thoughts on endings.

i know they're supposed to be beginnings somehow as well, but i'm not really feeling it.

this week there have been a lot of last-for-the-years. some have been greeeeeaaatt. some have not been so awesome.

lasts that i appreciate:

1.) the last paper. okay so it's not finished yet, but it will be soon! it's about a terrorist group, so it's interesting, and there's lots of information i can put into it. plus, it's not strictly due til monday, so i have some leeway. whew.

2.) the last presentation. yep. this one is officially done. it goes with the paper that i have yet to complete, but i presented this morning, and now it's a huge weight off my chest. although it was kind of fun to make… i got to use keynote, and that's always a blast. it always makes me look way more creative than i actually am. but i mean i'm not complaining or anything.

3.) the last set of women's psych journals. it's probably hard for you to understand the weight of this one, unless you've experienced k. brown's psych of women class (or really any class of hers). never have i been so stressed, or judged myself so harshly, based on ten points. each journal has to examine something in the real world that relates to how women are treated or perceived, and must be backed up by scholarly journals and such. there have certainly been some interesting topics (women in movies, women in advertisements, how language influences thought, women in religion, stuff like that), but the intrigue of reading up on interesting topics is often overshadowed the night/morning before the journals are due when you're scrambling to print the journals and your sources out, highlight and annotate them, and cram them all neatly into the journal folder. i won't miss it. plus i'm all out of connections (ha… haha… it's a psych of women joke. unfortunately it's more a source of stress than humor).

4.) the last chapter of my social welfare policy book that i ever have to read. i feel like this one is self-explanatory. it's the reason i'm posting this entry so late.

the sad lasts:

1.) the last college mentors for kids activity day. this past tuesday we got together, exchanged gifts, and played outside. it was great, and lots of fun, but kind of sad. last year (if you've been reading that long), i had a great little buddy, lea, and he didn't come back the following year. while my experience with dylan and matthew was much crazier, i'm really going to miss them. part of me wonders whether they'll be coming back next year, even though they say they will. i mean the good news is that ultimately God knows what He's doing. i would never have met matt and dylan had i stayed with lea. and that would have made my life a lot less interesting.

this is dylan. he's determined to be a professional wwe wrestler when he grows up.

this one's matthew. he wanted us to be holding laffy taffy for the picture. i didn't really understand why. both are typical.

we're friends, i promise. wouldn't have traded it for anything.

2.) the last bible study. tonight we went to ivanhoe's an awesome ice cream place with crazy huge portion sizes (i finished maybe half of mine. which is kind of a big deal.) it's been an awesome year, and i have grown so much. this one could use a whole journal entry by itself. maybe it'll happen. i've met some amazing guys, most of whom have taught me instead of the other way around. i've learned about myself and about the Lord, how He provides words when i literally have no idea what to say, how He moves in the hearts of the guys that i lead without me doing anything. i've grown in love for my brothers in Christ. and i've been reminded how little i know… there are few things more humbling than trying to lead a bible study. it's been an amazing experience.

3.) the last d-time with austin. this guy's going to be in east asia for a whole year (contact me if you want to know how you can support him!). one of the reasons i have grown so much as a Godly man is because of austin's wise council, his thoughtful (and totally honest) questions, and his faithful guidance. buckbee is going to be sorely missed. don't tell him i told you though.

4.) the last cru. it hasn't happened yet, but tomorrow night's going to be awesome and slightly sad, just because of the community that's been built up over the last year. it'll be joyful, because it'll be a night of celebration, a night to show gratitude to graduating seniors and send them off into the real world. it'll be a night of praising Jesus for the work He's done on this campus. it'll be a night of goodbyes. it'll be a night of great music. it's crazy to think that everything that's happened this year through cru (and navs, and aia, and all other Christ-centered organizations) was exactly how God planned it out to be. isn't it cool that we serve a God that already knows what's coming? i find it to be a huge comfort.

5.) the last awana. nathan and i have led games for the children's ministry at new life all year, and last night was the annual hot dog dinner, where parents and their kids and the leaders all get together, eat hot dogs, and celebrate the year. this year especially it's been awesome to get to know some of the kids, to help them learn bible verses and the truth of the gospel. there are few things cooler than listening to a second grader clearly express his understanding of what Jesus did on the cross for him. i love the way God works in the hearts of His youngest children. unfortunately, this was probably my last awana, because i won't be doing it next year. scheduling, unfortunately, doesn't match up. i'm trying not to think about it too much. but, i'll still be able to keep in touch with some of the people. i'm going this monday to a baseball game one of the kids, drew, is playing in. that'll be fun. right now, i'm just so grateful that God gave me the opportunity to be involved in new life, to pour back into a church that has poured into me.

there are other things that i'll miss (and other things that i won't). but it's been an awesome year, one that has shaped me and grown me. again, all in His timing and plan. this summer will be a crazy awesome time, and i'm looking forward to what it holds.

i still don't think that endings are secretly beginnings. i think things end, all on their own. i think new opportunities, new chances arise, and transition into the places that the old things once stayed. but that's okay. it's what happens; it's the way things work. there will always be endings. but there will also always be new things.

and, again. He already knows all of it.

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One thought on “thoughts on endings.

  1. Jessica says:

    I liked this one a lot! and honestly, when you look at it, all the little things you didn’t like (like your psych of women stuff) really don’t seem to matter anymore. What matters is that you changed LIVES for Christ. do you ever really think about it? whole LIVES. that means the next 60 some years of these guys lives (especially the ones you discipled) are influenced by YOU. little Brad. a little speck on the Earth. just made from dust. only here for a second. but a BIG part of God’s plan. it’s CRAZY.

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