let my sadness and anxiety about the coming transitions taint my vision of seeing the beauty in a life well lived.
I fight transitions and change like a young child screaming and resisting a much-needed nap because I feel it’s unnecessary and I’d rather play in the sandbox a little longer.
Transitions and changes are part of life and are much needed. Rest and time spent in other places make up the beauty of a life well spent.
I was told that my college experience would change and grow me for the better if I allowed it to. If I were to be brave enough to lean into the hurts and the joys and take them all for what they were with open hands, it would be rewarding. Hard, but rewarding.
Growth has been a major theme over the past few months. I’ve struggled and stumbled and fallen on my face more times than I would really like to recount. But I’ve found victory, too. I’ve climbed mountains and tiny hills and conquered fears all at the same time. It doesn’t really matter how tall each mountain was, what matters is that it was conquered. With each victory I am one step closer to becoming who I am made to be.
If college has taught me one thing it is this: to love others well. In order to love others well you must be willing to let go of the fear of getting hurt. You surrender that right as soon as you decide you are going to love someone well.
You don’t love someone well halfway, nor do you love someone well by only allowing them to see your best parts. You love someone well by allowing them to walk alongside you for a season, through the pain and through the joy.
And at the end of a season, sometimes you have to say goodbye. Sometimes this means surrendering your needs and letting this person go on to a new season of life to fulfill a purpose there. This is indeed the hardest yet most rewarding part of friendship done well. If you learn to do friendship well, the goodbyes will be worth it. I promise.
Often times I think of Jesus in the garden, literally sweating blood asking the Father to let this cup be passed from him. Yet in the midst of Jesus’ distress, knowing He was going to be separated from the Father for a time, He willingly laid down His own desire. Not My will, but Yours. He did it for the joy that was to be before Him.
As you are walking through transitions and seasons of letting go and saying goodbye, hold tight to this: there is so much freedom in allowing time to ebb and flow and learning to walk through life with open hands. Let God work on His time table. Let God be God. Lean into the process and enjoy it.