Bumps Ahead

BikeTrail

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to go on bike rides with my family. There was one path in particular that my brother and I always loved; it was full of cracks and bumps that made it dangerous and exciting. My parents always made us take caution and go slow so that we wouldn’t fall and damage ourselves and/or our bikes. But . . . we never listened.

When I entered the neighborhood that I grew up in as I was driving home from Michigan a few weeks ago, I passed this path. Since I left for the summer the city added a sign that says “Bumps Ahead” before the path starts. I smiled to myself, thinking of just how bumpy the path really was, and I almost felt as if the sign gave away some of the fun that the dangerous path brought.

I feel as if I’ve passed a “Bumps Ahead” sign for this school year that I am about to enter. I wrote in my reflection of my summer in Michigan that I had seventy-eight good days, and this isn’t a lie. Since visiting my hometown and moving into my senior year of college at Dordt, I have continued to have good days. However, I’m not naive. I know that there is some rough waters ahead.

Senior year. The final few months before I need to become a “real grown up,” get a place to live, a job, and erase that pile of student debt. And who knows what bumps are going to come along in the meantime . . . classes, worship leading, working at the local coffee shop, relationships, family, and so much more. And yet, I’m excited to face these bumps.

I’m filled with a child-like joy, because I know that it’s the bumps that make the ride more exciting and more memorable. And better yet, I know that my heavenly Father is riding behind me, ready to pick me up if I skin my knee. Not only that, He has already gone before me making my path secure to lead me towards His glory.

I have no clue what is going to happen in these next few months, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’ve stopped presenting my five-year-plan to the Lord, because each time I do He seems to look on me with love in His eyes and say “Oh? Is that where we’re going? I have something better in mind . . . ”

I’m on this crazy path, full of bumps and cracks. I’m prepared to get scratches and bruises, but I know that my Abba Father is there with me until the very end.

Michigan

Michigan.

You’ve shown me nothing but love this summer.

You’ve shown me new roads, new coffee shops, new restaurants, and new lakes.

Your people have opened up and shared their stories, and they’ve sat back and listened to mine.

I’ve been romanced, by the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes, and the people.

Memorial Day on the lake. Fourth of July backyard bean bag tournament.

Tuesday night dinners at the Dykhuis’. Saturday morning doughnuts with the Smiths.

Meijer Gardens with brand new friends. Whitecaps games with childhood friends.

Bubble tea at The Sparrows. Founders’ All Day IPA around a campfire.

The floor of the Grandville Barnes & Noble alone. The floor of my living room with Finely the golden doodle.

Familiar sights like Captain Sundae. New places like the shops in downtown Elk Rapids.

Michigan.

Thank you for everything.

All seventy-eight days were good; not one single “bad day.”

You’ve taught me how to love again.

A Letter to Harbor Life Church

Harbor Life Church, you have lived up to your name.

You were a harbor of safety to me after a year filled with storms.

You gave me life and restored my joy. Your church showered me in love from the Lord, and you became family to me.

I may have held it together in church today, but believe me, I had a good cry in the parking lot once I got in my car.

I left a piece of my heart on Wallace Ave today.

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