A word from Wendell

by Meredith Day


And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye clear. What we need is here.
— from Wendell Berry's, "The Wild Geese"

poet, Wendell Berry

I vow today to be present, to be here. Will you?


Today is the Day

by Meredith Day


If you would have told me a year ago that today I'd be staring classes at Yale...

....

YALE.

I would have died laughing.

And then later I would probably have cried quietly to myself because I thought you were somehow mocking my intelligence. Gross, but true.

Do y'all know the goodness of this God we love?

God takes our deepest insecurities and transforms them into something astronomically redemptive. God takes our most destructive hate and begins weaving a life of reconciliation. God's plan for our lives is so. much. fuller..... than anything we could think up on our own. And I am living proof.

Friends-- if I can teach you anything by my story I hope it is this: To draw big plans.

Cause God's in.

To say I'm not nervous would be a lie. Of course I'm nervous. Of course I'm fearful. Of course I'm anxious. But I am ready.

Ready to be up on this hill for a little while and fully live into this new life.

And if by the end of it I can look half as happy as this girl... I'll be golden.

www.ivy-style.com

So what are your plans?


A Prayer.

by Meredith Day


This prayer was offered yesterday at my Welcome Ceremony by Yale Divinity School's Dean Gregory Sterling. The prayer is written by Thomas Merton...one of my favorites.

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
— Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

Yes.

Yes, and Amen.

Thomas Merton


My New Haven

by Meredith Day


I gave him one last hug.

He stared at me with those strong and compassionate brown eyes and said, 

"you can do this."

I sniffled and a murmured a slight, "yeah" as he slowly closed my car door like he had so many times. I quickly glanced at my reflection in the window. It wasn't pretty. Black-stained eyes stared back at me with the remnants of saltwater from a few minutes before when I said goodbye to the girl he loved. But deep down, I believed him—he was my brother, my friend, one of those humans who truly made me want to be better. Maybe he was right. Maybe I could do this.

The car stereo punched on and I heard the familiar sounds of another dear friend as I stared at him walking away in my rear view mirror.

“This love you found was. not. planned."

And it wasn’t planned. Nashville and all of the people in it were an unexpected miracle. They were the reason this move was so hard… seemingly overnight they had snuck into the confines of my ticker and changed everything. The truth is that they were the reason I couldn't do this. But they were the reason I could do this.

A few days earlier I was having breakfast with a close girlfriend. I was getting ready to leave and she asked, “Meredith, can I pray for you?” As she prayed her gracious words moved over my heart and mind like a warm washcloth. Where there was anxiety, she brought release. Where there was worry, she brought freedom. Where there was fear, she brought bravery. My mind began to escape into my labyrinth of feelings when she suddenly said these words,

“God, make this her new haven.”

It sounds silly, but until that moment I had never thought of it that way. New Haven, Connecticut could be my new haven. It didn't have to be second best, it could just be new. My new place to experience God. My new way of thinking. My new home.

If I can be honest, it's not planned... this kind of love I already know. Right now it’s hard for me to imagine a place that has brought me the kind of love and grace that Nashville has. But I think God has a way of working that out. God brings new mercies and safe havens when we least expect it…and the unexpected life, well I think that’s the best kind.

So here’s to new seasons, new experiences, and a new haven.

So goodbye, Tennessee.

And hello, My New Haven.