I know that I keep saying that this is going by super fast and I know that it's probably getting annoying, but oh my word. My time in Germany is 1/4 of the way over as of yesterday. At this point I really don't know how that makes me feel.
The past month was hard. Jesus let me know when it began that my Abuela was going home soon so I spent weeks trying to walk through that grieving process on my own. Everyone in this household got a cold or the flu (or in most cases, both). My Abuela passed away the weekend of Palm Sunday. I had dozens of nightmares that I'm still trying to make sense of and pray off.
In general, March was just difficult. I won't go so far as to say that it sucked because it didn't. There was some amazing writing and conversations and experiences that happened (and things just really don't suck for me anymore [and they never will again]). But, while I didn't hate it completely, I wouldn't do it again.
But it ended and I came out of it better and I'm three months in. And as it turns out, that's really significant.
A few years ago, I sat in a booth in Chick-fil-A with my mentor, Rebekah, after I'd gotten off of my shift at work there. I remember that meeting so vividly - I could tell you exactly which booth we were sitting in - because the conversation that we had there stuck with me for a long time. Bekah's been mentoring me since eighth grade, for about six or seven years now. We've had a ridiculous amount of amazing conversations, most of which I can still recall word-for-word, but this one has really stuck out among the rest.
We were talking about varying things going on in our lives when there was a pause in the conversation for a second or two. She broke it by asking me a really interesting question.
"What do you think is significant about the number three?"
The number three had been coming up a lot in her discussions with Jesus about her health problems and she wanted my insight on what it could mean. This was a really big deal for me, because so much of our relationship up to that point had been me being dumb and her gently coaching me on how not to. That was the first major question that she wanted my intellectual/spiritual council on. That question meant that I wasn't just a student and I was - to some degree - on her level.
I admire her so much. I always have. And a lot of my aspirations for who and what I want to be are modeled after her. I have a ton of great role-models in my life. Abuela was the greatest. Bekah is a close second. And so, since this question was such a milestone, I sat back in the booth and thought for a minute before I gave an answer.
"Well . . . the number three comes up a lot in the Bible. Jonah was three days in the belly of the fish. Paul was blind for three days. Jesus waited three decades before starting his ministry and was dead for three days. Then there's the Trinity and Peter, James, and John . . ." I paused as everything started to make sense. "Three . . . is representative of victory. There's struggle and there's pain and there's crap for a time and then three comes and everything is better. That's the pattern. Three means you endured all of the crap. Three means victory."
It does in this season too.
My lucky number is two. I don't know why. Jesus told me that it was sometime in late February of 2013, but three is always significant. Three difficult years of being lost in high school before Jesus rebuilt my identity my senior year. The past three years of breaking off lies and stepping out of darkness leading up to this amazing year of beauty and rebirth.
Three long days of Jesus in the grave, resulting in the greatest victory the world had ever seen.
The ones who buried Him failed to take into account that He was actually a seed.
I believe in the beauty and significance of metaphor and Jesus uses this to get points across to me a lot of the time. Three comes before victory. And here I am and these three months have been the most amazing of my life but that doesn't change the pattern. I don't have to go through crap to get my victory.
March was hard. That's just how it was. But nothing happened that didn't end up for good. We were all healed from our sicknesses and took a victory lap around northern Italy. My Abuela went Home to be with Jesus. If there's one thing I know with full certainty, it's that there is nothing on this earth that can suck so bad that Yahweh can't turn it around and make it amazing.
Genesis 50:20, Kids.
Victory is ours.