At the beginning things were new. They were exciting. There were challenges to be sure: figuring out how to cook in Europe, a sugar-free diet (holy cow), learning a new language, missing family. But as the months wore on the challenges grew deeper: extreme loneliness, questions of identity (who ARE we anyways?). Questions like: how do you know when to flee from difficult stuff and when to embrace it because God uses it to shape you?, and, What are you going to do AFTER this little 2-year European jaunt you're on? What are you going to DO with your life? The pit got a little bit deeper. The curtains stayed closed. Whew. Tough months.
I think these past few weeks mark an emergence from these days. I feel good. I feel hopeful. I feel an expectancy bubbling up inside of me. God is just so.... God. He has been teaching us such deep and incredible things. Not touchy-feely things, but deep, shape-who-you-are-forever kind of things. Deconstructing us. Beginning the rebuilding phase.
I don't think it's a coincidence that this re-quenching lines up perfectly with the coming of summer. When things turn green here. When we can put our winter coats back in the closet. When the Chacos come out. When people on the street smile more. I look back at the winter months and see what God has done, what he has walked us through. There is no way to doubt him. He knows what he's doing and he's actively involved in each step. It makes me trust him even more as I look back and see all he's done.
All that to say I think we've just turned a corner. I don't doubt that there will be winters aplenty as we continue on in life, but for now I am basking in this time of summer. And basking in the greatness of who my God is. There is no life apart from him.
I recently found this picture taken last year. It was after Clay finished running the annual 10K that weaves through Huy.
Yesterday, I ran it with him :D
I have no picture to document the moment, but I think that's just as well. I know what I'd see there. I'd see the same thing I see when I look deep into my heart after this past year. A slightly altered version of the girl in the above picture- this new chicks's sweaty and red-faced. She's grimier. And she just ran like she never would have dreamed she could a year ago. She's a girl who didn't win the race, not even close, but you know what?
She ran that darned race.
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."