I am on a train. Current stop: College. Four years ago, I stepped off of the train at my platform, Purdue University. I started a journey that I would have never guessed would land me here, about to board the train again on my way to the next stop: Graduate School. At this station I have developed life lasting friendships, changed my entire life, and developed some of my most important and valued passions. I have been in one of my dearest friend's wedding in South Africa, I have done photo shoots, ran with my arms spread wide, watched sunsets and sunrises on top of parking garages, overlooking massive oceans, staring out on lakes, woods, and valleys of other countries. I have risen from a stage in front of 6000 students, and been challenged by people who are 100% different than I am. I have lived in five different houses/dorms/apartments and have developed unbelievable memories in unbelievable places. And now I am about to get back on the train that will take me someplace new. A new platform, a new adventure, a new life, with new faces, and new memories. I will develop old passions and discover new ones and I will experience things I could never have imagined or dreamed of. And I won't experience some of the ones that I have dreamed of.
Throughout this whole process I look back on the past train stations that I have enjoyed life at. High school, middle school, childhood, etc. I see the old faces, the old friendships, the old life that I used to have. I see the faces that I have left behind and have not seen in four plus years, and I see the ones that boarded the train with me and stayed in my life a little longer. Some got off at different stations, some got back on after a station or two apart. Life is full of good byes and hellos. What makes them bearable? What makes it okay to get back on the train? To say good bye to everything you are familiar with? Every time I get back on the train to go to a new station there is one big thing. I am always looking at a familiar face. He is my Father, my God, and my Savior. He takes my hand every time it's time for me to move on, to take the next step in my life adventure. He says to me, "Come on, I've got something to show you, it's just beyond what this station has offered you. It is something good, yet hard, hair raising yet knee sinking." I look at His face, I grab His hand and I walk. I walk away from what I know and I walk into what I trust. I trust that the Lord is a good conductor. I trust that whatever the next stop brings, He will be there. I trust that He loves me enough to give me joy, peace, love, grace, laughter, growth, hardships, challenges, and adventure. I am excited for what He has in store, because when I look back at the stations that could have developed in my life time, I realize how well He has steered my train, how intentionally He has laid my path. He has taken my through scenes that make my jaw drop, valleys full of meadows and peace, deserts that scorched, winters that froze, mountains that dazzled, rivers that flowed, trees that swayed in the wind, busy city streets that bustle with noise. He has driven me past the poor, the afflicted, the ones in need of a spiritual and physical advocate and said "love them". He has driven me past the rich, the apathetic, the selfish, and the broken and said, "love them". My God has shown me things I never wanted to see, and things I never imagined I would be privileged enough to see.
Leaving this station means leaving a lot behind and for that I will be sad. But I cannot wait for where God is leading me next and I continue to look forward to wherever He may lead me.