Friendships, party games, and something about water.

As I’m sitting here trying to find the words for this blog, I’m smiling and chuckling to myself. The title is definitely a collaborative effort of some of my friends a couple weeks ago. It has become customary to make jokes when we all hang out as to whether I’m going to blog about the experience later on. It’s like a bad party game. This particular day they were trying to come up with witty titles to what the title would be if I created one for that night. They joked about how there is a very precise formula to how I pick my titles and all proceeded to give their own take.

Little did they know, two weeks later a post would actually surface.

We were all outside on the deck drinking glass bottle Coke and Ale-8 and relaxing after a long week. This was a strange occasion, as we were celebrating the birthday of one friend, and reflecting on the times with another before he moves away. It was a small get together celebrating new beginnings and old memories. I found myself walking a thin line between soaking everything in and being so happy to be surrounded by friends, and being completely distracted by the change lurking around the corner.

In this last semester of undergrad, God has been revealing a lot to me about time, and about life, but more importantly – He has been revealing to me a lot about His incredible steadfast nature.

I think a lot of it comes from the fact that in a mere 13 days I graduate from college, I have friends who are getting married and starting families, friends traveling the world, friends who have dealt with or are dealing with the loss of parents, and my life is on the verge of a very new way of life. And I’ve realized that at times, the thought of those things make me sad. Most days, I am excited for where I am currently, and I am filled with joy. But there are still some days where I look at how things have changed, how this semester has played out and my heart is heavy.

I am learning that, in general, life is full of change.
This semester alone I have experienced so much of it:
I have had friendships drift and friendships that have grown stronger.
I have pursued finding love, and lost it.
I have faced sickness, and rejoiced for health.
I have taken on new responsibilities, and let go of old ones.
I have been on mountaintops with my King, and searched for Him in valleys low.
I have been fearful, and I have been ambitious.

The last several months are a jumbled mess of change as I reflect on them.
Things are different, even since my night two weeks ago.
Except one thing. There is one thing that is constant throughout it all, and that is God.

As I retrace my steps all the way back, He is there.
He is there and steadfast, unwavering, always loving and full of grace in every single moment of tears, laughter, confusion, clarity, joy, decision making, loss, love, heartbreak.

And I’m realizing that there are things that I know I should let go of and there are things that I know I should pursue, but for some reason I haven’t yet.
It is a constant tug-o-war between holding on and letting go. Because it is bittersweet.
I am excited for the newness coming up for myself and others, but at the same time I am sad to let this old way of life go. I want to dive right in to the water, I want the waves to wash over me; and yet there are some days where I convince myself that I’ve forgotten how to swim.

My choices, my heart, my world is confusing, often wrong, and uncertain.
His will, His love, He, is clear, correct, and certain. So why do I ever doubt Him?
Why are there times when I argue with Him about following Him?
Because change is bittersweet. Life is bittersweet.
The water always looks different from the shore.
But a new perspective can never come if we are unwilling to take a step forward and get our feet wet. How can we ask God to let us enjoy the water if we refuse take the steps necessary to get in?

He was there. He always has been.
He is here. He always will be.
He is not leading me to a life that is not of Him.

Following God can be bittersweet at times.
We are never promised that it won’t be. Or that it won’t be difficult.
Most times, we’re told it will come at a cost.
We should rejoice in that because it is always the right choice.

“My heart will stay steadfast, I know that You are good” – Bethel, Nearness

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