Thursday, July 14

Before and After

In the brief time I spent in Parker, Colorado, I met some of the most amazing people; people that I know will forever be friends full of inspiration, hope, and love. I may not have the chance to talk to them every day, but technology gives me a chance to see, read about or hear them, daily. For instance, I can log onto Southeast's website and listen to Phil give a warm, inviting, and practical message. Or I can send a quick text to Alli to catch up on those sweet boys of hers. But mostly I can read about their days through their blogs.

One in particular has captivated me beyond measure. A sweet, fun lady-who reminded me of myself in 10 years-has recently lost her husband. Decades too soon. She writes each day to explore all the emotions and dangers and blessings she faces. Some days I am reminded to really appreciate Alex and the time we have together, and other days I am reminded to always be in prayer for people facing hardships. And every day I am in awe of her; her strength and faith is astounding.

But today I was reminded about the most important things. You see, I don't usually need her blogs to appreciate the people around me, and I am almost always thinking about her and hoping for her and her family. But today I read the words and saw the pictures that speak volumes to someone looking for a church community. More than a dozen people went to her house, tore down their old deck, and spent hours building a new one. Not to mention that they landscaped everything too.

And all the while I've been hoping Alex and I might find a church in a mid-sized, somewhat advanced, cultured town. I kept thinking how nice it would be to have new places to discover and great coffee places to visit and abundant activities for newlyweds to enjoy.

What are you thinking, girl?

While I do not mind the occasional rough patch (they help you grow, you know), or the adjustments, I continue to pray for a long and healthy life for me and my fiance. I also pray for healthy children and safety all the days of our lives. However, should something terrible and even horrific happen in our lives, I know that we will sink without a community around us. And it's very likely that we will have distress-distress we cannot even imagine-in our lives. Wouldn't it be such a gift to have a community, within our church, that reaches out in love and kindess to help get us through? And wouldn't it be a gift to be a couple that can do the same for others in times of need?

Rather than praying for fun things to do, I should be praying for a church that feels like a family and loves like good friends. My heart aches for this family each and every single day. They've lost a husband and father, and I can't even imagine facing that kind of tragedy alone. And because of her honesty and courage and bravery, now I can pray that I won't ever have to.

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