There's Always a Bigger Picture

Kaitlin & I at the Grand Canyon in 2009.
I was talking to one of my best friends Kaitlin yesterday. She is in Scotland getting a Masters in Water Law. She is an amazing, insightful, deeply compassionate woman who truly exemplifies beauty outside and in. I am so lucky, blessed really, to have her as such a close confidant of mine. We pretty much speak on a daily basis, even though she is thousands of miles away. The Internet is truly a beautiful thing in this regard. Talking with her yesterday made me realize something about God's planning. Before I explain this more, I'll talk about how where our friendship originated.

Kaitlin and I were both transfer students at Azusa Pacific University. We both lived in the Engstrom dormitory on the 2nd Floor. I don't remember which wing. When I first found out that Jessie and I would be going to APU together, we made the choice to room with each other. We are different. She is quiet and slow, I am loud and more reactive. She is good with thinking about things and observing, I am bolder and intuitive in my own ways. Who knew this combination would begin the era of us living with each other for years. We became a very good team and worked very well together in many ways. We ended up in that hall at Engstrom, closer to the end of the hall. Kaitlin, Anna, and Leah lived near the front of the hall by the door.

My transition to APU was rough. I was fiercely independent. I had lived on my own for several years, putting myself through school while working at Nordstrom. It was great. Then in the Fall of 2007, I transferred into APU, and it was starkly different. I couldn't even cook or bake. And I felt like I couldn't identify with the people as much with the whole family element. It was hard for me to be surrounded by people who were more like kids coming out of their homes with their families, rather than independent and self sufficient adults. Make no mistake please, these people were awesome, and I loved seeing all of them. And not all people were like this either. I am just saying, this element combined with everything else, was a hard adjustment for me to make. I used to rent houses and apartments with roommates. Then I was sent into half a dorm room. For many, like Jessie, this meant freedom. She was overjoyed and did great. For me, it was confining. And also a little bit of a pain, since I had all my apartment stuff in storage that I had to pay for monthly. I was angry and actually became very depressed. I think just everything was getting to me during this time. Plus I had never in my life heard of "ring before spring" and the "MRS. Degree", and both terms became very familiar to me when I arrived at the school. It was shocking. It's all fine for people, but good lord, that stuff was the farthest thing from my mind. It freaked me out. During this time, I ended up developing anxiety and had a bought with major depressive disorder. For the first and last time, I went on Lexapro, meant for anxiety and depression. It helped with the anxiety, and I have been better ever since.

I say all this because I was so angry about dorming there. I knew all the stuff about how it is easier to make friends, and how there was surely a purpose this was the case. I knew God had a plan. But I didn't want his plan. I didn't want to be confined to a small space when for years, I had been accustomed to adult independence.

Yesterday, when I was talking with (the ever so patient) Kaitlin, it really dawned on me how all of this was really was God's plan. Despite the anger I had and all of the other things I was dealing with in association with this transition, some of the most precious people in my life came from that very hall I first resented. Back in 2007, I knew it was God's plan for me to be there. But I didn't care and didn't see it. I was mad. Looking back on this time now, I see what I value most in my life. The blessing of these friendships and people I have met. Anna, Leah, and Kaitlin became some of my closest friends from that time. We went on to live together in an apartment the next year. I also met many other beautiful people in that hall. People who to this day, are inspiring and amazing. God knew I would never have developed the friendships I have now without being there in that hall. Regardless of the difficulty of the transition, I was blessed beyond measure with some incredible friends. Funny how that works.

It just goes to show how in our anger, pain, turmoil-whatever it may be, God's purposes are still at work. Just like what I am going through right now, with this whole "moving on" topic. It is hard for me to make sense of this sadness when it was my choice and when I had prayed for God's help. The clear purpose behind all of this is to move me forward and set me free. In an example of a small way this is accomplished is to cease texting or regular communication with the man closest to me for so long. This also made me sad because it is just more of this loss I feel. However, this sadness is for the good. And it is good that we don't talk. I have prayed for this to happen. It is good there is this loss. This is what I need to have. Even if it makes me sad. It is just another example of how God has been behind all these little and big ways of pushing me forward, despite my sadness and pain. It's all apart of his plan for my good. How can I not be grateful for that? I am. I just really hope to see beauty grow from these ashes in whatever way God sees fit. All of this is just another example of how it is hard to see God's purposes when we are confronted with our own feelings of loss and sadness. It doesn't mean that there isn't a bigger picture that he is walking us towards.

Here are some images over the years of times with my college roommates. We made many more friends and met so many wonderful people. This was the biggest blessing APU gave me.
2007-Right outside of Engstrom during one of our first school dances.
2007-Our first party at Audie's house, 
2009-Bday party for Kaitlin at our apartment. 
2009-Anna's bday dinner wherein a mariachi man spoon fed her flan. Always a treat. 
2009-At the Griffith Observatory

2012-Disneyland with these wonderful women!
2012-Tommy's Wedding! 
2012-Attending Tommy's wedding!
2013- With Kaitlin at the Fullerton Arboretum just this month. <3