Today is my 21st birthday. I don’t really like to put up a fuss over my birthday, but this year being that it is my 21st I will be celebrating with friends in downtown Kent at the end of the week. I also celebrated tonight with my friends Molly and Jen from home group over sushi.
As in years past, I like to use my birthday as a time to reflect upon the most recent year. It was not the best year of my life- this therefore is also tying in with why my friends and I will be going downtown to celebrate the fact that I actually made it through this seemingly God forsaken school year. The year will not quite be one I look upon fondly.
It is always intriguing for me to look back. I am nearly always analytical in the moment, so to re-analyze how everything fits together can be mind-boggling, yet I do it nonetheless.
Around this time last year, I was quite a different person. I was reliant on God throughout the summer, enjoying my time with counselors and campers. Then the darkness came. It makes me shutter to think about how swiftly it fell like a black fog pervading my life. It must have begun to trickle in during the summer without my notice, blinding the eyes of those around me from seeing me clearly and turning my focus.
As the year progressed through school, the fog thickened. Churches closing. Relationships failing. Accusations guillotining. They were cracks of thunder.
Lost and alone in this storm cloud. I turned to sin for comfort. And finally the storm broke on that day in March with the final accusations snuffing out my last light at the end of the tunnel. Physically the skies poured down rain and my eyes poured forth tears. While I was unable to see the sun had set into night.
It seems the only relief from this draining was when I physically left Kent to go home or to Columbus or to China. There were brief moments of light.
And now I am left where I am. My relationship with God is on the rocks. Where I would once turn to Him for comfort, my walls are now up with caution. I am wary about almost every believer, certain that judgment will befall me. I am drawn to the world where comfort and company are easy to find.
And I am aware of this mental and spiritual battle all the while. One side tugs and the other equally so. It is as if the weight of my body is pulling me to fall, but God has this grip on my heart that’s keeping me suspended above the floor. And that tension is the only thing I know right now.
For as much as I want this battle to be over, I am even more scared that God will let go.
I am a broken Christian and that tension is the only thing giving me hope that one day things will be restored to how God intended.
I said that I am not the same person as before.
I have found that with heartbreak comes credibility. When you know suffering and you know pain, you look at the world and yourself differently. I am stronger and more mature than the child who I left behind last year. I am more decisive. I am choosing what my battles are.