Sunday, September 11, 2011

Last Friday Night

[I want to be sure you all know that I am listening to Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" while I write this.... Literally, I opened iTunes (yes, it's in my library #notahipster #imalsowearingnorts) just to play the song... even though I have never experienced a Friday night that looks anything like the one Katy sings about. It's whatever. I'm okay with that. Anyways....]

Last Friday night, me and my besties (= Kit Stallings, Molly Hendry, Cody Nall, Neal Timberlake, Kathleen Palmer, and KP's boyfriend: Todd Robinson) loaded up in Neal's SUV of perfection and made the trek up to ATL. The Avett Brothers were playing at the Tabernacle... for free.
This is exciting, people.

Now, I'm not the world's biggest Avett fan, but I'm a bigger fan than Molly Hendry ("... Wait. Are we listening to the Avett Brothers right now?"... "[Insert comment about Lecrae.]") So, while I may not have been as stoked-out-of-my-mind as Kit Stallings was, I was still pretty excited, and if I'd had more than three hours of Thursday night sleep under my belt, I'm sure I could've mustered up even more excitement.

So we go. We park. We eat at a greasy diner. We wait in line for three hours. And the Tabernacle fills up literally with about fifteen people left in line ahead of us... literally.

Disappointment hit hard. Really hard. I laughed too soon (still sorry). Others held back tears.
It just wasn't logical. We got screwed. Other people who'd waited half the time we had were in there while we were stuck waiting on the sidewalk and wondering what to do next.
It wasn't fair, and it didn't make sense.

... Naturally, once everyone collected their sorrows up enough to walk away from the closed yellow gate and back to the car, we ended up going to The Varsity, buying some chocolate milkshakes, and having a dance party/photo-shoot on the top of the parking deck...
and I'm not sure about everyone else, but I know I had one of the best nights of my sophomore year.

Because sometimes that happens.
Sometimes, you don't get into the free Avett Brothers concert you waited in line for, for three hours.
Sometimes, you get disappointment.
Sometimes, you get screwed.
Sometimes, nothing goes according to plan.
And sometimes, when you put your mind to it, you can have joy anyways.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my sophomore year.
(Yes, this is the post you've all been waiting for that I've talked about writing in my past three or so posts.)

Really happy, actually.
I'm happy to tell you I'm happy, and I'm happy to be happy.
(The word happy now looks super weird.)

Nothing has changed really. I mean, I guess life has changed a little bit.
Being a sophomore is way different (way better--to me) than being a freshman, but nothing about my life circumstances (other than where I live--in The Village! What up life of luxury?!) are all that different. I miss my family, but I'm not homesick. And instead of wishing I was at home, I'm wishing they were here. Birmingham used to only be just two hours away, but now it's TWO HOURS away.

God has just given me an unexplainable peace (that surpasses all understanding) and contentment and joy with His current calling for me.

Temptation is still out there.
Oh boy, is it ever. It's got it's toughest game face on actually, and I can feel it fighting harder than ever to steal away my newfound happiness, but I won't let it. I will fight to keep this prize.
Not because I deserve it, but because God thinks I'm worth it, and He proved that when He sacrificed His son so that I can be happy. 
I should be happy. I'm crazy, ridiculously, unfathomably blessed, and I've been a spoiled-rotten brat for not appreciating that.

Freshman year was tough (Duh, you know that if you read this blog. So sorry about any wayyyy too emotional posts from when I was a little crazy and at rock bottom. I realize they're pretty awkward. I may delete one or two, but I can't decide. Those posts are a direct reflection of months that brought me so much closer to the Lord than I've ever been before. My life is the embarrassingly emotional mess that those posts are, and God's grace is constantly cleaning it up. I think that's beautiful. So, I don't know. Anyway...), and by the time it was over I was looking for any reason I could muster up to blame it on Auburn. I didn't want to admit that Freshman year was a blessing because I didn't want to stop wanting it to be different. I didn't want to be thankful for heartache, but now, sophomore year has started, and guess what... I am.

I am so thankful that freshman year went the way it did. If it wouldn't have, I wouldn't be the person I am today (cliche, but true #sorryboutit). I wouldn't be upset that I'm struggling to have a daily devotional because I wouldn't know to struggle for one. I wouldn't have had countless awesome encounters and conversations with so many beautiful girls. I wouldn't be able to appreciate the joy of dancing on a parking deck with my best friends after deciding not to experience the more obvious extreme disappointment.

I am so happy right where I am.
I'm in college.
I have the best friends in the world.
And I'm bound for the promise land.

The best is still yet to come, but at least I'm having fun waiting around for it.

So, here's a song Neal showed us that makes me wanna cry it's so cute and perfect:

And here is a picture of my travel buddies (minus Todd):

"Most days, we spend together 'cause
we realized that they go so fast.
Sometimes, I get to wonderin' if
these perfect days will last."
-Emily Hearn, Rooftop

(left to right:
top row: Cody Nall, me, Molly Hendry, Kit (Girl) Stallings;
bottom row: Neal Timberlake, Kathleen Palmer)
(... and if you want to see the rest of the eight-bajillion pictures we took, check my Facebook, yo.)

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