Relationships

Ya’ll,

I’m home for a childhood friend’s sweet wedding. This girl has been my friend since before I could remember anything else. We watched Mary Poppins on a pallet Mom made with tons of blankets and sheets, all while our dalmatian made sure we all knew she was actually the boss of the house. We had only a few weeks a year to visit with each other; her grandma was our neighbor… the best neighbor ever. We’d see each other at Christmas and at some point every summer. Then once a year when she’d come visit America when she began teaching overseas. She’s a brave soul, to be sure. I’m so proud of her, of her Christ-centered heart, of her longing to make the world a better place. She’s getting married in just a few days, and I’m so honored I get to stand beside her as she vows to follow this man the Lord truly made to be her partner. A Song of Solomon kind of love. I adore it.

The Lord always completes his promises. He sends your partner at just the right moment. Your hearts link together, and one day you walk down the isle promising to follow each other, encourage each other, listen to each other, and work together. The Lord created man and woman to be each other’s helper. I love that God knew that man couldn’t handle the load all alone; he needed a woman. A creation made from his own rib. A part of himself. What a beautiful reminder that we were made for relationships.

I think that special promise of relationship is easily and quickly forgotten in this “go get ’em,” take care of yourself world we live in. But when we remember to fill our souls with visits with God-given friends, we refresh our souls and lighten our loads, so that we may continue functioning in this heavy place. There’s just something magical and holy that happens when you visit with those people God sent to walk this life journey with.

No matter the type of relationship; husband-wife, friends, co-workers, or family, when the Lord is the center, your step is a little lighter, and your shoulders are raised a little higher. These relationships that are built upon a Godly foundation will be a lighthouse, an anchor, a refreshing drink when life is heavy, dark, deep, and dry as a bone. I am vastly thankful for each person the Lord has brought my life. Each one has taught me something; whether they were here only for a season, years, or in it for the long-haul.

When life gets lonely, look to the Lord, and wait for that person to come to you. This person who is allowing the Lord to work through them, to be your partner in the season you are in. Someone told me such sage advice recently, but I couldn’t tell you who it was to save my life. Still not over the whole “sleeping in the airport journey” just yet, I don’t think. Anyways, this person told me that the Lord is working on someone’s heart to be His hands and feet and heart for you; just as He is working on you to be the hands and feet and heart for someone else. If you’re anything like me, I get so bogged down with being the “person” for everyone else, that I forget to check up and realize that I need to rest with my “person.” We all need our people. We were not created to live and walk this land alone. Why on earth do we insist on being so independent and self-sufficient that we forget about building God-centered, peaceful relationships with the people around us? I know when my days are heavy, it’s usually because I haven’t spoken with my God people. The minute I do, the Lord eases my soul, and envelopes me with all that is right, true, and holy.

Relationships are a huge part of my life. I think perhaps I have my youth minister/college minister/ Jesus mentor/ more like family person to thank for that. He taught me SO many times just how important relationships are in this life. If the very first person the Lord created to name the animals couldn’t handle it all alone… why do we think we can handle life in this crazy world, now? We are no different than Adam. I can guarantee you on that. We are always better and stronger and more joyful when our lives are filled with the people the Lord sends us to build relationships with as we live our lives on this earthly land.

Till next time!

Goodness

Ya’ll,

I want to start off by saying how wonderful it is to know that there are people in your life sent by the Lord to lift you up, to laugh with, to vent to, and to be vulnerable and scared with. When we came to this island, we jumped into this life without any regret, except that we were leaving all of our friends and family, and our PUPPIES. But when you let the Lord lead you 100%, He provides in ways you couldn’t even imagine! He’ll also give you another puppy, which is wonderful until the ticks find your pirate puppy!

It took a semester or so to get our bearings and learn to be content with island life. Ya’ll… island time is SO real, and frustrating as all get out. I’m not a patient person. And I’ll never pray for patience again, because once you say that prayer… situations just happen to arise to test ya and make ya prove you want to be more patient. Now, I look out our window and see the African Tulips, the palm trees, and all the fruit trees, and I can’t help but thank the Lord that we have been given the opportunity to live this life, to live in the Caribbean, to journey through med school with some pretty awesome folks. It’s a slow life, to be sure. Slower than life in the South. And we move quite slow in the South. We savor dinners with friends, conversations had with respect and courtesy. We honor the Sabbath and bless the hearts of those mowing their lawns on Sundays. Life here sometimes reminds me of life back in the South. Sometimes. Like how hot and muggy it gets, but there’s AC back home, so I no longer feel sorry for those folks sweating back home. Sorry, ya’ll. Also, tons of places shut down on Sundays here, like Chik-fil-a. Gosh I miss Chik-fil-a and their honey biscuits and lemonade.

Being forced out of your comfort zone is the way to go. Neither one of us were satisfied with the pattern of working 8-6, dinner at home, picking up the house, laundry, then collapsing in the bed at night without having a real conversation with each other. However, having a dishwasher to do the dishes will NEVER be taken for granted again. We got so involved with the rat race, that we forgot we didn’t want that in the first place. It’s so easy to get to that place. Can I get an amen? We forgot we wanted adventure and a relationship that was deep and personal and intimate, one to be savored at the end of the day. We forgot our marriage was the main priority. The Lord recognized it, and brought us to the only place we would’ve remembered those things. IN THE MIDDLE OF FRUITIN NOWHERE. He knew we wouldn’t change it much without a super crazy big push. Sometimes we need those pushes to remind us of our dreams and longings. Do we listen to those nudges? Or do we put our head down and forget to look up and live a life worth living? Life is so short, ya’ll. Leaving home was the best thing we ever did, for our marriage, and for our souls.

We just spent two hours at brunch chatting and visiting with the sweetest couple known to man, and we never would have met this amazing couple if we hadn’t come here. It’s so fun to watch God work. He brings people to you when you need them. He gives you the strength and confidence and clarity you need to do what He is calling you to do, to survive in the places He takes you.

Time for more coffee and a walk to the beach. Till next time!