After twenty weeks of hard work, I got to take a two week break in Virginia. Sigh…It was wonderful. It was a very busy break and a lot of things happened, but I am not complaining in the slightest. I would not have wanted to miss any of the things that occurred. I got to celebrate Christmas with my family as usual, though I felt more like an adult since I asked for small, practical presents which I could fit in my suitcase. My family also got to celebrate New Year’s our traditional way with two other close families hanging out in a cabin in the woods for four days. It was nice to get away from the busyness for a little while and play games with each other and I do believe I am permitted to say that an exceedingly merry time was had by all.
Unfortunately, my break was not all pleasant memories. My dad’s mom passed away on break, which was a sad time for our family, but also a kind of relief because she had been battling Alzheimer’s for so long. I was thankful to be in the states and able to attend her funeral and be there for my grandfather and dad. On the other end of the emotional spectrum, a very dear friend whom I have known since elementary school was married and I was able to stand up with her as a bridesmaid and celebrate her next stage of life with a wonderful man. I also got to visit the preschool children I had worked with last year as well as the Sunday School classes I had taught and these visits were each really sweet, as only visits with children can be.
All of these memories from this past trip, the joyful and the sorrowful, felt needed. I know that I have times when I am intensely focused on academics, or career goals, or in intellectually wrestling with what the Christian walk should look like, but this break was a wonderful time to remember that I really enjoy being a human. Though the human race is fallen, being a human is a wonderful gift from God, reflective of Himself. Christ himself chose to share in it. Being human comes with a wide range of experiences, desires, and emotions. It is amazing to think that God instituted marriage and we can find great joy in it. We can also look forward to the day when the church will be wedded to Him! It is amazing that though death is a part of the curse, it is also a way of releasing the suffering to be in the presence of the Lord. This does not mean that death is easy to deal with or that there will not be pain for loved ones, but there is hope. Friendships can never be exactly duplicated or even sustained at the same level, but that is alright. Each relationship is a gift from God in its own way. We can grieve for past friendships and also keep living and look forward to new ones.
I am so thankful to be living now and I am anticipating what experiences, trials, victories, tears, and joys this coming year brings.
Photo credit to Brianna Barnwell