The past few months have been absolutely wild. A couple of these journey updates ago, I talked about how a new chapter of my life was starting, and a little over five weeks ago that chapter began. On one of the hottest days imaginable, I said “I do” to my best friend. It was amazing! Highly recommend getting married to your best friend. While our engagement was only three months (I highly recommend short engagements), there was a whirlwind of things to get done and last-minute details. My anxiety was slightly raising, but when the day finally arrived, it all faded away. The best day of my life, September 22nd, when the new chapter of my life with Danielle began. I know, I know, sounds pretty cheesy but it’s true. Two of my favorite moments from our wedding stood out and I will always remember. We had our first look, where Danielle and I read each other the vows we wrote. The second was during our ceremony, in front of the people who have invested in our lives, and having a moment to worship. We were together, two becoming one, and choosing to worship in the midst of all things.
What a wild season it has been so far. I’ve started doing these journey updates, a kind of informal blog about what has been happening in my life with a mixture of what God has been speaking during my changing seasons. My current season has been wild. I got engaged, and that has been just a powerful blessing. We are not only engaged, but we wanted a quick engagement, and we are getting married in September! We are so excited, and things are coming together. Sometimes it can be hard to enjoy this season fully because we are so busy. Not so much with wedding planning, but with life. Life has a way of going all wild and crazy, it becomes difficult to keep my head above it all. This season has been filled with a lot of stressors. Many things keep flying at me and it’s hard to block all of it. I feel like Batman running through a gauntlet of rogues, just trying to make it through to be the hero a city desperately needs. Stress has become a norm in my life, and I’m not a huge fan of that. Sure, one could say that it “builds character” or “just hold on,” but it doesn’t lessen the frustration. I’ve been struggling with it a lot, but this season has also taught me to have trust. A deep, meaningful trust in my savior.
Life is a wild thing. I look at life like a story being unfolded one chapter at a time. I don’t know what the end will look like, or the people and experiences that will happen along the way; it is a beautiful mystery that keeps me pressing forward. I’m a storyteller at heart, it’s something I’m so passionate about. That’s why I love comics, books, movies, and an assortment of other creative outlets. It’s especially why I love the bible. It’s a book of stories that help us learn and grow. You can have a bunch of information, but unless you can capture that into a story, it will be hard to convince someone to follow you. I get funny looks when I tell people that apologetics are for people who are already believers, because I think your personal story blows away any questions of if your relationship with God is real. I love life because new chapters happen all the time and bless us with new opportunities to step into what God has for us.
This past week I went bicycling on the Virginia Creeper trail. It was a blast of a day trip. I woke up at six, carpooled with Danielle at seven, and then spent the day riding up to the trail. We arrived at a cute little bike shop and road up the winding path with an old bus driver who told us all about his grandchildren and great grandchildren. The drive took about a half hour, then we began our trek down. The weather had fooled us, so we were a bit colder, causing us to layer up and for me to use Danielle’s extra socks as gloves (Hey, I mean whatever works, right?). We road our bikes in the cold and stopped a few times to warm up our frigid toes. We survived on Fig Newton’s (the only restaurant on the path was closed) and luckily only had my chain pop off once. It was a long journey, which took us around three-ish hours as opposed to the half our ride up, but the journey was worth it. I think the same is true in our own lives. God gives us desires and passions in our hearts to do amazing things, but the journey can often seem to be never ending, but there is a purpose in our journey. The long journey is worth the wait because God shapes who we are in moments of wandering.
There’s really nothing better than a good hero story. Well, maybe it’s not your favorite, you may like a good thriller or romance story, but for me, hero stories are the ones that speak to me on a deeper level. In all stories with a hero, there is a person who finds themselves with a calling over their life. They have a past which has prepared their heart for what is to come, and because of that past, they feel a need for something higher. Then there is a catalyst, the moment when our individual gains new power. The radioactive spider bites the hand, the farm boy gains the lightsaber, and the slave girl volunteers to enter the death games. For whatever reason, our heroes are chosen to live for something greater, they are chosen to stand for the world they live in. The same is true in our lives. The world we live in is filled with sin, we are a fallen people. There are things that are happening each day that aren’t right, we use our words to tear each other down and we belittle others if they are not up to the same imaginary standard that we try to achieve. We become so focused on self-image rather than looking at those who are hurting around us, but we have a choice. There is always a choice. We have all been chosen. We have been called to do something higher, we have a purpose and that purpose can change the world.
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.”
-1 Peter 2:21
A lot of crazy stuff happens in life. That should be its’ definition, a bunch of crazy stuff that comes up and you have to face. It can be difficult, like really difficult. We have heartache, pain, loss, and countless other factors that can change our lives. The first step in all of it is to trust God, but often we are left with one question. Now what? What happens when we make that choice to follow God, what am I supposed to do? This is a question that I think we all must come to terms with at some point in our walks. Whether you have just made a decision to follow God or have been following him for what seems like ages, we all must come face to face with this question. Because here’s the truth, when you make the decision to follow Christ, he wants all of you. He doesn’t just want you on Sunday mornings or in some Instagram post of your quiet time, he wants you. Last week I wrote a piece about the love note that God has written to each of us, and this week I want to share the guide map that he has laid out for us to follow.