I'm avoiding writing this post only because I know if I start trying to write everything out it really will be everything. All of it in one massive long rambling run-on thing (omission of commas purposeful--suggestive of how such a post might read). I will say this: God did amazing things at Urbana and I want to write all about those things, how God 'goes relentlessly to my heart.'
For now, here in the first days of the new year, I'm thinking how different--and how similar--this one was to the one my freshman year. That year, oh goodness. I didn't go home for Christmas and wound up hanging out at my godsister's house for a while and then heading to what I think is a Baptist conference called Big God. New Years rang in full-out praise to God, just like Urbana. Only I think there was a lot more guilt then, mainly about my relationship with God, weighed down by never feeling like I got it right with all that. I wouldn't say that now I do really well or anything like that, but I would say that there is no shame in Christ, and my God is growing me and drawing me closer to him and it's not about what I can't or don't do but what he IS doing, every single day, and his love, his freedom from sin will be enough, is enough.
I learned today that the Romanian word for New Years Eve is revelion. I'm not sure of the Latin roots for this word, so this connection might only be my own, but the first word that came to mind was revel, some sort of noun from that, revelry maybe. And how perfectly descriptive of the way we worshiped in the beginnings of the year. I'm thinking to revel in the sense of being festive, taking delight in something. I'm not talking about it being about how we felt, necessarily. I mean that we were delighting ourselves in the Lord, we were partyin' it up for Jesus, just all of us and all the joy and excitement and fervor for him you can imagine, joy being the closest word. Something like what I imagine heaven being like, all of us worshiping together and not ever wanting to stop and how good God is, celebrating his goodness. That's it, there it is. Just celebrating his goodness.
And then heading out of the dome after we missed the countdown and then did it anyway, after we had to leave, all the spontaneous singing, taking St. Louis by storm, yelling things like all y'all love Jesus say yeaa-ah, and yeaa-ah. Revelion. I don't know about in Romanian, but in English I think mostly this word to revel has negative connotations, at least to a community that associates it with a kind of Bacchus attitude. But I think that word, revelry--couldn't to revel be something like this? Something to do with losing ourselves in God as opposed to losing ourselves in the things to which it usually refers. It's exactly what we did, hands stretched upward, the love of God contagious.