About a week ago, I walked out of my house on Woodland Avenue for the last time. But I promise you that, just yesterday, I was deciding how I was going to get my bed and dresser up that narrow stairway and which pictures I should hang on my wall.
Oh, life :)
This summer has gone by incredibly fast (as usual) and I am still processing through all the stuff I have experienced, which I will get to in a second. The summer culminated with a road trip up to Ohio and then to Kentucky to move out of my college house and on with life. A girl that I played soccer with this summer made the road trip with me. She grew up in San Diego. At one point as we were driving, one of her friends from Cali called her and asked what she was doing. She said that we were driving through Ohio to Kentucky. The girl on the phone said, "Where is that?!" She responded by saying, "I have no idea!" It was at this point that I realized I should never bring a Californian to KENTUCKY. Needless to say, I couldn't really turn around and we had a hilarious trip as she experienced the Bluegrass for the first time ever. It was full of sideways rain, horse parks, creepy old men, and SAND volleyball (which she made clear, since there is definitely no beach!)
One of the things I am learning, and will continue to learn for the rest of my life is what genuine "community" actually is. Transparency and vulnerability are 2 words that are often thrown around in regards to community. There are so many different types of people in the world and we are each so unique in our own way. I think that's awesome and beautiful because each person is a little piece of who God is. At the same time, this can also be frustrating to find people who we truly connect with. You know, people who are "picking up what we are laying down." Which is why I think that it's imperative to have people in your life to challenge and encourage you. People that you have deep, truly meaningful relationships with. People you can be real with. Because, honestly, the "surfacy" relationships just aren't going to cut it. It's not how Jesus calls us to live. These relationships take effort and risk...so be BOLD. :)
I'm also learning about gentleness. Words hurt and can pierce like a sword. As women, I think we really know how to use our words to cut others down. With as much as I love people and enjoy getting to know them, I can also be extremely critical. When I looked the word "critical" up in the thesaurus, one of the synonyms used was CRUCIFY. Dang. Jesus was crucified: nailed to a cross, beaten, pierced. So, as I'm criticizing, I'm doing the same to others. Instead of seeing them as Jesus sees them- lost, broken people looking for Truth- I'm not even giving them a chance and, in a sense, denying them forgiveness and redemption. That's pretty convicting. It's a process but, I want what I say to people to only build them up. While words have the ability to destroy, they also have a beautiful way of empowering others. It's about speaking Truth...encouraging others and making sure they feel God's Love THROUGH me.
"LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL. THE LORD IS NEAR." -Philippians 4:5