I have learned many lessons on this journey the past four and a half months but something that has stuck out the most is our human need for community. I have definitely taken community for granted my whole life and have had a problem with being content not having a "group" but instead having friends from all different "groups". I have truly been blessed with an amazing, diverse, strong group of friends and support and there is not a time in my life that I look back on and think, wow I could have made it through that trial without all those people. I always look back and see that God sent me a certain person/people perfect for each situation. Sometimes I get too caught up in thinking about how some friendships didn't last, or that some friends just naturally drift away. Or I kick myself for not being able to keep up with people that I have met and built relationships with. And then I realize (and am sometimes reminded by some people who love me) that the here and now is what's important. The fiends God surrounds us with are the friends we are meant to have at that time...no matter the age or differences that may seem important in the world's eyes.
Now don't get me wrong I still have some incredible friends that I have kept up with for years and that is so important but I have learned that sometimes you need to just let go because you end up spending more time worrying and stressing over making sure you contact every person you know and you miss out on the wonderful community in front of you.
I have also learned that I am a huge people person. I always think that I love alone time but then when I get that time....and a lot of it these days...I realize just how much I crave conversation and fellowship. My poor roommate understands my need for this because when she gets home at night my mouth doesn't stop going till I hit the pillow. And it is very obvious when we hit the weekend and every little activity we may do becomes a huge adventure and hilarious memory.
I have been so blessed here with some amazing families that have been my support, community and encouragement through this whole journey. I have been so incredibly busy just trying to survive and pay bills though that I feel I have missed out on getting involved and having friendships with people closer to my age and lifestyle "status".
I was so blessed to get to go home to Texas this Christmas and spend an amazing two weeks with my sweet Scott family and felt so filled the whole trip. It's amazing what a late night run to taco bell, or a simple midnight trip to walmart can do to fill you up. This is simply due to the fact that we as humans are relational. We thrive in community. I got to spend lots of time with all my sweet Scott siblings and was just overflowing with feeling refreshed. So my news years resolution coming back to TN was to force myself to maybe struggle a little more with bills, back off a little on all the extra side jobs, and take that time to intentionally get involved. We are not meant to live alone, we are meant to sharpen each other, challenge each other, keep each other accountable, live life together, laugh together, and walk along side each other no matter what the trial or triumph may be.
So speaking of being blessed, community, family, etc....here are just a few pictures from my wonderfully perfect Christmas.