Riding in a little SUV next to my dad with the backseats stacked to the roof with my belongings that I was going to cram into my new dorm, I was terrified. As we drove through 8 states, its safe to say that I was crying or solemn through at least 7 of them. I couldn’t eat much. I just said good-bye to everything that I had ever known. I watched the beautiful mountains of the east coast that I had climbed on and had to watch over me, fade into the dry flat lands of the west. I had traveled and been gone for months at a time but it was never this permanent. I remember thinking how on earth I’d let the last 18 years fly bye and why no one told me that I would have to leave eventually?! Even though I had always known that I’d be leaving home once the big 1-8 rolled around it never felt real. Even last year when I was 17, I never really processed what that meant.
But now I know what it meant.
It meant that I wouldn’t wake up and drag myself down the stairs to see my mom, with her tasseled hair, busy in the kitchen while talking on the phone, or my little siblings coloring and offering me good-morning hugs. It meant that dinners were no longer a time to sit and have family time over a concoction that my mom threw together from ingredients in our pantry because she hadn’t gone to the store yet. It meant that I wouldn’t find little toys under my bed or tucked away in my closet that my sister or brother had left there in one of their make believe games. It meant that I wouldn’t be woken up early on Sundays to go to church and complaining that we had to go to the early service then followed by a warm Sunday lunch afterwards. It meant that when I was stressing over a homework assignment or trying to mend my broken heart that my mom wouldn’t be there to rub my back and tell me that it will be okay.
Now I wake up in a small dorm room and grab a granola bar if I’m lucky and hurry out the door. I don’t get good-morning hugs. I’m lucky to even get a good-morning greeting now. I eat dinner from a box or in a dinning hall filled with people, chatter, and carb loaded meals. I now have my whole closet, pantry, and a hardware store under my bed instead of Barbie’s and trucks. Sundays are now spent alone in a foreign church and an unwelcoming dinning hall’s lunch afterwards. When I’m stressing or hurting the only comfort I have are Netflix and my bed.
While all of the things that I miss are not bad things, I was also leaning on them to help me, take care of me, and remind me who I am. Now I can’t lean on my mom or home comforts. I have to lean on my Father who will be with me no matter what. As I was driving through those states I left one song on repeat for a majority of the time. Come Away With Me by Jesus Culture. The chorus says,
“I have a plan for you, I have a plan for you
It’s gonna be wild
It’s gonna be great
It’s gonna be full of me…”
I clung to these words as I looked at my dad and tried to imagine being alone for the next few months. I had to trust that God had a plan and that I’m not alone. I would be lying to say that I don’t miss my family and my familiar little town but through this searching and longing I’ve seen God in a new light. He’s the only thing I have now that’s familiar and on my side. Even through all of the loneliness, unfamiliarity, and the Texas heat, He has a purpose and plan. I’ve come to realize that no matter what is going on or what the future holds that He is there rooting for me and calling me, by name, to His arms.
I know that some people long for success in money, family, relationships, and jobs, but I’ve decided that I want my success to be different. I want a wild crazy life filled with what the Lord has for me because I know that it is far greater than I could ever imagine. It’s going to be a roller coaster filled with blessings and struggles but God uses ordinary people for unordinary tasks. I want to be one that he looks at and says yep that’s my child doing exactly what I’ve equipped her to do.
I hope that you want the same.
Come Away by Jesus Culture- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EanJNOZCYBs