Sunday, August 30, 2015

An Open Letter to Raleighwood

Dear Raleigh,

There's much to be said. I'm writing this letter on my last night in Raleigh. I'll go to sleep and pack all of my belongings in the morning for South Carolina. Within a matter of three hours, I will be in a different place - closing one chapter and beginning another.

Raleigh, you were my holding pattern. Just as a plane waits to land, you were the holding pattern for me. I waited in Raleigh for doors to open. But the Lord had me stay here. I was just a young girl in her early twenties when I moved here, and I'm leaving a woman in her early thirties. The Lord has taught me much about waiting on Him. Though I tend to wrestle more than necessary, the waiting is sweeter.

The waiting is the holding pattern. And the holding pattern is sweet. It becomes sweeter when you remember the failed, ugly attempts at trying to catch the eye of a guy here and there to not have it work out; the sweeter thing came into your life in April 2014. It becomes sweeter when you look at all of the odd jobs that taught you much about contentment and budgeting. It becomes sweeter when you realize the job you've always prayed for- to become a wife- is now being answered.  It becomes sweeter when you realize the new cycle of friends that came into the picture at every turn. It becomes sweeter when you realize the shy, insecure girl who entered Raleigh is leaving more outgoing, less insecure, and more confident. It becomes sweeter when you realize how far God has taken you and what lies ahead.

Raleigh, you've been my holding pattern; you've also been for my good. My time here has taught me much about putting others before self. It's taught me about my desire to please others and be perfect. My time here has allowed the Lord to refine me in more ways than I'd care to receive. All for my good. My time here has taught me about rest, though I fail often. It's taught me about legalism and grace. It's taught me about fighting the good fight of faith. It's taught me about loving others and giving. All for my good.

This holding pattern. This city. I wish had spent more time loving others well than seeking my own desires. I wish I had worried less and cared for others more. I wish I had embraced the city more and hated it less. I wish I would've given this place my all and had not bucked up against my holding place.

And so as one chapter ends, we know as confident readers the next chapter holds a continuation of all that has previously happened. This most nearly means that more is to come, and that "more" is built on the previous. And so, the previous is not too far back- just a few pages. My next chapter takes me to marriage. I'd always prayed for marriage. And now the prayer is being answered, yet in a greater way than I could have imagined. I love Jeremy. I am excited to be his wife. It is certainly something I knew the Lord was calling me to. And now I leave the comforts of familiarity and go to him because He has called me to do so. I will confidently go in the direction of the Lord's guidance.

Thank you Raleigh. You've given me a greater love for a cheeseburger; Duke basketball; responsibilities; friends for life; and more confidence in the Lord's direction for my good.

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