third time’s the charm.

a counseling session, a Hebrew exam, some small final things for class, and a MLD final separate me from finishing my third year of seminary.  it’s been a long time coming.  there’s another year left, but for now, thinking through the past year of my life, in all its glory and difficulty and stress and beauty…here’s what i’ve learned.

surprises.  this year has been filled with changes. they started last spring.  to my dismay, they aren’t ending anytime soon.  the truth is that the world changes, constantly.  but the truth is also that sometimes there are beautiful surprises, well-hidden and tucked away.  surprises like the fact that i’ve enjoyed hebrew this past year. that i don’t love preaching, but i’ve loved writing sermons. seeing friendships come full circle.  seeing God move in ways i never dreamed he’d move.

weakness.  this year, i’ve had to learn the hard lesson of imperfection. i’m not perfect. and i’ve never been perfect.  but this was finally the year where i had to stand back and look at my perfectionism in the face, and admit that i can’t do it. that i’m not the best at everything.  that my grades and peoples’ feedback doesn’t define who i am.  it’s an ever-learning process.  it’s hard. i think it’s worth it.  i don’t want to be superwoman, anyway.

grace.  i’ve learned what it means to be given grace, over and over and over again. i’ve seen graciousness modeled for me in the attitudes of friends, and classmates, and even in random strangers.  i’ve seen what it looks like to be grateful, and to give from that gratefulness, with all your heart.  and i’ve been convicted and astounded at the grace i’ve been shown, and am becoming convinced that this grace should change how i walk, talk, act, treat others, and even breathe.  also a process.  also worth it.

truth.  this has been the year of learning how to say and speak hard things into the silence.  learning how to trust others with pieces of my heart, and who i am, and with all that makes me who i am.  along with truth comes trust.  trusting in the Lord.  trusting in others.  trusting that i’m not alone–that  God has given me friends, and family, and people who love me. who can listen to me speak truth, and are wonderful enough to speak truth back into my life. both are needed, appreciated, and cherished.

faithful.  even when i am faithless, the Lord remains faithful, in more ways than i can express in a simple blog.  his faithfulness in my job, his faithfulness in my friendships. his faithfulness in the future.  his faithfulness in the here and now, that i am typing even as i am breathing.  he is good.  he is sovereign.  he is faithful to his promises. he will not forsake his bride.

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