There is a voice in me that is full of lies and discouragement and tells me
You should stay inside, who would you hang out with anyways?
You should just lay low. It’s not like you do anything.
You should keep to yourself, not like anyone would notice.
This pessimistic, discouraging, and downright mean voice inside of me sometimes wins out. Sometimes it shouts and I can’t hear anything else and as I have learned from being the oldest in a family of five kids: the loudest usually wins. But then there is the persistent Spirit in me that challenges the dark thoughts. It laughs at them but also grieves them because I think the Spirit knows that this voice hurts and that this voice sounds like truth when shouted loud enough and repeated often enough.
This weekend I settled into my covers after getting home from hanging out with some friends and listened to the voice in me that said just go to bed. Imagination is for the bold, the brave, the beautiful in mind.
That’s when my phone rang.
Jessica was calling and she asked if I would like to shadow her at a wedding ceremony she was shooting because she knew my desire to work on photography and learn.
Two voices shout at this moment. And the voice of the Spirit won out.
We exchanged information and I went to sleep with the anticipation of Christmas Eve. I’m kinda embarrassed about that but it’s mostly because I
- Am a huge fan girl of Jessica Bills
- I get to work on photography and get a tune up on this passion!
- Can hear that the mountains are calling.
Matt tagged along because frankly, we miss real trees and there is something special about seeing a familiar face that just knows you because they know your place. And on that mountain my heart was full of courage, my mind was swirling with learning, and as the sun set and we raced to chase the sun, I felt the switch in me remember why photography sparked my heart in the beginning. I remembered I am brave, and like saying yes, and love being the girl with a camera, and I love mountain wind caressing my face and I love people. I remembered yes.
Our weekend wanderings are twofold. The Rohrer family migrated to California for Thanksgiving as an in-between point for Ashley to fly over from Grove City and the rest of the crew to fly down from Alaska. Something cool about the Rohrer family: they are one of those families you think of when you think of classic Kodiak. I have known them since I was a preschooler at the Christian school and I am blessed to be able to say that. And something cool about Ashley: we have been friends for that long. I don’t know if you understand how impressive that is.
Matt and I spent the day with the Rohrer’s in this gem of a place that had everything you love about fall woven into the whole purpose of the town. We ate at Apple Annie’s which is one of my favorite food experiences to date. After exploring the town a bit we went to Snow Line orchard and though we were a few weeks late for apple picking, we got to walk around the orchard and buy delicious apple products. Ashley and I ended the evening sipping on holiday Starbucks drinks and catching up on how it’s crazy that we are almost college seniors, what’s been going on in our lives the past six months, and the growing pains (the fun, the not so fun, and everything in between). And I could just feel the comfort of being known talking to this dear friend of over a decade. We all hugged goodbye and said a see you later and I was brought back to second grade when Andrew Raney sang “A Friend is a Friend Forever” and we cried our eyes out because I was going to public school and we thought we’d never see each other again. But that was silly. And it’s silly to think that now.
But as Matt and I drove away and a bit of homesickness crept in, I was reminded that that feeling of being known isn’t something I can chase. I can’t piece together the parts of home into my life so I never feel uncomfortable or growing pains. The “home” I long to go to is a mix of Kodiak, and Chicago, and time and place. I can’t combine them into a perfect oasis of comfort and solace. But that sentiment of being known that my heart desires? That is fulfilled in Christ alone. Isn’t it beautiful that no matter where I go I am known in the fullest extent by the Creator who knit me together? I’m thankful for friendships that point to me to Christ and remind me of the perfect image of friendship in the simplicity of being known.
Papa God, may we say yes to the truth the Spirit is whispering and know that we’re known in tangible ways and in beyond. Thank you for weekend wanderings God that let us stumble upon your truth in the mountains, through a view finder, with friends, and over an amazing slice of apple pie. Amen.