Happy Tears

Yesterday was the best day I’ve had in forever. I laughed so much (like, all day I was laughing) that there were tears streaming down my face. Interning at church is so great, and so much better than anything I had ever expected.

This morning I was writing about it in my journal, just thanking God for this opportunity and praising Him for letting everything work out for me to get to do this. And I started crying happy tears again. Last year around this time, I was heartbroken because I had to leave a school I loved so much, people I love so much, and move back home, 9 hours away. I didn’t understand why God would send me there for me to love it so much and then take it away. And don’t get me wrong, the entire time, I knew He was good and good things were going to come out of it, but in the moment none of that really helped me deal with the grief I was feeling.

But y’all. God really did bless all of it. All of it. And I am so thankful.

It took moving away from Louisiana to realize that it isn’t people that push you to God, but it’s a choice you have to make. Yes, people help, but if you aren’t committed, you won’t go anywhere and stay.

It took moving away from Louisiana for me to get the opportunity to intern at church. The church I went to there had all the interns they needed. But here, I’m the one that gets to do the thing. Interning is a special treat, so much fun, nothing but joy. I really love the work I do and will get to do, and the people I work with.

It took moving away from Louisiana for me to be (maybe) put in charge of helping start a young adult/college ministry at my church. I’m screaming. I’m so excited. This is something that I can’t believe I might get to help start, to help build from the ground up. I hope and pray that the effort we put in this summer will flourish in the fall.

It took moving away from Louisiana for God to show me that Louisiana wasn’t my only dream or His only plan for me. He’s got so much stuff planned for me, so many dreams in my heart, and each are just as sweet, if not sweeter, than Louisiana. They’re all good. They’re all for me.

For the very first time, I’m kind of thankful that God brought me back home. I will always miss Louisiana, and I think I might always be a little sad that I didn’t get to graduate from LSU. But if I had stayed there like I wanted, none of the stuff that fills me with so much joy right now would have ever happened. None of it. And sitting here right now, I can’t imagine my life any other way.

As I was driving home from Louisiana this time last year, I was crying at how sad I was to go back home. I couldn’t wait until another opportunity to leave Macon. When I drove back to my house last night, it struck me that I would actually be pretty sad if I ever left Macon again. Of course I would do it, if it was in God’s plan for me. But I think I would be just as heartbroken leaving this dream.

I know my story isn’t over yet. I know there are more trials in my path, and even more celebrations. I don’t know what the rest of my life will bring. And I don’t know if I will recognize all of the troubles on the way for what they are. I didn’t realize what blessings the trouble of moving would bring, because for as hard as moving was, it has turned around and blessed me ten times more. That’s more than I could ever have asked for. So now all I can do is sit here with happy tears, praising God. I finally see the good. And man, it is so much better than anything I could’ve imagined.

The Ways God Speaks

I’ve been stressed out about the grades I made on my finals, and what I’d end up with in my classes. All week I’ve just been sitting and refreshing the grade thingy in my school’s system. All my grades were in by this morning, except for one–the one class I thought I might have possibly failed.

It’s really unsettling to feel like maybe you failed a class because of your final. I mean! I had a comfortable B rolling into that test, but when I left, I just knew I had bombed it. I’ve carried that feeling with me for over a week now. It was eating away at me.

And then today, when I was sitting in my room, reading a book and drinking coffee, God sent me a little message. There was a bird, sitting on my window. And I don’t mean a ledge outside my window. The bird was on the tiny ledge between the two panes of glass that make up a window. It was literally pressing itself into the glass to sit there. And maybe this wouldn’t be wild if that was the only place to sit, but there’s a tree right outside my window. So close it scratches the glass during storms, and if I open the window, some of the branch reaches into my room.

And for some reason, I just felt calm. Like God sent that little bird to press itself against the window to reassure me, “Hey, I know you’re really worried about this, but you don’t need to be. I’ve got this, and even if you fail, it’s not the end of the world. I still love you kid.” I just knew.

I knew this because birds are a big thing in my life. One of my best friends calls me little bird. When I moved back to Georgia, she gave me a string of lights with little wire birds on them and told me to Shine bright, little bird. Birds have become a comfort item to me. My next journal has a bird on the cover.

I love God. I do. I love Him for so many reasons, for saving me, for loving me despite the fact that I am a certified dumpster fire, for forgiving me over and over. I love Him because He pursued me even when I ran away, I love Him for showing me what He is capable of, and what I am capable of when I trust Him and let Him work through me. But mostly, I love Him because He speaks to me in a way that He knows I will understand. When I was stressed this week, He didn’t make a verse of scripture pop into my head. He didn’t send a text or a person this way that would say just the right words. He sent me my bird, pressing itself into me and into my life, to let me know that He’s here, pressing into me and pressing into my life.