The things we know before we know them

Before I left for Chile in late February of last year, I wrote a handwritten letter to read to myself on the day that I came back. I packed my backpack and left for study abroad, but five months later, staring at my own handwriting that implored a future me to follow her heart and embrace Jesus, it was a little disorienting.

Here I was in February, freshly acclimating to Chile, and I thought that faith was a novel thought. So many times this past week and since then, I have had flashbacks to points in my life of extreme clarity, and everything simply lines up the same. Teaching. Service. Giving back to those who cared for me. Christ. And always, striving to tell the truth.

I am going to China a week after finals, in May. You know, giving up on things that only really hurt you makes you strong. Physically strong. Mentally strong. Anymore, it just kind of runs together.

I am looking forward to living the rest of my life just as I am. I don’t believe in striving, you know? I’m looking forward to going to China because it will be an opportunity to enjoy another culture and not be ashamed of what may make me different. Trust has come like an avalanche, and I know that God made me how exactly he wanted. With so much having shifted since I left and returned from study abroad, I’m finally happy to own that.

It has been daunting to make so many changes, but refreshing. It’s nice to finally be so honest. After a long time of making changes, they begin to be smaller. Life seems to slow down. The earth has solidified. You can be proud of who you are.

It is more vain to remain ignorant and afraid than to admit that you might be wrong and even though you’re afraid to find out, you’re doing it. If this is what self-centeredness feels like, then it’s news to me, and I am already somewhat selfish as it stands, given human nature.

Having run in the exact opposite direction of where I was headed, the one lingering, humorless question is how long it will take for so many people who hated me for changing to realize they were wrong. This is not a question of spite, but I wonder because now, I know how ridiculous it is to wait to turn back when you know better. Worse than that, the moment you admit that you are utterly and completely wrong is like a bottle smashed on the sidewalk, if you do it right. You surrender everything. That way, if there is any remaining way to turn back, you can’t.

It’s going to be a bitter bitch for a lot of so many people to turn back in the coming years. Worse than ever though, it’s worse if you never have clarity. If you never accept the truth. If you never know grace. These aren’t cotton candy stakes. The consequences are entirely real.

We all crave closure over our existence, but existing into etern al understanding is an entirely different level. Peace. Compassion. Forgiveness that doesn’t leave. Those aren’t human things. You need a ton of grace spread out over a lifetime for so much of that.

I’m looking forward together finding God in the future because I know he’s already laid those paths, and he will meet us as we follow him. I’m looking forward to seeing what the perfect truth looks like. I’m looking forward to having a divinely perfect and redeemed family in the body of Christ. As of today, the rest seems slightly less important. I’m glad God is who he is, and I look forward to understanding him more fully.

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haleylol

I am a teacher-to-be who loves people. I am not afraid of many things. I like to explain my thoughts logically on a very birds-eye view level--I was born thinking that way. I follow Jesus Christ, and I accept only that label to describe my identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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