Wow. Okay. Hi, all, how's it going? I'm back! I was intending to be back a while ago but as the title of this post is stating, I just went on a very wild trip, so much of a whirlwind that I'm still processing everything that went on.
Also, I've lived here for five months as of Wednesday and that's a pretty big deal too.
So. End of May, I took a 50-hour journey from Bernau to the Springs to surprise my sister for her high school graduation. After three flights and two 10-hour layovers (if you are ever given the option to spend the night in the Dusseldorf airport, it would serve you well to politely decline), I met up with my father in Denver as well as my cousin who flew in from California to contribute to the surprise. We crashed at my bandmate's house that night and surprised my sister at the ceremony the next morning. We laughed, she cried, and later that night the trio partied at my favorite open-after-midnight place in the city where I met some amazing people. But more on that later.
I was in town for two weeks before I took three more flights (and only a 26-hour journey this time) to get back to the place I currently call home. And my word, this trip absolutely flew by. I played music in coffee shops and on sidewalks, I visited my church and went to an old friend's baby shower, I spent time with old comrades and made many, many new ones.
Let me talk to you for a second about the new ones.
I met five of them the night of my sister's graduation. Five different men, all from very different walks of life, who gathered in the same smokey, dimly-lit room and who I had the pleasure of having conversations with. And that was only on the second night of my trip. There were far more men and women who I encountered over the busy fortnight than I was anticipating. Don't get me wrong, I expected to meet people - I make friends everywhere that I go - what I was never counting on was becoming so close with them over such a short period of time.
Honestly, I made more close friends over this past two weeks in Colorado than I have over these past five months living in Germany. Now don't get me wrong, that's not saying anything about Germany.
But I think it says a lot about Colorado.
I've known pretty much since I was sixteen that Colorado is ultimately where Jesus wants me to be. I still get to travel and move around a bit, but at the end of it all, the Springs is my home base, my jumping point. And for the most part, I've been consistently fighting that plan of His for about three years. I've been blessed enough to travel a fair amount for someone who isn't even twenty-years-old yet, and to be honest, Colorado Springs is one of the more dull places that I've been. Everyone that lives there is head over heels for the place or is dying to get out. Yeah it's health conscious and hipster-friendly, but the most exciting tourist attraction is a bunch of lumpy rocks. Like, no amusement parks, no beaches, no major concerts, nothing. Freaking rocks.
Try as it may, Colorado Springs just cannot measure up to Verona or Bangkok. It's the biggest small town that exists, everybody knows each other, there's a church on every street corner, and all the little subsections of the city are subconsciously biased against each other. I can't tell you how much flack I've gotten from "trendy west-side people" because my family lives in the suburbs up north.
But I left my exciting European life anyway to return to the Pit of Despair for a short while because I'm a good sister. And while I was there, a lot of things changed.
My official "public debut" was about a week into being back when I played an open mic at a coffee shop with Monica. People from all different corners of my life showed up to hear me play, people who had never met each other before. It was weird having so many sides collide, like I had done such a good job keeping them separated and they all just decided to wall-of-death me at the same time. That night in itself was one of the most chaotic of the trip and I left in a daze, unsure of who I'd even gotten the chance to talk to. But shortly after, I met up with Bekah, who had gotten to witness the entire affair, and she gave me her much-needed insight on things.
In her eyes, I just fit there so well. I was stressed and trying to balance so many things at once, but I was thriving in that kind of an environment. The coffee shop and the music and the people who wanted my attention and needed to be introduced to each other, it was all so Charity, she observed. And I couldn't help but realize that she was totally right.
I don't really think place matters to me nearly as much as people do, and I've begun to notice that while Colorado Springs as a place is one of my least favorite things, the people hold my heart like nothing else ever has.
Just take these few I met while I was visiting. One of them is exactly like me, down to the brand of shampoo we use. Another, despite barely knowing me at all, voluntarily stood outside of my car window while I whined and wailed about all the reasons I felt like a terrible person and then proceeded to comfort me. There was one of them who I liked so much that I ended up setting him up with my best friend (they're adorable and their couple name is "Mervid"). I seriously love them so much. I was on the verge of tears while saying goodbye.
My last night visiting my church before I returned to Germany, the man who spoke was discussing how God's plans for us are often wild and He leads us on journeys with ends that we cannot see. I was dialoguing with Papa during this message and we came to some conclusions about my life.
"Charity, you know this is where I want you to be, right?"
"Yes, Daddy, I know. And I mean it when I say I'll follow You wherever you lead me. But if I'm being honest, my heart is not fully here. There's a lot that's wrong with this city."
"Exactly. And most people don't see that. But you do, and that is why you are the one I want for the job of making this city look like Me. I can change it, and I will. But I'm asking you to be My glove."
After that conversation I had my mind made up - Colorado Springs is the city where I'm going to end up basing my life.
I'm excited for sure, though not as much as I want to be. And I know with time that I'll learn to love the place, maybe even as much as I love the people. But if I know one thing it's this: the only thing I want out of life is Jesus and more Jesus and if that means that I have to settle down in Colorado Springs of all places, then I'm willing to swallow my pride and do it.
His plans are always better anyway.