Thursday, December 25, 2008

reflections from the desert: part 3

With the sounds of "Pleasantville" drifting down from the loft, I sit here in my parents' living room next to the Christmas tree to end my tale.

As I said previously, I had been seeing our campus pastor for guidance and prayer and whatnot. At this time I was also seeing two others: my wonderful professor Joel (of Euangelion) and a counselor named Anna. Joel and I would meet about once a week for prayer and I cannot tell you how helpful that was to me. His care and support have been a great blessing in my life over the past two years, but especially in these last four months. However, this Anna was a whole other ball game. I had three appointments with her before I realized that she wasn't taking my issues seriously and that she was trying to befriend rather than counsel me. It was not entirely unhelpful, but nearly so, and so I stopped going to see her. I also stopped going to see Judy for the same reasons.

My counselors became God and my friends. It was hard for me to pray, but my friends advised me to set up a regular prayer routine anyway. I did so, and I continued it until I came to my parents' house (my entire rhythm of life has gone out the window since I've been here...). They made sure I was eating and going to church and not stressing about my homework. I don't know what I would have done without them and their late-night rescue sessions with me.

The end of the semester was rather bittersweet. On the one hand, I was grateful to have made it, to be at that place where all of the work must eventually be completed. I could finally be free of the academic trappings of the semester and have some time to read and relax and catch up on the music I was supposed to be learning all semester. On the other hand, my work was so backed-up that I was incredibly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it all, and the need to finish that work prevented me from spending adequate time with my friend-family in those last weeks.

The last week of school was torture. It began the Saturday before with what turned out to be the bright spot of the week: our eight-hour stake-out in the library. We brought tea and slippers and sat in a rather large and beautiful room from 10am to 6pm. The rest of the week, however, proved to be the most academically stressful week of the semester. I did homework almost non-stop through Friday morning. Two bright spots: I finished Theory and Aural Skills at 8:21pm on Wednesday, December 10th, 2008; and I had breakfast with the magnificent Mary Veeneman on Thursday morning. It was a glorious two hours of eating, coffee-drinking, and chatting--she has also been a wonderful blessing to me this semester, and I cannot express how glad I am that she has come to us.

It is now over. The semester that was the worst and best of my life is over. I experienced the pain that comes from reopening old wounds and letting them air out (or, you know, flushing them with rubbing alcohol), the stress of falling behind in classes, and the awful temptation to forget it all and run away screaming. But, thanks to God's infinite love, I survived the semester through His help and guidance and blessing in friendship and comraderie. Praise be to the Lord!

That's my story. I'm looking forward to surviving Christmas break and beginning the next semester. Then, I'll be a SENIOR. I'm not ready...ach.


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