Now that I am no longer a student, I find myself in this odd time of transition. Where I can't find anything I need (because it's all packed in boxes or suitcases), where I'm not really sure what to do with my time because there isn't something else really pressing due next week, and where I am seeing people new and differently.
I now live in the desert. It hasn't quite hit me yet, and probably won't until I settle into my new home, which won't be until August. I, once again, have made a major life change just as I did almost two years ago. I left all that is familiar to follow a call I did not completely understand but one I was sure of, and everything changed for me. Here I am in, in the same situation, but far less scared than I was back then. When I think back as to why, it all comes down to one simple thing: assurance.
The Lord always provided for me when I lived in St. Louis. I was going to school (an expensive one) full-time. I had 3 part-time jobs, a lot of amazing friendships, and a lot of craziness in my life. But every difficult moment brought deep joy and a great thirst for a deeper knowledge of my Lord. They say pleasure is opposed to pain, but joy is often born out of trial. What I went through these last two years was truly a trial. If I had to do it all over again I would and I would never want to trade the experience I had at that challenging institution for anything, because the Lord taught me things. People taught me things. I would never want to not have this experience.
Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living"... and I did a lot of examining in seminary. I now know this is an area I truly fell short in previously. The next phase of my life will be about continuing to deprogram myself so I continue the examining. Donald Miller said in his newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, "maybe we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something." I now understand, more than ever, that living through something rightly is not just surviving, but experiencing as it happens, and looking back to ask what it all means. I am a character in God's story, and it's up to me to understand the plot he is writing with me. I may not ever fully understand what just happened to me in the last two years, but I am most certainly going to try.