Being back in Ohio has been particularly rough for me lately. Honestly, and I know there’s a large chunk of me that doesn’t feel this way, but for this moment it holds true. I had it easy at LT. It might not have been the easiest time of my life (because believe me, it was not), however, there was one thing there that I don’t find in my life right now.
What a concept, honestly? Like consistency is one of my favorite things. In Colorado, I had consistency coming out of my ears. I had the wake-up, breakfast, work, lunch (which included my built in quiet time), then going back to work, then getting off work, dinner, and then hanging with the homies, depending on the night, I had LT— the thing is, I had consistency. I always could rely on knowing what would [probably] happen next.
And on the days that I didn’t know, I coped. I adapted.
Despite having lived here 99.9% of my 19 years, I’m beginning to view Ohio as an entirely new habitat in which I have no niche and no familiarity. I feel like I’m constantly adapting right now. I find a tree that I like, and the next thing I know, all the branches are broken and I’m left to find a new tree. Except all of the trees are taken by others.
I don’t know if that makes much sense to any of you, but where the spirit has me right now, nothing makes more sense to me than that.
And yet, at the same time, nothing really makes sense to me.
Right now, life is throwing a lot of things my way, and I’m beginning to feel like I’m being pulled in a million and ten different directions. And as if that didn’t feel stressful enough, so many things have changed since my return to Ohio, and since the start of my Sophomore year of college. I’m starting to second guess if my CO decisions were made while looking through very thick LT goggles rather than through real petition and prayer. Even more, I’m beginning to second guess my plans of becoming a teacher in order to exchange them for what I think might be God’s real plan for my life: ministry.
It’s so weird because this is all I’ve ever wanted to do, ya know? This is all I’ve ever known, and now it feels so incredibly distant from me.
Last evening, H2O had a vision night in order to gather the church’s leaders and cast a vision of sorts onto the school year. Throughout the course of the worship, there were two questions that each of us were asked to consider with God.
- Is there something I need to give God as the new semester begins?
- Is there a dream that He wants me to begin this semester?
Now, I’m not gonna lie to you, homie. I felt attacked. I felt like these questions were God’s way of getting to me in a way that I hadn’t been allowing Him to get to me. The thing was, I knew before the question was even asked that there was something I had to give to God. I knew already that there was a dream I needed to surrender to Him, a trust I needed to establish in order to pursue something I’ve always wanted.
I need to give up control. I need to give up consistency. I need to surrender this idea of “I know what’s best for me.”
When everything gets messy it’s easy to return to what you know; to find a kind of solace in your plans and what you think you’ll be doing.
So I asked God what to do. I said, “Abba, I want you, but I don’t know how to give up control, I don’t know if this teaching thing is for me, I don’t know if you want me somewhere else, and I’m afraid that I don’t know anymore because I’ve always known.”
And, because it’s so like Him to answer our prayers with a question, He said ever so gently:
“Are you going to choose Me? Are you going to choose Me and My kingdom when you feel powerless? When you have to do it alone; when your friends aren’t with you? When you get uncomfortable? Are you going to pick Me?”
And I could’ve started crying right there.
Everything seems to be changing this semester; my major, my plans, my friends, my life group (or the people in it, anyway), but God is trying to remind me of the one thing that will never change. Him.
I felt held at that moment. God reminded me of my favorite words in Lamentations, “we are not consumed (ch.3, v. 22).”
I still feel like I’m getting ahead of myself, I still feel like I’m spread too thin, I still feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do, but above all, there’s one thing I can hold on to— God.
There’s a scene in my favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy. It’s probably one of the most quoted scenes of the show, and the most iconic. In the scene, Meredith is desperate. She knows that she wants to be with Derek and that she’s all in. Derek, on the other hand, has a decision to make that will change his life forever. So Meredith confesses her love for him, and says to him, “pick me, choose me, love me.”
I think that’s where I am with God right now. He knows the plans He has for me, and He knows I feel spread too thin. He knows.
“Because of the LORD’s Great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.”
He’s still beckoning though, “pick Me, choose Me, love Me.”
I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know it’s about to be a “pick God, choose God, love God” kind of semester.
I’m terrified, but I’m held. I’m not consumed.
This should be interesting.