B I T T E R + S W E E T

It’s officially been one week since packing up my life and moving it into the cozy space I call home for eight months of the year. The schedule is starting to fall into place, yet the flow of events is nothing how I’d imagined it would look like. Junior year seemed like it would arrive with confidence, roots, and a settled place for my heart. Instead, it has been a season of red eyes, not enough sleep, a hollow tinge to the days, coffee pick ups, and a confused heart. Deep down, I know that while “Old things have passed away, Your love has stayed the same, Your constant grace remains the cornerstone.” But honestly, I did not expect this truth to apply to my current state on so many levels.

“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” ~Shauna Niequist

I’m a firm believer in the above quote. That life has both good and hard parts, and that both are necessary. It is simply a part of the many textures of life.

The sweet part: it has been so rich and such a treasure to be back in this community. The friends and people that surround me everyday have kept me going. No feeling compares to the rush of hugs once you get out of the car from hallmates that you have done so much life with, discipleship group members who you dug into truth with, blog writing friends who you prayed and created with, major friends who share similar hearts for issues, and people you camp counseled with all summer. That has kept my heart full to overflowing, even as I face some hard realities.

And then we hit the bitter part: almost every activity and hope I had for this year beyond classes has fallen through. God has been closing doors everywhere I turn. I whip around from the shock only to recover and find out something new. This was not at all my expectation, especially because I’ve felt restless and ready for new adventures since my summer of camp counseling. My heart had been pulled in some new directions, which I thought being back on campus would allow me to follow up.

Also, the deep parts of me thought that with junior year, I’d slide right back into my sweet spot of the way I’d designed college life this past year. Similar patterns, pursuing the activities I’ve committed to and loved, living out in color some of my big dreams. My heart had been so full being in a discipleship group, singing and worshipping in chapel as part of a fun choir, spending time with precious kids at a ministry, writing away for a blog.

However, if one thing has been clear since this summer, it has been that while I may not know what God is doing in this story, the best way to live is in watching Him write it. He has been beyond faithful in my life to this chapter and this will hold true regardless of my emotions about it all.

Currently, I don’t have the answers. We often say that when your life is completely rearranged, it means it’s preparing you for what’s next. I’ve racked my brain trying to come up with lists of what that could be. With everything starting up, it seems as if I’m missing out on something. On the other hand, this leaves me wide open to whatever possibilities arise. And so here I sit, one week into the semester, processing the best way that I can, by writing it out and reminding my soul that the One who created it is in perfect control. It’s not an easy lesson, and the ache still remains, but it’s all for the good and the fullness of life. Without the bitter, I wouldn’t learn to trust and grow, to dig deeper roots. And for that I will be grateful.

Keep growing friends,


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