April 6, 2017
It’s a Wednesday night. Scratch that. It’s actually Thursday morning at 12:21 AM. I should be sleeping but I was just in the process of racking my brain–looking back at how far I’ve come.
I can’t believe that it’s the end of the semester–year 1 of my Masters of Social Work Degree. My degree, is supposed to be 1 year, so technically I’m supposed to be graduating now, but I had a relapse of sorts in 1st semester. Despite that however, God’s grace has kept me.
I’m just taking it all in. I never thought, in the midst of my relapse in December of 2016 that I would make it this far. I had thought I would have to move back to Ontario (where I’m from, as I live in Calgary, Alberta atm for my education) and call it quits.
But God’s grace? Yeah.
It’s pretty frickin’ awesome.
I’m sitting here, in the midst of procrastination, creeping people on FB, and listening to worship music and thinking about how I’m here–here now in this moment, getting ready to be done for school.
I’m amazed. And in honour of that, I thought it would be quite fitting to post something I wrote the week I arrived in Calgary, with all my fears, worries, and anxieties staring at me in the face and mocking my ability to be sitting here now.
So here it is. It’s called Before Opened Doors. And it’s in light of all the prayers I made before such a loving Father in regards to discerning His will for me to move more than half way across the country and start fresh. Mind you I was doing this 1 month after being discharged from an inpatient ED program, so you can understand why I am amazed that I am sitting here, with my eyelids fighting to stay open at this late hour, but still thinking of how I actually survived. I SURVIVED!!
So without any further ado, happy reading, as you get glance into the abyss of my mind that was that September I moved–moved to the place of mountains.
Before Opened Doors—there were Prayers Prayed
Moving. Moving. Yes “moving”. Moving in the sense of going to a different place. Not the “moving” of moving furniture, or moving over in those speed lanes in traffic. No, rather I mean “moving” (am I getting annoying yet? Confusing perhaps?)–moving to a new a place, a new location.
Yes that moving. It can be a word that evokes so much emotion…
Excitement, fear, hesitation, terror, worry. Just so much.
And so I’ve found myself doing just that—moving that is. Moving to a new city myself, has been ‘interesting’ to say the least. I’ve found myself trying to make this place my new home, my new residence, my new normal. The reality has hit me, that I have indeed moved to the ‘almost’ end of the other side of the country in the name of education (side note: I give ‘mad props’ to those who move to new countries; shout out to my parents/friends from university—y’all know who you are!); and I’ve found myself experiencing so many “ups and downs”—“highs and lows”. It’s been exhausting really, both emotionally and physically. I find that my mind has been racing at 100 miles a minute—constantly thinking of day-to-day technicalities like:
“Will I make friends?”
“What are people’s first impressions of me? Am I talking too much?”
“Will I do well in school? Get good grades?”
“How am I going to get through all of my assignments?”
“Will I graduate in June or October?”
“Should I drop a course? Does that mean I’m lazy?”
“Will I make it financially? Will I have enough?”
“Will I find a church home?”
Then of course there are the more nagging, worry-inducing, thought-provoking, deeper questions that keep me up at night such as:
“What if people find out about my struggles? What will they think?”
“Will I be able to continue with my mental health?”
“What if I get sick again?”
“What if I fail?”
“When will I break free?”
“Why do I feel so ‘black’, yet I’m in a ‘diverse’ city?”
“Will I continue feeling lonely? Will I feel connected?”
“Is this my new home? Will I settle here? Get married here?”
These, amongst so many other questions, but for the sake of not writing a novel (or blabbing as I’m usually prone to), I’ll leave the others out as you get the point.
These questions often become so overwhelming—so consuming, that too many times in the past 2 and a half weeks I’ve found myself saying, “I can’t”. I’ve found myself bursting into tears as soon as my key opens the door to my apartment. I’ve found myself sitting on my living room couch and crying about all the mountains I feel that I’m climbing—funny enough in the city of mountains. I’ve felt as if I were going to explode; and mind you the urge to pack up and go home has at times overwhelmed me—engulfed me.
But then I stop. I stop and hear a small whisper, a still small voice. And it prompts me to cry out all that is within me—that is on my heart. It prompts me to cry out to him—let it all out and then some.
To rant, to scream.
To yell. To weep.
And so I do.
Well soon I find myself transitioning…
Transitioning into a prayer of desperation…
But it’s in my tears that God reminds me…
He reminds me that it is He that brought me here. He reminds me that it is He who heard my prayers many months and years prior to opening the doors to this city. It is He who cleared this path for me and will continue to do so. He reminds me that it is He who will now sustain me, comfort me, and become my best friend. He reminds me that it is He who will show me, lead my every step and direct me through my daily plans. He reminds me of John 14: 1-4, and as I read it, my heart quivers and shakes with so much emotion—yet so much peace—a dichotomy really.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am”
~John 14: 1-4~
And as my heart is shaking, and my lips are quivering, and my mind racing, He reminds me—whispers to me:
“I never said there wouldn’t be any fears, my dear daughter. I never said it would be perfect; and I never said you wouldn’t question your being here. No my daughter, my sweet child. What I did say is that I WOULD and WILL sustain you. I will bring you peace. I will bring you purpose. I will bring you direction. I will give you hope and give you courage. I will wipe your tears and catch you before you fall. Remember our times together—the prayers you shared with me before I led you here. The hopes and dreams you whispered to Me. I did not bring you here to fail, nor to fall. But rather I brought you here to mold you—shape you, and show you My GLORY. To show you My STRENGTH. To show you My POWER. It is I who brought you here, and it is I who will take you through”.
Such beautiful words—such peaceful whisperings He showers on me. He’s spoken this to me today, and He’s speaking such beautiful words to you as well. Whether you’ve moved (there’s that word again), or not. Whether you’re planning to, or not. Whether you’re starting a new job, moving out, starting first year, or finishing your last year…
Whatever the circumstance, it doesn’t matter. What I want you to take away for tonight is this:
If God BROUGHT you to a place, then He’s GOING to TAKE you, and CARRY you through it. It may be bumpy, prickly, uncomfortable—heck some tears may even be shed; but He’s GOT YOU. He’s going to sustain you and give you STRENGTH that you never knew you had.
Sometimes God takes us OUT of our comfort zones to SHOW us His power, His strength; and to grow us in our RELATIONSHIP with Him.
Let Him, LEAD you.
Let Him GUIDE you.
And along the way, don’t be afraid to cry out to Him—to ask Him for help.
Don’t be afraid to tell Him your fears, worries, and struggles. He wants to hear it. He wants it all, and then some.
Because in the END, He wants to show us how it ALL came TOGETHER.
Mind you, it won’t all be rough. There will be good times. There will be fun times. And I encourage you, don’t be afraid to enjoy these times. Thank Him for the good times. Bless Him for the rough times, for it will all come together.
He knows what He’s doing. Trust Him.
Because if He brought you HERE…
He will take you to the end.
He’ll COMPLETE His work because…
Because He’s not a god of incompletion.
Though I myself have just started this journey, I remember all the prayers that were prayed for this opportunity; and I’m reminded and humbled that indeed I am not only WHERE I’m SUPPOSED to be, but that I’m in His will. I want to encourage the same for you, whomever you may be…
Whatever the circumstance.
Don’t forget the prayers that you prayed, the tears that you shed…
For they all brought you to the path that you’re on now.
I leave you with this my dear friends and hope that you remain encouraged:
“The WILL of God will never take you to where the GRACE of God will not protect you”.
Wangui M (September 18, 2016)