I’m sitting here at the Saturn dealership in Little Rock having my car checked out, listening to my man Dave Barnes (see I was movin’ forward, I thought I was fine), thinking about the events that have conspired to bring me to Arkansas on a rainy Tuesday morning.
In many ways, it feels like I’m picking up where I left off four and a half years ago. I left Searcy in December of 2003 with no clear idea of where I was headed or what I was doing. If you’d asked me whether I expected to spend 4 years in Pensacola, I’d have laughed. If you’d asked me whether I planned to return to Searcy, I might have laughed harder (He’s gonna meet me where the mountain beats me, and carry me through.)
In others, though, it feels like I’m starting a brand new chapter–despite the familiar scenery. When I left, I was still dating the girl I thought I would marry. Now I’m decidedly single. Four years ago my brother wasn’t married, and now I’m about to be an uncle! (I always thought that love was frightening, I always thought it’d be so rough.) Before, I had never worked at a “real job,” I certainly had never been responsible for the work of other people, and I had no clue about the world of finance. Now I have been a fence builder, a substitute teacher, and a supervisor at a bank call center. For all the failures, disappointments, and surprises the this time has offered, I feel more like a man and less like a boy than I did when I left. I have learned how to keep a more realistic perspective on my emotions, and how to do fulfilling things even when I’m in a holding pattern. I’ve also learned a lot about how not to do things. I’ve learned that I love my parents as individuals and not just as caretakers, and I learned that maybe I’m not as smart as I think.
I don’t know how long I’ll remain in Searcy this time around. I’d wager it won’t be much longer than it takes me to finish this program, but I’ve been wrong before. What I do know is that I’m thankful to the God who has brought me this far and who loves me despite my ignorance and my flaws. (I need you now and forever, just stay right here with me; don’t ever leave.) He is truly the great redeemer, physician, and teacher. Praise Him for all this and more!
In the meantime, looks like this repair is going to cost me (this is the sound that’s made when a heart breaks.) It’s still raining, and I’m still smiling. : )