...my first semester of college was fantastic and I have incredibly mixed feelings about going home. You know how when you over-mix two colors of paint, you almost always get a grayish-brown sort of color? Yay for memories of childhood fingerpainting disasters. Anyway, I have no idea where that analogy was going. Moving on.
Basically, I can sum up these past four months in two words: crisis averted. That was sort of my catchphrase. So many things could have gone wrong but didn't, or did go wrong but had little to no negative impact on anything. God is gracious.
I've struggled, I've stayed up too late, I've procrastinated, I've made mistakes. I've made friends, I've gone on crazy, memorable adventures, I've laughed till I cried, I've learned about reconciliation. I've grown and changed and learned a number of new, useful things - like how to splint my broken drying rack and make cookie dough without leaving my room. I've learned to go without a lot of the things that were commonplace at home and I've embraced countless opportunities that I never had in California. I've experienced fathomless joy and heartache, happiness and sorrow, gain and loss.
Through it all, I know that God has been at work in my life and in the lives of those I've grown close to. I prayed that He would teach me to rely on Him during this extended period of time away from home, and He has. He is the same God here as He is in California and He has never left me nor forsaken me, nor will He ever do so in the future.
I'll miss the woods and the ponds and the stars, because it's when I'm standing under the pitch-black night sky, staring at the diamond-bright reflection of the stars in the glass-smooth surface of Gull Pond, that I feel most reassured. When I'm there I cannot doubt that God exists and He has good plans for me that will bring glory to Him. There I know that He is in control, that He sees the bigger, perfect picture even though circumstances seem hopeless from my perspective. But those truths aren't contained to the Gordon woods, and it's this knowledge that I'll seek to carry with me on my trip home.
I'm so incredibly blessed, to be going to college in Massachusetts and to belong in two places now. I can't wait to see my family and friends and crazy monster puppy again. I'll be home for Christmas; you can count on me!