I’ve got a lot of junk.
Useless stuff that I’ve accumulated over the years.
In the past few days, I’ve been going through boxes throwing much of it away.
Of course, there are those pieces that I’m keeping.
Its pretty much been an amazing thing to be able to look back and see transition and changes and memories from the perspective of knowing how things ended up.
For example, “I love you forever” doesn’t necessarily mean that.
I still have every love note from high school.
Some were dated 1997 and 1998, and then there were the ones from Erika during my senior year.
From the “I didn’t know if you liked me” to the “We’ll make it work while you’re in college.”
It didn’t work.
I even found the poetry collection I kept, including one written the day we broke up.
It was August 16, 2001.
There are personal cards from people I have little or no recollection of.
For future reference, when signing cards, please use your last name also.
I found stacks and stacks of photos of me and my friends in high school.
And wow…WHAT A GEEK!
I know what you’re thinking.
“But Kyle, you’re STILL a geek!”
You have NO idea.
I was so awkward then, that if I were my present self in those days, I probably would have been embarrassed to be my friend.
So, thanks to you all that were my friends through those days!
There were handmade cards for Thanksgiving and Valentines Day.
Doubtful I’ll get any more of those.
But, that is still the only hot pink hand turkey I’ve ever received.
And there is evidence of friendships and relationships that I let slip through my fingers.
Sermon notes from years ago.
Scripts, essays, and research papers from college.
Letters from my brother after I moved to Tuscaloosa.
Letters from my mother letting me know about getting a bucket full of okra and that she was praying for me.
The last birthday card I ever received from my Grandpa Fricks with his own signature. I was 10 or 11, I think.
A hand-written letter from my near blind Granny Audry to encourage me to keep my “chin up and nose clean” from when I was having a really hard time in Tuscaloosa.
So, as I sat in the floor of a room filled with yet-to-be-unpacked boxes and memories all over the place around me, I found myself literally moved to tears.
I’ve always kind of imagined my life as something lame and ordinary.
But as I look at everything around…all the nametags from various events, boarding passes, concert tickets, graduation invitations, cards, letters, pictures, poetry…my life has been very full.
Living those moments, I had no clue what the future held.
Where would I go to college?
What kind of job would I get?
Would I really amount to anything?
Was I really anything special?
But, again, to see myself in those moments, and now being able to look back and see some of the bigger picture…which relationships lasted, which didn’t, which could have been more, how experiences have shaped who I am…the hindsight is 20/20.
And though, here I am, 10+ years later…again with no clue what the future holds.
I’m sure I’ll look back later on, and it will all make perfect sense.
But for now, I’m just living the moments, praying for the wisdom to see what I have now and enjoy that…just so I don’t see it later, and wish I’d given it more attention.
But there God stands.
Knowing when I was a kid the answers to all of the above questions, and many more questions.
And knowing now the answers to the same questions from this point forward.
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” – Isaiah 46:10
I don’t stand in awe of that promise, nor the Maker of it, as often as I should.
The idea that my story has already been written, that God knows the ending when its only half-way(?) through.
No surprise twist endings. It simply is what it is.
There really aren’t words that come to mind to fully express how that moves me.
I pray I live it well.
And that you discover your story, as I continue to search for mine.
Peace and love.