April is our Ebenezer.
Each time i reflect on the month behind and look forward to the month ahead I almost always say to myself, “I never thought I’d be here!” And God is gracious and I carry that sense of wonder with me into the initial days of a brand new month. New months are always fresh starts, opportunities to flip the calender and step ahead recollecting the Lord’s faithfulness either from the happenings of the last month or the circumstances where I stood this time a year ago. What is different about this month’s welcome is what I’m not saying to myself… because on April fourth, two thousand and thirteen, THAT’S when I was saying, “I never. ever. ever. ever thought I’d be here.” And at the same time, I was saying “yes” to a boy who would blaze a trail through my heart and soul. I was saying yes to uncharted lands, but I knew they would hold hard days like today. Days when I knew what senior project I would be finishing, and days when I knew I would be overwhelmed with the collision of joy and sadness at graduation’s closeness. Though we never know the plans God imagines for us, this day a year ago I certainly hoped Andrew would somehow be a part of these days. We both knew we would be far away from each other, our roads leading us in different places. Saying “yes” to him meant saying yes to a lot of unknowns and a lot of distance, a lot of short weekend visits and a lot of skype, a lot of days spent wishing he still lived in the green house around the corner from mine. Saying yes to the start of a new beginning at the start of a new month was simply saying “yes” to faith. I’m looking back on this year and I’m glad of this: that we don’t ever have to choose our circumstances. I certainly wouldn’t choose to spend our first year anniversary thousands of miles apart. Though this is the farthest geographic distance we’ve ever faced – him in Colorado while I’m in Ohio – surely this is an Ebenezer we may raise. Because surely, this is God’s best. Andrew is following God’s voice now to Colorado and soon to Guam. Where God’s voice is beckoning me is still unknown, but we are following the Pillar of Fire, and being sure of God’s will is a stronger bond than geographic closeness. More hopeful and joy-filled than celebrating our first year of dating in person, because we have a third chord that bridges the distance and upholds us when the chasm feels wide. There’s not much I can say about the past year other than I can be a really selfish girlfriend, and it has been really hard. But, really good. Because God simply asks every day of this year: Will you keep your eyes on me? Are you willing? And we keep saying yes.
Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath, blow the rest away. –George Eliot
Cheers to year number 1! It “ain’t nothing but a thang” as Andrew would say, but this sentimental heart loves celebrating milestones — this one is ALL about God’s faithfulness and grace!
*Thanks to Andrew Peterson’s “World Traveler” song for inspiring our journey, and a few words in this post;)