Well, here I am. It has been a long time since the last blog post, but I’m still here.
It has been a hard and challenging year so far, but I’m still here. It isn’t always easy living in community, but we are all still here. It isn’t a walk in the park when I am confronted with genderism every day at work and outside of work, but I’m still here, working and living.
I’m not going to lie…the past few weeks/this year has been the toughest time of my YAV experience. I find myself coming home and drinking a cup of tea to savor the comfortable taste of home, family, and familiarity. After a long time of feeling complacent about reading, simple YA books have helped me dive into new fantasy worlds, a reminder that I use to love reading for fun. Watching episodes of This is Us reminds me of the beauty of stories and how we crave a good story, a reminder that as we watch these dramatic and yet beautiful tales, God is writing our own stories. I have been so emotional lately and so full of sadness that I am getting frustrated and drained. My reservoir is being depleted, and I am doing all I can to restore and be fully *me*.
At this point in my story, I am unsure of what is next. I see how I am overwhelmed, I am fighting against the desire to zone out and numb myself to my ways of coping with stress. I see how I have changed. I stare at the guitar, unmoved from its case, and I know that I am healing from the stress, pain, and chaos of the week.
Even though I use to have energy to do a lot of the things I love, I see how I am quick to turn to other things. But, it is ok. It is easy for my to feel guilty that I don’t play the guitar like I use to and my callouses soften over the week, but it is ok. They can be restored, just as my desire to play can be restored. It is important to recognize what I use to do that gave me great joy, but I also see ways in which I am revisiting old things that gave me joy.
I must remind myself that while I do feel overloaded with stress, there are always good things. It is up to me to delight in them or brush them off as unimportant.
Here are some of the good things lately: becoming friends with my bus driver. Her smile and greeting gives me joy when I see her at 6:55AM. Watching Supergirl with one of my roommates every week is a delight to share together, especially since the show is so good. Catching up with old friends and hearing how God is moving in their lives. Bible studies at church where I feel connected and encouraged by the community. Singing “Brother, Sister,” a reminder that when we look into the faces of our enemies, we see our brothers and sisters in Christ. Standing up for myself and saying “no,” even though it is out of love. Redefining boundaries and being ok with loving myself, rather than loving how or how much others love me.
This is but a small list of things, but I’m certain there is more. My challenge is to remember that God is present in the little and big things. He is present in the chaos and the stress. One of my favorite quotes from my favorite show ever, Firefly, goes like this:
“When you can’t run, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl- when you can’t do that, you find someone to carry you.”
I am being carried through all of this chaos; by my friends, family, and especially by God. Even though I am not at the point of crawling on my own, I am not alone. Thank God we don’t have to do life alone, whether we are running, crawling, or being carried by one another.