Wow. What a month it has been! May has been jam-packed with so many exciting adventures and new challenges.
As I was thinking about this month’s post and what God has been doing in my life, the word “change” kept bubbling up in my mind. So, naturally, I thought that was what the focus was going to be. I was planning to do a mini update on all the changes that have happened and how they are new adventures full of sweetness and wonder. It was going to be great!
But, as I started to write this post I realized there is so much more going on inside of my heart. And I never created this blog to just write some pre-planned words so I could check a box off in my mind to feel accomplished. This is a part of my personal ministry, using the gift of writing God has given me to express what He is doing in my heart. This is real, I always want it to be real.
So, this post is no longer just a sweet recap of all the awesome, exciting things that have happened in the past month. It’s also going to be a snapshot of where my heart is right now as I trudge through the hard parts that come along with the change.
You may be wondering, what changes I’m talking about? Well, let me tell you.
This month brought new beginnings. I turned 21-years-old and got to celebrate with the amazing people who make my life such a blessing. I also finished my junior year which was easily my best year of college so far.
But, at the same time, this month brought bittersweet endings. The biggest one, in my heart, is my transition out of Wednesday HUB (which is my church’s youth ministry) where I have been serving for the past three years as a middle school girls leader.
This month has also been full of new, unexpected adventures! I ended up getting to go to Los Angeles for a week with my dad to celebrate my birthday and it was so much fun. I am very thankful for those special memories we got to create together.
But the biggest adventure that has “fallen” into my lap is probably why this month feels so crazy to me and is where those tough heart things are coming from- I started a “big girl” internship!
It’s a very long story that I’m going to do my best to keep short…basically, I have to do an internship to graduate. I’ve known this ever since I started studying journalism at UNT and I remember being very excited when I first realized it. Internships sounded so fun to pre-college me (they still do!) and I remember picturing myself in a cool office, working for a magazine in a city somewhere.
Well, it hit me this year that I am getting closer to graduation (I am one year away!) which means I am getting closer to needing that internship. I knew I wanted to do it during the summer so I could focus fully on interning and not worry about going to class. So, in the back of my mind this entire year I have thought about how I need to do an internship and pretty soon.
But there was something else in the back of my mind too. As some of you may recall, last summer I worked at a Christian camp called Camp WOW and I LOVED it. I didn’t write a ton about it because last year I didn’t keep up with the blog as well. But it challenged me and humbled me and rocked my world and gave me a second family and, basically, I love camp. So much. And this summer I wanted to go back to camp. So bad.
I could see the need for an internship but I could also feel my heart wanting to be back at camp. So, I decided I would just go back and figure out my internship situation next year. Simple.
I didn’t even ask God though and let me tell you, He had his own plan.
He started whispering, “Apply to your dream internship, just try.” And, even though it confused me, I did.
For me, the ideal internship would be at D Magazine. It’s a hugely successful magazine (which is where I want to work someday!) and it’s in Dallas.
So, I applied and told God that if He wanted me there He would have to make it happen, half-heartedly believing it would go anywhere.
And God responded! He opened the doors and gave me the internship. I needed a clear answer if I was going to choose this over camp and getting it was a very clear answer from Him to me, “I want you to spend your summer at home, doing this internship.”
I remember getting the email and being so surprised, excited and nervous all at the same time. This was unknown, this was not my plan. But I heard Him tell me, “I am with you wherever you go, just trust me.”
So as I write this, I am currently sitting in that cool office that’s on the 22nd floor of a big, shiny building I dreamed of getting to intern in as a newly graduated high schooler just a couple years ago. Officially, I am an editorial intern for Dallas Innovates through the D Magazine Partners internship program. WHAT?!? God is SO good. Part of me still can’t believe I’m here.
It’s been so cool for so many reasons, He has continued to give me signs that this is where He wants me. Getting to meet people who are passionate about the same things I am and learning from professionals in the world I hope to be apart of someday…it’s already been such a neat experience.
But, if I’m being honest, it’s also been a huge change for me which is where the “not-so-warm-and-fluffy” heart stuff comes into play right now.
The commute to Dallas, the long hours, learning how to communicate with new people, and the transition has been challenging in ways I didn’t expect.
And what I’m trying to remember is that’s okay, it’s normal. I have to keep reminding myself of that: the uncomfortable transition is part of the experience and learning how to adjust is part of the process.
Now, don’t get me wrong! There have been some really wonderful moments already and I have no doubt in my mind God has put me in this internship for a reason. I know it’s where I’m supposed to be and I am beyond grateful to get to go through the hard parts of this experience and soak up every ounce of this dream internship I didn’t ever think I would have.
But, I want to be honest about all of the parts of this new season because sometimes it is just plain hard. And not talking about it would just discount how good God is in those overwhelming moments, so I’m going to talk about it!
What I’ve realized over the year is just because He calls us to something doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier. I’m actually convinced it’s in those uncomfortable, exhausting moments where He speaks louder than ever.
I’m learning that He is there in the long commute and in the frustrating conversation and in the daily 3 p.m. mental crash. He is there.
I am weak but He is strong. He is there lifting me up and reminding me that He is in control.
Change is hard. Being an adult is hard. Life is hard. That’s why we need a Savior who makes our burdens light and gives us the courage to keep going, even when all we want to do is give up.
It’s the truth but if I’m even more honest, I usually forget this part. I get focused on the circumstances of life and my own shortcomings- and y’all, that will make anyone want to give up. But the good news is, even when I forget, He is with me.
And as I type that, with my puffy eyes tired from the almost 7 hours I have been sitting and staring at this screen writing assignments, I breathe a sigh of relief because I desperately need to know He is good and He is with me, trudging through the change.
That’s the biggest thing I want to say: if you are in a new season that has turned out to be less sunshine and roses and more of a sunburn and thorns, just know you are not alone. I get it, but most importantly, God is with you- YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Even the moments that haven’t been so perfect and sweet have all happened on purpose and for a purpose. Through the change He is shaping us into who He has called us to be.
Change is a part of His plan for us. It isn’t always fun and can be really hard, like “I-want-to-give-up-why-is-Dallas-traffic-this-terrible” kind of hard. But that’s the cool thing about God, He doesn’t abandon us when it gets tough. As a matter of fact, He gets even closer.
It’s in the hard moments of this world that His refreshing presence collides with the brutal reality of life, reminding us that He changes all things but He never changes. Thank goodness.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
“Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change.” -James 1:17 (TPT)
“He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” -Romans 8:27-28 (MSG)