So I am in the process of reading the archives of a very funny blog I recently came to know (Jamie The Very Worst Missionary– for real, check her out! And do so before you make any kind of judgements about her blog name.), and I just got to her New Year’s post from 2009/2010. She had a really crappy year that she was happy to see end, and I have binge-read all about the reasons why within a couple of weeks.
That’s nice right? To be able to see a snapshot of someone’s life and learn in a day what took them a whole year to figure out. What if we could do that with our own lives? What if we could fast-forward or “binge read/watch” to see how it ends, or speed up the hurt and pain, or just at least KNOW THAT IT’S GOING TO BE OK IN THE END. Don’t we all feel that sometimes? I mean we know it’s immature, and impossible, and ridiculous, but sometimes the circumstances just have us wishing we could get to the “lesson-learned” part of the story. To know that the resolution will come soon.
The truth is, I remember my 2009. I remember that it sucked too. I remember talking with some friends that I still have today about how much 2009 seemed to suck for everyone we knew.
I was a second semester freshman/first semester sophmore in 2009.
I broke up with my first college boyfriend that year, the first boyfriend that ever truly meant something to me.
I had my first TERRIBLE roomate situation. I mean terrible y’all. They like, burned pictures of me and stuff.
I got a demotion at work (yes it was at a restaurant, but cut me some slack, in college-world, it was a huge deal!) which lead me to switch jobs from the first one I ever had since moving to NWA.
I was a pretty good kid, but the only phase where I sowed oats of any variety, it started happening in 2009.
Of course there are other things too, these are just the highlights. (Lowlights?)
I probably cried more that year than I had in a long time.
I wish I could go talk to that girl. I wish I could tell her that it gets better. SOON! I wish I could tell her that college graduation does come, that she survives the homework, tests, and teachers that seem like they will be the death of her. I wish I could tell her that next year, she meets the love of her life. I wish I could tell her that some of the friends that she feels like are all she has don’t last and she finds amazing ones that she could never have imagined. I wish I could tell her so much more.
In the end though, I learned from all of that. God tells us that we will go through trials. We’re supposed to grow in all of our hurts. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and all that stuff right?
But it doesn’t feels like that in the moment. It feels like we could just die right there because NOTHING will get better. The not knowing is the worst part, but later we can look back on the experience and grow. That’s what refinement is all about. If we knew the end of the story while we’re still in the middle, we’d never learn from the experience, and we’d never learn to trust God, and we’d never learn to CALM THE EFF DOWN and lean not on our own understanding.
Sometimes I think back to a younger Alex and how she thought that when she was 24 she would be so smart and successful and mature and wise. And then I laugh my head off. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this. Who thinks “When I’m *that* age, I’ll have it all.”
I learn a lot about my own faith and how little I have of it each time I go through something tough. I like to think that I have more faith at the end each time, but who knows. Hopefully one day I will have the trust for God that I should. The trust to get me through, knowing that God has sooo got this.
As I pray for some friends who have gone through something so gut-wrenchingly hard recently, I’m thinking about all of this. About how my faith will be tested next, and how I’ll need to remember that sometime in the years to come, a future Alex will look back and want to tell me that God has it under control RIGHT NOW. That it is ok in the end. If for no other reason than the fact that God. Is. There.
On a lighter note, I dug up some photos of me from 2009 in honor of this post, and let me just say that I came across a slew of really embarassing selfies from 2009 that I apprently LOST MY MIND during because I ACTUALLY POSTED THEM TO FACEBOOK. I am so not plastering them on here, but they’re there, if you’re willing to find them.