While sitting here drinking tomato soup out of a cup and eating dinosaur chicken nuggets chopped into tiny cubes I can't help but feel like I'm a teething child. My roommate's cracks about getting me teething toys doesn't help.... haha. The reason I'm in such a state is because, like the title hints at, I'm at the wisdom tooth time of my life. This is probably good timing because I've been feeling like a little wisdom at this stage of my life would be extremely useful. At the same time I think it's funny that just this morning I had one yanked out while watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air on an over head screen.... am I now a 1/4 less wise? I did wear Bryan's Marine sweatshirt (Thanks for the package again Babes!) in hopes it would bring me courage and all in all I think it helped. My first ever "surgery" is now under my belt and I don't even look like a chipmunk! Right now my mouth pretty much feels the same as it did this entire last week while the tooth was in, impacted, and infected but by Friday I hope to feel a little more myself again.
All in all it was kinda a rough week and it wasn't just the tooth that made it so (even tho it obviously didn't help.) It's safe to say that everything in my life is in transition, it sounds dramatic, but it's honestly true. This summer at Jenness Park Christian Camp has helped prepare me for transition into the next chapters of my life but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't overwhelmed at times. Maybe it be best to break it into parts.
My Family: Since I've been away this summer, my family, my mom especially, and my home have been facing trial after trial. Between my mom getting her car stolen, our house almost burning down, and the bank now threatening foreclosure, my family is having to band together like never before. It's truly inspiring to see and I'm in awe of how God provides. Between the advice, financial support, and service of community members things are looking up. What has been tough is just how much it is wearing my mom down and how I've been away during one of the biggest family strengthening times of my life. It's hard not to feel distant and at times left out. This past week I think I really let it get the better of me, and after kicking myself for being silly/feeling sorry for myself, I made a greater effort to be a part of my family and let them know I'm thinking of them. I know they miss me and talk about me, but I'm starting to see that if I want to be included I have to reach out too. When I leave Jenness Park for good in just a few short weeks I know the face of my home will be quite different, that i'll need some time to adjust to the changes, but ultimately I'm excited for the new chapter. As my mom hands the property over to my brother Brian, he's girlfriend Hannah, and her 2 sons, she will be freed to travel and work like she's been dreaming and my brother free to start a new chapter of his life in our 4 generation home.
Secondly, I should mention that this dream of keeping the property isn't a reality just yet as we're all dealing with the possibility that we may lose our family property (or "homestead," as Brian would say.) That's scary and throughout the time we've all come to the conclusion that we want to fight to keep it. This has caused my family to rally around a joint cause and become closer then I've seen in a very long time, if ever. This past week, I've been scared, angry at the bank, feeling left out and unsure, but the more I talk to my mom the more I see that the future is bright, why worry when God's plan for all of us is so much greater than we can imagine anyway?
My Relationship: Now this is definitely in transition and this week has meant a lot of prayer (some of it together), uncertainty, excitement, impatience, and planning for Bryan and I. It's at the point where everything we've wanted, dreamed of, and hoped for during the last 10 months together is/may become reality in a little less than a month.... SAY WHAT!? That's close. That's exciting yet intimidating. Bryan separating from the Marines and starting school at Baylor is already a big transition for him, but the opportunity for us to start really working toward a life together only adds to all there is to process. We're at the point where we no longer want to be far away from each other, where we want to find a church community and pastor to mentor us, where the talk of me moving to TX is no longer talk but a plan that is already in motion. When I leave here in 2 weeks, the next time I have my own space/room/apartment may be a few months off, and it'll probably be in Waco TX.... now that's a transition. While I get nervous, this decision to move feels so incredibly natural. This move not only gives me the opportunity to grow in my relationship with Bryan, but also finally strike out on my own, with a new city, new job, and new Christian connections. Waco is a town with a large Christian influence, being the home to a well known private Christian university helps, and I know that even outside of Bryan and I's relationship there will be tons of opportunity to grow in God.
My Faith: This summer has given me the incredible opportunity to work alongside Christians, grow in my faith, put my patience to the test, and even make a little money. I've realized through reading my bible more, Christian fellowship, and prayer that I have a lot I need to work on. One study I've been doing is called Lady in Waiting, and it has given me such encouragement and guidance when it comes to be completely satisfied in Christ. A lot of girls and women believe that fulfillment comes in love, marriage, and motherhood. While I've never been the type to crave being a homemaker, complete with apron and perfect children, I have often believed that the grass is greener on the other side. That marriage is a higher calling than singleness. But this book calls women out, saying that true fulfillment comes only from Christ and doing he's will for your life, and belief otherwise leads only disillusionment and pain. I've come to realize that the loss of my singleness is something that I shouldn't take so lightly, that single years are the some of the best years one gets to serve God and he's community. The years where there is more spare time and less responsibility. As much as I'm excited for the future and a life with Bryan, I know that I must embrace full heartedly for Christ the time I've been given here at Jenness Park. The time Bryan and I have been apart as been hard, but ultimately a blessing from God that has caused us both to become stronger in him, both individually and together.
What made this past week hard in this area is that some stuff came up that made me realize just how much I still need to work on and Bryan struggling heavily with the same feeling. As much as I'd like to be more financially stable, I still have a lot of habits to break and form. As much as I'd like to think Bryan and I are ready to just get married already, we both know that God is telling us to wait. Heck, I haven't even met his parents yet! As much as I want to be home and helping my family through these hard times, I have a commitment to Jenness Park and a feeling God still wants me here. As much as I'd like to think that I'm firm in my spiritual habits, I don't read my bible or pray nearly as much as I should or would like to.
So..... while I'm still not sure if the 3 wisdom teeth I still have are bringing me wisdom (or if a loss of 1 today made me lose a 1/4 of it), I do know that Christ has brought peace to my soul.