Everything I said in the previous blog stands true. Wow. It was emotional, messy, fun, exciting, wild, tiring, rewarding, challenging, hard…it was a really special trip. Some of those days I did not think positive thoughts because negativity is always easier to fall back on. Takes less emotional strength and so sometimes I fell back on regrets or sadness. But I have to get back up, rearrange my heart and move forward. This trip helped move me forward. Not in all senses but at least in some.
Reuniting with my friends was exactly what I had hoped, and way more. Whether it was hearing Grace scream when she saw me, Amy tackling me, or people on the Cougar walk jumping out of their chairs to greet me. Paul’s expression because he did not realize I would be at his door. To express my gratitude and how special I felt could never, ever be given justice through this blog. But seriously…text after text, calls, voicemails, meeting me on campus, squeezing in time to see me—real and genuine efforts to see me was beyond beautiful and lovely. Especially because most of my time with friends was authentic—sitting outside, staring at each other, pouring and pouring and pouring. No time to be fake—let’s jump to the heart and meat of life. It is not that I had the most ideal friendship situation at all times at apu—clearly not, because my community at jmu is what I need. But what makes my friendships exceedingly special about apu is because they know I was deeply hurt, my shit was out for all to see, and I had to leave. They do not judge me for that, but welcome me and long for a different situation. They craved to know the well-being of my soul. They were selfless and wanted to hear about the success of my experience at jmu. Ugh, really…how did I get so lucky? And I did not even get to spend time with everyone I wanted to see. Breaks my heart. (but only after like twelve hours of non-stop talking do you realize you may be a little burnt out—introverts where ya AT?)
My trip to apu made me feel extremely rich in friendship.
However, I am not going to lie. Spiritually, apu can be a strange place. I had difficult conversations where my friend cried to me in the most honest and vulnerable way explaining how she missed God. I had another friend tell me he wishes he even knew Jesus still. Was I discouraged? Upset? Surprisingly, I was not at all. Because my friends looked me dead in the eye and told me their reality of being at apu. Anyone that can finish four years at apu has more strength than I do. With those two friends I got to stare at them and tell them they do not have to do anything—their Lover will come find them. (He already is).
At the same time I had friends explain victory after victory of what the Lord is doing, how they are maturing in painful and incredible ways, and how Jesus is more real to them than ever. I loved both realities because we are all in this messy, shitty, surreal, lovely life and cannot escape but can only go deeper into humanity and spirituality.
I wish I could explain in detail my heart behind all of my time with my friends (letzgo journal…cannot wait!) but I think sometimes I want and need to keep intimate, personal, complicated experiences for myself. But just know—there is so much more.
Last night I was texting my housemate from jmu. I was explaining how my heart is in a million different places and almost feels shattered because of how deeply I long to be with everyone at the same time. How sometimes I feel like I did not have the strength to finish at apu. She responded, “You were always meant to graduate from jmu. You are just too special for one place.” I can honestly say I do not know if words ever hit me so hard. A simple TEXT made me feel and think thousands of things at once. Maybe it is because she does not realize how ridiculously I reacted to circumstances at apu (and I say this because she is in a harder position than me and is so brave. Ugh, wish I could tell y’all). But either way, that text put my life into perspective a little, for I was able to recognize the sovereignty of my Guide and how I promised Him and myself I would trust Him so I am going to do so.
So what if my heart is all over? That I cry as I take off on the runway for Pennsylvania? That I have to watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills because I already miss driving those streets with Nina? That I need selfish prayers? I am going to love until it hurts because guess what? It really does hurt. It hurts to look at certain people and tell them goodbye…again. It hurts because I would rather spend most of my days alongside them. Can you imagine when jesus had to ascend? Like, OK c-y’all, those that I just died for? But he knew greater things were coming because of the active and alive spirit so I must let the spirit work.
I am growing to appreciate the diversity of my life and the boldness of the spirit in me to take care of me. I had anxiety, sadness, tears all being in California. That is extremely true, but that is all extremely okay.
**Now I am in my home in Philadelphia, PA. Completely silent, sitting in my kitchen finishing this blog. Dang, this is not easy.
I was not prepared for how hard it was going to be to leave Nina. The only thing giving me hope is the possibility of us becoming roommates a little over a year from now. Who knows? Maybe? But really...this week was a little taste of what we always have known and what is natural. For sisters to live alongside each other and walk through life. the sometimes annoying and mundane errands such as Ikea, the bank, her old apartment, grocery store. I miss it all (it's been less than 24 hours) and I want it again. I want my sister and her presence and her comfort and love. I am hesitant to even continue writing because it is very emotional for me and this silence is killing me. But I want to be in tune with my emotions. So here it is: I want to be with my best friend. Still. I want to be back. I did not want to leave. But maybe this is just a way for all three of us to be together. More preparation for the day my sisters and I can all live together.