To tell the complete truth, I put this blog post off until the very last minute. Tonight at round table I was talking with someone about what I should write my last post on and out of complete laziness I joked that “maybe I will just copy something out of my journal and call it a day”. When I got home tonight, opened up my computer and wasn't producing many thoughts, I glanced over at my journals stacked up on the bedside table. I was struck with the amount of writing I had done in them this past year. As I looked at those journals, I realized how much I valued their contents. Flipping through the pages I noticed the blotted ink from my tear stained prayers. The moments when I was pleading with God to redeem this and help me get through that. Also, the blotted ink from tear stained journal entries of utter thankfulness for the grace that I have received this year from a community that knows and loves me in the most pure way. These pages hold my thoughts, prayers, joys, struggles and progression of so much growth. Opening up to May one year ago, I was about to graduate from college and leaving a community of people I really wasn't sure I could live without. Reading through the prayer I wrote exactly a year ago resonated deeply with me. I realized I have come full circle. I am about to graduate from the Fellows Program and leave a community of people that I am really not sure I can live without.

With that being said, I don't think it would be such a bad idea after all to copy a prayer from a journal entire of where I was a year ago. Keeping in mind that my thoughts aren't necessarily profound and my writing isn't all that dense.  

May 8th, 2016:

“The past couple of days I haven’t been able to sleep much. My heart is breaking because my time here is coming to an end. Every time I close my eyes, time speeds up. Before I know it I am going to be driving out of this city that I have grown to know and love so well, leaving all the people who have helped shape me into the person I am today.

I don't want to sleep, I don't want time to pass so quickly. Lord, why does this have to end? These people have become my family. I am scared to move forward without them. But as I think about them, I am filled with so much gratefulness. You did not have to give me all these people in my life, but you did. Because you love me. You love me so so much and I can see it most through these people. They have continued to pour into me these past four years and they are a reflection of the abundant love you have for me. The bond that I have made with these people is unlike any other. I feel so undeserving of all the blessings I have received. Why me? How have I taken advantage of all these blessings? How can I use it for your glory? You deserve it all, not me. You should be the one showered with these blessings. You are perfect, holy and blameless. It doesn't make sense that I receive anything really. I screw up consistently, yet you never leave or fail me. I devote my life to you Lord, all I have should be yours. You are the one that deserves all good things. Thank you for sharing with me though ☺. Lord prepare my heart for when tough situations come my way. Always give me a reason to sing your praises. Actually no, there is always a reason to sing your praises because you are good and you are my God.”

Who knew that Ali a year ago would need to pray this exact same prayer to current day Ali? I needed to see how scared I was a year ago today and reflect on how far God has brought me. I know starting over in a new city will be challenging but this time around I have the joy of reflecting on how faithful God has been to my moves in the past. I guess that’s the beauty of having a walk with God, we have already been in these places together and I am thankful for journal entries that remind me of that.