I can see it all now as I sit in my room writing.
Walmart, Office Max, Office Depot, Target, and office supply stores all over the world are exploding; manufactures everywhere ship school supplies to stores that cannot shelve it fast enough. The aisles are hectic; they are filled to the brim with both eager and disappointed students, longing and dreading their return to school. Every student has a school supply list; you can easily tell who is excited for another year and who is far from excited. They lay around in buckets waiting to be picked up by a student: markers, highlighters, pens, pencils, composition notebooks, and rulers. I can close my eyes and see the clothing stores packed with kids of all ages, restoring their wardrobes. I can feel the anticipation felt on the night before the first day. I can smell the exhaust from the school buses running early in the morning; the buses are ready to be filled with students once again. Lunch boxes and backpacks packed, the feelings of another year set in: anticipation, expectation, nervousness, happiness, excitement, and tension.
I can see it now.
August is approaching.
Earlier in the week, I was with Steven (called Bubba by family members) and his five year old sister, Sadie.
We had played outside in the sandbox for a few minutes and she got incredibly sandy because the sand was wet. She requested to take a bath and play with her princess toys, so we did.
Before getting into the bath, she needed to remove a band-aid off her knee that she put over a scrape.
Here is what went down between Sadie, Steven, and I:
Steven goes to take off her band-aid and Sadie was not at all excited about it.
Sadie: No! Bubba, I am not ready for you to take it off.
She had realized that it would hurt to take the band-aid off and hopped in the bath before either of us could take it off; she thought that if you wet the band-aid first, it would lessen the pain.
She looks at me with the sweetest look on her face.
Sadie: Cassidy, do you know how to take a band-aid off without it hurting?
Me: Well, you could peel it off slowly, but that hurts worse. I know you’re not ready, but it’s better to peel it off all at once, Sadie.
And that’s what we did. I put my hand to her band-aid and tore it off. She wasn’t ready, but she let me take it off. (Do your best to keep this image in your head because it drives my entire point home).
After we played with the Disney Princesses in the bathtub and got all of the sand off, we played dolls for a little bit longer until it was time for me to go home.
I am in the process of deep cleaning my room before I leave for college, so when I got home from Steven’s, I picked up where I left off and continued to clean my room; while cleaning out one of my drawers, I came across a slip of paper. I want to say that it is from the Philippines, but it was not with any of my other Philippines things. So, it’s safe for me to say that I cannot remember what it is from or why I have it, but on it, I scribbled…
“You’re never ready to do what you have to do.
You just do it.
And that’s what makes you ready.”
After I read this, I was instantly struck. I reached for my Mac, watching the Apple glow with its warm light, and opened a Google Doc; I had to write about this.
I find it crazy how God continues to find ways to speak into my life through the transition I am currently facing. I was sorting through so many papers: papers from friends, papers from middle school, and papers from my four years in high school. But still, this one particular paper struck a chord inside of my heart most unexpectedly.
Recently, this quote has been my life.
I haven’t really talked to anyone about feeling this way, yet. And well, I guess I am about to tell the people of the Internet, so here I go.
My life is changing and it’s changing faster than I think I would like.
I pack my stuff and move to Rome in just 24 days; I have to arrive four days before everyone else does due to my scholarship orientation and job training.
I’ll be honest with you and say that I am just sitting here right now in shock, staring at that number.
This is the time where in my head I am having one of my casual conversations with God that I so often have.
Me: Okay, okay. God… we just need to chill here for a second. Can we do that?
God: Whatever you need, Cass. It’s going to be okay.
God: Just take a few deep breaths.
Me: Okay, I think I’m ready. I have quite a few questions to ask you. Okay, God. Here I go.
You mean to tell me that in just 24 days I am moving to another place? And I am not going to be living full time in the house I grew up in? And you’re telling me that am going to have to wake up in a bed that is not my own and eat food from D-Hall? God, am I going to have to go two months at a time without seeing my parents, my best friends, or my boyfriend? And I have to leave my dog and my cats behind? God, you’re telling me that I don’t get to shower in my own shower or come home from a long day at NFHS to a noisy house?
God: Yes. That’s exactly what I am saying to you.
At this point, I have nothing left to say. My head has exploded and the lights in my brain have been shut off. It’s like a power outage.
Thinking about all of this absolutely rattles my foundation.
I want to write a side note to say that the point of this post is not to ramble, rant, complain, or whine. I have a point and you will see it soon.
The entirety of senior year I knew that come August of 2017, my life would be different. I knew that a multitude of things would change and be different, but I didn’t understand just how different they would become. I have to say that this change did not hit me until just a few days ago when I begun super cleaning my bedroom; looking back on papers, assignments, letters, cards, grades, notebooks, and binders from high school flooded me with memories. The funny thing is, high school wasn’t even the best time of my life; honestly, there are so many things about it that I hated, but the past few days I have been reflecting. Boy, am I realizing that I had it made.
I was chatting with Savannah, the sister that God forgot to give me, the other night about the change that is approaching both of us. I sent her a text that said, “all the things that I thought I wouldn’t miss are coming back to me in memories and now I’m starting to miss them.”
It’s just plain and simple.
I am going to miss the way my life used to be. I am going to miss waking up in the morning to my mom saying goodbye before work and my dad making my lunch. I am going to miss seeing all my friends in the library before school in the mornings and walking to class with them. I am going to miss the comforts of all the teachers I grew relationships with. I am going to miss my dad picking me up from school or riding home with Steven. I am going to miss coming home in the afternoons to eat a snack and do all of my homework.
I am going to miss it all.
I am not ready to move on.
I am terrified of the change that is before me and filled with nervous energy. I am excited don’t get me wrong, but I am scared all the same.
Even though I am scared and anxious and terrified and worried, God finds ways to remind me that I am not alone. Yesterday while I was planning this post, I stumbled across this verse that Moses wrote to the Israelites...
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.
For a moment, I felt peace.
I paused for a moment and let the peace wash over me.
Then, I put the verse and the quote I found on that orange slip of paper side by side. After this, I remembered the experience I had earlier in the day with Sadie’s band-aid.
Like Zangief from Wreck-It-Ralph, I had a moment of clarity. Suddenly, I connected the dots. With everything in my head at once, side by side, I uncovered a truth. I don’t think it was something I wanted to hear, but it was what God needed me to hear.
Sadie wasn’t ready to rip off her band-aid and I can’t say that I blame her because that is some painful stuff. She had to do it though or the material would become super sticky and soggy from the water of the bath. So since she knew she had to do it, she did it.
That is what made her ready.
I’m not ready to turn the page and begin a new chapter of life. I don’t feel equipped; I don’t feel ready.
It’s utterly simple. I am not ready to do what I have to do, but I have got to do it.
It’s funny how it took a five year old girl, cleaning out my drawers, and a quick moment to knock some truth into me.
Sometimes, we just aren’t ready. We don’t feel like we have all the necessary tools in our toolboxes or our ducks in the proper row. We have so many doubts clouding our judgement and making us believe that we are unable to do what we have to do. We doubt ourselves which leads to us ultimately doubting God.
What we so quickly forget is what Moses told the Israelites.
The Lord goes before us.
He doesn’t go after us, behind us, sideways to us, or upside down.
He goes before us, meaning in front of us. The Lord is already there on the scene before we even arrive.
We need to work harder to remember this. We need to stop clouding our own judgement and remember that God is already there. He already knows every heartache, trial, happy moment, loss, joyful time, and smile.
He knows it all.
I must learn to find peace in this truth that God freely shows me daily.
I am not ready. I am so not ready and as each day passes, I learn that I am less ready than I was the day before.
There are things in your life that you are not ready for. There are things God will choose to throw at you that will completely rock your foundation and stick you right outside of your comfort zone. You will feel like you aren’t ready, but it’s like ripping off a band-aid. You’re going to have to do it, even though you hate the thought of it. Trusting God and believing that He will not throw in the towel will bring you strength and confidence and peace.
It’s like ripping off a band-aid.
You just have to do it, all at once; with your eyes closed and faith open, you just do it.
God has blessed us with people in our lives that make us smile when our world is dark, make us laugh, take care of us, and encourage us. One of His many blessings to us is our community. But are you cherishing the people around you with thankfulness?
Directions are a huge part of life, but especially in faith. In the scavenger hunt, are you expecting God to reveal something grand to you, without actively seeking Him? Overall, this behavior is dangerous because it could be keeping you from uncovering the mystery in The Amazing Race that is life.