I had a goal to write two posts per month. I like fulfilling my promises.
Well, October has been intense.
I’ve had so many assignments, and an increase in my own activities that it’s been hard to keep up. I slept a lot less, I was home a lot less, I lost track of time, but I had a lot of fun too!
I started going to a new church about two months ago and I decided quite quickly that I like it. The people are great, it’s nice to be with more young adults and there are lots of kids!!
That’s probably my favorite thing about this new church, that I’m able to serve God by doing what I love and what I was called to do.
Last week was my first time helping out. It was hectic because it was an”extended service” so we had more kids than usual, for longer than anyone’s used to. There were a lot of new faces, including me as a new teacher/helper. It wasn’t perfectly smooth, but everyone survived and we all had a good time.
My TV class has also been keeping me very busy. My partner and I have to co-ordinate with each other and whoever we’re filming to get enough material for our pieces. It’s been fun, but also stressful.
My other classes are labor intensive too. I’m in a fascinating literature course, but I have to read tough books in French pretty quickly. And do the essays. My political science course is really reading-focused, as well as having essays to write and a group presentation to plan. And my other journalism course started out as one of the most stressful experiences I’ve ever had to deal with.
It might not sound so bad – we all had to write a 500-600 word story every two weeks for a community newspaper – but with the number of people working within our particular constraints, it was a lot harder than anyone expected! There was a collective sigh of relief when that weight came off our shoulders. [The semester was split into two parts, and for us, the practical aspect came first, so we’re now in the ethical part of the course.]
I’ve tried to spend some quality time with friends too, and of course some down time to remember to relax every once in awhile. I went to a butterfly exhibit on campus with two girlfriends and I have been spending an awful lot of time at Shawarma Palace with all the new friends I’ve made in the last two months (at least 50 new people) as well as a few house parties.
Between life, those classes, the new church, Church on Wednesday (a new gathering that started in September to have a church service and fellowship time mid-week) and social stuff, I’ve also gotten more involved in some activism for causes I believe in.
I care a lot about life.
Everyone knows I love children, but I’m also passionate about saving the unborn. So this month I participated in a beautiful display on Parliament Hill to plant 100,000 pink and blue flags. The lawns looked gorgeous, but it was also a very sad display because each flag represented and aborted child. It gave me a lot of hope too though because there were so many young people there!
Tomorrow I’ll be participating in a campaign called “40 Days for Life” by praying silently outside an abortion clinic.
I’ve also been doing a lot of reading on pornography, another cause I care about.
I’ve started a special initiative, for myself but anyone can join me, about bus prayer. I waste a lot of time riding the bus everywhere (I’ve been finding myself downtown way more than I’d like to) and some people talk kind of loudly about various things in their lives. Whether they’re chatting to neighbors or on the phone, you don’t have to be listening intently to hear about their struggles.
I don’t know anyone names and I don’t bother them but I make a mental note to pray for them when God opens my eyes, ears and heart to understand their brokenness and pain. One woman, I call her the purple-haired girl, was telling her friend about a trusted friend who raped her at a party and how seeing him still made her uncomfortable and brought back painful memories. Other girls were talking about a secret abortion clinic operating in what looks like a Curves gym/store.
So I pray for these people.
In all of that busyness I do get tired but I try to focus on bringing glory to God in all that I do.
Sometimes though, it can be hard to recover. Either by going from an extremely relaxed atmosphere to a fully packed one, or vice versa.
I feel that that has happened to me.
Last year, while I was in Belgium, the school system was very different and I didn’t have assignments or readings throughout the year. So it was very relaxed. I also didn’t volunteer and had far fewer responsibilities.
This year, starting in September, I was thrown into a very stressful and busy school year as well as getting myself involved in all kinds of things.
Neither extreme is really good, and both have positives and negatives to them.
But the recovery is tough.
there are all kinds of recoveries we might have to go through in life. After a surgery or illness there’s a recovery period. After travelling there’s a different kind of recovery period. Sometimes it’s easy, like switching time zones, for me. But sometimes it can be incredibly difficult, and even disheartening.
After medical issues, the best tool for recovery is usually time. [I hear laughter helps too.]
But sometimes you don’t have time to make an adjustment when your life takes a dramatic turn and changes quickly from one pace to another.
You hit the ground running and you have to catch up with yourself but you can feel your feet flying out from under you!
Throughout any period though, one thing remains constant.
He loves you.
No matter what you’re going through, whether you’re busy or completely relaxed, whether you’re feeling 100% healthy or even if you know you’re dying, He is there, He loves you and He is the only One you can count on.
I needed to call on Him for strength and stamina, for focus, for time-management, for confidence, and for grace if/when I might fail.
You can too.
Whatever you might be recovering from, whatever you might be going through, don’t do it alone.
I hope this can be as encouraging to someone as it was and is for me.