Monday, October 21, 2013

it's been nine weeks.

It's been nine weeks.

Nine weeks since my plane touched down in the Charlottesville Airport, marking the end of my nine-week-long adventure with Jesus in the mountains of Colorado.

I've been home for nine weeks. And I honestly can't believe it.

Some people told me, when I left Ellerslie on August 19th, that the nine weeks following would be the best nine weeks of my life. Back then, I knew they'd probably be right, but I was such an emotional wreck at the time, trying to wrench myself away from the place, people, and lifestyle I'd come to love that I didn't really believe them.

And now, here I am. At the END of those nine weeks, looking back over my shoulder to see what happened.

Not going to lie, the past forty-eight hours have been really hard. Listening to the recording of all of us singing "It is Well with my Soul" on our last day of class, flipping through my semi-completed scrapbook, reading precious emails from my sister-like friends who are still on campus, staring blankly at a calendar that those five and a half months until the square for April 13 that has Leave for Ellerslie neatly printed on it. I'm teared up and choked up right now just thinking about how much I love that place, those people. It's hard to be here without them.

In the literally gut-wrenching aches I've had thinking about Ellerslie, the true struggle lies in my heart, not in my slightly frazzled emotions. It's easy, right now, this minute, to forget what God has done. To see with illuminated eyes just how far I've come.

Because the truth is, I have changed. And it *cannot* be because of anything I've done because the old Liza really wouldn't want to have anything to do with the life I'm cheerfully living now. In the moment, it's hard to see that. Looking behind? It's staggering. Out with the old, in with the new. New goals, new desires, new dreams, new hopes, new confidence.

I couldn't see that yesterday. I was trying really hard to. Flipping through my journal, lamenting how seemingly slow I've been growing spiritually over the past nine weeks compared to my nine weeks at Ellerslie, it was *really* hard to see.

But that was because I was trying to see spiritual growth with human eyes. Ummm….sorry, Liza, it just doesn't work that way.

It wasn't until I broke down (literally and figuratively) and begged Jesus to just show what He's done for me in the past nine weeks that the veil was pulled back and I really, truly saw.

Restored and rebuilt relationships
Seeds of faith planted and watered
Hearts turned toward the needs of the helpless and vulnerable
Order and peace restored to chaos
A family becoming more united in purpose and practice
Children loved and cared for in time of need
Families ministered to
Ministry opportunities opened up
Encouragement given and received

All these blessings because of obedience. And I couldn't see it. Not on my own power. I needed Jesus. Surprise, surprise.

It's been nine weeks since my plane touched down in Charlottesville Airport, marking what I *thought*  was the end of my adventure with Jesus in the mountains of Colorado - which, in a way, it was.

But it was really the beginning of an even greater story that is just now beginning to unfold. And now, looking at this little life of mine with the eyes of my loving Jesus, I can see it.

Something aches deep in me when I think about how much I still miss my sisters and brothers and my second "home" in Colorado….but now, more than ever, I can SEE with the eyes of my heart why Jesus has me right here, right now.

It's been nine weeks, and the journey has just begun.

So, when I go back to Ellerslie, and if I meet a Basic student who is struggling with leaving, I'll probably say, "Oh, but the next nine weeks will be even better", and then smile to myself as they give that, "Yeah, right" look. It might take a while, but they'll see it too.

all photos taken by me

"But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you;...Fear not, for I am with you." 
{Isaiah 43:1-5}

1 comment:

  1. Awwww this post made me so happy, Liza. :) Ellerslie sound wonderful and I think that aching is part of the beauty of it all.