Finally feeling the facts

Yesterday was kind of rough.

For weeks, months even, I’ve begun to realize my days in Columbia are numbered. I recognized my last sporting events, my last True/False festival, that I only had so many Ragtag movie excursions left, that I wouldn’t see the Magic Tree again, that I would soon be leaving my amazing canvas group and that I would be producing my last pieces of journalism. I understood that all of this was sad, but I never really felt sad. I just knew that it was a sad occasion.

I think my feelings of excitement for going to a new and exciting place completely overshadowed my feelings of sadness for leaving my educational and transformative home for the past four years. Yesterday that changed.

I’m not exactly sure what triggered the onset of real emotions rather than the realizations of fact. It may have been my Friday night of watching favorite The Office episodes with some fellow graduating seniors, or it may have been my final Journalism Ambassador duties coming to an end Friday and Saturday. But during both those things Friday night and Saturday morning, I didn’t actually feel sad. I didn’t even fee sad earlier last week when all the Rock seniors met at our pastor’s house from some “exit counseling,” for lack of a better term.

But yesterday afternoon, the emotions hit me. Hard. I think it was because I realized I could start “packing.” I started taking postcards, letters and notes from dear friends over the past year off my bulletin board and putting them in a box where I keep mementos like those. I skimmed a few of them: a note from Mazvita encouraging me in my fall retreat planning, a letter from my sister, a few support letters and “thank you for supporting me” cards, some notes from LT people. As my bulletin board emptied, my eyes filled with stinging tears.

I started to think about the past four years. The me from four years ago is almost unrecognizable (though physically I haven’t changed much since I was 17; I look exactly the same; weird). I mentally listed all the things I hadn’t done or known or experienced four years ago, and I could not believe how much has happened. (That list will have to be an entirely separate post.)

God has done a huge work in me, and the best part is that He isn’t even close to being done. (Philippians 1:3-6)

I took a spontaneous trip to Hobby Lobby to buy new boxes from mementos and photos and a shadow box for some of my more prized Mizzou memorabilia (name tags, tassel, Mizzou 39 pin, etc). I held back tears the entire time. The drive down Broadway reminded me of the first time I drove down that street on my way to church freshman year. It reminded me of four years of driving down that street.

I held back tears in Hobby Lobby and again when I came home and read through all my letters and cards from he past four years—hilarious birthday cards from Twain friends, silly cards from my mother for every occasion, including Chinese New Year and Veteran’s Day.

And then it all just broke down during The Rock last night. As I stood before the Father, worshiping, I couldn’t hide my sadness. I let myself cry, let my emotions pour out before God. Honestly I was only half paying attention to the words I was singing because in my heart I was telling Him how sad I was. I let Him comfort me and remind me that it is sad and needs to be mourned. But he also reminded me to rejoice in what He’s done since 2007. I have been transformed, and it’s been a beautiful process.

I’m glad I finally let those tears out, and I imagine there will be more, though I hate to admit it. I don’t like to cry about stuff like this, but in this case, I think it needs to happen. Mizzou has been a huge part of my life, and it deserves my emotions.

Good thing I bought some waterproof mascara a few weeks ago!

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