on grad school. the unexpected. and learning to just be.
I have orientation for grad school tomorrow. And start classes on Wednesday.
I don’t know how much time I’ve spent in the past few years of my life thinking about this stage. This having my own little place and starting grad school phase. I oft romanticized about it, wondered when (or if) it would ever come, and/or who I would be when/if it happened.
It’s so funny how reality rarely matches what we anticipate.
Funny, in a way that is just so absolutely the Lord and the whispers of Holy Spirit.
Had you told me a year ago that I’d be back in Canada this fall and starting grad school (at TWU), I probably would have laughed. I planned to go to grad school someday (and Trinity wasn’t on my list). I thought and prayed a lot about moving back to Canada someday. I dreamt about having my own little apartment someday.
But I figured it was a while down the road.
A year ago, I thought I had the next few years of my life planned. I finished university and said yes to the Lord when He lead me to Hawaii and YWAM. But, I ran ahead of the Spirit’s whispers and devised a pretty detailed 3-year plan. It sounded perfect and it seemed (with my logic) to align perfectly with what Abba had spoken about my calling/future. I thought it was the “it” I was looking for - the breakthrough in my professional aspirations, the place I would finally be all that I dreamt of as an artist and a communicator and follower of Jesus, and secretly wished it would be the season in which I’d meet my husband.
oh, Abba, you’re so gracious, so patient with my restless heart, and so sneaky.
If only I had known what He would do in the space of one year. If only my heart could have anticipated, in the slightest ways, the things He would speak, heal, and illuminate. If only I had known how He would grow me and plant things in me. How He would both slow me down and speed me up, increase my passion and zeal, and continue to brew sustainable depth. If only I knew the dear friends and community that would become a (now unimaginable without) part of my life. If only I had given up my need to feel like I had control or my need to validate the way He leads to myself and those around me. If only I had lived in the beauty of what He did have planned instead of immediately analyzing and trying to figure out what was coming after.
so absolutely saturated in grace.
and so much better [when better in the Kingdom means way-harder, in a beauty lined process of growth and redemption sort of way] than I would have ever expected.
There’s not a doubt in my mind that every step of this journey builds to the next. No question in my spirit that Abba did indeed lead me to Kona, to SE Asia, and to Europe (and Rapid City and Juneau and Flagstaff) for a specific time and season for the exact purposes He had ordained.
Along the way, He revealed that my own plans and my own dreams were way too small. I was dreaming out of a place of what I could understand. It made sense to my mind, so my heart accepted it as reality.
I wanted adventurous and understandable.
Risk-filled and logical.
Challenging, but not too much so.
I was planning for Kilimanjaro, and what Abba intended was Everest.
So here I am. Taking the next step up the mountain. Following the leading and whispers of the Spirit that brought me to this place and this season for such a time as this.
In Langley. Still single. Studying at Trinity. Living in my own apartment. and working part-time at an outdoor gear and apparel store so I can make my rent.
With a whole bunch of dreams in my heart, promises from the Lord, and words for the future. Excited for what Abba has in store and believing Him that every step of faith is one deeper into His heart. Terrified, because everything about this season (and every option of what this leads to), is just so much more than I can do on my own strength. And, laughing at just how good He is, how perfect His timing and leading is, and how much better He knows my heart than even I do.
My flesh still wants to jump ahead. to try to figure out where this thing is going. To take the future promises and words of the Lord and assign them to things right now, right away, and in ways that I can (with my limited vantage point) currently understand.
I want to run ahead, but whenever I try (which, let’s be real, is basically every day. and multiple times a day.) I feel so checked in my spirit to stay right here.
By Abba’s grace, this season feels so different than any prior, so fresh and almost foreign. So much less about doing, proving, planning, and figuring out; and so much more about being, listening, and being still before His perfect providence and leading.
in these 24 hours.
Soaking up the fullness of the beauty of this specific season. the beauty of who I am right now and what Abba is purifying and pruning in me right now. the raw, flesh-on-flesh place I am with the Lord in this whole process. and the adventure of new beginnings.
I do have rough ideas of where this is leading. I have penciled plans. This visionary definitely has vision (and dreams and hopes and ponderings of how Abba will perfectly weave together the things He’s promised). But, by His grace, I’m learning more to hold loosely to the vision and tightly to Him.
It’s a new season. A huge beginning step in a new [hugely significant] chapter of this story.
And, all I’m expecting is the steadfastness of His love, the consistency of His grace, His faithfulness to complete what He has started and bring about what He has promised (in whatever way He deems best), and the unexpected beauty of His sneakiness.
[hello grad school. I wasn’t expecting you.]