It was exactly one year ago today that I packed up that final box, placed it in my white trailblazer, locked the door, turned in my key, drove off of Messiah College’s campus and closed the chapter on my college career. As the Messiah College sign grew smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror, I remember thinking about that first day when that same sign grew bigger and bigger out the front window. It was day full of excitement, anxiety, and a plethora of other emotions. A new chapter was about to begin and I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. I had no idea where I was living, I only knew the person I would be living with from creeping on them on Facebook and I was going to be 5 hours away from home. Then, I blinked and it was over. As I thought back on all those emotions, I remember thinking how silly they were. I had come to a place that was now home. I had met some of the greatest people on the planet and we had lived life together. We had shared tears, laughter, heartbreak, late night talks, early mornings, coffee, cookie dough, mac-n-cheese at 2 in the morning (Sarah Weisel) and a never ending marathon of CASTLE, FRIENDS, and Boy Meets World. That first day I had been scared because I didn’t know what the future would hold and as I looked back, I realized it was some of the greatest and worst days of my life.Now, I find myself looking back again. Not because I am sad that the year is over or because I want to hold on to something but I am looking back with joy. I have entered a new chapter of my life and I am so grateful for where this past year living in the “real world” has taken me. I have been to Mexico, Belize, and back again. I have watched a best friend get married, a best friend entering motherhood, best friends getting engaged, and many others finding jobs. I have met some amazing people, gone to some amazing places and had the privilege of getting what I consider one of the best jobs on the planet. 2013 has treated me well. Although it has been hard to be separated from my best friends, it has been an amazing experience to watch us all grow up and thrive in our new lives and new careers. Moving back home has provided me the opportunity to make stronger
relationships that have grown apart while I was in college and for that I am forever grateful. Sometimes it’s hard to grow up and sometimes you just don’t want to. Sometimes I have hated “blinking” and looking back thinking “where has the time gone?!?” But right now, I am glad. Blinking wasn’t so bad after all. God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams and he has afforded me way more grace and mercy than I deserve.
It’s now Christmas time. 2013 is almost over and 2014 is about to begin. It’s the perfect time of year to look back and celebrate all that God has done for you while simultaneously celebrating the reason we are shown so much of his mercy and grace: Jesus Christ. This past Sunday, a song was sung in church that perfectly emulates all that we should be doing this holiday season…”and I celebrate the day that you were born to die so I could one day pray for you to save my life.” The reason we celebrate this holiday season is the same reason I can look back on 2013 and smile. I can blink and not be afraid. Thank you God for your amazing gift.