Never in a million years would I have dreamed up the life that I live today. I don't have a picket fence, a dog, three kids and a minivan. I'm not a single missionary in Europe. I live in Ohio, I make coffee for a living, and I have a husband in graduate school. Not going to lie, I sort of expected a little more mystery and glamour.
When my parents came to visit, they brought memories.
The boxes my parents brought contained so much memorabilia from my South Carolina life. There were letters from high school, photo albums from my first year in Ukraine, journals, the planner I kept when Carson and I were first dating, my high school diploma, CDs of back-up pictures from who-knows-when.
I was reminded of the short-lived tradition I had with Brooke, of making rice krispy treats for the Harvest Festival every October, and the longer-lived tradition of having a mini photoshoot before the festival.
There were journals, which showed me what I was thinking about, worrying over, and looking forward to in life. There are prayers I'd written down that really humble me today, quotes that still inspire, and of course a little melodrama that I'd like to rip from those spiral-bound pages.
Over and over again, I'd written Philippians 4:6-7, in a desperate attempt to remind myself to not worry but to trust... some things never change. In my journals, this was in reference to college, mostly. Today, I worry about other ambiguities in life. I worry about where we'll go next (Carson's first year of school went by freakishly fast, didn't it?), our future as a family, money for this or that...
But the past reminds me of something I knew and forgot even then. God knows. He knows who will be in the pictures I take in five years, what those years will hold, where they'll be held, how many times we'll be able to see family, and even what I'll be worrying about then.
This is why I love going through old stuff, why I love recording thoughts and moments through pictures and journaling (I don't journal anymore, but this blog counts, right?). I am reminded of God's faithful provision in years past - how He's given good friends, jobs that paid the bills, pennies to pay for birthday parties, and met my needs. I am reminded to be humble when I think of how good I thought I looked while in braces, to be thankful, because I really have had a blessed little life, and to praise God, for He is and has been good, even when the going has been tough.