Despite the mixture of anxiety and sadness I felt as I took one last look at what had become home, I began my journey back to the Mitten. As if I wasn't emotionally overwhelmed already, the fact that I had never driven more than 3 hours alone only added to my state of mind. Fortunately, I had three mixed CDs, two Camelback water bottles, one bag of Haribo Gold Gummy Bears (the best), one box of Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its, one bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms, two robust playlists, AND The Chronicles of Narnia Audio Dramas along for the ride. This company of music, snacks, and not to mention my own reflections on the past 15 months of my life, got me all the way to the Ohio Turnpike, where I made my first stop.
Now, I understand when normal people stop to rest they usually pay a visit to the restroom, do some stretches, fill up the tank, and get a bite to eat. Yes, I did use the restroom and fueled the Camry, and I did stretch while I waited in the McDonald's line for 20 minutes. However, that rather lengthy wait was not for a meal, all I wanted was a large ice cold McDonald's coke. I'm not going to name any names, BUT a certain someone thinks I'm pretty weird for believing wholeheartedly the coke at McDonald's tastes better. I promise you, IT DOES, and it was well worth the wait! ;)
So with coke in hand and The Magician's Nephew through the speakers, I was on the final stretch. I don't know if it was the dry contacts, sore butt, or one too many gummy bears, but the second half went by a bit slower than the first. The "Welcome to Michigan" sign came and went, though, and just as the sun set, I was greeted with excited hugs and a feeling of accomplishment. I was home again.
It's been three weeks since, and as I sit here watching a Christmas movie with my parents, I realize how grateful I am for seasons. Virginia was nothing I expected it would be. I learned some hard lessons, had my share of disappointments, and faced a lot of confusion, but I also lived close to one of my bests, met a few kindred spirits and a pretty awesome guy ;), was blessed with "sisters" I've always wanted, and got the privilege of living with incredible spiritual mentors. More importantly, through the trials and the joys, I started seeing more of the fullness of Christ.
I have no idea how long the Lord will keep me here or what here entails. The only thing I can really expect out of this season is to discover more of His fullness through whatever comes my way. I'm reminded of something I hope to live out that I read in Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest,
"If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if He has made it bitter, drink it in communion with Him."Well, Michigan is a sweet cup. May I drink it with grace.