In a sweet Christmas note for me, my best friend Courtney wrote this:
Remember the last night of summer, when we were cried and prayed together and were so afraid to go back to U of I? God answered that prayer in a way we didn't expect Him to. And so much has happened, so much has changed, since that moment. But I am so incredibly grateful it all had to fall apart in order to be put back together beautifully.
I read her words as my mind drifted back to that night in my car. We were both moving into our sorority houses the very next day, and fear gripped our hearts with worst-case scenarios.
(Mine came true.)
Last night, I lay in bed with Courtney and Maggie, eyes shut tight as we prayed for each other. It was such a different scene compared to the one in August. We didn't cry. I didn't cry. My heart swelled in my chest and I felt thankful.
Today, I am headed back to the University of Illinois to begin the next chapter of my life. I'm not the same person I was when I left in September. God has nudged me, molded me, tested me, taught me, and led me to this point. He has showed me who I am and reminded me of the identity that cannot be taken from me: a daughter of the King. His child. Accepted, loved, forgiven, renewed. Alive in Christ.
I want to give this semester to Him. Instead of falling into another downward spiral of me-me-me, I will walk in the Spirit and cling to God's promises. What's more, my desire is to openly share what I have learned with the people I come across, especially my new housemates in Stratford.
I'm at the very edge right now. The driving-to-Champaign, not-quite-there-yet, about-to-start-life edge. I still have fears and anxious thoughts, but those are conquered by the overwhelming concept of hope. I have the security of Christ, living and speaking and working through me.
And that is enough.