Standing in a old rail yard listening to local singers harmonize life stories and sorrows and walking around to hug every person is good and it is familiar. Friday nights spent running into friends and mentors are good and familiar.
I thought that after I got back from NYC everything would be great and familiar and nothing would make me feel lonely. In some ways, I was right.
In others, I was wrong. How do I keep making this mistake? Sin follows me everywhere and doubt is never far behind.
However, I am grateful to be back with my community who encourages me to pursue truth and purity and the love of Jesus.
It has been a month since I have returned from NYC and I can't say I miss it yet. There is something wonderful about turning corners back home and always seeing a familiar face. Also, I do not miss the subway smells. I have had a few moments to reflect on my summer but not as much as I would like. I dove headfirst into school and work and friendships.
I let myself get lost. When I found myself again, I didn't like what I saw.
Doubt is ugly and casts shadows on life. Not because doubt isn't natural or common, because it is. But doubt reveals truths about us that we never want to know. Truths about our deepest held beliefs and deepest held sorrows.
Doubt creates dents in our brains and we have to fill them with judgment or anger or defense. We put up walls around doubt to shield it from those we think will judge us. But they hardly ever do.
My mind is a doubt factory and the discarded doubt is hidden by walls of resentment and bitterness.
And yet (this is the best part).
Jesus is still there. He is still standing with me, even if a little farther off because of my pushes, watching me doubt and loving me anyway. He is standing with the Father and saying "She's trying and wrestling, isn't she lovely?" The lies are yelling and He is whispering, but His whispers are constant and clean. The lies' yells are sporadic and mixed.
The lies are not constant because to lie is to deviate and to grasp.
Jesus never grasps. He holds steady.
So when I say that things are back to normal, I mean that I am back to doubting and that I am still seeing Jesus standing there.
The constancy of Christ is the truth I hold onto and He is holding me too.