When I worked at Disney, there was this little spot where I loved to watch Illuminations. It’s in the China Pavilion (This isn’t it. 🙂 This place reminds me of it though.). Sometimes, when I had a day off, I would go there and watch the fireworks. I’d snack on some exotic candy from Japan or a chocolate from Germany. One day, a family stood in front of me with a boy of maybe five. Continue reading
“Your standards are too high.”
I look up at my dearest friend as she twirls wire into petals. I have to look away. I’ve heard this before.
“Andrew likes you, you know.” She laughs.
The boy from the concert? He was forward. No. He joked secretly about pretending to be a Christian to win me. What does he know of life and love and companionship?
It’s so simple really. I just want…someone that will share my faith. That’s all. I want a partner. And yet, in all of the men I’ve met, in all of my searching, there has not been one. One….who’s been…why is this so hard God? The last one was my match in every way, so kind and wonderful, but he didn’t follow You. So I chase him away slowly, with every word, so that it will be impossible to return.
“I’ve already been down that road. It ripped my heart out. I won’t do that again.”
Waiting is impossibly difficult in this season.. In my youth, every day seems to ache with the promise of the future. I know my destiny holds so much more than to get married. I see God training me up to be a leader. I see Him positioning me for adventures in far-off places and teaching adults. But..as I receive my second bridesmaid invitation, I can’t help but look into the mirror and think selfish thoughts. “When will You send him Lord?” I feel so old at the laughable age of twenty-one. If any of you has any advice about dating, or waiting, I sure could use it. I know He has someone for me. Rebekah didn’t get married until forty. Maybe I’m just not mature enough for him yet. Or visa versa.
Either way, I will wait.
I know he will be worth it.
I hope you are enjoying the sunshine, wherever you are. 🙂 Cherish your lovers.
Photo Credit: x
Do you want to hear a story?
A long time ago, in the days of Africa, I found a place of peace. I find it again, whenever my heart searches.
This story is about a mountaintop in the middle of Uganda.
I’d been living in Kampala for about a month. I remember my step-mom telling me about pilgrimages to Kenyan mountaintops, as we ate our Ugali and Matoke (Mmm Matoke…). She was going on a trip to pray with some new friends, here in Uganda. I felt a little shy asking to go. I was very new to my faith and… I had only known her for a month or so. Janelle had a few drops of broth dripping down her chin. She looked at me and snorted as she showed all of her teeth. Her dimples matched mine. She was growing on me.
Give it time. God listens to the wants of the heart. Later on the trip, I was given a chance to have my own mountain adventure. Our church was taking a trip outside of the city.
As we drove into the outskirts of Kampala, the street shops grew further and further apart. We missed the entrance the first time (I love that country, but they have luck-of-the-draw with signage) and had to drive back around. We drove on a skinny, rocky, red-dirt pathway to park near the top of the mountain. A few other church members had already arrived. We waited until we had about 15 people before we wandered up the path by foot. We passed by a small hut on the right with a few pots and pans. Chickens were milling around inside. I felt familiar stares. I smiled and waved. Uncertain faces turned into friendly ones. Smiles are universal.
Wooden benches lied ahead behind a mass of bushes. A few monkeys watched us as we picked them up together and carried them up the hill. That was my first time seeing monkeys in the wild. I wanted to chase them. We wandered up the hill and arrived in a clearing in the woods. Light glimmered down between the leaves.
It was a very looooooong church service. Maybe two hours. But it was good! The pastor had us wander to pray on our own for a while. I wandered out of the forest and found a sunny place on the hill. I sat cross-legged and spread my fingers in the grass. I turned my face toward the sun and smelled the warm air. I could see the city below. Another mountain was to the left. Lake Victoria shimmered in the distance. It was beautiful.
I prayed about everything there. It started out a bit wooden, but quickly flowed into a conversation. I felt Him so present there. So peaceful, I wanted to take a nap. I laid down and told Him everything. I even told Him that I thought the service was a bit long…
I must’ve fallen asleep for a bit. When I woke, I felt light as a feather. I stood up and started to explore the mountain. I jumped a low wooden fence and ran into the tall grass. I held my breath as I entered an abandoned hut. It was old and rusty, nothing was inside besides overgrown weeds. I walked a different way, and found others praying under trees and bushes. I ran to the right and found a few church kids squealing in delight. They had long been exploring. They giggled as we ran over the mountain. We passed by another group who gave us looks. I playfully shushed the little girls. We walked through the trees and played with sticks. Eventually, I found my way back. They ran off to keep playing. It was there, in a circle, that I first opened up about the demon visiting a week or two before. I wasn’t met with faces of doubt, as I had been expecting. There was pity and understanding there. Maybe it wasn’t so strange there after-all…
What a day.
So much peace.
Photo Credit: x
It’s unbelievable when God reveals himself in big, hulking, tangible ways. A Man of action! Healings happen! Demons are cast aside! Destinies comes into view! Pew pew!
To understand how incredible this opportunity is–a bit of context is needed.
It’s always humbling trying new things.
Have you ever wondered A Great Wonder?
Looked back and seen undone?
Have you peered your life from Future’s eyes
And seen all you might become?
Somehow, the stories I intend to write never end up being the ones that finish. 🙂 If you guys like children, you might like this one.
Let’s talk about kids! (*Distant cheering* or *Terrified hissing*)
(And backstories maybe)
I’ve been involved with Thrive since 2013. Akron, Ohio has a huge population of refugees from around the world. North High School, in Akron, is ranked as the most diverse high school in the state (*according to an NHS math teacher)! Woo! Anyways, we punk, church kids come in and mentor/help them with their English.
I can’t sleep.
It’s my own fault really for napping too seriously.
We’ve moved over to stay in my Grandparents condo room/resort room/ wherever this place is. I haven’t slept in the same room as my parents for such a long time. You forget things… like the snoring. They sing sweet songs to each other in the night, about competing to see who’s loudest, I think. I can’t understand them, so I figured I’d come out here and tell you stories.
Where I don’t have megapixels, I have words (thankfully or unfortunately for you guys.. 🙂 ).
I think there’s magic here on this island.
The urge to reach up and touch the Spanish Moss is uncontrollable. It hangs down from these Oaks like a waiting handshake.