This is my favorite thinking place. It's a little ledge by the stairs where I have come many times in the past 8 months to vent my frustrations to my parents on the phone, to ponder, pray, cry, or just watch at the world passing by and figure out my small place in it. Today I was doing the latter.
I am amazed at the incredible growth I have experienced these past two semesters. I have gone though disappointment, stress, pain, confusion, frustration, loneliness, and despair. There have been times when I felt completely empty and I wanted to run home to my mother's embrace and the assurance that everything would be all right.
But with the Lord's help, I was able to endure. He helped me through every painful moment and taught me that trials are the means by which He softens us, refines us, and brings us closer to Him. Trials are exquisitely difficult, but they are the only way we can experience the fullness of God's exquisite joy.
And that's another thing I have experienced in the last 8 months - exquisite joy. Not just fun times or temporal success, but pure, eternal, everlasting joy. I have formed friendships that will last forever and have learned so much from those friends of mine. They are truly heroes whose examples I look up to. And I have grown closer to my family too, mending some old hurts that have been ignored far too long. I can now testify that charity and keeping our covenants is the source of true, lasting, Godly joy.
I have been feeling sad about leaving BYU for the summer, but reflecting on all of these things made me realize that it is time for me to move on.
I know that I was meant to be here for this school year with this specific ward and apartment complex, these roommates and this circle of friends. God placed me in situations where I have been able to grow and progress.
But now I have grown, and it is time for me to do new things.
There is so much work to be done at home. I need to spend time with my family and improve my relationship with my little sister. I need to encourage and uplift my friends back there. I need to go to my brother's school play and my sister's high school graduation. I need to work at the fair and return to the Singles Ward. I need to serve the youth at Girls' Camp and hopefully as an EFY counselor (I'm still waiting to hear back). I need to sing in ward choir. I need to put my brother to bed and drive my sister to seminary. I need to sleep in late and scrapbook and go swimming in the ocean. I need to sit under a shady tree with a popsicle and a pile of good books. I need to enjoy my time with older people and young children, savoring the experiences before another long drought from August to next April.
I need to grow in new ways.
And so, with a heart full of gratitude and peace, I bid farewell to Provo and especially my little thinking spot.
Thank you for bearing with me through joy and pain, snow and sunshine, happiness and heartbreak. I have learned a lot while leaning against your wall and battling the natural woman inside me, knowing all the while that just as the cars on the street before us, those struggles, too, would pass.
Now they have. And it's time for me to move forward in this grand adventure called life.
The tide turning endlessly,
The way it takes hold of me
No matter what I do.
Some things will never die -
The promise of who you are
The memories when I am far
All my life, I've lived for loving you.
Let me go now.