Monday, August 15, 2011

Hannah Reed's Summer 2011 post

                As I write this, it’s hard to believe that it is already mid-August.  This summer has flown by in anticipation for college, concentration on work, and missing my friends in Ghana.  From June to July, as many of you know, I worked full time at an architectural firm in Grand Rapids, AMDG Architects.  I was filling in for a woman who originally was going out on a mission trip to Russia, but she ended up leaving the firm for another opportunity and so my work has continued, but only part-time.  It has been a great learning experience for me, as this was my first foray into the ‘real world’ of business and it has been difficult but good.  I am an Administrative Assistant and work to help and assist the architects and staff of AMDG.  The team I work with is great, and they have been very patient as I learn the ropes of the position.  AMDG Architects is a Christian firm, and they work on projects with schools, churches, business, and houses.  I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to work with and learn from these amazing men and women of God.
               The imminent approach of college has done all it can to unnerve me and it has been mildly successful.  To be perfectly honest, I am not too scared or nervous yet- it just feels very surreal.  I’m more focused on the more daunting prospect of my mom and brother being 5000 miles away from me.  We have grown very close over the past couple years and my mom and brother are my best friends.  I have other best friends, the non-family kind, but I feel very close to my mom and brother.  They know me, I know them, and we trust each other with a lot.  My talks with my mom over the past couple years have kept me sane and have drawn us closer.  It will be hard to have her be so far away.
               One of the hardest things for me to come to terms with is the fact that I’m not going to be leaving again.  I am here.  I’m not going to leave after another month, not going to move, not going to leave on any permanent basis… for the next four years at least.  I’m so used to this being a temporary home and it’s hard to think that I’m here for a long time.  I miss West Africa, my friends in Ghana, and the culture and pace of life in West Africa.
               ‘College’ is merely a concept at this point.  It is something that gives me a great opportunity to either fail or succeed; it is (apparently) difficult and fun, stressful and joyful.  It seems to be contradictory and confusing at this point, and I actually have no expectations.  I have heard so many things from so many people, and all the different opinions have balanced each other out and I know only vaguely what to expect.  Since I’ve never experienced anything close to college, I have no idea what I’ve gotten myself in to.  I do not want to fail, and I do not want to go deeply into debt.  At the same time, I partially expect to fail and to go deep into debt.  It’s a conflict of emotions and expectations that, instead of making me more nervous and frustrated, actually calm me by balancing each other out.  I am curious and nervous to be sure, but not fretful, anxious, or terrified.  I am very thankful for that.  It’s got to be a God thing.
               On that particular subject, God has been a present force in my life recently.  To my great frustration, however, I have not felt His presence as much as I would like.  Not being as close to God scares and frustrates me more than anything.  Part of me wants to blame being back in the States- the busyness of the States, all the Stuff, the food, the movies and books- but I know that is unfair.  As much as I’d love to have an excuse for my distance from Him, I have to realize again and again that God is not looking for my excuses.  He acknowledges when I sin, understands why I sin, and expects me to do better in the future with Him as a guide.  He doesn’t need to hear me justify and excuse my sin.  Despite the distance I feel, I have seen His love and blessings and trials in my life, and I have been very thankful for that.  The distant felt is emotional, but my mind is still close to Him, acknowledging His presence and love as a fact, not with an emotional response.  I miss that.  But that’s the way faith goes sometimes.  It ebbs and flows, and God sees my heart is still His and my life is still focused on Him. 
               So that’s the ‘me’ update.  I just want to thank everyone, since this feels like an ending.  My trip through middle school and high school has been hectic to say the least.  But there are few girls who can claim as much love as I have received.  It is overwhelming, and a testament to God’s grace in my life.  I will still write occasionally for the blog, so this hopefully won’t be my last chance to say ‘hey’ to everyone.  However, one of the biggest changes of my life is coming up and I wanted to say how deeply I appreciate all the love and support I have received before I got too swept up in this change.
Thank you and God bless.
Hannah Adriana Reed