Some ramblings, reflections & possibly a farewell

I’ve come to the realization lately that this blog will probably be collecting dust very soon and that perhaps I should just bid it farewell. And I think perhaps it’s just as well.

I am moving into a new season of my life, and while I by no means consider myself completely out of my “valley of Achor” just yet, I am in a much different place now than I was when I started this blog, and even if I somehow find time to continue to blog in the future, I’ll probably start another blog rather than contribute to this one. So this may very well be my last post on “Valley of Achor.”

So much has happened over the last few months that I won’t even attempt to go into a detailed narrative, but let’s just say that I’ve faced the biggest demons in my life, I’ve confronted my deepest source of pain, I’ve made some earth-shattering revelations to certain people, my faith has all but crumbled into the dust, and all this has happened in the midst of preparing for my transition to university this fall. I’ve been on a roller-coaster ride emotionally, some days hopeful and exuberant, other days despairing of life itself, and some days so stressed out and overwhelmed I’ve just wanted to curl up in my bed and avoid the challenges and mile-long-to-do-list facing me.

But I’ve survived, I’m still here, and by next month I’ll be living in a new city, with people I barely know, and facing two years of intense study at a prestigious university. I have a feeling the next two years will either make me or break me. I am simultaneously super excited and absolutely terrified. But I know I’m doing the right thing, no matter the outcome. I didn’t make it this far only to allow fear to dissuade me from my dreams.

So, as I step out on this next new phase of my life, into uncharted territory, I think I’ll bid this little blog, and the young woman I once was, farewell. I will never forget the dark places I have been in, and the pain I have endured, but I want to move on.

Although, I have come to realize, I shall probably carry my scars for the rest of my life. There will be no true and complete healing for me in this life. Some pain is never truly forgotten or overcome. Despite what all the health and wealth and prosperity people preach. I’ve been made even more keenly aware of my fragility due to a sudden and unexpected flare-up of my rheumatoid arthritis recently. I’ve been mostly in remission in recent years, so the flare-up really caught me off guard, but it also reminded me that pain will always be my friend, in one shape or another. I will never be able to escape pain. But physical pain I can handle. Even on days like last week where I was so stiff and in so much pain I could barely move. It’s emotional pain, it’s mental pain, it’s memories that can’t be erased, that hurt far worse. Those are the sources of pain that sear one’s soul, that leave an indelible mark on one’s spirit. And it’s those sources of pain that will always haunt me, and that I will always carry with me, no matter where I go or what I do in this life of mine.

But however challenging the next steps of my life may be, I’m determined to go forward. I cannot, will not, ever, ever go back to the dark places I’ve been in. I would rather be dead. My life, however fragile and bruised and battered, must make its mark in this world. I must make it mean something. So that none of my pain will be for naught.

Last night I felt my life meant something. I’ve been volunteering again this summer at a local church teaching an ESL class, and last night was my last class. I went to class expecting it to be the normal affair it usually is, although I regretted I couldn’t think of a way to reward or celebrate my students’ participation in the class. However, the students flipped the tables on me and totally surprised me by celebrating me as their teacher. Apparently they conspired to throw me a party. I knew something was up when I saw them bringing assorted items into class, like drinks and pizza boxes. But it wasn’t just the little party. There were also flowers, a sweet thank you card signed by all the students, a $25 gift card to Panera, and hugs and words of appreciation and “I’ll miss you, teacher”s from all the students. I could have cried. It was so touching, and reminded me that my life can be valuable, despite the pain, if I only use it to bless others.

So this is why I’m still here. Why I’m still fighting. Why, despite everything I’ve been through, and probably have yet to go through, I will do my best to persevere. To not give up. To keep staring down my darkest demons and my deepest fears. Come what may, I must go on. Because my life must not be lived in vain.

So, this may be farewell. Farewell to the Valley of Achor. I’m moving on. Both literally and figuratively. Perhaps a new blog will come along at some point, but for the foreseeable future, I’ll be too immersed in real life to wander the halls of the blogosphere.


6 thoughts on “Some ramblings, reflections & possibly a farewell

  1. Exciting!!! I am glad to see what God has done in your life, and I pray that He will continue to guide and BLESS you unbelievably in your next phase of life!! xo

  2. I’m sorry I only just saw this now. Twelve days are an eternity in the blogosphere. In any case, best wishes in your new home and new studies and in all things. If you do blog again, I hope I’ll happen across it. Feel free to pop by Lasseter’s Lost Reef and let your new blog be known, if you do, April.

  3. Hey sweetie. I hope you’re doing ok. This post made me think you were a little sad and down with life. Then it made me think that maybe there was a little bit of hope. I know what it is to feel like your life doesn’t stand for anything. As if you’re not being relevant. Once God showed me that, as long as I do my best for him, that’s what makes his heart smile. Just like the song “The Little Drummer Boy”. That little boy didn’t have anything to offer the king. He decided to take the little he had – his drum – and play his best for Jesus. I’m sure he wasn’t any great super star drummer. But what made the difference was his heart and desire to give God his best – not perfection – but his best. That’s a very powerful tool. I’m sure you gave your best with that ESL class and the students were able to show their appreciation that day. AMEN.
    Please don’t lose hope April. I don’t know if you know this song or not, but I’ll just leave this message ok.

    It’s made me cry.
    Please let me know if you start a new blog in the future ok.
    Hugs and blessings
    Deus te abençõe!

    • Staci, thanks so much for the kind words and the song. I’m actually very familiar with that song…I remember listening to it on Christian radio way back in the day (yes, I’m aging myself!). It’s an oldie but a goodie–thanks for sharing. Very encouraging.

      I’ve been up and down and all over the place emotionally lately…some things in my life–like school–make me feel hopeful, while other issues make me wonder why I even bother getting out of bed in the morning. Hard to explain.

      I’ll definitely let you know if I start a new blog. Um forte abraco e Deus te abencoe tambem! 🙂

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