Reunions

Last week my family was scattered all over the country. There are six people currently living at home and two of them were in New York, three in South Carolina, and one stayed home. For a close-knit, always-going-places-together family, it was strange to be separated for a whole week.

By Saturday at 11:30pm we were all back where we belong. We had our own mini family reunion and exchanged experiences. I hadn’t realized how much I missed having my whole family with me until we were all together again.

The next day my older sister, who is married and lives in North Carolina, came for a visit. There was another reunion that day as we haven’t seen her in six months. Again I realized just how much I miss my sister when she isn’t around, and have enjoyed having her around this week.

In ten days we have another reunion. My older sister’s husband, my brother-in-law, returns from his time in Afghanistan with the Marine Corps. He was been gone since January and we all have missed him so. That will be the sweetest reunion of them all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about reunions and what they mean. When I think about a reunion this is what I see: people who have loved and missed each other being able to hold hands again. I have seen a lot of this recently and it just warms my heart so.

Goodbyes can be hard, but to me, the hellos on the other side are worth the pain. So if you are in the midst of a painful goodbye, don’t forget about the beauty that is the reunion, and look forward to it with all you have. Because sometimes, that hope is all we have.

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That One Girl

I have a verse hanging up in my room. Proverbs 31:25. It says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.”

About a year ago, me and one of my best friends were asked to talk to a group of middle school girls about relationships and dealing with boys. We wanted to talk to them about becoming the girl a godly man wants. In preparing for this, we did a little studying on Proverbs 31. Proverbs 31:10-31 is all about the Wife of Noble Character. In this portion of the Bible is where you find the verse that speaks about beauty being fleeting. But that wasn’t the verse we used as our main verse. Instead we used Proverbs 31:25. Since that time, I have constantly used this verse to challenge my own walk.

Proverbs 31:25 speaks of a woman who is “clothed with strength and dignity.” I think we all know what strength is, but the dictionary definition of dignity is quite interesting. It says that dignity is bearing, conduct or speech that is indicative of self respect. To be clothed with strength and dignity is to make yourself worthy of honor and respect.

My friend and I talked to the middle school girls about how they can make themselves worthy of honor and respect, by dressing appropriate and acting their age and so on. But honestly, I think that I learned more by teaching them then the girls did by hearing me. I have asked myself many, many times these questions: Is what I am doing showing that I am worthy of honor and respect? Am I behaving with dignity?

I think that it is so important to see that this woman was clothed with both strength and dignity. She was strong and was worthy of honor and respect. So many people lose respect in their attempt to become “strong.” This woman’s strength is from the Lord, not the brute strength of a cruel person.

The rest of this verse says that she “laughs without fear of the future.” This gets me every single time I see it. If you read Proverbs 31:10-31, you can see that this woman prepares for the future and works hard to make sure her family has all they need. This preparation, along with her fear of the Lord, is why she can laugh without fear of the future.

To be able to laugh without fear of what may come is a hard thing. I know that I tend to worry more than I should, especially when I feel like I’ve done all I can. But this woman knows that when she has done all she can, God will take over and do the rest. So she isn’t worried, in fact she is able to laugh without the worry or fear. That is a place I would love to be, and hope to get there soon.

The Proverbs 31 woman seems to be much too good to be true. How can one actually become that one girl all good Christian boys are looking for? I think I’ll just take it one verse at a time.

Change

I fully believe that God has a sense of humor. I see it almost every day, but it has been quite obvious to me recently. As previously mentioned, I can get a bit of wanderlust in my soul every once in a while and start to long for change. Well June has been quite the month of change for me, in ways that I didn’t anticipate.

If there is one thing I learned in the past month its that nothing is really certain. Things that you think will last won’t, and that isn’t always a good or bad thing, it just is. Change is inevitable. Sometimes we want it, and sometimes we don’t. But either way, with or without our consent, things change.

Now I can’t really get into particulars, but I can tell you that my perspective on change is a huge factor when it comes to how I respond to it. Change isn’t something we can fight. I mean you can certainly give it a shot, but you will lose. So instead of dreading change and trying to fight it, why don’t we just accept it, or better yet, embrace it? Change brings about newness, and a lot of times that is exactly what we need.

Change. Even the word is uncomfortable. But change is vital. We couldn’t live without it. When seen with the right perspective, change is exciting!

So this month is a month of transition for me. Its a month of figuring out what change looks like. I can say that I will get to travel not once, but twice this month and I am beyond excited. I love everything that airports represent and I cannot wait to get started.

Change. Inevitable, beautiful, necessary, challenging, exciting, life-changing.