By: Gabriela Yareliz
Changes are interesting, and they are particularly interesting when they are a more “permanent” kind of change. This summer was great (I have so many photos and insights to share post-bar exam; I promise, it’s coming soon). Summer is about to conclude with the bar exam. I still think of the year on a school-year calendar, which means a new one is starting. I think of life as a pilgrimage of sorts, which makes it exciting.
I was reminded this summer of an event that changed my life forever; a place where my life took a dramatic turn. Sometimes, we forget how much we have been through in life, and realizing this reveals, in a powerful way, how far God has taken us. I was reminded of where a huge phase of my life began; the amazing people God put in my (and my family’s) path; heartbreak; accomplishments; growth– it’s crazy when you look back; when you REALLY look back (especially, when you look back at the ugly moments that ended up being a blessing).
Today, I was at the airport. The woman who took my suitcase threw it onto the conveyor belt, and I felt I heard something shatter inside of my suitcase. I will find out soon enough. The line for security was so slow I thought I would miss my flight, but thank God I made it just in time for boarding. The captain of the plane saw my French soccer team jersey with the rooster (le coq) on the chest and the “FFF” inscription. He asked me if the “FFF” stood for “Future Farmers and something else” because he said there was a “chicken” on my shirt. That gave me a good laugh.
Today is a big day. It’s the beginning of yet another turning point and phase of my life. I am excited, giddy and homesick (I won’t lie). I always miss my family terribly. Maybe, today, the shattering noise I heard was my heart and not my stuff in my suitcase. It’s always hard to leave home. Growing up is strange. It feels draining; there is a bit of anxiety; a lot of excitement; and yet still, a sense of peace, because I know I am exactly where I need to be.
Looking back at this journey so far, I have seen God so clearly, walking every step of the way with me. I have seen this before, but I can’t stress how important it is to have it super present when your world is changing dramatically. While things are changing (again) and a new chapter begins, I know that God’s presence in my life is something that doesn’t change.
When you are young, you envision your life. You spend your youth building that life, and while the building of a life never ends, there is a point where you begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the blessings. It’s that moment when you realize you have become the person you once envisioned, and it’s go time. It’s time to fill in the blanks and keep making it an amazing story.
I am so grateful, and I am excited to see how things continue to unfold. I have to go because my plane is descending. I have taken off, and now, I am landing in a world that is ripe for new stories, friends, experiences, growth and miracles.
A family member I admire very much once declared when confronted with a life-or-death situation, “I am not afraid.” Considering the context of the statement, it was bold. At a crucial time in my life, my mother stepped out in faith and her actions manifested her valor, faith and courage. Now, it’s my turn to pick up my bags and walk forward. I am not afraid because He walks with me. He has always been walking with me. Every step.
It’s time to continue walking.
The sequel begins.
[Photos by Luis Gabriel]