I went to Art Prize yesterday with my aunt, uncle, and cousins; we met my Mom and two of my brothers and walked around G.R. looking at all the neat art and, in some cases, "art". It was such a beautiful day. It wasn't as difficult as I thought to say goodbye to my family, but after the drive back to Spring Arbor, I waved goodbye to my Jackson family . . . and walked down the sidewalk to my dorm building and down the hall to my dorm room. I thought movies might cheer me up, and I started watching two different ones, but it didn't help. It seems that every time I spend time with my family, they drive away, and I fall back into a pit of sadness and emptiness and loneliness. I cried for a long time. Everything here at SAU feels fake. It is like nothing is real, as if I am in a dream, but not the kind of dream from which you wish you never wake up. And every time I'm with my family, it's like I'm awake again, back to what is real, back to life. Then I come back to Spring Arbor, and it's as if I've fallen asleep again, with the dream picking up where it left off.

Like Inception, in my dream, I went to sleep, woke up this morning, went for a run, took a shower, and was praying, . . . and as I was praying about how empty and alone it felt, and how it wasn't helping, as usual, to know that God never leaves or forsakes me, it was like the Holy Spirit said to me,
Stop thinking you need to suddenly stop feeling as if your family is your home. They are and can be, and, meanwhile, in the next few years as you finish college, you can slowly start realizing you will be able to feel comfortable with redefining "life" as being wherever I lead you, with whoever I bring into your life. But you don't have to feel rushed, and you don't have to keep feeling like you need to change your thinking abruptly or move on right now. Your family loves you, and you will always be able to love and enjoy them, no matter where you are. And P.S., I love you and will always be with you.
Thanks, Father; I love You, too. My Life Advisor gave me the reassurance that I can still think of my family as my home. And even though I realize it won't always be that way exactly, knowing He wants me to know there's no pressure is pretty much as good as getting a hug from Him. It is exactly what I needed.

And somehow I feel like He is hugging me, in an ironic, even-though-you-can't-see-me-I-am-still-big-enough-to-give-you-a-hug kind of way. :)

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