I'm starting my first conducting class, my first time living in an apartment (even though it's on campus), first time living without a meal plan, and my first time in Chorale. I'm so ready and excited!
Today I went to the barn and I was walking a horse around the ring when I realized with a sudden pang to my heart how quiet the farm was. This past year, a lot of things happened at the barn that I grew up riding at, and it ended up with my riding instructor, a woman I had always looked up to and thought I knew leaving and taking with her some of our boarders, and my closest riding friend Emily. There were originally five of us girls. Ashley is the only one still at the barn although she's about to graduate college. The rest of us have either left or moved on in life, some of us don't ride anymore. It just hit me while I was walking a couple years ago I would have heard lively chatter and laughter, we would have been having sleepovers in the pony barn and playing man hunt around the countryside. Now all I hear is deafening silence and crickets. Lots of crickets.
It's an ending I never saw coming and one that is still not fully healed. I miss riding every day, I miss competing, I miss it all. I was an Equestrian long before I was Musician and at this point in my life, I can't really be both.
This is probably my last summer here in Pennsylvania for several reasons. Next summer I will be at Lee taking summer classes, a trip to Europe, and working, but even if that was not the case I'm not sure I would have a home to come home to next summer. My Dad has been offered a job that would double what he's getting paid now. We really need the money for my college and it's a higher position and something he would enjoy doing. The company is stationed in Virginia, St. Louis, and Denver. If he takes it, my parents would most likely move to Virginia. I love Virginia and at least I wouldn't be super far from PA and they would be a little closer to me at school.
I have to admit my heart would crack a little more if that happened though. I've already moved six times in my life, and this has been my home the longest and where I grew up..I love Bucks County and I love love love my house. And the horses at Fire Creek...it would break my heart not to come home to Toby the pony I grew up riding on. I am terrified of change. I hate it. I only ever see the negative side of it, and there have been many negative changes the past few years.
I don't know if this will come to pass, but I feel in my bones that God is going to be doing some changes in my family and location. I know at this point in my life, I don't really live with my parents anymore, but their decisions still affect me.
I have been slowly realizing though that change can be good. When my friend group here basically died in high school and I felt my life had no purpose, I graduated and went to Lee terrified out of my mind, and there I have found the closest, best friends I ever had. If I hadn't chosen to embrace the change God wanted me to I would have never met Deon, never had so many amazing experiences and fallen in love with Tennessee, I would never have expanded my vocal ability. I would have never taken risks, put myself out there, and known what it was like to be truly happy.
I am a worrier and over analyzer. I always have been, and it exhausts me honestly. It's become worse since I started college and turned 20 and realized that no matter how much I dug my heels in and tried to run the other way, I am an ADULT and I will soon be completely on my own. It terrifies me. I am afraid I will never get a real job, or I will and won't be prepared and will bungle it. I am afraid of getting married too soon, married too late, will always be financially unstable, the list goes on and on and on and on. Deon isn't a worrier. He may be a perfectionist, but he doesn't worry about the future like I do which I really admire. He always tells me how useless it is and this summer God has been whispering to me: "My Child, have faith in me, put yourself in my hands, I am your past, present and future. I will not let you fall." Psalm 46:5 says "God is within her, she will not fall, God will help her at the break of day."
This is something I've been having to slowly learn how to rely on and I feel I am nowhere close to achieving. I'm not going to lie and say it's been a good year. Academically it was the worst I've ever done, emotionally one of the most draining, I had health scares with my Grandmother, my health wasn't the best, and I was in two car accidents the second which only happened yesterday (in a parking lot thank God and my truck is fine, but their car isn't), not to mention a whole lot of other things. Vocally I did great this year, and I have great friends who have surrounded me with love and joy which is honestly what kept me going....but I won't be sorry to see 2013 be over.
This summer after being able to get away from school and settle down and have a moment to breathe I started to see God's hand in the little things, like this summer, finding me a job at the barn that I genuinely enjoy and get paid more than minimum wage, a car from my employers to use throughout the summer. Sure the AC doesn't work, its ancient, and a gas guzzler; but it's safe, fun to drive, and this means I don't have to share a car with my mom and not be able to go anywhere besides work. He's provided enough side jobs at the barn and babysitting wise to enable me to pay for just about any of my needs so my parents don't have to until I go back to school, and even provided a free tv and bookcase for my apartment. Every time I've panicked or had a meltdown He has come alongside of me to say "I'm here, I have it all under control, surrender it to Me and you will be fine."
Sometimes I do and I am given a peace, and sometimes I don't. I'm distrustful, impatient, perfectionist, and an OCD control freak, but I'm slowly learning little by little to cast all my cares on Jesus instead of just flipping out. I think it's a lesson I'll have to learn my whole life honestly, but at least I'm starting now!
I encourage you whenever you're in a stressful situation to stop whatever you're doing and just say a quick prayer. Ask God to help you, give you peace and wisdom, and then keep on trying your best, You'd be amazed how much that helps! I don't know why, but I felt led to write this post out. Changes are in the air, but that doesn't mean they have to be bad, God is in control of all of our lives and if we let Him, He can do things with us and our lives that we never dreamed were possible!
And praise Him that He doesn't allow us to do it all alone!
And after the storm I run and run as the rains come and I look up,
and I look up on my knees and out of luck
I look up
Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart
I won't rot
And I took you by the hand
and we stood tall
and remembered our own land
what we lived for
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears
and love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see what you find there
with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair
And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more
That's why I hold with all I have
That's why I hold
And I won't die alone and be left there
Well I guess I'll just go home
Oh God knows where
Because death is just so full
and man so small
Well I'm scared of what's behind
and what's before
- After the Storm by Mumford and Sons