Written by Abi Humber Tuesday, 10 August 2010 15:41
You know those crazies who run their mouths about there being “a reason for everything”? Well, I hope you don’t think they’re too insane, because I’m one of them.
After a summer full of tons of laughs, lots of TV, one very gimpy knee, and some lessons that have been hard to swallow, I can see exactly why I was sent back to Hillsboro for a few months.
For those of you who don’t know, I had planned to stay in Chicago for the summer—taking summer classes, working at my awesome job, living in an apartment with two of my friends, going to the beach every day…. Basically, having fun doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Instead, I blew out my knee right before finals (surgery No. 3) and had to come back to my parents’ house for the summer to recover, where I didn’t have a job and didn’t want to be.
A summer of unlimited fun and sun turned into a summer of unlimited television watching and bed rest. While I’m happy to have watched the entire “Lost” series, five seasons of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” two seasons of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and two seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” in three months, I’d rather have been out and running around.
But back to the beginning. If I’m going to be really specific and honest, I’d tell you that my spiritual life was a mess at the beginning of the summer. I knew what I wanted my relationship with the Lord to be like, but I just felt so stuck. In May, I was frustrated. I felt zero motivation to sift through my garbage—there was so much of it! I’d start to think of things that were keeping me from God, and it kept piling up.
I knew how much work it was going to be to get to the bottom of it all, and it was too much for me. So instead, I began to push it out of my mind and pretend it didn’t exist, filling that empty space with things that were a lot of fun, but ultimately meaningless. Until God stopped me in my tracks, this is what my entire summer in Chicago would have been like.
We’re always learning, growing and shedding our old skin. Usually, though, we undergo that painful process in the midst of our homework, classes, family and friend issues, and work. We don’t get to pause our lives to deal with those ever-present, overwhelming issues.
This is where I see the point of my summer at home: I got to do just that. I got to pause. Hillsboro gave me a safe, calm place to rest, and my injury gave me an excuse to take it easy and stop trying to do so much. Time I typically would have filled with work and hanging out was overtaken by sleeping, amazing conversations with incredible people, and counseling with Steve N.
I was given three months to sort through my enormous waste pile of spiritual issues with very few distractions.
Not only am I back on my feet spiritually, but I know that the new “tools” I have in my “toolbox” are practical and necessary for my time at North Park. I couldn’t have made this much progress if I had stayed in Chicago this summer. There was too much to do, too much fun to be had.
I couldn’t see this when I left, but I see it now—my insanely busy schedule was how I lied to myself. If I was too busy to stop and see the gaping holes in my life, then they weren’t there and I was fine.
The hard part for right now, though, is that I feel like I’ve done about all the growing I can in this setting. The next step for me is to be back at school where I can put my new knowledge into practice.
Hillsboro is my home and a place where I have learned so much, but it is hard for me to continually grow and be stretched here. It’s too safe, too secure, too easy. Maybe that doesn’t make sense, but I need to be challenged physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I am unbelievably thankful for my time here and for all of the people who have gone out of their way to pour into my life and encourage me (and even employ me!), but it’s time for me to go back again. Besides, I’m sure you all are super excited to see which new piercing I come back with.