I sit on the back porch of the dorm watching reds melt into oranges behind grays blanketing blues, & purples coating the serenity as the show comes to a calming conclusion over the MC parking garage.
In my lap lies my blue journal. A faithful friend, a goldmine of stories. Between the hard covers lie ten months of lessons, struggles, adventures, & prayers. The first entry from December 2012 was outside this same building. I was excited & naive, speculating over the next few months of Africa adventure.
Well, 3 months turned to 5 months which has made a full circle back to MC. People have asked me if I am glad to return, but I find it hard to call this a “return.” So much has changed since I left. Friends grew, some moved. Couples married, others dating. I’m no longer running for the school & that alone has drastically changed my college day schedule. I have freedom that I didn’t know existed! Who knew one can grab a cup of coffee over book discussions or make a trip down to Jacktown to see friends or stay up late without the fear of 5:30 a.m. practice!
But it’s hard not to wish that these next 2 years would rush by with the speed of a freight train. My dad wrote me a letter of encouragement that appeared in my mailbox on a day where patience was dangling like a leaf about to fall in weariness from hanging on. He encouraged me from Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” He wrote that “numbering our days” refers to the seasons of life mentioned in Ecclesiastes. And if we don’t “number our days” the implication is that we won’t get a “heart of wisdom”-knowledge, emotion combined with purpose- our inner desires.
“Daughter, I see this verse applying to you & your days of life that you are in. Your stage of life is to learn, to get trained for your latter days. Going to college & learning a skill (video, writing, etc.) are preparing you for your future & giving you a heart of wisdom. If you try to rush life before the appropriate time, you become foolish. Patience & diligence are key characteristics of numbering your days. I celebrate you & your experiences this year. Set your focus on the race set before you. Don’t live in the past nor in the future. Be fully present today for that is where God will teach you & use you.”
As I finish my last entry in a journal that holds a season of travel, change & growth, I feel the close of an important chapter in my life. As much as I want to dwell in the stories & rush back to a world that has become more familiar than this college campus, it’s time to move on & dwell within the bubble of MC (though weekend escapes are always welcome!).
So with the change of chapter, I open a new journal. This one is leather bound & clean, lacking the dust of African roads & the coffee stains of early morning spills. The pages lay open, crisp & bare, waiting for the pen to drop & the ink to bleed the stories of another season of dwelling & learning.
And adventures. And books. And lots of coffee.