I recently stumbled on my old journal. From freshmen year of college. Oh boy, what a gem. And by gem, I mean myself. At age 18. Good god. Bless whoever loved me then, and bless the fact that I’m no longer that person.

In the pages, I found so many questions, and so many challenges. So many, “I dont know who I am’s”. So many, “When will people understand me?” So many, “I am so stricken by this sin of mine.” So many strivings.

Then, the other day, I went for a hot hot run down the backroads of Tappahanock, through the cornfields, pounding on that radiating asphalt. I stopped at my normal spot–a small bridge where I look for wildlife in the marshy banks of the river. I stood there, to try very literally to keep the breath in my lungs, and to pray– a routine for my runs as cadenced as my stride. And yet, when I came to pray, all I said was, “sweet Jesus, sweet sweet Jesus,” over and over. As if I knew nothing more insightful and wise. As if nothing else in the world mattered than a simple expression of gratitude at God’s sweet mercies, and his sweet sweet beauty.


Who is this person I’ve become? Since those striving and uncomfortable years a decade ago– who is this person? This person that, bucking cliches or cheese-factor, will say ‘Thank you Lord’ a thousand times over and mean it. And to let that be enough?

I would have killed this person I’ve become. The person that isn’t immersed in theology, or Kierkegaard. The person that isn’t looking to be the most interesting girl, but to just be, and to love and to say thanks. I would have looked at this woman, and said, she’s simple. And I would have meant it as an insult.

Whatever, past self! Because the people that I’m with now, I don’t have to strive for, and I don’t need to prove myself to them. They let me wax poetic about that last book I read, and indulge me when all I want to talk about is corgis. Growing up ain’t bad, ya’ll. I may be more boring, but I am, by God, content. And grateful. Just so fall-on-your-knees grateful.

  • Sarah Ann Noel

    This is absolutely radiant. So wise, so poignant, so inspiring.

    September 5th, 2013 20:58
  • Erica Midkiff

    I love this…and your writing…and who you are. (Seems to be a theme here!) I sometimes wonder how much more I could be if I just stopped struggling so hard to…well…be. Seems you’ve found the answer. Love that you always make me think of these things! It’s a gift.

    September 5th, 2013 21:42

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