It's been a really quiet day. Since moving back to Connecticut, I've been slowly remembering the tales of winter growing up. We'd get so excited for snow days - a chance to sleep in, stay in our pajamas and spend the entire day watching movies. Thanks to my dear and timid friend Juno (aka the "worst" storm in history...that never was), we have one of those today. I've spent the first half of the day trying desperately to wrap up my seven season splurge of Gilmore Girls. And as much as I love the quick and clean banter of Lorelei and Rory, I wanted to spend a few minutes with this lovely blog of mine. This year - 2015 - has a lot to it, you see. And I don't really fancy missing it.
My birthday this year (just a few days ago) was a real blessing. I sat around a table of close friends and we laughed and celebrated all that God has done. And as I was looking around, I realized just how much lies ahead for this little blonde chic from Connecticut. This year, I'm jumping into a serious commitment that will undoubtedly change the rest of my life.
If you met me 7 years ago, I was just getting ready to graduate college. I had a few ideas of what was next - seminary, work, grad school - but I wasn't actually sure. One thing was for certain, though. I really wanted to get married. I think if you did an analysis of my time over the past 7 years, you'd find a large percentage of that time spent thinking about the relationship part of my life. Something in me tries to chastise myself for it - I mean how much time can you ACTUALLY spend rehearsing the moment in your mind when you'd meet "the one". But the truth of the matter is - that's what 22 year olds do. Heck, that's what nearly 30 year olds do. But something has changed over the years. I became increasingly aware of how important it was for me to NOT be married over these years. God's needed my attention. And I tell you what, He's really had to fight for it. Sometimes He still does. But it's been for a specific purpose - a joy-filled amazing purpose that I just have to tell you about.
I'm looking ahead to opening a really incredible leadership program in this small village that has captured my heart. Chiquilá, for some, may not be beautiful. It might be hot and filled with mosquitos. But for me, the laughter of the little ones as they run down the street, the quiet grace of the elderly women, and the smiling eyes of the men...even the passive glances of the scheming teens. There's something about this place that just makes sense. I'm not a mother, obviously, but I imagine that the love I feel for the kids I've known for nearly half my life is similar to that of what a mom would feel. Deep commitment. Willing to give any and everything. And it's not something I try for. It just is. Their faces, their laughter, their stories. They speak to this area of my heart that God seemed to have crafted. And this year, I have the chance to be a part of their stories in a really different, more intentional way. (If you're interested, check this out. )
How do the two connect? Well. It looks different for everyone, I guess. But for me, the story here is that God gave this vision to me over a decade ago. He planted it deep in my heart. And He had some cultivating to do. It's something that happened between Him and me - so it makes sense that it starts with Him and me. Just us. I need Him to speak to me about His heart for this town. I need a clear mind to focus on the strategy of building this thing well for these kids. I need the time and flexibility to actually DO this work. It's been important for it to be just us.
I feel like I've had to assert myself a lot recently with good-hearted folks who worry about my non-married state. But much like I've been reading all around the internet, I have to encourage you (if you are one of these said people), that even in the midst of lonely days, His timing is really really good.
This year, 2015, is about Chiquilá. If the Lord has a dude in the tapestry during that time, then He'll come along and it'll be beautiful. But I'm putting the book on the shelf, so to speak, trusting that the one who shaped the entire universe holds the crevices of my heart in the days when being a single, almost 30-year-old just doesn't seem awesome. Those days will come, of course. But more are the days when I am filled with joy knowing that just around the corner are hundreds of hugs and squeals of "Amita!!".
So, if we run into each other over the next months, ask me about Chiquilá. Ask me about the program, the kids involved, the island of Holbox, the vision for the future of the program. Ask me about how God is loving my heart in these times. I'll tell you all about it! Friends, walk with me in the joy of this season, will you? It's the most important thing I've had the chance to be a part of to date.
And maybe next year, 2016, you can ask me if I'm seeing any one. :)