Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ten Years

I've been thinking a lot about the past ten years this year. Partly because I teach fourth grade and most of my students are either ten or turning ten. But I think the biggest rest is that this is CISP's tenth year. We have talked a lot about the tenth year. (See my post about that here: What Will You Be Doing in Ten Years?)

And as we've looked back over CISP's past ten years (also known as the entire lifetime of all my kiddos), I can't help but reflect on the past ten years of my life.

In the past ten years I have lived in five different countries on three different continents. I have been a teacher for six of those years. I have climbed the Great Wall of China and the Eiffel Tower (yes I CLIMBED the Eiffel Tower--only one elevator was working the day I was there and the line was ridiculously long), gotten lost in Venice, explored Nazi bunkers, roasted marshmallows over molten lava, and seen the Colosseum. I have survived a volcanic eruption, earthquakes, hurricanes (all three of those in the same weekend), blizzards, and floods. 

And then I look back to ten years ago. Ten years ago I had just finished my first year of college. I have moved outside of the US and survived. I was preparing to help my parents pack to move to Guatemala for their own international adventure.

But I also think of the things I don't want to remember. The loss of a friend. The beeping of hospital machines. The words heard as I stepped off an elevator, "If you want to see him alive, you need to come as soon as possible." A funeral. Watching a grieving mother cry over a casket. An unwanted class reunion next to a grave.

Because ten years ago was also when I told God I hated Him for the first time. Ten years ago was when I spent an entire summer screaming at Him and question WHY? Why did He allow tragedy? And how could He possibly be a God of love? And how could I possibly love a God who allowed that to happen?

But ten years ago was when I also experienced grace after a summer of despair. Ten years ago was when I first really understood how deep, how wide, how high, how far God's love and mercy went. Ten years ago was when I learned that questioning is not bad, but you need to be prepared to accept that sometimes you don't get an answer. Ten years ago I wept as I finally understood what it meant to trust God. And I learned what it is to realize He is in control and working, even when it doesn't look like it. Ten years ago shook me, but it also grew me. And through that will hopefully even further impact others--and not just through my life.

Ten years ago on May 29, 2004,  I also made a decision to become an organ donor.

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