“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel
It’s been a very full fifteen days of SDP so far, and I’m relishing every single moment of it.
Once upon a time, a group of boisterous individuals (that was already worn out from their 9-5 internships and different wisdom spewed at them) decided to rest by hiking a path most of them had not yet traveled – the Tallulah Falls State Park/Gorge. They departed from a central meeting place at 6:30 am in hopes of securing one of the coveted 100 passes to access the gorge. Once the destination was reached, they hopped off in search for streams of living water. Initially, all was well. They descended countless steps and occasionally stopped to take in the breathtaking views that presented itself around them. Selfies were taken and memories were made. Eventually, they stopped upon reaching some sort of an oasis. By this time, one of the individuals had slipped and injured an already injured body part. He was frustrated, but his friend prayed over him, asking Jesus the ultimate Healer to restore his ligament. He felt better.
At the oasis of sorts, nature called out to the group, inviting them to cross the rocks that comprised the river. One by one, they crossed – some quickly, some hesistantly. One girl was very reluctant, however, to join her friends. You see, crossing rivers and likewise adventures have never been a hobby of hers. A lifetime of lower-body issues led her to feel extremely insecure. She was ready to stay at the oasis while her friends embarked on the adventure, but her friends wouldn’t allow her to do it. Especially one friend, who stared at her and said that he wouldn’t continue on his adventure unless she joined. He didn’t know what he was getting into.
The next few hours was quite the journey, but without going into too much unnecessary details, I am so thankful for my SDP family who were super supportive. I got a revelation of what the Church should be like yesterday.
But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so–not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer–he will be blessed in what he does. – James 1:25
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The life of the believer should begin with rest, which propels them to delightedly work and accomplish the tasks that the week in front of them has in store – and so we start our week off by attending Grace Monroe Church and then having the afternoons and evening off. We then go the week in our different jobs and internships, ending sometime around 4 or 5. On Monday nights, we gather together to commune together at a church family’s house, and then we have a time of worship and testimonies. We praise God for who He is and how He is working during this summer, and then we are invited to articulate the goodness of God to each other. Tuesday and Thursday nights the female interns share a meal together, and then it is time for sessions. So far, we’ve had Jon Stallsmith (affectionately known as ‘Stalls’) share on the importance of reading Scripture, John Raymond on spiritual disciplines and formation, Dave Rhodes on our identity and calling, and Nate Moore on boundaries and rest. Wednesday nights are when the girls come together for pizza and discipleship with our incredible leader Katy. Fridays start with ‘Waffles with Brian and Sadie’: the pastor of Grace Monroe and his wife invite us into his home for some waffles (complete with a waffle bar) and then we gather to talk about issues that are important to our spiritual development. Afterwards, Fridays and Saturdays are either community service projects, or a fun day.
My internship has been great. Because I don’t actually have an office due to the small size of the nonprofit that I am working with, I ‘work from home’ (namely, coffee shops). Thanks to a local Monroe cafe, the Cotton Cafe, and their generous ‘Buy a $14 mug and get unlimited drip coffee’ deal, I’ve been working either from there or the church. I’m knee-deep in planning for the upcoming fundraiser that Aide La Vie is hosting, which involves a lot of Microsoft Excel. But I love this. I’m beginning to enjoy ‘process’ and important yet seemingly mundane tasks. I’m beginning to understand the difficulties that come with running a non-profit, and it’s incredible to be invited to join the Aide La Vie family this summer.
I love Katy, Jack, J-Brew, Michael, Daniel, Anna, Hannah, Emily, Katie, Taylor, and Jamie. I’ve initially had some reservations about being here because community comes with vulnerability and letting go of my comfort. But through frequent game nights, nuggets of wisdom, and team bonding (especially my friends literally trekking with me for hours) – I know this is where I belong this summer. This was a good decision, and I am excited for what lies ahead. The Lord knows my life better than me, and I can see Him right now bringing fragmented pieces of my story to restoration.
Thank you Grace Monroe for letting us be part of your family [on mission] this summer.
“And I just want to hear the Father’s song”