Hey friends! It’s me again. Go figure, right? Who else would it be on this blog?… Anyways, I’m currently sitting and chilling at my favorite coffee shop down off the mountain where I normally write about my adventures. This week has been a really long week. Work is still a pretty tough job. I got in Tuesday and learned that my relief (the person who does my job on my days off) wasn’t really much of a relief to me. I spent a lot of time on Tuesday cleaning up messes and getting things ready for inventory on Wednesday. I had put a lot of effort in trying to prepare for inventory the week before, but it just felt like all my efforts were undone in a single weekend. It’s not his fault entirely. I tried to train him, but didn’t have much time and my job is difficult and takes a little getting used to. But I did what needed to be done and we made it through inventory. It was a late night, my latest night at work. I went in at 9 in the morning, had an hour or so off in the afternoon, and then worked until 10:40 that night. And so, no matter how “little” of work I had the rest of the week, I just couldn’t get the motivation to move and get things done as fast as I probably could have. Tiredness, exhaustion, fatigue, the usual feelings, just seemed to slow me down. And yet, I know that God was working through it all. A couple of nights ago, I knew that I needed to do my laundry in its entirety and so after work, that’s what I did. I just chilled at the laundry cabin and talked with some people there and somehow, as with most conversations with me here, it turned to God and theology. I’ve had opportunities throughout the week to just listen to people and offer pastoral care to some others. Twice this week, two people from two different places have spoken to me about what I do for people both on and off the job and how I seem to push beyond all the work and see God working in the midst of it all.
Today, I had a bit of time to reflect for myself about it all. A passing thought last night as I was falling asleep, “God has answered all my prayers.” I knew that I needed to think about that some more, so after our morning service, I set up my hammock behind my cabin in the time before lunch and did some writing in my journal…and some weeping. During my writing, I started with the thought that God has answered all my prayers and I started listing them out and how He has responded to them. I’d write the prayer I said, and then I’d write something similar to “Lord, You heard me and You gave me the opportunity to…” It was just a humbling experience to know that not only has God heard me, He has moved and acted on my behalf. And even when there was one thing I prayed for that did not come to pass as I had hoped, He listened to my heart, fears, and concerns, and answered the deeper prayer that laid beyond the words of my mouth. All I could begin to think was how faithful God is to His servant(s). My entire self was filled with deep adoration for all that He has done. But as I thought about His servants, I turned in thoughts to my grandmother who passed away exactly a year ago yesterday. She is my role model in servanthood. And here I am in Yellowstone, not only visiting a place she desired to see, but living here for the summer, serving the One True God who knew how important it would be for me to do this even when I did not. He even answered a prayer I didn’t even know that I had had. Of course, this is about the time when I had to stop writing because of the tears streaming down my face, but they were not tears of sadness alone for the grief I still feel, but tears of joy because God has been so faithful to me throughout all my years, even in the times of my own unfaithfulness. Even when I haven’t been running towards God, He has been there in my life moving and acting in ways that I still can’t fully comprehend. God’s faithfulness is as abundant as His love. Maybe His faithfulness comes out of that because His love is so abundant and unending.
When I finished my writing, I started reading the notes my friends left in the journal that they gave to me for this summer. This is my habit when I write in that journal, because each time something new sticks out to me and their words speak in a fresh way to me in what I am currently feeling. And I realized again, that God has been faithful to me even in my friends. They have been a blessing in my life when I needed them most and they continue to encourage me even when I am not in constant contact with them. Even when they go forth on their new, separate journeys, they continue to travel with me. How can I not be thankful for them and see them as a way God has blessed me?
Overall though, I’ve realized that prayer has become so important to me. I would like to say that I’ve done well in the past with this spiritual discipline, but this summer has made me realized just how powerful and important constant prayer is to me. The realization that God is actually listening and responding to me just adds new depth to my desire for prayer. I actually had something weird happen earlier this week that I was debating about sharing, but I think I will anyways. I was lying in bed, trying to read my devotional before I went to bed to actually sleep. I was tired, it was probably the night of inventory, so it was a long day, which I made even longer by going to the rec cabin because I try to just make an appearance there (to continue to build relationships with my friends and coworkers and fight my super-introverted tendencies). Anyways, all I wanted to do was read my devotional and head off to the land of Nod, when this giant moth comes flying around me and my flashlight that I use as a reading light. I didn’t want to kill it, because the only thing I had around me was my devotional book, but it needed to go. So, I told it to go away and this is where the story gets a little weird. For whatever reason, I said “In the name of Christ” and I continued to tell it to go away and disappear. I don’t know why I added “in the name of Christ” to what I was saying, it felt more like a slip of the mouth than anything else, and yet, immediately, the moth flew away and went underneath my window and disappeared as if it crawled out of a hole that I had no knowledge of. It was one of those things where I was so shocked by what I had said and shocked about what actually happened that there was no other response but to thank God and get back to my devotional. But the experience has only added to the awareness of prayer in my life. I’m still thinking about exactly what this experience means to me, but I do know that God is with me, He is listening, and He is acting and moving in my life and in those around me. He is faithful and I strive to be as faithful to Him as He is to me.