I couldn’t sleep last night. I probably got a half hour of sleep…and I’m being generous.
Last night this weekend something in me clicked on that has been turned off. I don’t know how or when it was turned off, but it has been laying dormant for too long. Speaking of long, this post is going to be quite long. If you are a friend, please stick with me.
My flight on Wednesday was great. I was excited because I got a coveted aisle seat. I could get up and down as I needed. Awesome stuff. For a few minutes, I thought I was going to have a buffer zone. The sucker in the middle seat wasn’t there. But, along comes this tall blonde guy. I saw how tall he was, and couldn’t let him sit in the middle. So me and my short self moved over and let him have the aisle seat. He turned out to be a really nice guy…we talked for the better part of the flight. The window guy was fascinating as well. He had been sailing around South and Central America for the past seven years. The tall blonde guy told me that I will make a great wife someday because I took care of him…giving him my seat, helping him with his tray, listening to him talk about himself. As I deplaned, I felt something spark in me. I actually felt like a woman. I flirted. I allowed someone in my personal space and didn’t mind it.
Thursday and Friday were adventurous days for me. Thursday I went to the coast and saw Cabrillo National Monument. It is a national park that has a light house and a monument to Cabrillo. I took tons of pics (but being technologically savvy, I can’t upload them to the internet. *rolls eyes*) Then I went to the first mission in Cali. I sat in the sanctuary and breathed deeply of the history of Christianity on the West Coast. I came home and took a nap. Then I decided to go out for a while. I went to the Gas Lamp district to a sports bar. I wanted to catch the Rockies/Diamondbacks game. I met a guy named John there. We chatted it up for a few hours. I told him that I wanted to go see the mountains, so he suggested Julian, CA.
So, yesterday I got up relatively early and went off to Julian. Let me tell you. The views that I saw yesterday are views that most people only see in movies or in art galleries. The beauty is breathtaking, amazing. I literally cried when I saw some of the mountain formations…the colors, the textures. The sky was so blue it hurt my eyes. The air was so clear that my myopic eyes saw in high definition. Julian is known for its apples. Apparently people travel from all over CA to get apples at this time of year. I thought that the town was charming…a bit of a tourist trap, but very chill. Heck. If someone is willing to drive 20+ miles down CA79, a curvy two lane road through relatively high altitude and windy conditions, he is more than a tourist. He is a trooper. And let me tell you. The apple pie alone is worth the trip.
Over the past few days, I’ve been reminded that I have an adventurous spirit. I love adventure. I love mission. I love being out of my comfort zone doing something different. No, I didn’t go skydiving or propel off a cliff, but I did travel across the country by myself for a wedding. And I’ve taken advantage of my time here by seeing quite a bit of Cali. People have said that I have a wandering spirit. I disagree. What I have is a love of adventure. I need to change up the routine. I need to live life to the fullest. What I have been doing in NJ is surviving another day, in every area of my life. I’ve been trucking along, complacent to the One who I love more than any other.
Back to my narrative. I got back to the hotel yesterday, took 45 minutes to regroup, got dressed and travelled to the Navy base for what could quite possibly be the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended. Lynell’s wedding was so Lynell. On the beach, on a naval air station, the weekend of the Miramar air show. As she was getting married, a helicopter flew by. Planes were landing, the sun was setting. I was proud of myself. I didn’t break out into the proud Deneen tears during the wedding. That happened at the reception, but that wasn’t my fault 🙂
At the reception, I met up with my friend Brenda and her fiance Drew. I saw Lynell’s sister Lynette and got to meet her fiance. I finally met this guy Tony that I’ve known through my friends for a long time, but whom I’d never met face to face. He’s a great guy…full of life. I met up with Lynell’s parents and my friend Jessica. Long story short, I was in a room with my people. Those people who have seen the best and worst of me, and still see God’s fingerprint on my life. In my life, that is a rare thing. I am myself with this group of people. The woman who peeks out every once in a while in NJ, but retreats for fear of being assaulted.
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I told God that I feel like I’m the odd woman out…everyone is paired off, walking into their future, and then here’s Deneen, walking a few steps behind the crowd, hoping to get a minute of someone’s time. God reminded me of a word that was spoken into my life so many years ago. I was an usher at a previous church, and I worked at the back of the church, helping latecomers find a seat, taking the collection, making sure that everything was in order for the service. One day, God was really moving in the front of the church…people prophesying, people being healed, people being delivered of stuff that they’d been holding onto for years. I thought to myself, “Wow, I wish I were up there instead of watching from the back row.” A man came up to me and said, “God will honor you back here. You are so special to Him that He will walk through his sheep to come to minister to you personally.” Last night I saw myself walking happily behind all of my friends, and I saw Jesus walk up beside me. He also reminded me of the scripture on which I have been standing for so many year, which is Isaiah 49. I remember getting that scripture early in my walk with Christ, and being perplexed. Now I read it and smile, knowing that time after time, God has been true to His word.
Last night at the wedding, someone told me over and over that I am awesome. He wasn’t telling me that I am awesome because he wants anything from me. He was speaking into me something that noone :has spoken into me for a very, very long time. He then asked me when I am moving out here to be with them. I smiled. I’ve avoided coming to CA for a long time. I knew deep within me that if I ever came for a visit, I wouldn’t want to leave. So, I leave you with one final scripture. Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”