2011 has been and continues to be a crazy year for me.
This was not the year I had expected at all.
Actually, if, a year ago, you would have told me anything about my life (sans my family being generally wonderful. they’re kind of a constant.) right now, I would have laughed at you.
Literally. I would have told you that you were crazy. And that the only tribal issues I’d be around were at my university.* And that my parents would never in a million years let me take a semester off of college. And that even if they did, why would I want to? I had a plan for my life and that didn’t fit in it. And that JT was just a nice guy, and if Africa was the plan, how did he fit, anyway?.. And that.. and that… and that…
Last year around this time, I was packing for a trip to Italy with the family and dreaming of what could be in the future. I heard God whispering faint notions of change, but I was putting it off as long as possible.
Last year around this time, I was scared. I knew God had different plans than I had up until that time, but I wanted to say no. Because my plans sounded so much more stable, even if things weren’t working out exactly how I had wanted them to.
For the past 19 years, my life has had a kind of routine. Like anyone elses. School, summer, friends, family. It’s been pretty consistent, even though it didn’t always emotionally feel that way. (Again, I’m a little dramatic at times.) But this year has turned all of those years of consistency on their heads.
This year was the most inconsistent time. The first time I’ve been open to whatever God brought. And God did not bring normality.
God brought an intimacy in relationship with my Creator that I’ve known in the back of my mind was missing but wasn’t willing or didn’t have the know-how to get to. He’s drawn me closer to Himself and closer to so many that love Him like I want to. He has done immeasurably more than anything I could have ever planned while sitting in Gunter 106 crying to Kristen about what in the world was going on.
When 2011 started, I had a fresh start in many ways. The opportunities for God to work were endless, and the work He has done has been incredible. Now, going home at the end of this week, I feel like it’s another new beginning.
2012, I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us. I’m not so scared as I was last year. Because I know with a tested confidence now that my God is a good God. That He works for good, even if it brings pain in the meantime. I’m not afraid of whatever He’ll bring. Even if it’s not what I want. Because I know He’ll work through it to draw me closer to Him and His will. It’s still a month from 2012, and I think this next month will be a lot of reflection. A lot of rest. And a lot of preparation and readjustment. I’m praying that as I travel back to the states later this week, that culture shock isn’t too overwhelming, and my eyes are set on Him in all things this next year.
The past semester has been incredible, and I’ll forever love Africa, Uganda, and Rafiki, but I admit I am excited to to hug my family and friends, wear jeans, and sleep on a real mattress Saturday!
*tribe=MC’s Baptist version of a sorority