New Season

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That’s a picture of my sisters and me taken back when summer seemed like it would stretch on forever as one giant, carefree party (a.k.a. May). As an FYI, the following blog post is talking about them, too. My sisters are pretty cool. Meaning, they’re not half the nerd I often am. Although, we’re starting to wonder about Little E…Just kidding.

Last week I blogged about my goals for the summer. Even though my list was, uh, productive, it wasn’t the most important part of my break from school. I’ve got a little more depth to me than that, y’all.

I’ll get right to the point: I have some of the best friends, ever. The cool thing is, I was around many of them a lot growing up: they were my church friends, school friends, and hanging-out friends. It’s the life of a homeschooler, and a life I wouldn’t trade for anything (It’s just as well because even though it’s been a few years since graduation, I still find myself doing “homeschooler” things. You’ve probably gotta be one to understand what I mean).

Last year, my sister along with one of my very dearest friends headed off to school. I wrote a little bit about my sister leaving here.

That was hard. Like I said, not only did one of my closest friends move away, but also my sister (who I was around almost 24/7, 365. Again, the life of a homeschooler…) Despite the sadness over things changing, I was thrilled they were getting to chase their God-given dreams at college.

This year, the last batch (sounds like we’re talking about cookies. Now I know what I want for dessert tonight…) of my church/school/hanging-out friends graduated and headed off in their own direction. Like last year, the mere fact of knowing they wouldn’t be sitting next to me in Sunday School on the weekends, and wouldn’t be available for random lunch dates was hard to deal with.

But, you know what? As I hugged the last of my college-bound friends goodbye, I realized something: Seeing them go was so hard, but each time I said goodbye, I thanked God for giving me the kind of friend that’s hard to let go of.  It was sad watching them leave, but excitement overshadowed the sadness. I once again experienced the thrill of watching them follow God’s call on their life, even if they’re still in the beginning stages of figuring out exactly what that call is.

I should mention that a couple of my friends are going to school locally, like me. I’m excited about being able to experience college alongside them, and continue to grow the friendship we’ve shared for so many years. They are definitely a blessing.

Exciting. That word keeps popping up in this post, doesn’t it? And it should. Because if there’s one thing I’m learning, it’s that moving forward is exciting. Despite clocking long hours in the library, stressing over a professor’s impossible demands, and constantly being called to stand for what’s right, college is exciting. In fact, that’s some of the stuff that, oddly enough, contributes to the excitement. And I know my friends are figuring that out, too.

Maybe the days of sleepovers, midnight games of Mafia, uncontrollable laughing fits, and lunch dates are over for us – at least during the school year – but the great thing about friends is they’re friends. Plus, these friends are my family through Christ. They’re there for you, even if many miles separate you.  They’re a part of you; they command a piece of your heart no one else can fit. They know you, and they love you anyway (believe me, that’s a great thing!). Whether it’s friendship or sisterhood, I’m learning to value these people more than ever before.

Next to my salvation and my family, they’re God’s greatest blessings in my life. And I hope they know that.

It may be the end of a memorable summer, but it’s the start of a whole new season. And it’s a great season to be in because God’s got some awesome stuff planned. I could go on and on in my usual wordiness, but I’m sitting in Starbucks and something tells me this isn’t the appropriate place to tear up (a very real possibility). So I’ll end with Scripture (which is the best way to end, anyway). It’s a piece of Scripture I’ve turned to over and over this summer. How perfect is this verse?

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.”  –Philippians 1:3-7.

Amen.

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