I’m writing to you from 30,000 feet as I fly from Des Moines back to Dallas. As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to head up to the Midwest for a combination of work and sweet family time. I am leaving Iowa feeling so thankful for quality time with loved ones, as well as having acquired education and knowledge that I can take back to the office with me. I want to deviate from the usual Monday post today to share some thoughts I had with you while traveling last week.
Throughout my time traveling, I had quite a bit of alone time between the flight and drive to and from St. Paul. Quiet time that I welcomed, because it feels like a long time since I just sat in peace and quiet with the Lord. Time to really pray and listen. My main prayer while driving up to the Minnesota was that the Lord would redeem that state for me. I prayed that I would be a light to those I came into contact with, that my heart would change from resentful towards some of my memories there to a place of thankfulness.
I spent four, rather formidable years in Mankato, Minnesota while I attended undergraduate school and played softball for the University. I went to Minnesota State for one reason: to continue playing a game I loved so much while making education much more affordable. Aside from a few things my aunt had told me about the campus from her time there in the 70’s, I knew very little about the school. I had heard it was a party school, but since I never touched alcohol in high school, I did not think that would be an issue.
The city was small, Godless, and liberal. Yet, while in the thick of trying to balance academics, softball, and fitting in, I did not notice the affect it would have on me down the road. I engaged in worldy things while still going to church on Sundays, by myself. I had wonderful teammates who did care about me, but not about my spiritual walk. I choose to do what everyone else was doing since the alternative was spending evenings alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond blessed to have had the coaches, teammates, and professors that I did have while in Mankato. I do not regret attending school there, because it is part of my story. A story that is my own and driving up to Minnesota 5 years after graduating, for a work conference adds to that story. I did not realize the impact those four years had on me until last week and to process through all of that was rich.
I am not proud of allowing my flesh to take over my actions in college, not proud of the people I may have hurt, or not proud of my relationship with the Lord during that season of my life. But because of the Lord’s grace and sovereign rule over my life, He grabbed a hold of my heart two years after I left Minnesota and He reminded me of His love and endless pursuit of Me. He showed me that I am worthy of new life in Him.
Going to church yesterday morning in the building where I was baptized just 2.5 years ago was the sweetest reminder of his redemption. He redeemed Minnesota for me last week and I no longer have ill-feelings towards that beautiful part of the country. This trip was so much more than I imagined it would be and I am forever thankful for that.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share this with you and I hope that it encourages you to pray through a city, an individual, or even an institution you may hold bitterness towards. Those feelings do not need to remain that way, as long as you are willing to work through the difficult memories.
I hope you have a great week and I will see you next time!