Do you even know what a hiatus is?
I didn’t. Or at least, I didn’t when I wrote the title.
It means a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process. Synonyms include the words interval, intermission, interlude, lull, respite, suspension. I always have this idea when I get back from big events that I will have a renewed vigor to post on my blog because I will have a new set of experiences to dish out. Getting back from Asia and then more recently from the End of the Year Gathering in PA should have resulted in newfound inspiration, not a hiatus.
I think I like the word “hiatus” best out of all the synonyms. Everything else seems to imply that the break was conscious, unwarranted, or undesirable. I unconsciously made the personal decision to ignore blogging for two months because everything has been great. Have I mentioned the Lord is so very good and so very jealous for both me and His glory?
It’s not that I don’t want to write about Asia – I can’t. Part of me can’t because practically what I’m allowed to say on the internet is limited because of the potential hostility that could come to the people we worked alongside. But an even bigger part of me can’t because I don’t know what to say. First, so much of what happened is personal. Some of it couldn’t be explained unless you’d been exactly where we were, doing exactly what we were doing. And some of it I don’t want to explain because it is precious to me, moments between me and the Lord or me and someone else that I cherish to much to just repeat for the world to lend a careless eye to. Second, so much actually happened. Two weeks and one camp later I have more than one evening’s worth of stories circling through my head. I don’t know where I’d even begin.
So I came back with a fresh overflowing of the Holy Spirit. For the first time in a long time, joy and peace saturated my heart and spilled over into every area of my life. God has been healthy convicting, molding, and teaching me. He cuts away at my flesh but it feels so good and free. How can you express what God is doing and has done in your heart in jumbled letters on a page?
And as I began to wade the new waters of sufficient grace and love, I finished finals and packed up the car for the gathering in PA. Thinking back to the insecurity, fear, and disappointment that hindered my heart during the last EOTYG, I began to let the work God had solidified overseas, but began long before that, penetrate my timid heart. Confidence and identity. I got to hug all my friends. I laughed at their jokes and we told stories. We danced and I listened to their singing. Finally, smiling and misty-eyed, I was handed a high-school diploma. I couldn’t say which was better, India or Lancaster because they were so different. But they were both two of the best and most memorable times in my life. I’m smiling as I type this, to give you an indication…
How do you write a blog post to sum up the culmination of a lifetime of emotions, when you know the culmination is just the beginning of a lifetime’s more?
How can you conclude the last chapter of your life when it is still being written and spilling over into the next?
I don’t think I can.
Which is why I’ve sat in front of a blog post more than once since being back, thoughtlessly tapping on the keys. Words won’t come. How can they? I can’t sum up or explain what God has done in me while I was away. I can’t write out all that the Lord has been doing in me and through me these past few weeks. I can’t put a value to my feelings. I can’t put to words the change in both my heart and my life.
But I feel like I can’t go ahead and post the movie reviews, my bucket list, photos, and stories without attempting some closure. For Asia. For graduation. For the gathering. For a new post on my blog.
I don’t know what the next few months or years have in store for me. I don’t pretend to know the plans of the Lord. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to put into words, what stories I’ll end up telling, or how many photos I’ll remember to capture. But I do know the Lord loves me passionately, His grace is utterly sufficient for me, His Holy Spirit is in me, and He is good. And contrary to what the past two months would have you believe, I do love this blog.
I have one life and looking back (see the video below), it has been more abundantly blessed and full than I’ve ever realized before. I’ve been to Europe and Asia. I’ve met and built relationships with some of the most incredible, influential people, and best friends. I’ve learned more than I could’ve ever anticipated about the Lord. I’ve learned more than I ever thought I could in school and I grew to love learning. Looking back fills me with sentiment, yes. But it also fills me with immense hope. The faithful God who had His hand on the baby Maddie who wanted to shave like her dad, dance in the rain, and eat all the birthday cake is the same trustworthy God who will go on with me to return my Redbox movie today (btw, I sort of loved Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher), travel with me to Wheaton, and guide me for the rest of my life. I just hope I remember to blog some of it.