On the way home from Pisa, staring out the bus window at the Mediterranean Sea, I was listening to the song “Time of my Life” by David Cook. It reminded me of how everyone has said, “O, you will have the time of your life there in Italy” or “It wont get any better than that” or even when people say that “the college years are the best years of your life” and I started thinking….I was reminded of what Sarah Barnes’ mom said when we spent the night at her house because it has stuck with me, “When I was in college, I thought it was the best time of my life. But since then, every part just gets better and better, so much so that no part was better or worse than the last.” And I would have to agree wholeheartedly. So far, every part of my life keeps getting better and better. Not that I’m bragging or anything. Call it satisfaction; call it living in the moment or God’s perfect timing; call it what you want, but it’s so true.
When I was in high school, I couldn’t even imagine college being better (thank the Lord it has been) mainly because at that time I had such a small view of the world. Then freshman year rolled around…and it was incredible! I LOVED my roommates and all the crazy people I met. God showed me more and more of himself and his infinite love, not just for me, but for the world. As I left Ford Hall that spring, I was so sad and thought to myself, “Life can’t get better than that!” But the Lord crushed that thought and showed me an incredible summer at kamp; a summer spent loving on his beloved children and showing them His love and what an intimate relationship with the Lord looks like.
Then once again, I drove away from kamp bawling and thinking, “Life can’t get any better than that.” I knew that I had a year of being an RA and living by myself ahead of me, and I was worried. But you guessed it, the Lord astounded me AGAIN! (you’d think I would have caught on by now) I had infinite time (well almost) with one of my best friends and fellow RA, a substitute roomie who transformed from resident to ‘bestie’, and more hilarious, knee slapping moments with my favorite Bible Study gals. To say the least, life was great…But as all good things do, the Boyd Hall life came to a close, and brought with it some fear, fear of being away for another long stretch. But God’s faithfulness amazed me yet again, this time yielding another fruitful summer at kamp with an entirely new and different set of people. Perhaps the best part was seeing my kampers from the previous year! Three months at Kwest was a blessing-a hard, tiring, fun blessing.
Driving home from kamp just this previous summer (by myself for 7 hours without a radio), I finally got it, probably because I had spent more time thinking about it than I ever had in the past-mainly out of fear. I was afraid to go to Italy. For many reasons, including lost time with loved ones, but ultimately because I doubted. I doubted in myself, and I’d like to think that I didn’t doubt in the Lord, but maybe I did. I remember telling myself all the way home, “My God, the ultimate savior, is the same God who spoke to Moses, the same Lord who told Lazarus to rise, the same God I saw work in the hearts of so many this summer. That’s the God I take with me everywhere-even across the ocean. That’s the God I have the privilege of serving.”
So I’m listening to “Time of My Life” by David Cook, right? And wondering if Italy really is the time of my life like everyone says…But if I look back at the workings of the Lord these last few years, statistics and simple math would tell me “no”. It’s just another awesomely, exciting chapter snuggled up behind ‘Kwest Summer ‘08’; another chapter to the book that the Lord is continually writing for me.
Don’t get me wrong, there have definitely been many periods of hardship, drought, and loneliness mixed in there. But I think that there’s a healthy combo of “life’s what you make it” and then giving the Lord all of your strengths and weaknesses. Because the Lord is glorified in my weakness! Life just gets better and better. Perhaps a healthy dose of optimism is the cure…
Songs leading to these thoughts: Time of your life by David Cook and This is my now and One step at a time by Jordin Sparks