just happy to be here, I'm happy to know you

Last weekend I finally got to go home and meet my niecey-niece.  Her name is Bizzy (if you remember) and despite what it looks like in this picture, she actually loves me a lot.  This picture is gonna be one of those ones that goes down in history as an all time greatest display of her and me.  I love it.  It’s going in her wedding slide show someday.
Being home was great.  I got to spend some time with some of my favorites, including craft time with Jre and Penelope, lunch with the Vogts and of course a great Nina-Goddaughter date.
The other great thing I got to do while being at home was that I had the privilege of baptizing Goddaughter.  It was a beautiful moment in my life to be able to hear my goddaughter confess her faith in Jesus and then to be able to baptize her myself.  It was an honor, not that it was about me.  I was such a proud Nina standing there in the water with her and watching her own her faith.  I’ve prayed for this day and for many more where she is able to stand up in front of her peers and loved ones and confess her faith in Christ.  It was a moment unlike any other in my life and I was in awe of God’s great grace that I was able to experience it.
So, going home, that was the first half of fall break.  Then I was back in Chicago for precisely 29 hours before jumping in the car with ~6 seminary friends and driving 3.5 hours to Muskegon, MI.  “home” sweet “home” for Alicia.  We’ve been staying with my good friend Becky and just enjoying fall in Muskegon.
Being back here makes me reflect a lot on the last three years.  It was three years ago that I lived here, did ministry here, called this place home.  It’s been three years since I’ve been back and these couple of days here have been a flood of memories of my time here.  Tonight I let all the others go to Grand Haven for a night on the town and I stayed back, visited and caught up with Brenda (my “other” mom) and just spent time reflecting.  I looked back on this very blog and read these words, dated September 1, 2007:
I was sitting on the beach the other night, journaling and praying as the sun set beyond the hugeness that is the lake. And as I watched the sun go down I prayed harder than I have in a long time and I felt like my heart was going to fall out of my chest. But the thing that saves me everytime is the knowledge that God is so much bigger than all this pain I’m feeling and through Him I get the strength to stand up, brush the sand off my pants and walk away.”
Today I stood on the beach next to Roomsmate looking out at the vastness that is Lake Michigan and I remembered that night.  I told Roomsmate about how I used to go to the beach and have my time with God.  I see God the best (at times) in Creation.  In seeing what He created for us.  I stood there today looking out and thought about all the ways God has blessed me and pushed me in the last few years.  I stood there and thought about the tears shed on this sand all those years ago.  I thought back on all the heartache and rough patches that He has brought me through to this moment and I smiled.  I am truly thankful for a God that is big enough to handle the pain and sorrow in my life in the same way he rejoices in the joys and celebrations.
In some ways I am the same 22-year-old girl that stood on that same shore 3 years ago and in other ways I’m not.  Being back here has taught me just how vastly different I am these days, but in a good way.  I am thankful for the place that I am in.  I am just where I belong.
More thoughts to come on various aspects of my life but for now hear this… I am still struggling through a lot of dealing with my dad’s life and death.  But at the end of the day I look around at those who surround me and realize that God is good to me, and that’s enough for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *