Life is real weird, you guys.
Eight weeks ago I started on a new adventure.
Eight weeks ago I left a place I started to call home.
Eight weeks ago I left friends I started to call family.
Eight weeks ago I didn’t want to be here.
Eight weeks ago I was terrified I wouldn’t be good enough.
Today, I don’t want to leave.
I don’t even know how to begin to explain how grateful I am for this summer. I was able to work in an office I love doing work that actually means something, surrounded by some of the most incredible people I have ever met. I learned so much about what it means to be a professional, a supervisor, a friend and a woman of faith.
I am completely at peace. I am in love with my crazy, beautiful life. I stopped worrying about being good enough and finally decided to live as the person Christ called me to be. I fit in here. I am thriving and healing. My strengths have been magnified. I am happy.
This happiness allowed me to be silent enough to really hear God speak to me in new and beautiful ways. I often pray to silence my own thoughts and worries in order to better hear Him, but I never expected to hear Him through my contentment. I hear so many stories about people growing close to God and hearing Him in their trials, but He seems to speak loudest and most clearly to me through my contentment. Maybe because finding this peace has been an incredible struggle and it’s His way of reminding me that I am nothing without Him, but with Him I can have an eternity of contentment.
I had to say “see ya later” to some people who truly impacted my life today, and to say it was difficult is an understatement.They gave me the most heartfelt gifts and said things that encouraged me in really incredible ways. One of them gave me a beautiful journal with a handwritten letter full of God’s words and love. As I sat on the floor in my room, sobbing about not wanting to leave this beautiful place, I decided to really pour into what she said. The Lord placed so many words on her heart for me, but what really stuck out to me on my first read was the Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed in Matthew 13.
Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have any deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among the thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!
Jesus explains that the seed that is eaten by birds on the footpath represents those who hear God’s word, but don’t understand it and let evil take the good from their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil is for those who hear the Word and are real excited about it, but fail to develop deep roots of faith. The seeds that fall among the thorns represent those who let their own fears and worries crowd out God’s call. The seeds that fall on fertile soil represent those who hear and understand God’s word and flourish because of that. (Matthew 13:18-23).
My letter is beautiful in that validates how I am thriving in fertile soil, by dedicating myself to truly hearing God’s call and pouring into scripture to better understand Him and His Truth. For a while, there was some hesitation from people (myself included, if we’re being completely honest) about whether or not I really was working in fertile soil, or the rocky soil with shallow roots. As I was thinking about this and praying on it, the Parable of the Yeast caught my eye.
Jesus also used this illustration: The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough”
That wrecked me. Absolutely did me in. As I was struggling to understand why God placed me in Brockport and allowed me thrive and heal and grow, only to make me leave again so soon, I started to realize Brockport served as some fertile soil or little bit of yeast for me. Being here allowed me to grow deep roots of faith that will only continue to flourish, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. My experiences here, specifically the people I met, served as a portion of yeast in my faith life. I wasn’t here long, but this experience permeated every part of my being.
So while I’m terribly sad to be leaving, I know my path to God is in my heart; not on this earth. I am cultivating my seeds of faith in fertile soil. I will continue to thrive and heal wherever I am, because God will be with me wherever I go.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.