Year 2 in DC

“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
       your sins like the morning mist.
       Return to me,
       for I have redeemed you.” 
Isaiah 44:22

Today, before I want move on to year 2 in DC, there are two little gems I discovered that I failed to mention:

  • The sheer joy and delight of weekend brunch;
  • And how much funnier watching The Office is when you actually have things to compare it to.

Year two was a big year for me.  Some of the smaller things included watching the Redskins beat the Cowboys, getting into two car accidents (neither was my fault), discovering the genius of Netflix, and finding myself reluctantly reeled back into the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise that continues to remain with me.

Spiritually, I began to see the need to establish stronger supports in my life.  After trying a year to navigate my faith alone, I quickly discovered that I’m not very good at it.  We all need different things in our lives, but one thing that has helped carry me through life since high school is a strong group of girls committed to praying, challenging, and encouraging each other.  And so, with the help of Sallie, we organized a little Bible study on Monday nights.

Getting started was a bit awkward as we didn’t all know each other well, but it was only a matter of time before the group was quickly bonded.  Now, three years later, that group was one of the hardest things for me to leave in DC.  Over the past three years we laughed and cried through breakups and engagements; job losses and promotions; family struggles and family milestones; and through out it all continued to journey deeper in our faith together.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 

Additionally, I began to discover the joy of belonging to a church.  In college and my first year post-college, I was definitely a church shopper.  I bounced around and went to whatever fit into my schedule and mood.  I enjoyed coming in late, sitting in the back, and then leaving at the end unnoticed and unknown.

In year 2, I was challenged to step up and be known (something that terrifies me).  Bernie and I decided to join a small church plant near my apartment that began meeting in a home on Friday nights.  The first few meetings were very awkward for me, but eventually, I learned the joy that can come from being invested in a church.  In January of 2008, we moved into an actual church that met on Sundays, and watching the church deepen and grow had been such a gift.

For one of the first times in my life, church wasn’t just something I went to on Sundays because I felt like I had to, but it was something that I longed to attend because I was a part of it, and I was committed and excited to see this new church off the ground.  I watched with expectant joy to see what God would do.  And now, three years later, this sweet church is another thing I am saddened to let go of as we settle into life at the beach.

Isn’t it funny how often the things you’re reluctant to embrace at first end up being the things that you don’t want to let go?

Year 2 was also a year of love.  First, I began Long To Love (formerly All You Need Is Love) and was challenged to step out and simply pray, “Lord, more than anything else, I just want to love you.”

Secondly, I married my best friend Bernie.  Definitely NOT part of my four year plan when I arrived in DC in 2006.  Until I met Bernie, I never knew that you could have a relationship with God AND love an amazing man.  I always tended to tended to think you had to choose between God OR the cute boy, but as I began to fall in love with Bernie, for the first time, I saw that as my love for God grew, my love for Bernie grew as well.  Still, as wonderful and perfect as Bernie was and is, I was also reminded that year that no one can take the place of my love for God; He will ALWAYS be enough.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 4:4-6 
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9

2 years down, 2 more to go!