“It all started on July 30,2011.The ground was shaking beneath my feet, I remember that very moment,when me and Bailey had walked back into the Great Auditorium to a room filled with hope. It was like nothing I had every experienced before, I literally felt the Holy Spirit rush threw my skin. Two worlds collided that night, in a beautiful display. Gods love had spread across the room. He reached every single person….My wandering was OVER.Everything became so clear to me.Why my parents had constantly reinforced this religious lifestyle. Why I went to breakfast club.Why People prayed.The Lord had found me,he took me as I was.” – Sam Eisenberg’s thoughts from her Blog on an Experience she had with God last summer in Ocean Grove
Last night, Judge called me over to his house after roommate meeting to “walk on the beach”
Recently, two of our favorite Athen’s places have been bulldozed. First, the amphitheater on Carr St. was taken out and the next weekend, our beloved playground we had spent so much time on was also wiped out. This was the playground Judge literally lived in the week he returned from Mozambique while dealing with culture shock, so needless to say it pinned some good and bad moments for us:) After they tour down the structure, they laid down sand over the ground.
We took of our shoes and walked across the soft surface. Unfortunately, under the full moon in the beautiful summer night my heart hurt thinking that we both choose not to be doing this very thing on the Jersey shore this summer in full time ministry (you know, on an actual real beach).
Everything was lined up perfectly this fall. I signed up to go back to Ocean Grove and Judge was going to come along. He, afterall, has always felt called to youth and loves high schoolers. Dave Burke had graciously trusted us to work together in youth ministry as an unmarried couple ( a risky decision for the camp meeting association). We were going to live under the same roof in Grove Hall and pour into highschool kids lives together. We were going to step into our desire and calling… to work with young adults and lead them into a deeper personal relationship with their Father, a relationship where they could hear, see and even dance with Him.
This is what we imagined for ourselves all along… serving the Lord, together.
Then, January hit me like a punch to the face and I lost most of my bar-shifts at Bretts, and somehow working two jobs wasn’t paying the bills. I knew I needed to get out from under the spirit of poverty that Christmas, a new house, puppies and Judge being away enhanced. And I definitely knew it was time to stop working at Pier 1 I very quickly applied to this job in Atlanta, and when Judge arrived home from Tampa he felt the same pressure to grow up and get a “real job.” I left Athens for the legal world, and he began working full time as a personal trainer at the Omni.
Right before I began my “real job” I went up to Ocean Grove with Dorrie and Jessica to tell some of my girls personally I wasn’t able to return and to let them know that I still cared deeply about them. The next morning, after we scared the ya-know-what out of Sam, I woke up in the Vista and wrote a note to Bailey and cried about not coming back to pour into my small group girls for another summer. I have no idea how I became so attached to Jersey of all places… me who didn’t even know if she liked or would be liked by high schoolers in June of 2011. There is a seriously deep attachment that is forged when girls you love, befriend and disciple step into a real relationship with the Lord before your eyes. I dream about Ocean Grove all the time now. It’s weird. I now understand the words of apostle Paul in Philippians and through much of the epistles,
“I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
As Judge and I walked on the sand in Athens, Georgia behind Gaines School Road Elementary School, we were in a much different place then I imagined for the summer of 2012. The next morning I had to drive back to the 9-5 in Atlanta for the week, and he would continue to look for his “career” . We know now, that the day that we will step into serving the Lord full-time is a good while away (at least 9 months anyway). This is a hard time when so many of our friends are getting engaged and married and coming closer together (in proximity) and I seem to be falling away from what I’ve known and loved.
O yes, patience… the continual lesson I’m taught, that I never learn.