To back up a little bit, I'd like to talk about Saturday and moving back from Wyoming for a minute. It seems like much longer than 10 days ago that I rolled out of bed and washed my hair in the dish room sink to avoid digging my shower shoes out of my packed bag. Yet I can definitely clearly recall the sleepy hand clasp and "I love you" exchanged with Jordan at 6 in the morning; the awkward goodbye conversation with Bri that made me smile; the hugs from my favorite wranglers that I didn't want to end; the two goodbye hugs to Katelyn that happened an hour and a half apart; the talk with sleepy Danielle that almost made me cry; the goodbye hug from Alice that felt a little too final; the acknowledging salute from Greg Berry as we pulled out in Hannah's car.
But all of this was made far more significant by the two lines of friends outside the door as we got ready to get into the car. It was as if they were purposely giving us a formal send-off. I don't know if that's true or not...but it had the effect regardless.
The last 10 days at home have been good. So, so good. I hadn't been expecting that, frankly. I don't like transition times (that is pretty obvious in my blogs about previous breaks) because there is a lack of structure that stresses me. But I think this time has been different because of the summer I just had.
I reconnected with Jesus this summer. There were times when my heart would break and I would have to force myself to turn back to Him, but those times were less often than they were last school year. My Haven family blew me away day after day as they reminded me of what it means to live in a Christ-honoring community. And when I returned to Gravity, Iowa, I missed them intensely but didn't hurt from the missing.
Besides binge-watching Monk and Jericho with my family, I haven't done too much else. Well, besides get sick. That didn't take long. But I have thought over and over how glad I am that my body remained healthy while I was at Haven. I actually have time to be sick--that's a strange concept for my normal life schedule.
Speaking of real life, I had the privilege of going to a future Red Raider's birthday party on Friday night. It was so encouraging to talk with a girl who will become a 3South family member in a few short days and remember all of the great things about welcoming freshmen last year. Freshmen have had an important influence on me at Northwestern...I would be missing a future roommate and several dear friends if this hadn't been the case. I am so happy that I once again have the opportunity to arrive early enough to welcome the freshmen to 3South as they move in.
Things will be much different this year than they were last year...but I am becoming more ready for that as the time draws closer. My heart still aches at the memory of the neighbors who won't be there to crash on my futon this year...and those who will be a little farther away. But working with Student Activities and tutoring for writing as well as kicking off the TENTS film project will keep me even busier than ever, and I have so many people I am ready to spend time with again.
I learned to speak more boldly about Tourette's this summer. The people I worked with grew used to my jokes about it and a couple of them helped me deal with my disorder. I don't want to stop being so open just because I am living in a place where I don't feel as safe to talk about it.
Sleep schedule (or, in my case, willingness to be an insomniac); last year I was terrible about getting more than 4 hours of sleep per night. I don't want that to be true again.
Honesty with people; my first reaction when I feel unheard is to be passive aggressive. As much as some of my fellow staff members joked about that with me, it doesn't fix things. If I don't communicate when I feel alone or threatened, my life for the next 9 months is going to be miserable.
My walk with Jesus; Northwestern simply does not promote good time with Jesus in my life. I don't want the next few months to become yet another dry season to crawl across.
The song of the post is a little more difficult to present since there wasn't a decent video on YouTube for it. Shadows of Doubt (Attalus) is a part of a beautiful concept album called Post Tenbras Lux. This song conveys all of my emotions and thoughts about my walk with Jesus over the last year...but I plead with you to listen to all of the tracks to get a clearer story.
I am anchored by a Divine Love. God loves me, and God's love is enough.