the times are changin'
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

the times really have changed

I reread an old blog post yesterday. I wrote it a little over a year ago, just a few weeks before moving back to Greenville; here's a selection of it:

"This idea of 'interim' has been on the forefront of my mind because I've realized that this is the way I've been viewing this stage in my life. It's an 'in-between,' a transition between college and where I actually 'want to be.' While in Chicago, though, I was encouraged by a local pastor who shared these words, 

'be fully present
deepen your roots
no matter the timeline'

It doesn't mean to not plan ahead or to 'settle,' especially if you know you are called to prepare for something beyond what you already have, i.e. grad school, buying a house, having a family, etc. What it does mean, though, is to be living fully in every moment, considering what you can do for the neighbors around you now and how you can cultivate community and culture in the city you currently live in. It's scary to consider trying to plant roots even if you know you might be transplanted--being vulnerable and building relationships when you know you might leave is really hard and sometimes counter-intuitive--but your presence won't mean much if you stay packed up in your own little world, meticulously planning what your life will be like rather than fully living in your life now. Be a gift to those who are in your life now. This is real life. This right here. Be fully present. Deepen your roots. No matter the timeline."

Fast-forward. We now have a 3-month old, own a house in Greenville and are prayerfully considering joining a new church plant. Talk about some deepened roots. This post isn't supposed to be a cheesy "Just wait; something great is right around the corner!" kind of message. When I wrote the post above I had no freaking idea what was about to happen over the next 15 months. (Read my blog post from yesterday to get one chapter of that story.) I'm writing this post because I just happened to read what I wrote last August and was encouraged to see how God has been cultivating trust and joy and hope in my heart even in the midst of the most painful experiences of my life. I went from needing to be taught to stop obsessing about "the future" to needing to look to the future every single moment, but not the future of 5 years from now, the future where "He will wipe every tear from [my] eyes."¹ My mantra in this season has been, "This is not forever." At one point this phrase might not have meant much, but now it gives me hope, and that hope enables me to be fully present, deepen my roots, and love others where I am right this moment, because I can rest in trusting that the hard days will one day end and the good days are only a foretaste of what is to come.

¹ Revelation 21:4, ESV

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