Reflection: The year of breakthrough- letting go and moving forward
"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both."
Ecclesiastes 11:5-6 NLT
Some of my favorite moments are moments of stillness. The moments in between- In between classes, in between meetings, in between thoughts. The moments where you can feel the subtle pressing of the spirit inside of you to just appreciate being. It's in these moments (and I've begun being more intentional about creating them) that I can reflect, and that I enjoy doing so as well. It's in these recent reflections that this post was inspired. I'm on a plane heading back to Tampa after 2 straight weeks of travel and with the sun reflecting on my face from the wing of the plane, my mind and spirit felt compelled to reflect and share what I've experienced these past 2 weeks.
This past year has arguably been one of the most challenging for me. Grief and loss can manifest in a variety of forms and we often times don't talk enough about what this can look and feel like beyond physical loss. In the wake of losing everyone and everything in my life that I thought was stable this time last year, I found a relationship with Christ to replace all of that (or better yet He found me). However, this doesn't make grieving and coping with loss any easier. What I wouldn't have acknowledged as depression early on hit me like a ton of bricks at one of my church's ministry meetings several weeks ago. What I had been masking as I don't even know what made it more difficult to grieve and get through the layers of loss that I was dealing with and didn't really know how to deal with. And without fully acknowledging what you're experiencing it's almost impossible to truly move forward, but there is something magical that happens when you do find the strength to look yourself in the face, tears and all, pray to God about it and say "Lord I am dealing with this and I need your help getting through it." Going through a significant transition in my life in every way one can imagine forces several things to happen.
It forces you to grow, it forces you to reflect constantly, it forces you to seek peace, and it forces you to let go.
These past 2 weekends gave me that- the final opportunity to let go and be able to truly accept all that God has guided me through this past year. Graduate school is tough for anyone, in any situation and learning how to do graduate school while learning how to live anew brings you through a journey in which you really don't know how you're going to get through or even where it is going to take you but all the while, you have no choice but to let go and let God. I was able to visit the 2 places that I've called home in my life because of the experiences, the people and the ties that I've had there. These places and the times at which I lived in these places shaped the formative years of my life and being able to see so many people who have been a part of my journey up until this point helped give me perspective of just how intentional God truly is- Even before you may know Him and even before you know what your life will shape up to be. From old teachers, to old friends, to old boyfriends, these brief yet significant moments I experienced of reflection has given me an undying sense of gratitude and an unwavering sensation of closure that could only be met by the love that I feel for the movement stirring up internally and how it has recently been manifested externally. I said that this year was tough for a variety of reasons and in a previous post I spoke about the discomfort in being patient and trusting in God's plan and what it actually feels like to find peace through all of it. And I guess you could say I'm beginning to find it and wholly feel it, throughout every piece of me that exists and even those pieces that don't quite exist yet.
I always like to leave these posts with a verse for reflection and when I read this one during these 2 weeks, there was no greater confirmation nor reminder that I could have received about God's work in my life.
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 NLT
God will find a way to speak and give light into your life if you let Him. For me it has been receiving His words from mentors and confidants, from friends, from His book and even as simple as feeling His light every day because of the gift of life He continues to bless me with. Equally as important, as I continue to learn about myself and God, I discover new ways to glorify Him through my work. So long as I strive to engineer a better world, I can only do so while keeping justice at the forefront of my mind. Only then am I truly engineering, and creating to serve and honor God, and I refuse to waver on this in my work. With all of the recent opportunities I have been given, I am determined to ensure that I am only creating to be like my Creator, and designing with His wisdom at the forefront, as He would. This journey to me means nothing without that, and I never want to get so proud as to forget that. Reflection helps me maintain this perspective and above all I am grateful for these moments where I am reminded of that! Synergy cannot be created solely by (wo)man and can only be driven by true purpose instilled from something far bigger than what we ourselves can conceive. I feel so strongly in my spirit that this year has been everything God needed me to experience and more. I've experienced what feels like my first spiritual breakthrough and I can't wait to see how God uses me and those in my life in this next season! Until next time, thanks for being a part of this journey with me!