This has been a very intense year, and I've been feeling very reflective this morning even as I contemplate how we're less than 8 weeks away from 2016, and how TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY I'll be on a plane touching down in Paris (!!!!!), and how two days from today marks my one-year anniversary of becoming an official member of the State Bar of Georgia. It's been an intense year of learning and growth and adjustments to a new lifestyle--being in a new city, my first professional job, being a lawyer--that have been much harder than I imagined they would be. Yesterday I was reminiscing about just how scared I was that day in August last year when I loaded up everything I owned in a moving truck and took off for a city where I knew virtually no one. It has been quite the ride, and it hasn't been easy. There's been a lot of struggle in the 15 months since I moved here--struggles to make friends, struggles to adjust to a new career where I'm pushed to perform at a higher level than I often feel capable of, and struggles to figure out what matters most to me as a twenty-something in a demanding profession in a big city, even as I KNOW that God wants me to be here now. I am totally confident about that, and even though my emotions sometimes scream at me that this isn't working out exactly the way I thought and maybe I should re-think things and go somewhere else, I have felt, and still feel, a deep and abiding peace about being where I am. I'm supposed to be here, I'm supposed to be practicing family law and am called to do that, and I'm supposed to be leaning in to what God has for me here.
And y'all, I just keep learning that God is faithful. God is faithful when I don't know if I can push any harder than I'm already pushing it, but somehow I have to. God is faithful in the times when I feel stuck in a rut or when I wonder if this place will ever consistently feel like home. God is faithful to always be the firm foundation of my life, absolutely no matter what. And that is worth celebrating, and writing about, even in a year when just trying to get on my feet has made me neglect this blog SO much. The other day I sent my best friend some really old blog posts I had written--like, from 2012--and she told me they had really blessed her, so I decided I need to start writing again. Officially. As much as I can. This is not going to be a formal "devotional" post, but I do want to share this with you. I've been reading in Hosea lately (absolutely amazing book, by the way), and have been given so much hope and encouragement by this verse lately: "I [the Lord] will make the valley of trouble a door of hope." (Hosea 2:15). YES. The Lord is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope, and reading this passage has meant the world to me in a season of my life where I've been spending a lot of time in the valley, a lot of time trying to figure things out and make sense of where I need to be and how I can serve the Lord in a life that's just so very different from anything that has come before this for me. But He is still here, and I've had conversations with a lot of people who love me and care about me lately that have helped me see that door of hope beginning to crack open, even in a season in the valley. And again, I could say this 100 times and I probably HAVE said this 100 times on this blog, but it's still just as true as ever. Jesus is enough. He is always, always enough. Not Jesus PLUS the perfect job, the perfect relationship, plenty of money, plenty of friends, and everything that Instagram makes me believe I need to have to have a perfect life. Just Jesus. He is enough. He's just enough.
That said . . . here are some other things that have been going on in my life lately:
- Yesterday I chopped off a ton of my hair and dyed it red and I LOVE it.
- I've been hiking:
- And taking painting classes:
- And I'm taking a French class in an adult continuing education program at a local university. And I DON'T GET IT AT ALL. This is why I only took Spanish in high school! But I'm going to keep working at it.
- I'm handling a lot more at the office than I was a year ago--giving clients lots of legal advice on my own, handling a couple of simpler cases with only very minimal supervision, writing much more substantial briefs and motions for partial summary judgment and similar items, jumping right into the fray with discovery disputes with opposing counsel, and you get the idea.
- I've been reading a LOT this fall, especially after coming to the alarming realization that if I read a book a week for as long as I can expect to live, I only have time left to read about 2,800 books in my lifetime (I somehow thought it'd be 10,000 or so. Not so much). I've read this book about young investment bankers on Wall Street and this amazing book about poverty in America and of course a Jodi Picoult book. Now I'm reading this book about neuroscience (I never said I wasn't a nerd) and this other book about poverty in America and of course this classic about life in Italy. And this book that my pastor wrote. And this Lisa Scottoline book (love her work). So much to read, so little time!
- I am LOVING the career advice in this article. Despite the title, this is great stuff for professionals of any age. Especially great parts: "Carve out time in your week to prioritize your own learning." "Lean in to your weaknesses." "The best form of networking is absolutely crushing results in your job." And I could go on, but just read it yourself! Along the lines of this article, I've set myself the goal of reading 5 professional articles each week at my job (on any topic that's relevant to my career), of going to more seminars, of seeking out more feedback and actually using it, etc.