(not in any order of preference)
-New York City
My favorite time of day is the evening.
Right before sunset, when the sun paints everything in golden undertones and you hold onto the last moments of warm rays and colourful skies.
I think its my favorite because for some reason, I find complete peace in those fading moments. I breath in the crisp fresh air, reflect on the day I just had and look forward to what the future has to bring.
Its as if time is in a balance and I and all that is around me is at its center.
I spent this evening alone on the deck, sitting on a Muskoka chair, drinking Apothic red wine and reading NT Wrights’ “Surprised by Hope”. It was marvelous.
I considered taking a picture to share the moment or even remember it for future reference, but then I realized that this was something that had to be experienced first hand. It had to be felt, breathed, and taken all in. It would have been lovely to shared it with someone, but I remained content with knowing that some moments are so rich on their own that you can’t even think for more then a moment that anything else could make it better. So I sat, drank, read, and enjoyed the changing breeze and fading light.
A song came to mind and I started singing. God I Look to You by Jenn Johnson felt so appropriate for the moment.
The lyrics are:
God I look to you, I won’t be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like you do
God I look to you, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom; You know just what to do.
I will love you Lord my strength
I will love you Lord my shield
I will love you Lord my rock
Forever all my days I will love you God
Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reings
Forever all my days Hallelujah
Those words were an anchor point for me. Like the moment, the words were balancing my life: where I’ve come from, where I am, and where I am going. It is the hopeful reminder that my life is in Christ and I have the assurance that as He has been faithful to guide me thus far, He will continue to do so all my days as I continue to walk faithfully with Him.
I have a lot of dreams, a lot of hopes and desires, and I don’t know when, or even if they will all be fulfilled, but I do know that despite uncertainty, I can stand firm in the promise that God has something great for me. As I seek Him with all my heart, even in moments of doubts or laziness, God remains steadfast and faithful to me.
I am moving forward. I am chasing after my dreams. I am the woman I always hoped I would someday be and each day I continue to become more and more the person I long to be.
This is the springboard from which I want to move from. I want to remember this truth and open my heart and mind to more revelation as I continue to learn and grow as a person, as a woman, and as a leader.
Im excited to see where God takes me because I know that there is no better life to live then one that is lived at the center of God’s will. I know that God wants shalom for my life and for all creation. So each and every day, if I live for God and live to bring shalom to those around me then I am doing God’s will. “Until the day God deigns to reveal the future to man, the sum of human wisdom can be contained in these two words: wait and hope.” And I want to add to Alexander Dumas’ words. Until the day God deigns to reveal the future to me, live for peace and justice. If thats the minimum I do, I will live a rich life and change the world.
This is where I’m at right now. Good night y’all.
“I’m not sure what I’ll do, but-well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale” -F. Scott Fitzgerald.
F. Scott Fitzgerald and I would have enjoyed each other’s company. We would have agreed on many things, passionately debated on certain topics and spent hours talking about life, travel, relationships, love, and literature among many other things while drinking copious amounts of alcohol into the late hours of the night. We share a similar world view. In many ways, I feel as though F. Scott Firzgerald would have understood my soul.
Yesterday I graduated with my BA in Outdoor Leadership. It has been a long time coming. I left high school in ‘05 and did a 1 year outdoor discipleship Christian studies certificate in Huntsville Ontario, then moved to Lennoxville Quebec where I lived for the next 4 years studying Creative Arts in college then attending Bishop’s University for business. in 2010 I felt God was calling me to a different sort of life and I faithfully moved across the country right after spending the summer in the Philippines to attend Columbia Bible College. I spent 3 incredibly formative years here at CBC where I learned all about the outdoors, Anabaptist theology, Mennonite culture, community, relationships, leadership, and soooo much more… I wanted a foundation on God to prepare me for a lifetime of ministry and thats exactly what I got.
I know my time as a student is not over. I want to pursue a masters in International Peace and Conflict Resolution as well as a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies. I love to learn and I’m excited for that next chapter in my life, but I’m not there yet. Right now im in the in-between stage. Finished one milestone, eagerly anticipating the next one, but content in this tention-filled state I’m in. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing next. Right now I know im flying to Cabe Breton Nova Scotia in a couple days to be an administrative assistant at an orthodontist office-definitely not something I planned or aspired to do but I think this is the right place for me for this time of transition. I have the next 3 months planned and thats ok for me right now.
I just had an incredible year filled with growth and development, exhaustion, joy, mistakes, and triumphs. I’m ready for a break. Im ready to debrief this past year as a senior, as a leader, as the President of Student Council, as a roommate, friend, peer and student. I’m ready to do some M&E work on myself. Its gonna be a good summer. Im not sure what Im doing next or where I’ll be. A friend asked me today if I was gonna be back in Abbotsford in the fall and I said “ya thats my plan… but I could also end up in South Sudan”…in other words, the world is my oyster and I’m open to all its possibilities.
I have learned with my life to always be open to change, transition, and be ready for the unexpected. Like F.Scott Fitzgerald said, I’m not sure what I’ll do, but-well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.
This is my ultimate dream in life. I remember being a kid in elementary school and telling my friends I wanted to grow up to be a person who was always willing and ready to learn. I want to travel and meet people and change the world and be a part of something. Isn’t that what we all hope for inside? I think as humans we all long to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to be involved in a great story. God has written a beautiful story for you and I and its up to us to live it out. People who know me well laugh at me and say “what does Michelle want to do this week?” or “oh that was last month’s career ambition” and they’re right… I say I want to do just about everything. There is no denying that. I find all sorts of things in life so fascinating. We grow up being taught that we can be anything we want in life. We pick things like fire-fighter, school teacher, doctor, nurse, vet, astronaut… we are told of the glorious possibilities in life that await us when we grow up. Well I’m growing up now and I see all these incredible possibilities and want to be a part of so much. I think I will be the kind of person who will experience much in life. Its not really the norm and many people don’t understand it or want to be a part of it… but im learning to be ok with that.
I have been blessed in my life to be able to experience so much already and I look forward to the next 60 years of learning, traveling, and being a part of big things. Its a good life.
― William G.T. Shedd” —
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones” —
― Victor Hugo” —