Friday, March 02, 2007
A Wednesday Evening
There are moments in my life, and I’m sure you’ve experienced the same, when I step out in to the open air, breathe deeply and suddenly remember. I remember a feeling, a glimpse in time, a conversation, or perhaps a walk. This is what that feels like. Something in the air, the way the breeze smells reminds me of ...well, I just have been here before. The girl in me wants to spin around, arms outstretched, head lifted toward the cloud-speckled sky. But I don’t tonight. No, rather, I just look down with a smile, hands stuffed in my coat pockets and reminiscently think, “I was here before.”
Here I am, just as I was, a college student, walking home from class. But the walk is shorter tonight and its been three years. I’m no longer 18 but 21. Instead of walking home to my dorm room, there’s a car now. And I’m driving to an apartment where I’ll actually cook dinner. Earlier I battled with whether or not to go and grab a burrito at a local place, but common sense prevailed. There’s a credit card bill to be paid…no sense in adding 6.94 to the total. My how things have changed.
That corner was where he grabbed my hand after a long summer away from each other. I was nineteen then. And that of course takes me back to that infamous walk by the fountain. I knew he wanted to kiss me, but I was nervous and unsure…just as I had been almost four years before with my first boyfriend. I chuckle as I wind my way through campus. Do you see that lilac bush? Right there to my left-I never walk by there anymore, but I used to find comfort in that plant. Silly, I know. I breathe a sigh of memory-this has been my life and it is drastically different from the moment I first stepped foot in this town. Oh, that building…I spent hours in there, writing songs, wishing for a romance, praying in pain that God would heal my heart. I swerve around to a stop sign, but not before I remember that one night I saw him on his bike. He was wearing glasses-I always love it when he does. I smile to think how much I thought of him…blinded by intrigue.
I take a right on to Jordan and keep talking, wishing I had a notebook or computer to capture this feeling. I look to my right--there’s the building again and Ford Hall is hosting a recital tonight. I remember the thrill of an empty concert hall-the excitement would well up inside as if the Steinway was my romance…the kind that gives bear hugs after a long days. The stoplight is fuel for more melancholy delights as is the next, but I turn left on to Atwater and a new train of thought whistles through.
When I first came to Bloomington, I honestly believed I knew everything there was to know about me. I was going to be the one girl that really didn’t change in college. I was mature, cavalier…and I fell. I learned how much I didn’t grasp or understand. I’ve learned this town, I know the streets, the quiet getaways, but I’m still learning. And a couple years from now, there’ll perhaps be another town, other intersections and corners and lilac bushes, but I’ll still be learning.
I drive by the church as I take a right on to Hillside. My faith…my relationship with Jesus…now that is something that has ignited. I’m absolutely in love with the Lord. I remember thinking I knew what being in Christ meant…but I had barely an iota of hold on the concept. I would sing words of worship thinking all was well. But now…those words…are my life. Really. You see, I’ve written the melancholy before. I’ve pretended to explain my life away by wistful descriptions, but its different tonight.
I pull into my parking spot. The chain linked fence…oh yes…I remember well. Almost a year ago to the day I sat in this very spot on the phone with my dad weeping, trying to understand why he didn’t call me that night. Why couldn’t the boy receive my dependency? I tried to better the situation with a comical movie, but that stung my memory deeper. I remember the rejection of a lonely hand. Not just rejected, but ignored. The fence. But here I am. 21, single and completely devoted to this Man, Jesus Christ. There’s no intrigue or dependency here. And for the first time, in the midst of all the learning and growing, I am happy and grateful to be the woman He’s made.
A year from now, I’ll be in a different parking spot; perhaps by then a different car. I’ll be 22-that seems so old. I smile a bit-maybe then he’ll know. But even if he doesn’t, even if I’m still here holding to this promise I presume to be God-sent, unlike last year, I know for sure that He will still call me His.
I turn off Sebastian-the clever name for my car. Unbuckle the safety and open the door. I hope for the memory again, but the air smells different here. I reach for the back door and smile. I love the way my hair falls to the side whenever I open the back door. I feel lovely in that moment sometimes...delighted in, if you will. I grab my bag, sling it over my shoulder, slam the door. The car beeps when I lock it...its almost cute. I look up...some stars...I can almost hear one friend's voice saying, "Look up, Amy...look at the stars tonight." I walk in the glass doors, greeted by the neighbor’s dog. “Meat, hush!” I turn the key in the lock…I'm no longer a child, but a woman. The inner monologue no longer present. For now, I’m home. And I finally...after three years...recognize whose I am...the one thing that will never change...I am a Daughter of the Living God, redeemed by Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit...and in that I find rest.
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