I'm home! I've been spending a lot of time reflecting on the last five months. They have been full of laughter, tears, stress, fun and most importantly growth. I can’t begin to express how rewarding this chapter in my life has been. A season full of personal growth and self discovery that I otherwise don’t think I would’ve been able to achieve in the time given. As rewarding as my time in Seattle was, it wasn't always rainbows and unicorns. I battled finding my place and my people, and struggled with self doubt, depression and anxiety. Through it all I learned that God tests our faithfulness by staying quiet through the hard times. At times He takes a seat in the back corner of our lives to wait and watch how we respond. Although this sounds crazy and absurd, He is still at work in our lives. Every lesson and circumstance He puts us through it changes us, and I have truly been changed. In Seattle I was able to spread my wings, walk down a few lonely roads, have my eyes opened and my soul rearranged. Its not always an easy time to endure, but man does it create a God shaped heart! I have learned to ask myself the hard questions. The questions like "Do my actions reflect God to those around me?" "How can I be better to better those around me?" "When people meet me for the first time, will they be able to tell/see that God is at work in my life?" When I first hear these questions I usually jump to conclusions as if I know whats right. But do I really? Are these things really happening in my life? As the natural instinct of jumping to the conclusion of saying "yes, these things are happening", I wonder if its true? I've learned that investing in the most raw, natural and genuine relationship with God that I can will be one of the most beneficial and impacting decisions I can invest my time and energy in. I've learned to have real conversations with God. He's my best friend and I am no longer afraid of showing Him my true emotions and colors. Everything from the pure, passionate joy; angry, bitter sarrow, and deep, dark sadness. He is so delighted to be able to spend time with us, but I've found that He is even more fond of seeing all sides of us when we share them with Him. He knows how we feel, but when we confess it to Him, thats when He smiles and finds so much joy in us.
As this season comes to a close, and the winter frost begins to set in I find myself looking back to where I was this time last year and analyzing just how far I have come. This is a time where I am able to take a breath, a step back, and fully see the countless blessings God has deliberately placed in my life. It allows me to see the full spectrum of the joy, hardships, miracles, life lessons, friendships, blessings, and love that I have been able to both give to those around me and receive from Him. Sometimes it feels a little overwhelming, but I am so blessed to say that looking at the bigger picture, He was the one to lead me to this exact moment. This time last year I was still going to school at Wenatchee Valley College, but I wasn't happy with where I was going in life. I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to study, and I wasn't happy with the idea of spending thousands of dollars for an education that I wasn't sure was right for me. I was wrestling with the idea of dropping out of school. I didn't want to become that 'college drop out', you know, the one who still lives with their parents and eats hot pockets for every meal while binge watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians. As I made the final decision to drop out of school, I was determined to not let society tell me how I was supposed to live my life. I know who I am and more importantly; who's I am. I am so happy with where I am at in life and how I am choosing to live. I am home and I am back to my roots. I am so sad to leave Seattle and the community that I have been able to surround myself with and build. I will miss my Cabin 106 girls, the Lighthouse boys, my dancing buddies, the endless memories and ever so contagious laughs. But at the same time I am excited to start leading Young Life again, spending an unhealthy amount of time at Cafe Mela, skiing the luscious pow at Mission Ridge and being with my strongest support system. I know that its not a goodbye, but a see ya later. I am so blessed to have been welcomed with such open arms and hearts at The INN in Seattle.