“If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire. If you want to get wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.” -C.S. Lewis
I am back to reality, and I love it. I love that life is real and it’s moving and messy and beautiful. Take my giddy joy for this sweet life combined with the frazzled stress that comes with it, and here’s the mess on my heart this week:
My fairytale journey around the world is over, and I’ve been drop-kicked back into real life. But I’m in love with it. I feel like God is constantly reminding me that this so called “ordinary” is wrapped in a silver lining that makes it extraordinary. This familiarity, this routine, is precious. In it, there’s people and places I love and get to learn from and chances I get to take.
Since returning from Semester at Sea, I’d argue this feels like the first time in my life where it’s really hit me that the real world is coming. Day by day, the reality that my journey is unfolding seems to be becoming real. (my big-girl-adult-life journey, that is.) Huge yikes.
And as this reality hits me, each day seems to hold more importance in asking myself the question, “Does this _______ support the life I’m trying to create?” It seems like there’s always a big choice to make or a risk to take. It’s thrilling and daunting and beautiful all at the same time. This concept of choice can be hard but I’m realizing what a privilege it is that God entrusts us with it.
I think the mystery of God’s character is in the fact that He knows our best interests and entrusts us with the freedom of choice – to allow us to co-create our life alongside with Him. Internships and relationships and friendships and the way I choose to prioritize time – all these important choices I’m navigating while at the same time remembering its not entirely up to me.
I’m learning some of the best pieces of this puzzle are unexpected. At the same time, I’m learning to see God’s hand in “no” and “not yet” – and understanding that some pieces don’t fit into the puzzle of the what’s ahead.
Right now, I’m learning about joy in the journey. Living in a type of hope that seeks God’s best but knowing it’s already here, too. This is a type of hope that finds God in the unknown. He challenges our character to remember who we are when we don’t really know what we’re doing, or where we’re going.
The future is coming and I think its one of the most important choices to embrace it rather than fear it. With all this on my mind, I want to take my “today is a gift” mentality one step further to “today is a gift that keeps on giving.” Joy is an outward sign of the inward hope we get to live in knowing that our story is being written here and now – that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be and going exactly where we’re supposed to go.