Life, I have grown to find, never turns out exactly as we plan. It is, in fact, so very different from our imaginings. And I think therein lies a key phrase: as we imagine. Did I ever imagine I’d end up in college? Did I ever imagine I would be anything but an Art major? Did I ever imagine myself at Appalachian State? Did I ever imagine myself going into Public Relations? Did I ever imagine my dreams and desires and ambitions would change? Did I imagine? The truth be told, I could never have dreamed the reality of these things myself. They were so outside the realm of my finite, unimaginative little mind. But they were not outside of His. For this I am grateful.
The further along in life I go, the greater I come to realize that God alone is the master pilot behind the wheel of my story. I could not drive this boat along–it would have shipwrecked for sure ages ago. Yet, His loving hands guide me into safe havens, and when the storms come, though the boat rocks violently and I fear a capsize, He is yet the anchor of my soul who holds me steadfast. It is not my love for Him that holds me there, but rather His love for me. Every event in my life has surely been a mercy. Some mercies are tender. Some are so fierce I wonder they are mercies at all. I see His name written on every one. Abraham Kyper once eloquently put it:
There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry, “Mine!”
I will not try to get you caught up on the past four months of my life–so much has happened and changed, I could not relate them all! What has changed is me. Not all at once. Not overnight. No, this has been a long process that is still continuing today.
I love self-revelations. They are so strange because you figure out at once something that never made sense to you about yourself, or they make your life seem like one big puzzle in which a missing piece has suddenly been placed. Here is one such epiphany:
My life, from the time of young childhood until now, has been all about courage. Or my lack of it.
Cour.age Noun: the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Acting in spite of fear. Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.
I wish I could show you all the ways in which the Lord has grown me to be “strong and courageous” [Joshua 1], because short though my lifetime is yet, there are countless ways in which He has called me out of my level of comfort to a place of utter vulnerability where “He calls me to trust Him so completely, I would be in trouble if He did not come through” [Francis Chan, “Crazy Love]. I wish I could explain to you more in depth what I mean and where I am going with this, because I know this is abstract. Just know that the One who began a good work in me is still at work to bring me to completion on the day where I will stand before Christ. I will leave you with a portion of a poem that I wrote in February of this year:
Tears will flow, yes,
For such your nature decrees,
But a Lion’s courage stands steadfast
While every weakness flees.
You are not your own,
Your life was bought and kept by another;
But the candle, faint within your breast,
He will not squash nor smother.
He knows your gentle soul is pricked,
Tender as an open wound,
Thus quietness and peace He gives
Ensuring pain is soothed.
He gives precisely what you need
But never more than you can bear.
Though painful be the load you carry,
His meaning’s always care.
Never doubt His love or leading,
One day the trials shall cease,
For what remains from darkest night
Are His murmurings of peace.
[Ephesians 7:8 by L.K. Walton]