I wrote this a couple of days back:

Despite my counting down, I knew all along this particular end wasn’t going to be some kind of happy independence day.

There would be no jubilance; unlike the feeling experienced by a climber reaching a summit, finally realizing that all the sweat & blood that came before that was worth the breathtaking view.

There would only be tiredness, a tiredness so thorough there would be no room to feel relief. It would merely be the end of the exams…the end of the beginning. The beginning of a grueling journey.

I wrote that smugly, in my bitterness.

But something deep down changed last Saturday when I was ministered to. I really don’t know if the change will last, but I began to view things in a new light. I dunno. If someone else had written this I might’ve looked at it and scoffed. But it was real to me that day.

I began to see that I did not need to be bitter.

I saw (figuratively speaking) Jesus, standing there with open arms…waiting for me to give him all my burdens. I realized he had been there, waiting…all along…for the girl who had run away to come back.

I did not see a disappointed father, shaking his head at all my mistakes. I saw, strangely, a loving one, one that hurt for me, that longed to have me back with ALL his heart! One that was gentle and tender, never once forcing me or wrenching away things that I clutched tightly for my security.

He just waited and waited…with an aching heart.

And I felt him say:

My precious daughter, you have been so tired carrying all your burdens. Even your gifts, so many good things in your life, have become huge weights, because you’ve clung on to them for security. But it’s alright, don’t feel bad. I am always waiting here, waiting for you to be ready to give them up to me. Even if you run away again, I am here. I am always, always, always here. So forgive yourself, and come with me. Do you see? It is not your strength, but my grace that has brought you this far. Would you be willing to acknowledge it? Would you be willing to let go of your pride and insecurity? Don’t go on proving yourself, it wounds me when you rob me of my glory. I want to give you the best gift of all…myself. I am the giver of life. I will pour my love into your heart…and you will overflow with it. Don’t hide yourself, don’t be afraid to be who you are, because I made you beautiful. You are my wonderful creation, and I love you with  unconditional love…Take my hand and let me lead you….and you will be fruitful…you will bless many…I will bring you to a place of greatness, but I cannot do that if you run ahead, or run away. But I love you so much, I will never ever force you or condemn you…I love you.

I rested in his sweet presence.

So I guess, this has still been a worthwhile journey. Not one that I feel like celebrating, but one that let me find a treasure: the knowledge that my God has always been and will continue to be right there waiting for me.