The Days Between Emptiness and Hope

Sometimes change is like being notified that your favorite parts of life are being discontinued. Change has brought me the best of things via the hardest roads and every time it’s a challenge to believe that what lies on the other side of the loss and discomfort is goodness.Read More »

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Julian

Early Friday mornings and it smells of rain—a delight in a week of 100 degree weather and strict water rations. I’m up early for emergency coffee runs to WinCo with the windows down and the rain splashing in on my leg, because the roommates got home last night and that means together and I’ve lived enough of this rhythm-seeking, mid-twenties life to know that together isn’t permanent or guaranteed.   Read More »

As Life Changes

I like plans. I think a successful life is in no small part due to an ability to plan it well. However, a good deal of painful experience has also led me to be convinced that life’s happiness is equally dependent upon how we respond when our plans get changed. I am hopelessly idealistic and once a picture is in my head, it’s hard to let it be painted differently. But such idealism has made me no stranger to disappointment.   Read More »

I Don’t Want To Go

I am struggling and failing to comprehend the extent of change that is about to take place in my life. 1810 days ago I moved to Redding, California as a just-turned-21-year-old. Here I built life and spent five years being shaped by it. In fourteen days, this normal will completely unravel in exchange for the new. Five years will come to completion as I get inside my little VW Beetle and drive clear across the country to new adventures awaiting in North Carolina.   Read More »

My New Old Story

“We stand in life at midnight, we are always on the threshold of a new dawn”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

We embrace New Years as a state of mind in which we attempt to fold up the past and define a new future. I like that idea. I like the idealistic notion of a well closed ending, a giant count-down and a ceremonious beginning after which everything is a new story.   Read More »

Change of Plans

I turned 25 yesterday and for the first time I feel that I am getting old. I had a scary moment when I thought, “oh no! I can’t start this now! Am I going to feel like this for the rest of my life!” Somehow at 25, every decision feels more risky as if it’s toying with uncertain time and resources. I want my decisions to feel more guaranteed in their outcome, but my life is still young and I am figuring out where to walk, and how best to get there.

Plans are changing. Big plans. Plans that for the past two years have played a role in where I have pointed my life and what side of the world I have lived on. Have you ever had a vision that pulled you forward, and gave you your sense of where you were going, suddenly end a few feet in front of you? Sometimes these visions change because we have grown to see differently. Sometimes they are changed by things outside of ourselves. But when change means that plans end, so much that is big and meaningful is unfulfilled.

For some time now, I have been chasing a train track until it has run out of rails and steel and I have become disillusioned to find it doesn’t go anywhere. The plan no longer continues, and so it seems that it was never valid. How does one not become stunned and disappointed? I look forward and I ask, “what was the purpose?” But then I look at where I am today, and I see that these plans, these rails that have ends, have brought me here. So much of what my life has come to look like, where I am and what I have to build from, would not exist if I hadn’t chased that dream. It gave me the security and the vision I needed. We need these–these evolving plans–to keep us moving into our future. We move forward through vision, and the visions I have had have helped me to carve out this world. God knows this. He knew I needed those big plans and all their meaning to bring me here and give me the security to make the decisions I have made. What if this track I have been walking on was to serve that end, to bring me forwards? Here I can see new plans and form new visions that perhaps I would not have embraced further back on the road.

On day two of being 25, I am scared of changing plans. I am scared of train tracks that end, and casting vision without guarantees. I want to make plans promise me that if I chase them, they’ll work out. But what if it’s not supposed to look like that? These unfilled plans of mine dare me to consider that perhaps they have met their purpose. Even as plans morph, change, or dead end, they fulfill a place of meaning in that they bring me forward.