Why is it that time just manages to disappear in a blink of an eye?
Sometimes, I seriously feel as if you can snap your fingers, and you time travel. Now, I know that’s not really possible (as much as sometimes we’d like it to be), but time has flown this year.
I can’t quite believe that my internship is over. That I’ve practically finished my gap year, and before I know it, the next chapter will well and truly be upon me. In one way, it feels like only last week that I was starting; not only the internship, but my blog, and just getting myself used to the new rhythm. But at the same time, there have been parts of it that have been a challenge – and when in those moments, weeks can definitely feel like they’re dragging!
A few weeks ago, I was taking a moment out, and just started thinking about everything I’ve been involved in over the last 10 months. And I have to admit, the length of the list really surprised me. While I may not have been off at uni, completing the first year of a degree (which was something that really concerned me at the beginning of the year), I’ve learnt a great deal myself – in ways other than being in a classroom.
From teaching (yes, I actually planned and taught lessons), children from age 5 to age 15, and even teaching abroad when in Israel, to joining the Worship team and finding new confidence in singing in front of people…something I hadn’t done ever (apart from in a choir) until December, from coping with 80+ small toddlers every week and not running away and hiding; to being part of an office team, and mucking along with office life in any shape and form – my year has been full of so many different things.
Even when I haven’t been physically ‘doing’ things, I’ve been learning. Not only has it been a challenge to persevere through some things (and I’ll tell you now, I’ve definitely learnt where my strengths are, and where they most certainly aren’t!) – but throughout the year I’ve been challenged spiritually, mentally and emotionally, through the books I’ve been reading. Together with my mentor, who’s been a special friend and real help throughout the year – we’ve cried, laughed and prayed through a multitude of different topics – that have, for the most part, gone straight to the core!
If I could only take one thing away from this year, I think it would have to be my growth in confidence. I know I’m probably not the best person to say this, but I’ve changed a lot this year. And in some ways, it’s not all that obvious to me at times. But enough people have said it: I’ve learnt a lot, about myself, about life, and ultimately, about who I am in God – and if anything, that gives me the confidence to stand tall.
In actual fact, a number of people commented last week asking “Have you grown?”… and I think the honest answer is ‘No’, but instead, I’m just standing up straight. I can hold my head high and be proud of where I’ve gone this year.
I guess what this goes to show, is that we’ll never know what God has in store for us – and life can turn us upside down, but it all works out in the end. Back in September, when things felt as if they’d gone pear-shaped, it would have been easy just to give up, and hide for the year. Instead, I trusted, stepped out, and have been blessed and challenged in ways that I’m really thankful for. Yes, I’m even thankful for the times I’ve been covered in glitter and hoovering up rice (perseverance and patience are important skills to learn!).
I’ve learnt to trust more than ever – and I always said I’d give a year to God. I’ve done that, in a different way than I expected. But I’m actually glad this is what happened – it’s what was right.
“I trusted, stepped out and have been blessed and challenged in ways I’m really thankful for.”
So the next time things seem to be going wrong…I’m going to remember this.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I may have left Church today as an intern – but I’m not really leaving.
I may be moving to university in September, but my home Church will remain as exactly that – home.
It may be time for a new chapter – but I’m going to take the time to reflect and be thankful for what the previous chapter has meant.
But for now, over and out.