As it turns out, I've been temporarily granted internet access. With this in mind, I wrote this earlier today, knowing I was writing it today, intending for you all to read it tomorrow. Which would make it yesterday. I almost read the whole thing in an attempt to edit, but then I remembered that God may have been saying something earlier:
I didn’t get my internet working until today, so this is all about yesterday. I’m actually writing it yesterday. Well it’s now, right now. But I’m planning ahead for tomorrow :))
We got in Saturday afternoon and checked out campus then went and checked in at our hotel. Luckily, Iphone app UrbanSpoon found us the most delicious Cajun café :)) It was perfect! And the people were really friendly AND they had Louisiana Hot Sauce on the table!
I fell asleep early and my mom even earlier than I did. I didn’t sleep well because of the excitement of finally being here! Yes, somewhere between the time of leaving my house, praying for our drive, and entering Louisiana, I was excited :)) So we woke up, checked in at our apartment, moved all my stuff in and unpacked a little. Before I knew it, it was time to grab a quick bite to eat and take my mom to the airport. I was fine eating, and in the car on the way to the airport…mostly because I was consumed in looking for the airport and the fact that we were late.
As soon as we pull up, my mom gets out (she was driving), and I follow in suit. She grabs her overnight bag and looks at me and I can tell she’s fighting not to burst into tears. She told me to be very careful. Make sure I drive with at least ½ a tank of gas in my car. She told me she loved me and that she was so excited for me and that she knew I’d be great. I choked out I love you before I started to cry. Go figure. I got in the car and watched her walk into the airport and I couldn’t move. I realized I hadn’t cried like that in a long time. I tried to contain myself, people were starting to stare, and pulled away.
Through my sobs, I started thanking God for my mom and the fact that she did come down here with me. I prayed that He would take away this horrible feeling in my heart, but I still couldn’t stop. I pulled into a gas station, like I had promised my mom. As I swiped my card and started pumping gas, a large, middle-aged black woman came up to me. The first thing she said was that she didn’t want money, but when she realized I was upset, she quickly asked if I was alright. I said that I would be and tried to smile. She then asked me if I would pay for some gas. Her and her sister were on their way to New Orleans, her mom had just died. Neither of them had any money and they had just put in their last $3 for the 1 gallon it would get them. Of course, I walked over and swiped my card. I didn’t give them much, but she was grateful for it. She asked if it was about a boy, lol, but I reassured her that it wasn’t. I was still crying when I tried to tell her that had just dropped off my mom at the airport. She said it didn’t look like I was from around here. She asked if I knew anyone and I said no and started to cry again, lol. She asked if she could hug me and before I could say yes, I pretty much threw myself on her. And then she offered me some advice:
She said first thing you need to do, is find a church. Those will be the people you want to stick around while you’re here. Other than that, stay away from the locals and keep to yourself. She thanked me for helping her, but that after that, not to help anyone else. Never be out after dark and never go anywhere alone. She asked for my name and then she said she’d keep me in her prayers. As you may be able to imagine, my tears flowed from my eyes the whole time.
Why? Well, just in case you didn’t see it, I’ll tell ya:
1. I did what my mom told me, and filled up my tank. Obey your father and mother.
2. I was upset about saying goodbye to my mom, and this woman comes out of nowhere and tells me about how she had just lost her mother and she was trying to get there to say good bye to her.
3. The first thing she tells me is to find a church.
4. She asked for gas, not money
5. She asked my name to pray for me and gave me pretty sound advice I’d say.
6. She hugged me and didn’t pull away
Should I have helped her? I guess that’s debatable. She could have very easily been lying. I’m fairly trusting when it comes to people in need. On the other hand, I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe that God knew I needed a hug.
Last week when we had company over for James’ birthday, it was a lot more people than my mom and I were expecting. I freaked out, of course, and got stressed but my mom kept her cool. She was a gracious host and reheated leftovers and cooked everything. I had just stepped out of the shower when my friends got to my house and my mom was pulling into the drive way. Nothing had been started, but instead of getting mad, or complaining about being exhausted about her long day, my mom just jumped in the kitchen to help me…when actually, she was the one who was able to put everything together in the end. That morning when I was reading in my bible, I had read a verse in Hebrews about entertaining strangers and it seemed completely appropriate at the time. Not for me, but for my mom. So I wrote my mom a letter. A thank you letter and at the end, I put the verse I had just been reading about. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it,” Hebrews 13:2.
After my post about Kentay, a comment was left about the same verse. Get it?
7. This verse proved itself the very day I read it through my mom. It came up again a second time as a comment. And when I got back in my car after helping this woman with gas, I cried, not because I was upset, but because I knew God heard me.
This verse has been on my mind since I left the gas station. A verse I only read for the first time the day of James’ birthday. I was told recently that I’m a little self-centered, and always have been. Lol, they didn’t mention to what extent, so I took it with a grain of salt, knowing that there was truth in that. Another prayer: that I make this adventure and the adventure of the rest of my life, less and less about me and more and more about the people I come in contact with and how God will help me work in their lives. I want the rest of this trip and the rest of my life to be God-centered. Why? Because I am in love with that feeling I had when I got back in my car and I knew God had heard me. Because I love every time He’s proven Himself in the past few weeks, even though He shouldn’t have to. Amen to that :))
I love you, very much. And to the people I don’t know, because you might be angels. Thanks for keeping up with my life :))
Back to 8:30 time: I've met everyone and they're really nice :)) Someone even read my blog about how scared I was a few days ago! I wouldn't say all the fear is gone, obviously, but it's slowly diminishing. Highlight of today? I made 3 girls take jumping pictures and they still like me...I think, lol. They weren't perfect, but they agreed to try again tomorrow! Real friends :))
Oh! And I almost brought some of my board games, because I love them so much, but decided not to out of fear that I would seem very childish. Looks like I should have, because none of us have anything to do, so we're about to go buy one. I guess that goes to show me that I should always be myself.
And one more thing: I won't read this before I post again. I kinda like the fact that I don't :))
Sleep well! Happy Memorial. Please be safe! I love you! Je t'aime :)) Au revoir
And just one more thing: if you want to come visit me, please do!