Saturday, June 25, 2011

.i was made for sunny days and i was made for you.

"With each gift I accept and give thanks for,
I let go of my own will and accept His."

-Ann Voskamp,
One Thousand Gifts

This year... 
I did not know what to think going into it.
All I knew when I was planning it was that I needed to be here,
so I arranged to stay.
But that's like, legit about all I knew.

I vividly remember sitting on my couch with Matt last summer, a few weeks before he moved to DC.
He was trying to encourage me about my upcoming year, but didn't really know what to say.
Almost all of my close friends had already left the area or were about to.
My job was still an unknown.
My faith was still deeply shaken.
"I don't know what this year is going to look like for you..." he paused...
"It might be really hard." Pause.
"Like... really... really hard." (Thanks Matt.)
"But... I'm sure it's going to be good." Pause. "...Really!" Encouraging smile and nod!

This year was amazing.
I would not have changed a single thing.

As I've started wrapping up my "Wheaton year", I've been reflecting on the gifts it held- many of them surprising.
I don't know what I expected this year to look like,
but so many of the unique joys in it, I could never even have imagined.

There were lots of times when I was absolutely, dizzily overwhelmed with how completely filled with love and goodness and joy this life of mine is.
There were other times when I had to bite my lip and take a deep... deep... breath, and it took more strength than I thought I had to intentionally turn my gaze to what I could give thanks for. I failed at that a lot. Sometimes it took a lot of chocola- I mean, prayer. Sometimes I did it through tears.

The best moments of this year, for sure,
happened when I pictured having open hands.
Open hands to receive what this year was.
Not what it wasn't.
Not what I wished it was.
Even open hands with the parts I loved... to receive them with joy, not entitlement.

Dear Wheaton life, I have 27 days left in you.

I am trying to spend them reflecting on the gifts this year held. One way I'm doing that is counting them down on this blog. It will not by any means be a complete list.

But it is good to name some of the myriad of areas where I have been blessed beyond what I've deserved, expected, or could have asked for.

1 comment:

Asharae said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful. All of this is such a sweet and good reminder for me. A reminder to be grateful. A reminder to be accepting of what I've been given. A reminder to have open hands. Thank you Em. I'm grateful for you.

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.