New Beginnings, New Ends

September 13, 2016

And just like that I'm in my second year of college. Summer is over, the real world is back. I've almost completely adjusted back into normal life, even though I still cry over anything that reminds me of this past summer. I don't think I will ever 100% be adjusted back into the everyday. I've changed too much. The Lord has changed me too much. I've learned how to manage stress better. I've learned how to love better and deeper. I've learned how to prioritize. I've learned how to rest. The Lord used this past summer to break me down and build me into something new. I have a new appreciation for family, friends, and adventure.

This semester is really different than last year. I have not one, but three new roommates. I'm currently unemployed and living with only the bare necessities. I am in harder classes and have my plate full with organizations that I'm involved in. However, I'm making more time for traveling and saving more money for bigger trips. Things that used to matter don't now, and things that didn't used to matter do.

My plans for my future have shifted a bit as well. I used to have it all figured out. I was going to go to college, get married, be a mom, and run my photography business on the side. Since this summer, the Lord has completely thrown those plans out. He said, "trust me." So I have. I don't have a plan. I'm seeking His will and that's really scary. The plan is now to follow Him with as much hustle as ever. Praying that somehow I will be able to use my gifts of marketing and the arts in a ministry setting.

So here's to the unknown, new beginnings, and new ends. 

Where Our Hope is Found

August 23, 2016

For those that don't know, I'm back in Louisiana! I've been back in LA for a few weeks and returned back to school last week. I was happy to return, but I didn't come back to the same Louisiana that I left. I came back to a Louisiana that was drowning in water. I came back to many of my friend's houses marked with water lines. Many if not all their possessions destroyed by the rising floodwaters. I came back to many loved ones having to start over literally from the ground up.

As soon as I was able I was mudding out houses and that's when it really hit me how real and traumatic this flood had been for people that I love. I saw people in sobbing. I saw people without a place to lay their children's heads at night. I saw tear filled eyes that said, "how are we going to get through this." I've also seen people unite. I've seen the body of Christ come together and put aside their differences to help those in need. I've seen a generation of young people with eager hearts ready to serve.

This semester I'm taking American Literature and one of our assigned readings was this poem by Anne Bradstreet. Honestly, my jaw dropped when I read this poem. It puts a lot of things back into perspective for me personally. 

In silent night when rest I took, 
For sorrow near I did not look, 
I wakened was with thund’ring noise 
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice. 
That fearful sound of “fire” and “fire,” 
Let no man know is my Desire. 
I, starting up, the light did spy, 
And to my God my heart did cry 
To straighten me in my Distress 
And not to leave me succourless. 
Then, coming out, behold a space 
The flame consume my dwelling place. 
And when I could no longer look, 
I blest His name that gave and took, 
That laid my goods now in the dust. 
Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just. 
It was his own, it was not mine, 
Far be it that I should repine; 
He might of all justly bereft 
But yet sufficient for us left. 
When by the ruins oft I past 
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast 
And here and there the places spy 
Where oft I sate and long did lie. 
Here stood that trunk, and there that chest, 
There lay that store I counted best. 
My pleasant things in ashes lie 
And them behold no more shall I. 
Under thy roof no guest shall sit, 
Nor at thy Table eat a bit. 
No pleasant talk shall ‘ere be told 
Nor things recounted done of old. 
No Candle e'er shall shine in Thee, 
Nor bridegroom‘s voice e'er heard shall be. 
In silence ever shalt thou lie, 
Adieu, Adieu, all’s vanity. 
Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide, 
And did thy wealth on earth abide? 
Didst fix thy hope on mould'ring dust? 
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust? 
Raise up thy thoughts above the sky 
That dunghill mists away may fly. 
Thou hast a house on high erect 
Framed by that mighty Architect, 
With glory richly furnished, 
Stands permanent though this be fled. 
It‘s purchased and paid for too 
By Him who hath enough to do. 
A price so vast as is unknown, 
Yet by His gift is made thine own; 
There‘s wealth enough, I need no more, 
Farewell, my pelf, farewell, my store. 
The world no longer let me love, 
My hope and treasure lies above. 

Although this poem is about a house burning I think the message applies to many situations. During hard times we must remember where our hope is found. It comes from Him alone. 

"My hope and treasure lies above."