It's getting colder, abruptly. This is my second autumn in Seattle. The seasons here don't change quietly. One moment you're with friends enjoying a beer at Golden Gardens watching the sun set; the next you're glued to the couch, fighting off a cold with nothing but Downton Abbey and October's golden mist outside for company.
My heart has grown this summer, more rapidly and palatably than ever before.
With the unapologetic temperature drops has arrived an entirely new version of myself, a woman I'm still getting to know. I'm in the final act of one huge identity crisis: a battle between my flesh and my spirit, my will and my mind. I am convinced I'm not alone, that there's something in the heart of every person in their mid-twenties that is entirely different from their early or late-twenties. Simply put, you become an adult, and it's nothing like you thought it would be. Your goals (still) aren't accomplished; in fact, they're changing completely. You stop wanting to go out on the weekends and wonder if you're turning into an introvert; reading introvert articles on the Internet makes you further convinced. You haven't raised a family, and yet you begin to parent your parents. You're working harder than you ever have with little to show for it. You don't care about being cool anymore; you realize you're a human being, not a fad.
Transition has become more comfortable than stability. It's all I know.
I'm 26, newly married, in the middle of a career change when I never really had a terribly thriving career to begin with. Ironically, my identity is less cemented in myself and my accomplishments than ever before; simultaneously, I'm more comfortable in my own skin. The other morning I found myself hurrying to the grocery store for eggs or something, workout clothes still on, no makeup, hair a mess, and I laughed to myself... I am certainly not trying to impress anyone anymore. Thank goodness.
My faith has been stretched and tested beyond recognition. In many ways, life is just beginning. Marriage has been quite the catalyst for this. Not because Nick completes me and my life is all of a sudden perfect -- but because the disappointment of my marriage not depositing shiny perfection down from heaven was so incredibly real, so undeniable, that I was catapulted into a weird depressing post-nuptial funk that has meant redefining everything. Namely, what I thought love was. Lots of accompanying sermons, lots of time with the Lord, lots of arguing with myself, lots of journaling, lots of tears. One moment running with the freedom of the Spirit, the next choosing myself. An excruciating tug-of-war dipping my soul in hell over and over. I guess I had to go through all of that to arrive where I am today, 'the process' or whatever, but truly, it really is so easy.
I will only live an amazing story when it's not about myself.
This is truth: Jesus paid it all. Everything was already nailed with Him to the cross. My sin, my guilt, my shame, my eternal punishment. He who lived a perfect life.
What kind of love is this? What is grace? I still do not understand.
I know now, beyond any shadow of a doubt, my life is for Him. I owe Him everything.