Slowly blinking awake, nestled somewhere under a mountain of warm, laundry detergent-scented blankets.
Yesterday, C said something scary: hey, we have two months until senior year!
Where did time go? Did I ever think I would call this bottom bunk, south side apartment, home? Or be driving my first car around Berkeley and Oakland and Emeryville? That my mornings would be frequently filled with brunch dates and taking baptism portraits?
Never want to climb out of bed. Cherishing these days. So grateful…
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
Lord, do not leave me alone. I have got to know you, I have got to see you, I have got to have you, and I want everything you’ve got for me—Lord, do not leave me to myself. Interrupt my life if you have to, test me if you have to, but come to me. Visit me. Reveal yourself to me.
And let the one who hears say, “Come.” (Revelation 22:17)
There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me.
(Knowing God, J.I. Packer)
My third winter break, with one more to go. It’s always strange coming home…the smell of my childhood has grown foreign, there is a layer of dust on the windows to my roof that I once daily climbed to; and most jarring, a ringing silence permeates during the day, that I have a difficult time tolerating.
But other things remain static: the apple green of my room, the dog who happily hops onto the sofa with me, the comfortably weathered high school clothes that I opt to live in at home despite having lugged back a heavy suitcase from college.
And the memories. When you’ve grown up in the same house for all of your conscious life, there is not one back of the bookshelf or space between the bed and nightstand that doesn’t have thoughts and circumstances and good choices and bad choices lingering about.
Year after year, a big part of me hates coming home to these memories. There is more bitterness than nostalgia, years of depression and self-harm and a keen sense of weary hopelessness than laughter and smiles, but if there is anything God has taught me during this year, it is that I have no need to be ashamed. That God never wastes a hurt, but redeems all things. That I am who I am because of undeniable sin done to me and by me, but, you know what? God loved and loves me regardless, to the point of the Incarnation: sending his son to earth as a humble baby, in an arrival and life that no other King would be subject to. That Jesus would experience all and bear all my shame and guilt and crucify them on the cross with him, and then be raised from the dead in victory, to give me new birth into a new life filled with hope and love and restoration.
There is no more tragically beautiful, gloriously triumphant story than this.
So, I can smile now. Yes, there is brokenness in this house, in this green room of mine, in the old clothes of mine, in me…but God takes a broken thing and calls into existence the things that were not: Life. Worth. Hope. Joy.
I hope you may experience this same peace that I have found. God loves you, and I have known this on a personal level—and he is waiting to engage you in the same way, too. Don’t fall for what politics or the media say; seek, and give Jesus the chance to address you personally. It will be the best investment of your life. He is worth it, I and so many others are proof.
2 Corinthians 5:17 1 Peter 1:3 Romans 4:17 Jeremiah 29:13