Once when I was a little girl on vacation by the ocean, my grandmother handed me a pretty shell to keep. As we walked along the beach, I dropped it in the surf and a wave quickly washed it away. There was no finding it again. I don’t remember what the shell looked like, its shape or its color, only the sense of loss in my small heart.
My grandmother doesn’t know who I am anymore. When we visit in the nursing home, she tells me what a nice young lady I am with no recognition on her face and asks if I think her long fingernails are real.
This is the world we wake to—a transient kaleidoscope, ever shifting. From the flowers that bloom and then die to the melting snow and our own memories slipping away, nothing is permanent.
You might notice that my blog looks a bit different. I changed the theme and deleted a lot of posts. I’m trying to transition my blog into adulthood, I guess you could say. A lot of people probably just delete their teenage blogs, but since I’ve used mine intermittently and I really like a lot of things about it, I figured I could just give it a bit of a makeover.
Anyway, as I was going through and deleting lots of things, it was a bit of a strange experience. It was strange to remember what it felt like to be in high school, to feel the things I felt then but to be so far from it. I believe C.S. Lewis said, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” That sums it up pretty well. I also write a poem about it:
Dear girl who is me and not me,
you were seventeen and bleeding
anger and hope. You were just holding yourself together,
aching to know who you were.
Fall is approaching again. If you’ve read my blog through the seasons, you’ll know that I am in very strong opposition to fall. Other people get excited about apples and sweaters and pumpkin flavored everything, and I like to just kind of cross my arms and glare.
Perhaps I should try to withhold my judgments this year and make better memories. I do like sweaters. I don’t like school starting again or trees dying or losing people.
I have been without some of my dearest friends for over 23 days now. I am sad about it, because–well, I’ve already written about it. We grew close and loved Jesus and went on adventures. Adventures are my favorite, and my friend Fern is very good at instigating them.
Fern is a gem and made me realize that I’m not quite as introverted as I once thought. I am more introverted than extroverted, I think, but I really, really like being with people and doing things.
I used to think I wasn’t a real Christian because I didn’t feel any different. God forgave my sins, and that was all well and good, but it didn’t make me magically care about him. I went through a long stage in life where I asked God to save me from my sins so many times, but it never really felt real to me. It was nice for that day, and then I went back to not caring. I started to hate myself so much because I thought if God had really forgiven my sins, I would be different. I would actually love him and want to follow him and read my bible and pray and do all that Christiany stuff. But I still hated it. Reading my bible was a chore, praying felt like nothing, and conversations about God were just awkward.
I’m still there sometimes, but I think I’m starting to realize that grace is a process, and Jesus does change things. A while ago at church they talked about the gospel and how a lot of times when we talk about it, we end it too early. Because God doesn’t just forgive us. He transforms us.