Doing something like this was totally out of character for me. Being the oldest of my siblings, this was also uncharted territory for my family. I had commuted through college and continued to live at home afterwards while working. This was a big shift for us all.
That summer was completely life changing for me. It was a time of stepping out into the scary unknown, completely out of my comfort zone, and away from all I had ever known. It was a time of growing up, of beginning to dig through some really tough stuff inside of me, and of facing many of my fears and insecurities. It was a time of stepping out and taking a huge leap of faith. Homesickness was more real than it had ever been before.
The summer of 2008 was one of the hardest summers of my life, and yet, one of the best. Isn’t it ironic how that works? I ended up taking a full-time position as the administrative assistant and stayed on for 2 more years. The friendships that developed during those formative adult years have endured and matured and deepened over the past twelve years in a way that I never could’ve imagined.
Grief, tears, vulnerability, laughter, boredom, long and snowy winter nights, hot cups of coffee, weddings, and even death marked us and connected us all in a way that could never be undone. We had to lean on one another and God whether we wanted to or not. I somehow knew that these were times to be treasured. Those “good ole’ days” that people talk about. I knew I was in them, and I never wanted to take them for granted.
To my disappointment, I did not find romantic love during this time either, though it wasn’t from a lack of crushes on my part. I continued to wrestle with God over my desires, while He jealousy pursued my affection and longed to affirm my identity in Him.
Those two and half years catapulted me into what would be the most unanticipated path for my life. What started out as one leap of faith, one yes to Him, led to many, many others. During my single years in my 20s, I had to learn over and over again to surrender my expectations and to lean into Him.
I had no idea what a wild ride it would be…