Last Week

Life threw me a curveball. I wasn’t expecting it and I wasn’t aware that I even needed it.

Since moving to Phoenix, I had been so focused that I barely lifted my head or noticed anything beyond my present circumstance. My days consisted of reading, working, eating, exercising, reading, writing papers, and sleeping. Every so often, I tried to reach out and make community or volunteer somewhere so I could make some contribution. But it never lasted. So here I was…new to a huge city, consumed with work and school, no community, and no life.

I had been planning a trip back to Georgia in June since before I even left. My friend was getting married and my squad would be there for a conference at my old stomping ground. I had no idea what that week would have in store for me and how desperately I needed it.

I woke up Friday morning to a phone call that I would wish upon no one. My family suffered the tragic and untimely loss of one of my cousins. I was supposed to be getting on a plane to fly across the country and I could barely get off my bed. My sister and I cried and prayed and then we had to keep going. How do you keep going after news like that? One of my best friends gave me the best advice – wear sunglasses. The tears didn’t stop as I sat in a public airport terminal but I could cover my eyes and get lost in the crowd. With my family in such pain, it didn’t feel right leaving. Arizona needed me more than Georgia and yet, I was about to fly away.

As I was thrust back into my old life, with my closest friends and familiar places, I soon realized that I needed Georgia. I had forgotten so much in the last six months and this week served as a sweet reminder.

I remembered who I am and whose blood flows through my veins. I remembered what it feels like to worship with complete abandonment and to risk trusting an unseen God. I remembered the call and the privilege to live as a child of God and bring his kingdom to all nations, including my own. I remembered what matters in eternity. I remembered that these crazy people in Gainesville, Georgia are my family and my tribe. I may be living in a different city, but my heart and my spirit are deeply connected to them.

Something in me came back to life. Something I didn’t even know was dormant, needing the breath of community and life. It was the sweetest gift and the night before I was to leave Georgia and come back to Arizona, my heart was heavy with sadness. It will be another six months before I get to see my best friends again (at least I hope!), and now community and worship like I experienced last week will only come as I cultivate it.

This last week was out of my ordinary life in Phoenix, but I want to make it ordinary. Some days I feel up to the challenge, other days I’m discouraged. But I come back to Arizona with purpose and intention to live with kingdom perspective, to bare my soul authentically, and to cultivate worship in community.

God willing and God help me!
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6 thoughts on “Last Week

  1. Thanks for this honest sharing of your heart. It’s so easy to not have the community we need, it can be difficult (even daughting) to cultivate, but it’s worth it! As I go back home, I am not just encouraged but challenged to find that sweet spot in community…and if I can’t find it, to cultivate it! Thanks for being you. Much Love!

  2. Hey Bethany, I’m really sorry about your cousins. I hope you’re enjoying AZ and learning a lot. I’m glad you got to visit Gville, and I hope you find friends in AZ who are just as amazing as your community in GA!

  3. Bethany,

    You inspire me…your not alone – Deuteronomy 31:8

    Thanks for being who you are….your making a difference in people’s lives, you’ve made a difference in mine!

    It was great getting to see you! – Isaiah 58:11-12

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