It’s been a long time since I’ve truly been able to say this, but I’m feeling a strong sense of contentment. For the past couple years I wouldn’t say I was living, I was just being. I had a job that I enjoyed enough to stay at and I was living rent free, but it just didn’t feel right. I didn’t have that feeling that I was in the right place. I had a serious case of “post team blues.” What does that mean? I spent two years with Youth Encounter serving people and churches all over the eastern half of the United States. (You can read a whole previous blog about it.) Everyday except Monday I would get up in the morning with my four teammates and share God’s love with the world in various ways. There was a reason to wake up and get going in the morning. I felt like I had a purpose, but when it ended I lost that feeling. I didn’t know what to do.
The next two years were so mundane in comparison. Although I was living comfortably and nothing was inherently wrong, I felt no sense of purpose. I spent my time home by myself, at work, or watching TV with my parents. There was rarely anything to look forward to. On top of feeling a lack of purpose, I lost both of my grandparents on my mom’s side within the last year. The only times I felt truly happy were the four weekends I spent volunteering at Quakes, the youth events formerly sponsored by Youth Encounter. I was able to lead and hangout with middle and high school students all weekend, as well as fellowship with the other leaders and YE alumni. Just connecting with the youth gave me a sense of purpose that I didn’t feel in my daily life.
Now I can say that I do feel like my life has purpose. Yes, I’m still working a part-time job that doesn’t excite me, but there are other things in life that do. I am back in school working towards a goal and I’ve found a church where I feel at home. Every week I meet with a lovely group of ladies and chat over coffee. We’re there to listen to each other both in times of need and just to laugh with. I’ve reconnected with old friends and acquaintances, and made new friends. I started serving on my church’s tech team, and volunteering with the youth as well. I have a feeling of purpose again, and I couldn’t be happier! In the words of my dear friend and former Youth Encounter teammate J.D. Leonard, “I found where I am, is where I’m supposed to be.”
Even though those two years were rough for me, they were necessary. I love summer, but if it was summer all the time I’d take it for granted. In the same way, if life was always great I would forget to appreciate it. The reason I can sit here and say that I’m happy where I’m at is because I went through a time where I wasn’t.