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Friday, November 16, 2012

Three Years

Three years.
Three years is a long time, and three years is a short time.  So many, many things can change in the span of three years.
The very essence of who a person is.  
And yet at the same time, you blink and three years have past like blur.  Life is funny like that.

This particular time of the year means a lot to me, on many different levels.
It's November.
The beginning of my favorite of the Southern California seasons - cool and (if we're lucky) wet.  
The month of Thanksgiving.  
The month in which, three years ago, events occurred that changed my life.  
It's funny how day to day, you generally don't feel like you are changing, but when you look back over your life, you realize that who you were one. . . two. . . five. . . ten years ago would barely recognize the person you are today and you wonder how that happened.

The past week I have been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking and reminiscing.  This last week marks my third year following the Lord.  Three years ago, I was a different person with different plans, goals and dreams.  I was walking
down a self-centered, destructive path when in His grace and mercy, God reached down and grabbed my heart, sparking in it a love and a desire for Him that I had never known before.  This new purpose in life completely changed my perspective and the direction that I was taking.  If you had told me three years ago that I would be where I am and who I am today, I would have laughed in your face.  My plan was to graduate high school and go to whatever college I could find that was close to where my boyfriend at the time was stationed, and work on a degree until something more exciting popped up.

Then God showed up.  He has a funny tendency do that you know, show up and switch up all your plans.  In my case, this involved the relationship I was in falling apart and me hitting my rock bottom breaking point.  That point where I looked at my life, realized that it was a mess and that there was no way I was going to be able to fix it on my own and so I handed it over to God.  I've spent the last three years trying to figure out what it looks like to live a life that is honoring to the Lord.

For two years that meant living at home, working when I could, going to church, participating in various ministries and attending classes at a junior college.

Now it means living in a dorm room, working when I can, going to church, trying to get involved at church and on my school campus and attending classes at an amazing private Christian college.

That's what it looks like on the outside, on the what-am-I-doing-with-my-time side.
It's a little harder to say exactly what that looks like on the inside, because the inside fluctuates.  But some things I am working on and thinking about as I go about my days:

How is what I am doing building up my faith or the faith of those around me?

How can I be a better daughter?

Even though I don't have much, how can I hold what I have open hands so that I don't miss an opportunity to bless others?

Over the course of the last three years, God has taught me a lot.  He has stretched, challenged and grown me in ways that I couldn't have imagined.  The more I learn, the more I grow, the more I realize that I know nothing.  My pitiful knowledge and skill set, it is nothing compared to all that there is to know, learn and master.  While I can truthfully look back and say that today I am different from who I was yesterday, I need to keep in mind that who I am today is a far cry from who I need to be tomorrow.  With so much more to learn and so much more to change in my heart and life, I am so thankful that God's mercies are new every morning and that He patiently works in and through me to perfect His will in my life.

I'm going to end this ramble with a quote from a song that I really love; its lyrics never fail to touch my heart and inspire me to just worship my God.

"Still wonderin' why I'm here.  / Still wrestling with my fear / But oh... HE's up to something,  / And the farther out I go,  / I've seen enough to know / That I'm not here for nothin'...  / He's up to somethin'. // Because God won't forget, / All the plans HE's made for me / I have to wait and see, / HE's not finished with me" ~ Wait and See, Brandon Heath.

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