This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend my 20th high school reunion. (How is that possible?!) For the weeks leading up to the event, I had been so excited to make the trip. But as the hours inched closer, I questioned the decision. Our family’s u-pick berry farm was coming into the height of season, I was going to miss yet another Sunday teaching, and there was much to do. However, the plane ticket had been purchased and I wasn’t going to waste it.
As I walked up the ramp to the reunion that first night, thoughts of “what am I doing here?” played heavily. What had I gotten myself into? But as the woman at the top of the ramp turned around, all those thoughts melted away as I came face to face with one who did that awkward journey through high school so closely with me.
It was such a good weekend – filled with familiar faces, childhood friends, neighbors and class mates. Much of the next day was spent with those friends closest, swimming, grilling and watching our kids play together. That was worth the whole trip.
But Sunday morning rolled around, and I stood in the sanctuary of my first church family, with that same friend who greeted me at the top of the ramp that first night. A new sense of gratitude washed over me. Honestly, it was all I could do to hold back the ugly cry. Because I was standing in the place where it all started, my walk with Jesus.
The opportunity to come back, and remember, was such a gift from God. It was a good reminder and glimpse into what was such a big part of my life. A part of my life I had not given enough credit to.
Later that afternoon, this peopled-out introvert found some solitude at the beach I grew up on. I’m so grateful for that time, to worship God alone in thanks and joy; time to be in His creation, time to stand in His presence amongst the powerful Atlantic and allow the waves to crash and roll over my head. It was a time of personal testimony between me and Him, to listen and abide in Him.
When was the last time you got away with God? Just the two of you, to simply be in His presence. To sing praises to Him? I want to encourage you, sometime in the next few days, wipe the slate clean of distractions, pressures, requests and let God’s love and goodness and power wash over you.
“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10)