It was only fitting to celebrate my birthday in Bloomington, Indiana. To me, celebrating birthdays is an opportunity to recognize the thousands of small moments that took place throughout the year and to reflect on the goodness of God over the course of a person’s life. As I drove the sixty miles south on Saturday with the sun was high in the afternoon sky, I was overcome with thankfulness of God’s faithfulness. There is not a single second in the past twenty-four years of my life that God has not been faithful. He has ordained every breath I breathe; I am not and never have been hidden from His sight. The truth of those words started to sink in when I was eighteen and a student at IU. Six years later, the words have sunk a little bit deeper, but I long to live as one who believes God for great and mighty things. In making the drive down 37, I was able to return to where the most significant part of my story started and celebrate everything that God has continued to do since then.
The past year has been one of incredible highs, some low lows, but truly the theme as been “sinking in.” Like trying to get comfortable in your bed at the end of the night, sometimes you’re a little restless before finding the right combination of sleep position, pillow fluffiness and temperature; this year I’ve worked through restlessness, fighting to find combinations that work. Combining alone time and spending time with friends, eating well and working out appropriately, time in Indianapolis and time other places, paying off student loans and saving for the future, working towards a worthy cause at work and rest, reading for fun and reading to learn, writing as a life-giving practice and fighting against guilt for not doing it enough, and maintaining old friendships and cultivating new ones. When the combinations are not quite right, I can feel exhausted, unfulfilled, or a mixture of both. I have not yet found the perfect combination, if it exists, but I’m sinking into the life I’m building in Indianapolis.
As I sink in, trying to find the right combination and get comfortable, I am reminded that things are not as they should be. There is a gap between how I want things to be and how they are. I work in international adoption, so I deal with this reality on a daily basis. But daily, I hear God telling me to continue to sink in, to lean into the tension that is being created. Stop fighting the tension and accept it. I have to let it mold me and change me because the gap will always be there. There will always be miscarriages, failed marriages, kids born with special needs, and lives taken from us far too soon. The gap is there for a reason – to draw my eyes upward and forward, towards a time and place where it will all be made right.
In the midst of the tension, I attempt to sink in; I try different combinations, learning more about myself every step of the way.