still loved

it’s such a strange process to think back to one year ago and realize that i had no idea, back then, where i would be at this very moment in time. one year ago, i was overwhelmed with confusion, anxiety, nervousness about taking risks, despite my desire to do just that. knowing He had asked of me to trust in Him, and wishing i could just… hide. i look back in hindsight, and i have finished my first year of this amazing and ridiculous doctoral program.

it’s a little bit anti-climactic. all of that, for this.

i wouldn’t take it back though. the wonderful community i’ve met at pepperdine. people from all walks of life. professors who push me. push me to speak my mind. advocate for myself. take more risks. take chances. realize it will be challenging and scary. but we’re all in this together [cue ‘High School Musical’ theme song].

the beautiful, heart-breaking community of Skid Row. The Union Rescue Mission. coming alongside those men who desire to heal, but have so many blocks stacked up against them. homeless men who were shot by police in front of our doors. protests erupting in the street. #livesMatter. women and children who have no where to go. who just want a roof over their heads, and a clean bed. a place to shower.

a client who can’t shower because he is so depressed. we, who have so much, are so blessed. i am blessed.

never mind the several-times-per-week that i felt like dropping out. it was too much for me. having to say good-bye to a job that i enjoyed. that i was good at. an agency that i have come to call home over the past seven years. but on the other side of the see-saw, looking into a future that granted so many more opportunities.

He’s guiding me.

other blessings too. my dad being healed of Hepatitis C [crossing my fingers still…]. a roommate who is more like a sister. a faithful, loyal little puppy who i get to see on weekends. new relationships in my faith community. promises for the future. and a heart being moved by a Dream for the people of Westlake. It’s not my Dream, but i’m a part of it.

I’m loved. ultimately, supremely, unabashedly.

recklessly, extravagantly.

things may not work out in quite the way i’ve foreseen them to, and the next year will be even tougher than this past year was, i’m sure, but at the end of it all, i will have been poured out like a sweet and fragrant offering for a higher purpose. and i will be so utterly thankful. thankful that I was created for a reason. thankful that i can use my gifts and heart to serve and minister to others. thankful that i was wired in a particular way. though it causes me so much pain to see others in pain, their stories are what i walk alongside to, for in our journeys together there is healing.

i’ve said, often, “I wish I could just have a job working in front of a computer screen all day, not caring about other people.”

but in all honesty? i’d be cheating myself of this wonderful life i’ve been created to have.

Yes, He is good. I am loved. And for now, that’s all I need to remember.

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