Late Beginnings

Author - Keyshawn Parkman

I don't know what my future holds. I've had to sit with this phrase for weeks, and it's driving me crazy. I'm not used to not knowing what's going on, what we're doing next, or having things planned out, but here we are.

I realized this as I sat on the plane headed back to Texas, struggling to fall asleep. When growing up, control was something I always strived for; control was comforting and something I was always used to, and for the past few days, this has been an area I've been challenged with immensely. My struggle with a lack of control shows itself most in not knowing what we're doing and only knowing as much as we're told.

I'm not much of a spontaneous person. I've always operated better with proper planning and knowing things ahead of time, and that part of me has been tested this week. My biggest focus has been trying to assimilate myself into a new routine to match this new season, and it's been difficult. I find myself going to sleep much later than I'm used to, not eating as much as I'm used to, and so on.

But I've learned that God is using that tension to grow me, and while in previous seasons, it'd be something I'd typically complain about, I'm actually excited about it. This week has been filled with late beginnings, but I'm glad God has orchestrated things this way.

The first late beginning I experienced this week was Saturday, as most of our team headed to T Bar-M to meet some of Cesar's friends. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, and my main reason for wanting to go was to tour the camp as I'd heard a lot about it. But as we began meeting Cesar's friends and worshiping with them, I quickly realized why our friend strongly loved this environment. As someone who hasn't been around a strong young adult Christian presence, I quickly felt as if I was late to the party and should've been around these people my entire life. The theme of control Showed up again here as we left early to take care of some things in San Antonio. Juahmar, however, left his keys at TBarM, and we had to head back. Honestly, we were both frustrated. As we made our way back through the camp, we felt God wanted us to stay a bit longer, and we met new people. We toured the campus for a while and played a few games, but overall, the interactions I made out there I'll never forget, and hopefully, I'll get the opportunity to grow closer with a few of those people as well.

The next late beginning describes our week as we return to what seemed normal after a long and adventurous trip to Maui, from morning Bible readings to afternoon Bible teachings on subjects ranging from salvation to God's judgment, righteousness, and more. This is my favorite part of our routine but also the most challenging. We're all wrestling with different thoughts as our theology, as we've known before, begins to tear. This week has been tough, to say the least, with my mind pondering on several different topics. But one thing I love is that even through the chaos that's been this week, even through the challenges and the confusion, I've seen God through it all. His presence has been in the midst of us, and he's using every word spoken to pour into our hearts and give us wisdom.

My focus recently has been to focus less on trying to gain control of a situation, of a moment, and surrender to God's voice as much as possible. I've recognized that we're all in a season of pruning right now, and I'm surrendering to that process, and because of it, I'm more excited about what's to come than ever before. I'm not expecting this process to be easy. As the weeks pass, the pressure could increase, but I'm confident that God has gone before us and created a space where each of us could access his wisdom through this program, and that realization brings me peace. I'm realizing more and more I don't understand him as much as I believed I did, and that's okay. As tough as this week has been on our knowledge and minds, the toughness IS God's love, and I'm blessed to experience that simply.
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