Stop Signs and Red Lights

Few people in this world dislike stop signs more than me. I know they’re helpful and all, but gosh dang they are ANNOYING. You have to stop, literally stop, your driving for a few seconds before moving again. Of course, some people don’t stop at all. But, I do. Maybe that’s why I dislike them so much. I actually try to obey the laws of traffic.

Or red lights. Who likes red lights other than girls putting on their makeup or people checking a text? Red lights are especially annoying if you’re in a hurry. Oh gosh. If you’re in a hurry, forget stop signs OR red lights. You might as well think the Earth is tumbling down in the form of traffic signs.

Now, let’s get symbolic about this.

Sometimes, God puts stop signs and red lights in front of me. And I wait at them for hours, days, weeks.

I can break the law and try to keep moving forward, but God is all, “No. You’re going to stop. You aren’t going to slide or drift. I’m going to do everything in my power to make you stop and PAY ATTENTION TO ME.”

And you know what’s helpful about stopping everything to get done what God needs you to get done? It works. It’s life saving. It’s revitalizing.

Without stop signs or red lights, the road would be way dangerous. And sometimes we try to ignore those stupid signs and lights because we think we’re in a hurry. One time, I ran a red light because I was so used to having a green light whenever I crossed the road. Of course there was a cop to stop me. Of course.

If you don’t stop and get done what God needs you to get done, don’t be surprised if He puts a stop sign or red light in front of you. He might even send someone (hopefully not a police officer) to lecture you on the importance of listening to Him.

Who knows? It just might be the thing you need.

Faith

A Trip to Burbank and Back Again

Note: the events in this post are very much real though they sound fictional because of the strangeness of my life.

There are days when everything goes wrong. You hit your knee on random things, you discover your car is broken, and then to top it off, someone demands you pay back a debt. But, on occasion, there comes a day rarer than Christmas when everything goes spectacularly well. Yesterday was one of those days.

A week ago, my father received a phone call from someone representing a film company asking him if he’d like to watch a movie and perhaps share it with the church. He agreed, and much to the egging on of my mother (thanks, mom!), asked if I could fly to California with him. To my delight, they said “yes.”

So, yesterday at noon, I was on my way to Burbank, California just to watch a movie. BIZARRE.

I just kept thinking about how random my life is. Like, seriously. Who in the heck goes on a three hour flight to Burbank just to watch a 2 hour film? Not only that, but after the film, you immediately get on a plane to fly BACK home. I’ve always wanted to do something of the sort and being able to accomplish my secret dream was pretty awesome, but I mean . . . come on . . . it’s bizarre.

Let me back it up a sec before I get too crazy here.

Yesterday, I was on a plane to Burbank with my father. When we arrived, a lovely girl a couple years older than me picked us up at the airport and drove us to the studio. THE MOVIE STUDIO. One of the “Big 5” movie studios. We parked in a real parking garage where all the movie producers and directors and important movie people park. We got a real pass to walk onto the studio. We went through security. And then we arrived. ONTO A REAL MOVIE STUDIO.

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Did I mention how my life is bizarre?

A bunch of interns/assistants guided us the entire time and even though I didn’t, I really wanted to ask, “So . . . do you think this is as cool as I think it is?” But I didn’t because I didn’t want to sound like a fangirl which I am most of the time. On the internet, I’m a total fangirl, not judged by other social recluses who are also secret fangirls. But in the person, I like to try and keep my cool because I’m a lady, dang it.

We walked onto a sidewalk which had a row of doors with numbers next to them. I’m assuming they are all small theaters. And then my dad, one of the interns, one of the assistants, and I got to watch the movie in one of those private theaters.

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Let me tell you something. Those seats were the most comfortable movie seats of my life. They were so comfortable that I didn’t even put my feet up during the movie because I thought secret security would say, “Hey you! Stop that! This seat costs more than your car!” Which it probably did.

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I wish I could tell you how the movie was but I signed a contract saying I wouldn’t say anything about it so you’re out of luck on that. Also, I felt pretty fancy signing a contract because I was about to watch a movie only a few people had seen.

After the movie, we went straight to the airport. No hugs goodbye or tour or going to the bathroom. We left as soon as we had arrived. The whole time I just kept thinking, “God, what the heck are you doing?” Because this wasn’t just any other day in the book, it was a weird one. It was a day where you wonder what choices got you to where you are.

I’m not even lying when I say this is the fortune I got in a fortune cookie that day.

Goodbye, Burbank.

Most of the time, I think I know where I’m going. I think I know what’s going to happen in my future. Yesterday was a reminder that I literally have no idea what’s going to happen. But if God can do something as random as bring me to a private screening of a movie just for the heck of it, then what else is He going to do? All I can say is “thank you.” I’m so thankful that the Lord does random things like send us on a day trip to California. I love that He is always providing. I am so thankful because I am so sinful and am always running from Him. It always brings tears to my eyes knowing that God loves me, truly loves me. And He sees our secret dreams and knows when maybe we need a day where everything goes right, where we feel as though our hearts could burst at knowing His love. I don’t know how you think about all that, but I think it’s true and I think it’s amazing.

I just hope I never forget it. Not ever.

Faith

Update on the life.

Hello all! I hope you are doing well! So much has been happening in my life that I feel like I could write a book about the past month alone. A lot happens in a girl’s life after she graduates from college.

For one, I have been busy finding people to partner with me as I join a missions organization called Campus Crusade for Christ a.k.a. Cru. (Don’t worry guys, this is not a post asking you for money)

Because Cru is a non-profit organization and I am planning on working with them starting in August, I have to raise all of my funds! It’s a full time job raising support. But through this, I have seen God’s hand like never before. It’s amazing how when you surrender all your doors to God, He opens up the ones He wants to with complete ease.

It’s incredibly encouraging watching people get excited over what I will be doing with my job. I was a little wary asking people for money, but now I see it as a way for God to work in people’s hearts. After all, money is one of the things that can completely hinder our trust in God. By giving, God seems to bless those people with peace and ultimately allow them to trust Him more. I could just go on and on about how wonderful it’s all been, but I won’t.

There are other things happening in my life too y’know.

I actually just got back from San Antonio to watch my baby cousin graduate high school.

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Can you believe she’s engaged to be married?

My parents and I visited a beautiful mission while we were there and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. My first thought upon arriving was “This is just like Les Miserables!” Of course, when you imagine yourself in a book, the world looks a little more adventurous. Leave it to me to find a book reference for a historical landmark. But I mean, really. Just look at it.

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It’s hard to imagine people living in or around these places. Isn’t it funny how many people have lived before us? And yet we often think of ourselves as the most important thing to ever hit Earth! Ha! I guess the only thing to live for that lasts is God.

One of my favorite things to do on a trip is to visit a location at random. Sometimes, I’ll just pick up my bags and go walking around the neighborhood. I think I learned it from my parents because they randomly decided to stop at a garden. A BEAUTIFUL garden. And it started raining! I think walking in gardens while it’s raining is my new favorite activity.

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What is a visit to San Antonio without visiting The Alamo?

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Luckily for us, it was still raining! Doesn’t everything look 1,000,000 times better in the rain? Unless of course if it rains every day, then it can get boring. As for me, I never see rain and have learned to greatly appreciate it.

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On the way back to El Paso, I was thinking about how blessed I am to not dread going back home. I am thankful that not only do I have a job after graduation, but three jobs! And not only three jobs, but three jobs I absolutely love! Lucky me! This is going to be a good life. I can tell.

Let me know how you all are doing in the comment section below.

Have a delightful day 🙂

Faith

The Last Word.

Last words. We’re all going to have them one day. All of us.

And on that depressing thought, I leave you.

Just kidding.

But seriously. 

In movies, they always make a big deal out of last words. It’s usually something awesome or tragic. In Harry Potter, Dumbledore pleads with Snape, “Severus. . . please.” In books, the last sentence is important because it sets the stage as to what the characters will live like after the story ends. In A Farewell to Arms, after the main character’s love interest dies, Hemingway writes, “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.” I hate that ending by the way. Super depressing. I definitely threw the book across the room when I first read it.

We cannot forget one of the all time best last few words in a movie: Casablanca. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Last words.

They are a way of saying . . . “This is what is going to happen after you walk out of this movie theatre or put down this book.”  Sometimes they say, “This is what’s truly important to me.” They can be surprising or hilarious. Sometimes, the character doesn’t even know they are about to die so their last words are something along the lines of “I’m going to the bathroom.” And then they just collapse on the floor melodramatically.

For my last assignment in college, I wrote a story in which one of the characters dies. I spent quite a while struggling with what the character should say in her final moments. It’s important, after all.

The point I’m getting at is sometimes we can think we’re over with. We’re done. We’ve messed up too much and don’t have a book in front of us with our names on it so we can flip through the pages to read the ending. We don’t have a movie showcasing our entire life, so we can’t see the ending. Do we end up happy? Are we poor or rich? Do we follow our dreams? Do we die alone? We don’t know. We can’t.

The other day, I was reading the Bible and came across a passage I didn’t know existed.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 (NKJV)

It’s hard to imagine a world without sin, without the devil, without destruction. From tornadoes ripping apart elementary schools to friends passing away in car accidents, tragedies are a way of life in our world. We kind of just have to deal with them because we can’t stop them.

But the above verse says that one day the evil one will be destroyed. Destruction itself will be destroyed. And how does God consume the evil one? With the BREATH of his mouth. He doesn’t even have to try. He just BREATHES. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never encountered someone’s breath being so powerful that it literally destroys something . . . except if they have bad breath and it destroys your sense of smell, but that’s a whole other story.

How does the Lord destroy evil, this evil we as human beings have lived with for THOUSANDS OF YEARS? With the BRIGHTNESS of His coming. He doesn’t even bother moving his hand. His presence, His brightness is enough to destroy years of evil.

Basically, God has the last word. And it’s a good one. It’s hopeful and full of joy and goodness.

Even if you feel like your life is over with, even if life doesn’t go perfectly, if you do not lose faith in God, He will have the last word in your ultimate ending, and it’ll be a happy ending, the kind of ending that would make fictional characters jealous.

Riding off into the sunset? How about riding off into One brighter than the Sun? Because in that case, He’s got you covered.

Faith