Today felt and smelled like fall for the first time. My coworker and I had to step outside and we both noticed it at the same instant: summer is ending and change is coming. Sometimes–like today sitting on a bridge by the water, mountains encircling me– I want to cry for how much I miss home as well as how lovely and precious Grand Lake is to me. What I am most thankful for are 1) Friendships; 2) The pure natural beauty of this place; and 3) The things I’ve learned about life and about myself.
Things I’ve Learned While in CO:
(Written from my present self to my former self, but also helpful to note for anyone considering serving with ACMNP)
- Embrace the discomfort. Newness is uncomfortable. Dwell in that feeling and let it propel you forward to a new and more experienced version of yourself.
- You are capable. You can handle learning new job skills, establishing a summer ministry, and encouraging others even when you yourself feel discouraged. You can find a good mechanic in an unfamiliar town when your car blows a brake line. You can show up to work day after day, do your job, and do it well.
- Friends don’t make themselves. Saying hello, learning about people, and being available when help is needed makes a difference. Don’t do the awkward silent eating thing–meal times are community building times.
- Take that hike, go for that walk, explore that new part of town. Your bed will be waiting when you get back.
- Faith unites people and bridges gaps created by dissimilar personalities. A ministry team is a family, almost without exception. The support given by the body of Christ is like no other.
- Connect. Use your resources, introduce yourself, reach out. We are here, living this life, for each other. And life’s a lot better when we have people to turn to for help.
- Don’t fear the future. When you feel like a scared little kid in a big world, look to your heavenly Father. Remember all he has done for you and move forward with confidence.
- Going out for ice cream with friends is always a good idea.
- When you’re tired and cranky and want to get away from everyone, start praising God. Sing to Him and tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for that very moment. Sing louder. Everything else will work itself out.
- Your life is very very very very special to God. And so is everyone else’s. Love ’em all.
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart.