My heart for this blog is that it be a place of Sobremesa, a place where we can share the joyful, the real, and the hard. This story is one of the hard ones (and like most hard stories, it is ultimately a story of hope). Thanks for joining me at the table.
My years in college were life-changing. I met women whose friendships taught me how to be loved and to love the sisters in my life, and whose daily encouragement got me through the many ups and downs of those years. I led Young Life for four years, and pursuing high school students wrecked me in the best of ways. At any given moment I felt like I could point to three or four things I felt like God was teaching me in that season. I cried more, laughed more, and grew more in my four years of college than any other season I can remember. It was incredibly hard, but incredibly good, and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.
After a whirlwind summer living in Panama post-graduation, I moved to Kansas City and jumped right into my new “grownup” life there. I started working at a middle school during the day, taking grad classes several nights a week, and spending any free time learning to live in the same city as my formerly long-distance boyfriend. But even in the newness and excitement of a job, getting married, and settling into a life with my new husband, I longed for more. Where college had been a series of ups and downs, my new grownup life just felt…routine. I started to feel a growing indifference to spending time with God, and that indifference gradually became a bitterness and resentment that He had walked away from me, that he had stopped pursuing me the way He did in college.
I longed for more, for intimacy and fullness and joy, but my life felt routine and God seemed a million miles away. I longed to feel like I was making a difference, that who I was mattered in some bigger story. The intimacy I had experienced with God during college dwindled, and a growing bitterness and disappointment in Him took its place. I found myself crying in my car as I drove to work, unable to shake the heavy feelings of longing and emptiness. My mind would spin and spin until I had convinced myself that I would never experience fullness or freedom from shame, that my life and my story would never be what I longed for them to be. I kept teaching, kept going to church, and kept spending time with the people I love, but a current of sadness ran underneath it all.