Friday Anecdotes

Brakes squealing, I hear a loud POP sound as metal against metal collide on the highway outside of my little house, providing a jolting alternative to my alarm clock this Friday morning.

I literally live along a main highway in Northern Virginia, so this actually happens more often than you think. Pulling out of my driveway for a  coffee run, two totaled cars hedged along the side of the highway, along with a tow truck and police car.

It served as a warning for my often careless-driving-music-channel-switching self. Pay more attention, A, my thoughts whisper even as I zip downtown to buy expresso and jaunt around town.

Oh being a twenty something in a big city is so opposite of a Carrie Bradshaw life. I’m actually quite ok with this. I don’t need to buy expensive clothes I can barely afford, and live a glamorous fast paced lifestyle while going out with attractive guys every weekend to find happiness.

One thing I’ve learned, is that attitude is everything. If someone who didn’t even know me compared my life with what it looked like last year, they would say that I’m in almost the same position. I’m still floundering, and trying to find a stable job. Yet, I feel so excited about this season. If I didn’t take the risk of moving out, I never would have engaged with my church at Mclean Bible and I never would have experienced what it was like to be an intern on Capitol Hill for a congressional office.

Uncertainty has fueled my confidence in God and grown my faith. And while I’m still in the process of walking through all of these things, still in the valley trying to find my way, I’m reminded of the Lord’s great love for me.

It’s a love that’s reached in and filled so many parts of me while I’ve been going from one desert season to the next. And I can honestly say that I still have hope.

Let your uncertainty lead you to relying on the Lord in this season and never give up on your dreams even if everything looks and seems impossible.

Love,

 

A

 

Can Endings be a Beginning?

 

It’s funny how in our most broken moments we experience God’s faithfulness. But maybe that’s how God works.

On a Monday afternoon this past January, I was enjoying my time out of my house especially since I had been cramped inside for the past few days. I was simply texting friends and my cousins, having a grand time, until I went to key my ignition and a clicking sound echoed back.

A few panicked moments ensued, as I kept keying the ignition, exasperated and upset with myself, when a young Hispanic couple came over to help jump my car. After their futile attempts, and still no response from my engine a mechanic/construction worker Hispanic man came over to inspect the car. Following his inspection and vague explanation of something needing fixed, the engine started, I hopped back in my car and called my parents.

Suddenly, the engine sputtered and died again. The panic rose in my throat like a fizzy carbonated drink. My mom suggested I call a friend to help. After his attempts to jump my car, another mechanic came over to help. After he fiddled around in my engine, he explained that it would need to be repaired. Finally, the engine started again, and I tried to drive my car away.

However, as I was inching out, my accelerator wouldn’t work and I shot out of the car, explaining my predicament. When the mechanic assured me it took time to warm up, I idled in my car, talking with my friend, calling Triple A who radioed in for a tow truck. As soon as the tow truck came twenty minutes later or so, he hooked my car up to the truck and deposited my car and I at a Tire and Auto repair shop.
After traipsing around in the snow for a couple minutes, I panicked because I wanted to walk myself home. Finally, I requested for someone to drive me back because I was completely stranded. A young man from the auto repair store zipped me back despite the chaotic snow filled mess that the snow plows seemed to exacerbate. Relieved to be home, I plopped on a cushy chair, ate French toast with my roommates and focused my thoughts on relaxing.

The next day, I spent baking, reading, watching random movies on TV and talking with my other roommate who also had off. Around 5, I went to pick up my car, drove it back home and picked up my roommate, promising that we would go to Starbucks for coffee. After I turned onto Annandale road, I flipped on the Air conditioning and my engine began to shudder. Next, the lights flickered, the engine rattled and sputtered and then it DIED. Completely. Like, in the middle of a street it went completely dead.

Redialing AAA, I explained my location and situation. Thirty minutes later, another man with a tow truck rescued my roommate and I, took us to the Auto shop, where we were shuttled back home.

The first time, I was a nervous wreck, almost completely. Things like that typically never happen to me. However on Tuesday, after initially being upset, I just started to freak out and then laugh about how ridiculous the situation was. Then I prayed and laughed some more! It was an insanely exhausting evening that I had no idea would happen.

Maybe it’s a good thing to learn to deal with chaotic situations. I just was almost nearly paralyzed with fear at first and I felt completely terrible that I put my roommate in that situation especially since I had promised her coffee. Good grief!

Despite all of this, there’s a peace that crawled in and wrapped its arms around my heart last night. I really can’t describe it, just that I know that God was there and that He was in control and that He kept me from being hit in the middle of a crowded road in rush hour traffic.

The thing is, I hate depending on people, but He’s broken me of that. He knows that when I’m brought to the end of myself, I’m forced to rely on Him. While I write it off as terrifying and completely inconvenient and humiliating, He sees it as a way to speak to me, drawing me in, reminding me that He is good even when my circumstances aren’t.

And it’s reached to other areas of my life too. I’ve been so upset and overwhelmed about surviving in this expensive city while simultaneously interning on Capitol Hill. I’ve been so caught up in believing that a full time job will give me peace and happiness.

But it’s almost like He’s saying through this:

I am enough.You don’t need a perfect life or perfect circumstances to follow me. When you’re stripped of basically everything – I can finally show you that those things you depended on so much won’t ever satisfy you.

He reminds me that He will provide and I have peace about this now – an almost impossible peace. But it’s there and through this, He’s using this to show me how when my life shatters, He is faithful.

This Beautiful, Messy Life

Two weeks ago I quit my job.

Well, technically it was a temporary position, so I knew that September would be the end of it. But, the fact that I don’t have another 9 to 5 to anticipate and worry over actually is one big mess of exhilaration and relief.

Right now, I’m reading Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, rewriting my cover letter, applying to jobs, reading about Spiro Agnew (who apparently started the whole “liberal media bias” idea – as a millennial, this is news to me. Literally. 😉 ) and trying not to think about the parties that I’m going to within the next few weeks.

So these parties. You need to know about them, because they’ve become a new part of my life. These are snippets of my weekend where I dress up like Emma Stone (or at least put in a good effort) and come up with some dazzling career that I have to wow everybody.

Because that’s what everybody does in the DC area. The perfected art of I – must – wow – you – with – my – job is a rite of passage for anybody living here in DC at happy hour, reception or any sort of social gathering you go to. It’s five o’clock somewhere has now become a source of anxiety for me in my nomadic and uncertain political career.

This “wowing” has meant so much to me this past year of being Miss Twenty Something Intern and Miss Nonprofit Worker (who secretly disliked her job). But now, fall is pushing her way into my heart, or rather the autumn air is stirring up burnt orange, gold and russet leaves. And between pulling out my jeans and sweaters and sifting through gourds and pumpkins at road side farmer’s markets, I’ve remembered who I am.  My anxious thoughts are unraveling with the change of season, or the realization that this new season is no longer some unsurmountable mountain of terror, but rather one I’ve already slugged through and can take the swirly path again, laughing at how all those unexpected twists and turns terrified me only a year ago.

Even in all of the unknowns, I’ve found that living my life to impress people is more draining than walking through the streets of DC, braving the July humidity. Being yourself can be intimidating to others who don’t know your story, where you’ve begun or where you’re planning to end up. But I’ve learned that life isn’t a cookie cuttered, photoshopped snapshot on Insta. It’s not only the high points, it’s encompassed in the highs, lows and in every in-between. Because even in-betweens are the most precious moments that we’ll wish back some day when we’re laying on the beach, listening as the tide crashes against the shore, wondering how time escaped us and how we’ve changed and how people we love have changed – wondering if change is the way everything should be or if the past is the safer option.

And so even though I don’t understand it all, I’m so thankful for the messy, everyday moments of life that add up to the life God has given me. He’s written my story and He hasn’t forgotten to write yours either. I hope you know how even in the fear and unknown and unpredictable you can have hope and joy. I hope you know you’re loved right where you are and that your failures don’t define you, because Jesus does. You’re never alone in uncertainty or doubt. He is right there, walking with you through it.

A