Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sleep comes slowly...

It's late, and I'm tired. But for some reason... sleep just does not want to come tonight.

As I sit here in the quiet stillness of my room, the faint notes of Death Cab for Cutie playing in the background, I am caught up in nostalgic introspection. These past nine months have been a complete whirlwind of activity. This inexorably leads to the need to write, to organize my thoughts in words, a skill that G-d has gifted me with.

There's so much that has happened, so much that I have done, so much that I have learned.

At moments like this, I cannot help but be caught up in the inexplicable revelation that every step that I have taken has been part of the wonderful tapestry that G-d has woven me into. It is a wondrous idea, an honor, and yet... incredibly humbling.

I was given an unparalleled joy as I spent four and a half months roaming the countrysides of England, Ireland, Scotland, and France. I learned many things that are easy to put into words: the simple beauty of the Scottish Highlands is breathtaking, the City of Lights is captivating, and I love playing volleyball.

The other life lessons are not so simple. Some concepts and lessons will always exist without adequate words to express them fully. I've always known but now have felt that faith cannot and should not exist in a vacuum, which was one of my strongest motivations in how I spent the next semester.

The almost fortnight that I had between arriving at home and starting the next semester was far from enough time to readjust to being back in the states and get organized for returning to another challenging semester at school--my fifth eighteen credit hour semester. The truth is that I always adjust to the different textures and characteristics of other cultures quite well, but I always struggle at readjusting to my own.

This last semester has been... wonderful, crazy, ridiculous, busy, and exhausting all at once. I know that I spread myself much more thin than I should have, but I thirsted for so much activity, perhaps attempting to balance the social void that I had felt the semester before.

I was lead to pledge to Kappa Chi, a coed Christian service fraternity, a step that I still probably would not have taken if I had not been allowed to pledge after the official pledge date. The joy of participating in this group required my Sunday and Monday evenings.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I spent my time discussing, learning, and praising G-d through two fantastic Bible studies. The first one, I attended with many old friends and was able to use this time as one part of many moments that helped me ease back into my amazing group of friends. I had missed them.

I also started attending Intervarsity steadily for the first time this past semester, and I'll admit that going to watch and hear Courtney play her cello (also known as Elgar) was part of the attraction. But it was also a great experience getting to praise the Lord and becoming more familiar with some people that I had barely known.

And on Fridays, of course, I kept on attending and assisting with the running of SCF's Focus--the main meeting that I have been attending every single Friday that I have been in town. I had missed that fellowship, I had missed delving into that wonderful group.

This last semester has been full of wonderful surprises--even if one in particular sticks out--as well as some disappointments. I miss having the now Amanda (Bechtinator) Nally around at school. Words cannot express how dearly I treasure her friendship, and I've missed being able to see her, even if I am extremely happy for the season of life with which G-d has blessed her. I've also had to bid farewell to so many people that I care about and will miss. Graduation is tough.

At the same time, I've gained a great new group of friends, some that had always been floating around on campus and some that had only just arrived this past school year. I've also been blessed with a wonderful girlfriend. Although no especial event or story really marks the beginning of our relationship, I feel as if something should have. I was captivated by Courtney the moment I met her on my first day back at campus; there was just something about this girl that I could not ignore, something about her that.... drew me, attracted me. It has been a wonderful difficulty adjusting to having a girlfriend around on a daily basis, but a simple joy at the same time.

Even though I could turn this novella into a complete novel, given the time, the soft covers of my bed are calling me. However, the end conclusion of this entire school year is rather simple: a G-d created tapestry, an ordained plan.

I cannot wait to see what comes next--an anticipation that is surprising and exhilarating.

Asking for time to decipher the signs...

What is there to know? I'm just another guy trying to figure out what it means to truly love, to truly live, to embrace life to the fullest. If I ever get some answers, I'll let you know. "So live on, / Breathing in every sigh / Hurt and joy / Truly living life to its fullness / Leaving no dream unturned / Or unfulfilled / Live on / Life awaits" -excerpt from "Nostalgia" by me.