I spend a lot of time looking back. Sure, sometimes it’s distracting to look over your shoulder; sometimes doing so provides prolific insight and understanding, focus and purpose. I like to see lessons learned. Because I’m infinitely skilled at forgetting, I force myself to remember.
Let’s reminisce a litte, shall we?
Here’s a look at Spring 2011.
A season of firsts:
first semester as a student at MBI, not as a community college student
first time moving away from home
first experience with the Midwest
first Chicago winter.
Calling it Spring 2011 seems ironic. Spring barely made her appearance. Most of the five months occurred under a blanket of snow and with visible breaths.
I’m going to shoot straight. This is what I learned.
I learned that winter in the city is unlike anything else: dark, grey, bitter, and biting. Living in such conditions can be especially harsh on a California girl’s heart, like mine.
However cold the winter, there are things you must do in order to survive, to make it until spring, to believe that you will, in fact, see the sun again (after 28 days of grey).
The best thing you can do is be intentional.
Go for a walk to the lake. Take the bus to the river. Get outside. Embrace the frigid wind on your face. Refuse to use the underground tunnels unless absolutely necessary.
Layer up. Pile on sweaters, scarves, jackets, gloves, boots, and socks. It is preparation that will keep you warm when the wind howls.
Surround yourself with love. It’s true that love warms our hearts. Make a point to make conversation, build relationships, cultivate community. Love your roommates, your floor, your professors, your school, your far-away friends. These ties you create will be the joy to help you push through the lonely winter.
Do something spontaneous. Break the routine that typically provides much needed rhythm. Allow yourself to run through the city to join a part of a flash mob, just because. Just to feel the cold mist on your face and the hard streets under your boots.
Create an interior space that is vibrant, settled, and inviting. Fill it with peace, trust, creativity, and a lot of laughter.
Be honest. Share your heart; tell a few secrets. Your own vulnerability allows others the strength for honesty too, moving both closer to living in the light. This is absolutely necessary.
Walk in grace. Allow yourself to be human, in need. Desperate. Broken. The Lord is faithful in these moments to provide all you need for life and godliness.
Believe. Believe that He will keep His promises. That spring and summer will come. That you’ll feel the soft Colorado breeze in your hair, the warm California sun on your cheek once again.
Here’s to a semester worth looking back on, a God worth relying on, and a future worth looking forward to.
Thank you for being a part of this journey, even if simply by reading this.