Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Finishing Well

Deep appreciation and a hint of nostalgia have been accompanying me these past few weeks.

In a month, I will graduate and say goodbye to California. This place has been my home for the past two years. Knowing that I’ll soon be leaving has made me want to savor every single moment that I have left.

When I ran cross-country in high school, I remember the exhilarating feeling I had when I was nearing the end of a race. No matter how exhausted I was, whenever I could see the finish line in the distance, I would give it my all and sprint towards it with all of my might. I have that same feeling right now. The end is in sight, so even in the midst of papers and projects and busy schedules, I want to give it my all and finish well.

Part of me wishes I had more time here. The San Francisco Bay area has become one of my favorite places in the world. I love the unique, eclectic people; the diversity; the beautiful scenery. It’s simply a wonderful place to live.

But I think I also am fond of the Bay because I associate it with the transformation I’ve had while living here. When I moved to San Francisco, I was 23 and had a lot to learn. I’m now 25 (and still have a lot to learn), but I feel like I’m leaving with a sense of maturity and independence that I didn’t necessarily have before.

My first year here had its challenges as I went through some sort of an identity crisis. God met me at my lowest point and faithfully brought me out of the pit. He reminded me that my identity can only be found in HIM- not my personality, or the mission trips I go on, or anything else.

That gave me a sense of confidence that I have never known. I trust Him more fully now than I ever have in my entire life. Because I know that He is faithful. That He hears me. And that He will always, always provide. He has given me a joy and peace and some days all I want to do is sit at His feet and gaze at His beauty. I’ve never been more in love with my Jesus.

So as I prepare to leave this place, I feel a mix of emotions. I will certainly miss my friends and professors. I’ll miss the family I work for and my sweet church. I’ll miss exploring Marin and spending every possible moment outside. But I won’t grieve when I leave, because I know that it’s time for me to move on to the next stage of my life.

This summer, I’ll visit family and friends in NC, and in July I will move back to beautiful Hawaii where I’ll join the staff of International Baptist Ministries. I am so very excited to see God move in the lives of international students and am completely humbled to be a part of His work!

Until then, I’m going to keep savoring these moments and soak in as much of California as I can before these few short weeks are gone. I’m so thankful for the journey He is taking me on.