You have no control

There’s a line from Hamilton: An American Musical that’s been playing itself over in my head lately that doesn’t exactly fit with what I’m about to share, but it’s worth mentioning.

“You have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”

A few weeks ago, just a days after she shared the news that she was expecting a baby boy, a food blogger I follow delivered her sweet son, Afton, at just over 23 weeks. He died the next day.

I was crushed for them. Although I feel closure and healing from our miscarriage in October, the empathy still flows fresh. I grieved for these people I’ve never met, knowing I’ve only tasted a hint of what they’re going through.

This experience of watching this loss unfold online solidified what I’ve been learning the past five months: adding children to our family is so absolutely beyond our control. This woman lost her baby at 23 weeks. A coworker of mine went into labor around the same stage of her pregnancy, but ended up delivering a healthy full term baby months later. Who was in control of one baby’s life and another’s death?

We got pregnant without hardly trying. Others try for years and never get pregnant. We lost our baby. Teenagers have babies they don’t want. Some babies are born perfectly healthy while others have rare genetic disorders or die from SIDS when they’re a few months old. International adoptions fall though. Some couples are shocked at how quickly they are paired with an adoptive child and scramble to prepare. Foster placements that seemed for sure end abruptly. People who were told they were infertile are surprised with good news.

It’s all. out. of. our. control.

Sure, we can chart and time intercourse and take supplements and eat the right diet and avoid the wrong things and fill our applications perfectly and make enough money and pass the home studies … but ultimately, we can do all these things and still not have a child. It’s ultimately not up to us.

Honestly, it sucks. We may never understand why one baby lives and another dies, while a couple desperate for children can’t have them, and someone who doesn’t want a child ends up with one. It’s not in our control to know. It’s complicated and can be confusing.

At first this seems so negative, so futile, but as I think of it more, it frees me. This is beyond my ability to control or even understand; it is in God’s hands and in His plans entirely. We will bring a child home in Him timing alone. I don’t have to worry and fret and cry and wonder. I just have to trust Him.

“I am Yours, do what you wish. I am Yours, I am Yours, and I know this: whatever happens next is in Your hands, in Your plans, nothing less.”

I’m not saying this is easy; heck no, it’s not easy! But I am saying it’s true. And it reminds me of something else that is out of my control.

There is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and there’s nothing I can do to make God love me less. Nothing. He loves me just the same. And that’s freedom.

There’s nothing I can do to bring a child into our home any quicker than God will allow our family to grow. Nothing.

So I can relax. I can practice trust and patience and remind myself of God’s perfect plans. It’s not easy, but it is good.

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rejoicing & mourning – a miscarriage update

rejoice-mournAs I drove to HEB yesterday morning in the chilly rain, it struck me how strange the next few hours would be. I was driving to HEB to pick up some flowers and a sympathy empathy card for some friends who had just found out about their own miscarriage. My next stop after HEB was to grab some breakfast tacos to serve another couple of friends who had welcomed a new baby into their lives just three weeks before. The contrast was jarring. Even more significant: both these families live on the same street, literally across the road from one another. I was instantly reminded of God’s call for us: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” On the south side of the street, I teared up and expressed my sorrow for the couple who had lost their child. 15 minutes later, on the north side of the street, I laughed with the new parents as they tag-teamed a pee-fountain diaper change. It was a morning of rejoicing and mourning.

It’s been seven weeks since we found out about our sparrow, about a month since I last wrote. Seven weeks: we’ve know our loss two weeks longer than we knew our child’s life. It feels long ago and yet so fresh at the same time.

Since I last wrote, we’ve done a lot of healing. I feel a lot of closure. I’m sad, but less frequently and somewhat less intensely. But certain things over the past two months have definitely triggered that weird mix of mourning and rejoicing.

I went to Target a few weeks ago to purchase a baby gift for a coworker’s baby shower. While I was there, I picked up a little white bird ornament to commemorate our baby. I made it through the store okay, but after I got home and talked with Greg some about how we were doing, we both cried a little. I was happy for my coworker but still reminded of our lack.

Last week, in the span of 24 hours, two couples, one a little more distant and one a little nearer to my heart (mentioned above), shared with me about the miscarriages they had experienced since we had ours. I was crushed to hear both stories. I felt deeply for them and deeply felt my own sorrow for our loss. Before I had a miscarriage, I knew it was a sad thing, but since having one myself, I feel the sadness fully for the first time. I mourn for us, for them, and for the broken world that allows such loss.

At the same time, I currently have several close friends who are pregnant, and I’ve felt so joyous and happy for them. My love for those women outweighs the sadness and pity and impatience I feel for myself. But when baby announcements from acquaintances on Facebook seem to become a weekly occurrence, I have to walk away from my phone and computer and take a moment to collect myself.

Healing from miscarriage is a journey of rejoicing and mourning, highs and lows, hope and sorrow. Most days, I have a lot of hope. Some days, I don’t. And that’s okay; there’s room for both in God’s kingdom and in His community. I feel privileged to rejoice with my friends and their new babies, and I feel honored to share my sorrow and mourn with others in empathy. And so I am content with where we are for now.

On a personal note, we’re taking s few weeks off from family planning to rest and enjoy the holidays with family. We will see what 2017 brings, but we’re hopeful for more life. Thank you for allowing me to share my heart with you all.

our little sparrow – our miscarriage story

 

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It’s been 12 days since I was told the little life inside me that had barely begun had already ended. It was was shocking and as cliche as every movie, every TV show: “I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat.”

I know people don’t talk about miscarriage, but I want to because I like talking about the things no one wants to. I’m all about open communication. I’m the girl in the church who asks new married couples how their sex life is going. I’ll tell you all about our budgeting and savings goals. I blurted out “We’re pregnant!” to one of my close college friends just days after we’d taken a test, when we were just four weeks along. They say not to tell many people until you’re out of the first trimester, in case you miscarry, people nearly whisper, as if saying the word brings it about, like it’s Lord Voldemort or something. But we couldn’t keep it a secret; we were too excited. So I want to share our story of loss for the same reasons I wanted to share our news of life with friends right away — because I can’t keep it inside of me. And because October is Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness month, ironically enough.

Honestly, I never thought a miscarriage could happen to me. Sure, we’d always end the announcement by saying, “Yeah, we hear not to tell people so early just in case something happens, but we’d want support from you even if something did.” But it never crossed my mind that something might actually happen. My mom never miscarried and I knew my maternal grandmother had had 10 successful pregnancies out of 11 (I was later told she actually did have a miscarriage at another point, taking her “success rate” to 10 out of 12). We got pregnant basically without hardly trying, which I know is a huge blessing, and one I don’t take for granted, but all these factors made me think I was untouchable. It wouldn’t happen to me. Actually I didn’t even think it wouldn’t happen to me, I just didn’t think about it at all.

So that Monday morning when I wiped and saw just a little brown blood, I told myself not to panic. I’d known for reading every pregnancy website that spotting was fairly normal and half the time meant nothing. The blood was old and brown, not fresh and bright red. I didn’t have any cramping. I actually felt extra sick that morning, and they say if you feel pregnant, and I did, it’s a good sign. It’s when you stop feeling pregnant that things go south. But we were leaving on a multi-state road trip in three days, so I decided to call the nurse and just check to be safe.

The nurse called me back and said what I expected: it’s probably nothing, you can wait a few days to see if it goes away or gets worse, or you can come in just to check. I mentioned the trip and she asked if we had heard the heartbeat at our first appointment two weeks earlier. We hadn’t. At the time, the doctor said it was still fairly early (six and a half weeks), but we’d hear it the next time. (Now I wonder if it ever did beat…) So we decided to go for peace of mind so we could go to Missouri unworried.

I picked up Greg and we drove to the clinic in New Braunfels, and although I kept trying to tell myself it was fine, I started getting uneasy. What if it wasn’t? We prayed outside the clinic, checked in, and waited. We went back to the exam room and saw our doctor,  who seemed quite hopeful. She did a pelvic exam and confirmed I wasn’t “actively bleeding,” which was a good sign, and I still felt pregnant, which she also deemed a good sign. So she started up the ultrasound to finalize all the good signs, but  that’s when things changed.

For whatever reason, my body just never got the news our baby had died. It kept on going, pumping out hormones and blood and growing placenta, all while the life had gone from our child more than two weeks before. That’s why I still felt pregnant, why I wasn’t actively bleeding. They call it “missed miscarriage.”

They brought in another doctor just to confirm what the ultrasound was showing. I bawled. Greg held it together but only until the car. Our doctor assured me it wasn’t my fault and explained what could happen next. For various reasons, we chose to go with a dilation and curettage, better known as a D&C, a procedure in which the doctor dilates your cervix and removes the contents of your womb in a surgical environment while you’re under general anesthesia. We set the date for two days later, the day we had planned to leave on our trip.

Our trip. The timing. My lack of actual miscarriage symptoms. The only signs that something was off was the spotting on Monday. I had no symptoms of miscarriage at any point, not even spotting on Tuesday and Wednesday. I can’t help but attribute the whole timing scenario to the Lord. I almost feel like He said, “I’m so sorry. I’m going to let you in on this now so you use this trip and this planned time off to grieve and heal.” I fully believe had I not spotted on Monday, we still might not know we’d lost it. Our next appointment wasn’t scheduled until two weeks later. Finding out your baby passed away two weeks ago without your knowledge sucks. Finding out it died a month ago… I can only imagine it would be even worse. Or maybe my body would have gotten a clue, and we would have naturally miscarried hundreds of miles from home while on vacation. The alternatives horrify me, and although this is the saddest thing that’s happened to me, I’m grateful for the way in which it happened. I see the Lord’s hand in it.

On the drive to the hospital, as cheesy as it sounds, God spoke peace and comfort to us through some Christian contemporary music (Jason Gray’s “Sparrow”).

“If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment.”

I think He has our little sparrow in his hands. A few weeks before we found out about the miscarriage, I had spent some time journaling with God, and He shared with me His love for me and for our baby. I know He has our sparrow.

The D&C went fine. The worst part of physical pain was the six sticks it took the nurses and staff to get an IV and blood drawn. Our doctor even let us do one final ultrasound, just for peace of mind, just to check that God hadn’t allowed a miracle to happen. She was so kind and compassionate. I went home that afternoon, and after resting for a few hours and finally getting to eat something, with our doctor’s blessing, we left for Arlington.

It may seem crazy they we went on vacation literally hours after leaving the hospital, but I think it was what was best for us. We saw family (including my parents, grandparents, and two of my three siblings) and mourned with them. We spent a lot of time together as a couple. We checked in on each other’s emotions. We held each other as we cried. We laughed and had fun. We enjoyed amazing weather and beautiful scenery. We accepted feelings of sadness when we saw adorable babies in Mizzou clothing everywhere, but also started regrowing our hope that one day we will have adorable babies in Mizzou clothing. We worshiped in the church where I started to fully cultivate my relationship with God. We ate breakfast with the pastor who married us, who has mentored us throughout the years. We cuddled a fat cat. We ate amazing food. We wrestled through the complex thoughts of grief (Am I sad because we lost this baby, or am I sad because we lost the possibility of a baby? Or both? Or does it matter? Should I be more sad? Should we start trying again right away?). We drove through four state capitols. We saw one of Greg’s favorite musical artists. I bought a candle from the Fixer Upper Silos. I posted a lot of happy pictures from that trip and felt conflicted about it. I didn’t want to paint the picture that we were fine because we weren’t. But it’s not a lie to say we enjoyed the trip and we did have fun. The trip was a gift I am forever grateful for.

I’m also forever grateful for the man I married, my best friend, my rock of a husband, Greg. Many times over the last two weeks I have been overwhelmed to tears with love for him. Seeing his heart for our baby and for me through the last few months is astounding. I know I wouldn’t be in this situation without him, but I also know I couldn’t make it through this situation without him. I know he’s hurting, too, but even in his pain he serves me and puts my needs first. He watched the Middle Tennessee Nobodies just decimate my Tigers instead of watching the biggest game of the week (maybe season?), Alabama vs. Texas A&M. A&M ended up losing, too, but the fact that he went to that football game with me instead of watching his (actually pretty good) team, is just one of the thousands of ways he’s shown me love lately.

On our honeymoon, Greg I went to see the Seattle Symphony play a Pixar concert. They performed music from all the Pixar movies, accompanied by clips from each film. Right before intermission, they played the score from the opening montage from Up!

If you haven’t cried while watching this opening montage, you are a robot. And for the newlywed couple who’s marriage was less than a week old? You better believe we both cried like little babies! After the symphony finished their piece you could audibly hear the entire audience sniffling, which was pretty hilarious actually. Greg even overheard a college-aged girl on the way out for intermission proclaim, “Why didn’t they show the part with the goofy dog??”

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On the Tuesday after we got the news, I scrolled through the “miscarriage” part of Pinterest for whatever reason, looking for hope, other people’s stories, a chance to cry, something. I saw this image from Up! and I couldn’t contain the tears. I remembered our honeymoon and our first few days of marriage. I remembered watching that montage thinking it was sad, but it was life, and hopefully none of the hard things in that montage would happen to us. But even if it did, at least we could have each other. And we still do. And that is something I thank God for every day.

We’re back home now. The first day back at work was rough. While I was out, a few things happened with coworkers at my office and now we’re down two staff members for the next few months. It’s stressful, but my boss and coworkers are kind and understanding. Greg came back to one of the biggest church events bearing down on him, just about a week out. It was hard to go back into our normal routine when we’re feeling anything but normal.

God continues to meet us here, though. He gives us friends with listening ears and big hearts. He reveals other couples who have walked this walk before. He speaks hope and comfort to us. I know He grieves with us. He is here, and He works all things for the good of those who love Him. He also lost His own son and knows the pain of death. Thankfully He has conquered it, and we have hope in eternal life with Him.

Thank you for letting me share our story.

Rest

The Lord has put rest on my heart lately.

Rest is okay. Rest is good. Even when my wedding to-do list seems never ending, I can rest. I have to rest.

More importantly I need to rest in the Lord — which I know — but often forget.

I really love Audrey Assad’s song “Restless.”

“And I’m restless, I’m restless, ’til I rest in You, ’til I rest in You.”

-Audrey Assad’s “Restless” (sort of)

Then I found out at our Women’s Retreat last weekend that she totally stole those words from Augustine. Which actually makes it cooler. (Side note: I should have remembered that from what I had to read Augustine for my college honors humanities class buttttttt I didn’t. Also I could have learned that had I watched this video. Who knew she co-wrote with Matt Maher??)

“You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

-St. Augustine’s “Confessions”

Holy cow, does that ring true for me. I so often forsake rest with the Lord for productivity, and though I don’t realize it in the moment, it makes me weary.

“Let my pain reveal your glory as my only real rest.”

“Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh, I am satisfied in you.”

-The Sing Team’s “Satisfied in You”

I could write a million more words on this topic, but really, all I really want to say is that God is the only rest that satisfies my weary soul.

“You’re all that really satisfies.”

-Bryan & Katie Torwalt’s “Lover of your Presence”

(End note: I am dreaming of a large canvas painted with those Audrey Assad lyrics in one of our guest rooms/study/my hobby room in me & Greg’s future home so I can be reminded to take time to rest in the Lord!)

The Verses Project

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which means I have the day off from work. Praise the Lord! Even though I’ve only been engaged 10 days, I hit the ground running with wedding planning. You have to when your wedding is less than six months away!

But today I have been trying to be balanced. Although I have been tempted to use today as a mega-planning day, I also feel that today should be a day of rest and sabbath. I’ve only been awake for a few hours, but I spent those hours resting, praying, daydreaming, drinking coffee, and downloading as many Verses Project images as I could.

“What’s Verses Project?” you ask? Let me tell you.

The Verse Project is a free online art project that combines images, typography, music, and scripture to encourage and promote meditation and memorization of God’s word, and it’s sort of wonderful. You can visit their website or sign up for their emails to receive notifications of when they post new content. Each post contains a devotion about the particular scripture; an image with the verse available to download for your phone, tablet, desktop, or to print as a poster; and a link to a short “song” containing the scripture. I say “song” because the music is original work by various artists (many you’ve heard of, such as Robbie Seay, Charlie Hall, Daniel Bashta, Aaron Strumpel, etc.) with just the verse as the lyrics, which promotes memorization and meditation. I’ve been downloading the mobile images for my phone lock screen for months, but now that I have a desktop, I downloaded all the images to a folder that will rotate them through my desktop every few minutes.

I just started listening to the music for the first time today, and I have to say it’s pretty great, too! Mainly I’ve just been a sucker for beautiful lettering and typography. #magazinedesignmajor

Anyway, just thought I would share one of my recent “favorite things” for you to enjoy, too! I hope you have a restful and blessed MLK Day if you have the day off (or even if you don’t)!

Welcome to San Marvelous

Hello, oft-neglected blog. Once again, a busy life has kept me from processing through my keyboard the past month’s events. I think it can be summed up in this:

In the span of 11 days, I graduated with my master’s degree; went home to Arlington to celebrate my brother graduating from high school; drove back to College Station, packed up my apartment, and moved to San Marcos; met my new roommates in my new house; unpacked; was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding; said goodbye to Greg for the summer; and started a new job.

My parents and I at my master's hooding ceremony

My parents and I at my master’s hooding ceremony

My brother and cousin as little kids. This photo was part of their senior banquet display.

My brother and cousin as little kids. This photo was part of their senior banquet display.

Putting up some decorations in my new room

Putting up some decorations in my new room

One of the only photos of my from Jen & Kyle's wedding... hopefully more will surface soon!

One of the only photos of my from Jen & Kyle’s wedding… hopefully more will surface soon!

Greg & I at Jen & Kyle's rehearsal lunch. He left for Colorado shortly after. :(

Greg & I at Jen & Kyle’s rehearsal lunch. He left for Colorado shortly after. 😦

Arch in the UAC overlooking the San Marcos square, the building where I work at Texas State.

Arch in the UAC overlooking the San Marcos square, the building where I work at Texas State.

Whew!

So far I am enjoying the new chapter of my life in San Marcos.

I’ve been on the job a week, and although it’s been a whirlwind of training and “Math 1316 is useless,” and “Just follow the core curriculum,” and prepping for 5000+ freshmen to come through our office this summer, I think I’m going to love it.

My house is adorable and my roommates are great.

Greg’s (my?) church has been so welcoming. I’ve already played with several babies, and been invited to watch movies, play games, and to an Arrested Development Season 4 marathon tonight! I also talked with our pastor about officially coming on as associate volunteer staff, and I’m excited to see that role unfold.

So far, life in San Marvelous has been pretty marvelous! I’m enjoying my three-day weekend and looking forward to finally unpacking/organizing the last few boxes, meeting new friends here, and learning how to live this new full-time job lifestyle sans homework!

Last week was bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s

This morning I am taking a breath and trying to comprehend what happened in my life this past week. In the last seven days I…

It just all happened so quickly! One day I was getting excited about a summer in the mountains with Greg, hanging out with college students and applying for more jobs, hoping to eventually land one in San Marcos for the fall.

The next day I was crying and debating as I tried to figure out if this awesome job I was just offered in San Marcos was worth missing my summer in the mountains. I felt in my gut that it was.

The next day I accepted that job and then proceeded to tell all the people and sort out all the details about me changing my summer plans.

The next day I cried and felt sad about losing Colorado, but also excited about my new job.

The next day I went to San Marcos for the weekend and started realizing, this is my new life. I just signed up for this for the foreseeable future. What??

The next day I continued to feel a little like that, but I also applied for an apartment.

The next day I helped 2.42 Church set up for their Sunday service and thought, this is my new church home. These are my future friends and “family.” I also reflected on the past two years in College Station and with my Fellowship Church family and cried (with joy, but also sadness) about that.

So basically I felt all the things.

I am excited to start a new job doing something I love.
I am proud of myself for having a job lined up before graduation.
I am grateful for all the support I’ve received from my friends, family, and mentors during grad school and this decision.
I am thankful to God for this opportunity.
I am sad about not being in Colorado this summer.
I am disappointed that it all didn’t work out perfectly for me to go to LT and have a job.
I am dismayed that Greg and I will be hundreds of miles away from each other this summer.
I am nervous about starting a new life in a new place.
I am worried about making new friends all over again.
I am afraid I will never get familiar with the layout of the roads in San Marcos.
I am pumped about a summer of working on personal projects like cooking, exercising, crafting, and nesting in my new apartment.
I am hopeful about joining a new community of believers in San Marcos.
I am happy that Greg and I will be able to be in the same place in the fall and onwards.
I am glum about leaving College Station and my “family” and friends here.

I have a lot of feels to sort through, it looks like. But in the end, I think the positive emotions outweigh the negative. Yes, I am grieving the loss of my summer plans and the loss of my life in College Station, but I know it is time to move forward to new adventures, and I know this summer will be best for me in the long run. But it’s still good to sit in those emotions and feel them out as I give them to the Lord. However, I do hope this coming week is a little less emotional, because I’ve got enough stuff in my emotional cup to work through for now!

I got a job!

So most of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook know, but I’m employed! With like, a big girl job!

Texas State University is located in the beautiful, hilly San Marcos, Texas.

Starting in mid/late May I will begin my new job as an academic advisor at Texas State University’s PACE Center!

The PACE (Personalized Academic and Career Exploration) Center is the first-year advising center for all incoming freshmen at Texas State. The first few months on the job will be a whirlwind of training and new student orientation as Texas State welcomes thousands of new students to San Marcos. And I’ll be in charge of advising hundreds of them! Crazy. I’m super excited to combine my love of freshmen with my master’s degree education and my interest in academic and career development through this position.

Literally. (Meme courtesy of the guys in my homegroup last year. This was part of a Valentine's gift they gave all the girls.)

Literally. (Meme courtesy of the guys in my homegroup last year. This was part of a Valentine’s gift they gave all the girls.)

Taking this position was very bittersweet. On the one hand, I am so incredibly blessed to have a full time job lined up before I graduate. Plus the job is in San Marcos (my ideal location) and working with freshmen in an academic capacity (potentially my dream job, at least for now). On the other hand, taking this job meant I had to give up my summer internship at Colorado LT, which in turn meant giving up experimenting with full-time ministry, potentially giving up a large sum of money I worked to support raise, and a summer with Greg.

Thankfully (praise the LORD!), God is blessing this decision and redeeming many of the things I “lost” by choosing this job. Although Greg and I will be apart for 12 weeks this summer, there’s a good chance we’ll get to do a few visits back and forth during the summer. (Plus there’s the whole “We’re going to be in the same town for the foreseeable future when he gets back from Colorado” thing.) As for the ministry opportunity, I will still get a taste of ministry through volunteering with 2.42 Church, the GCM church where Greg works with a bunch of our friends at Texas State. And the money? GCM is allowing me to keep the account I am responsible for open to help assist with some ministry expenses in San Marcos!

2.42 Church Intro Video from 2.42 Church on Vimeo.

I seriously can’t believe how smoothly this all really worked out. I’ll be looking for apartments in San Marcos in the new few weeks and trying to piece together a new home (gotta find some furniture) for me and Scout!

Although I am definitely not looking forward to super-long-distance after 9 months of long distance, I am looking forward to familiarizing myself with “San Marvelous” and establishing some of my own friendships there this summer. I also have grand plans to learn to use my sewing machine and make a quilt, but we’ll see if that actually happens.

In the mean time, I’m wrapping up my life here as an Aggie in College Station. It’s been a good two years, but I guess now it’s time to trade in my “Gig ’em, Ags!” for an “Eat ’em up, Cats!”

Fun fact: Texas State’s colors are maroon and gold. Mizzou + A&M, anyone??

Ms. Lindsay Cochrum, M.S.

Today I officially passed my master’s degree comprehensive exam and qualified to graduate in 39 days with a master’s degree in student affairs administration in higher education. I’m trying to take it all in.

Honestly, passing my comps was sort of given. I don’t mean that in a flippant way; I just mean that our program prepares us well for our field, and solving and presenting a case study using all the skills and knowledge I learned in the past two years was more of a natural culmination than a grueling test. So it was a big deal, but it also wasn’t.

I guess it’s just strange for me to think that in a little more than a month, I’m done with College Station. I’m done with homework and reading and writing papers (for now.) It’s a little hard to grasp after being in school full-time for 19 years. (NINETEEN YEARS??)

It’s a little hard to grasp because two years here FLEW. I remember this time last year looking up to my second-year-friend Erica and thinking she was so grown up and accomplished and professional, and she is. But so am I! I am that second year that Erica was applying for jobs and going off into the real world. When did that happen?

So much as transpired over the past two years here. I’ve grown so much. I am constantly astounded by much growth occurs in such short spans on time. God works quickly! Two years ago preparing to graduate from Mizzou seems so long ago. I thought I was mature then, and I was, but I’ve grown even more since then.

I joined a new church and a new homegroup.
I made an entirely new set of friends.
I lived with roommates for the first time since I was a freshman.
I wrote 20-page papers like it was nothing.
I read and read and read for class.
I read for fun some, too.
I advised student groups.
I counseled students.
I went through heartbreak and conflict with friends that ended well by the grace of the Lord.
I got a cat.
I left the country.
I lived in Oregon.
I experienced the Lord in new and intimate ways.
My love for worship and my skills in that area blossomed.
I had my first date.
I had my first kiss.
I entered the stage of life where close friends start getting married.
I had bed bugs.
My first close relative passed away.
I shared the gospel with someone and then got to baptize them!
I somewhat conquered my fear of biking.
I was reunited with wildflower season in Texas.
I went to my first professional work conferences and met people in my field from across the country.
And so much more.

The next two years of my life are pretty hazy, but I am PRIMED for some BIG life transitions again. I’m not entirely sure where I will be and what I will be doing and with whom I’ll be doing things, but I know it’ll be good and that the Lord will continue to provide for me and grow me.

It all goes back to my blog title that I picked when I was just a wee-little 20-year old half-way through her junior year of college.

I am in progress. And I’m excited to see the progress that occurs in the next two years.

CoMO Spring Break 2013

I’m a little slow updating, but spring break was last week, and I took advantage of my gracious graduate assistantship supervisor and took the week off to head up to Missouri for the first time since I graduated almost 2 years ago!

Absolutely Mizzou-tiful

Absolutely Mizzou-tiful

It was a really lovely time of seeing old stomping grounds and hanging out with dear friends and mentors. It was hard to balance a week of seeing lots of friends, trying to do all of my favorite CoMO things (didn’t make it to the Ragtag… womp womp), eating my favorite CoMO food, trying to be a little productive with job searching and support raising, while also trying to relax during what was likely my last spring break ever. Although it was a busy week, I love every part of it and am so glad I got to visit the Zou! Here’s a little of what I did:

  • Ate delicious Apples & Sausage on a pancake with Samjay at Cafe Berlin, a CoMO brunch MUST.

    Cafe Berlin (photo by Samjay)

    Cafe Berlin (photo by Samjay)

  • Visited with Mariah in Mizzou’s beautifully gothic Memorial Union.

    Memorial Union

    Memorial Union

  • Dined on Addison’s famous Nachos Bianco with my blog friend, Kate, IRL! It was our first time to meet in person after two years of internet friendship!

    Kate & Me

    Kate & Me

  • Hung out in Center Hall and Sporcled with the ladies of Dobbs Canvas Group, aka what my undergrad small group became after they closed Mark Twain Hall for renovations.
  • Applied for some reslife jobs at Mizzou and in Texas, and ended up with a phone interview!
  • Visited the Missourian and caught up with one of my favorite editors, the lovely Liz Brixey.
  • Grabbed some delicious cookies from Ellis Library’s Bookmark Cafe and washed it down with some Kaldi’s coffee before catching up with my favorite eccentric and brilliant professor, Dean Ted Tarkow.

    Bookmark Cafe cookies. Soooo good.

    Bookmark Cafe cookies. Soooo good.

  • Walked across campus to see the newly renovated Pershing Commons and chat with my former Freshman Interest Groups colleague and Director of Mizzou’s ResLife, Frankie.
  • Resisted buying so many glorious black & gold souvenirs, settling instead on a T-shirt for the boyf. He joked that he now has a shirt to mow the lawn in. Jerk. #Aggie
  • Drank some Fitz’s rootbeer in Kaldi’s and worked on support raising.
  • Spent the evening snuggling and giggling with my five hosts (Katie, Elaine, Samjay, Allie, and Michelle) in their adorable house, the Loo (which stands for Land of Oz).

    The Loo gals and me

    The Loo gals and me

  • Grabbed gyros at Casablanca with Pastor Garrett and his lovely pregnant wife Brenna. (Can’t wait to meet baby Eben!)
  • Walked over to Pastor John aka Drage‘s house and hashed out my summer internship job responsibilities for LT and talked recent and upcoming life events.
  • Spooned and took the best nap ever with Samjay.
  • Treated myself to way too much food at Flat Branch with Allie. By far my favorite restaurant in CoMO. Had to get the Flat Branch burger smothered in their ‘Chokes & Cheese for old time’s sake, followed by their cookie sundae with black & gold Tiger Striped ice cream. Also finally got around to trying a sample of six of Flat Branch’s own brews. My favorite was definitely the Oil Change Oatmeal Stout. Dark and chocolaty with some coffee flavors; yum.
  • Craft nighted it up with Mazvita (Mah-‘gee-ta) and made some adorable fabric flower hair clips. Buy one here to support Mazvita and invisible chonic illness awareness!

    Craft night! (photo by Mazvita)

    Craft night! (photo by Mazvita)

  • Enjoyed a famous Rollins Dining Hall omelet with Elaine.
  • Lunched at the Upper Crust with my Walter Williams mentor, Maggie. Although it was a good lunch, I’ll have to remember in the future brunch is the best there.
  • Grabbed some Which Wich with my dear friend Justin who also happened to be in town.
  • Took a walk/hike through Clyde Wilson Memorial Park, tucked in the back of the East Campus neighborhood, with Samjay & Michelle

    Hiking with Michelle and Samjay

    Hiking with Michelle and Samjay

  • Crashed Dobbs’ Canvas Group
  • Watched a terrible movie on Netflix with Michelle.
  • Enjoyed delicious Thai iced tea and peanut phat thai from Bangkok Gardens with my former internship supervisors, Jill & Laura.
  • Toured the under-renovations Mark Twain Hall, my home for 3 years while at Mizzou.
  • Enjoyed the spring weather, the Columns, and Peace Park with Michelle.
  • Crashed a Rollins/Dobbs canvas group video game hangout.
  • Went home early for more snuggling, giggling, and worship with the Loo gals on my last night in CoMO.

    Worship time!

    Worship time!

Overall a beautiful week in Missouri!