How much more?

That morning in my room I had prayed for God to show me His love. The devotional I had just done was about opening your eyes to see God in every day things.
“Okay God. Show me, today.” I prayed. I was on a summer mission trip in Orlando Florida, three times a week our team split up in pairs and went to hotel pools to lead Kid’s clubs. (Pool games, snacks Bible story, crafts.) When I arrived the pool was relatively empty except for a father and his daughter. She couldn’t have been older than four. I offered a ball I had to the girl and we played catch for awhile in the shallow end of the pool. The father took it has as his chance to take a break and relax by the pool. The little girl laughed, giggled and splashed around. Our game of catch turned quickly into a game of fetch, she threw the ball as hard as she could and I would go get it. She loved it. Her dad caught on to what was happening and stepped back in the water.

“Thanks for playing with her…Ya know, I love that girl…” He paused, looking at his daughter. She had forgotten about the pink ball and became quickly enthralled with the sound her feet made when stomped on the steps in the shallow end.

“Oh no problem, sir. Where are you guys from?”

“Up north, New York.” His thick accent proved his point. “Ya know…” He stopped.

“what’s your name?”

“marlie.”

“ya know marlie,” He continued. “I’ll tell ya something, I’ve been through a whole heck of a lot. Accidents, physical injuries, car crashes, fires. I shouldn’t be alive. But I am. ya know why?” He pointed to the sky, and I nodded in agreement.

“Yes sir, it looks like God has you alive for a reason!”

“And I know exactly why I am  alive.” He pointed to his daughter, who was still stomping around joyfully.

“for her, she’s my everything. My princess. I’d do anything for her.I’d die for her in a second, if I had to. She’s the most important person to me in my life. .” He continued going on and on and on about her. This tough, tattoo covered man, was tearing up as he talked. It warmed my heart to hear him say all that. As I listened, I heard something. It was quick, soft, and I almost missed it. But as I looked at this father, and listened to him talk about how much he loved his daughter, i heard:

How much more?”

This imperfect man loves his daughter this much; how much more do I love you?

It was God asking; and it was powerful.

Ever since then, God has been putting me any situations like that and consistently asking the question: “How much more?”

His love is perfect, beyond human comprehension and beyond all we could ever need and hope for in this life. It’s so easy to write about God’s love, to even talk and sing about God’s love. And then walk away, and just live life as if we didn’t have the Creator of the Universe on our side. He created the stars; and knows our scars. And I walk around thinking I need more to be happy.I don’t understand God, nor do I understand how He loves us so much, or even why sometimes. But, God is patient and has been revealing His love to me in tangible ways ever since that day at the pool in Orlando (and probably before then too) I pray He does the same for you in your daily life!

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Real Talk: Endings suck

I really enjoy roller coasters.  I’ll never forget all the memories I have of going to Six Flags with friends and family. And the countless other amusement parks that I’ve been to. There’s this strange thing that happens to me each time I ride a coaster though, particularly with the rides I’m familiar with. I was riding Titan,  tall orange coaster and having a blast like I always do. But there’s a point in the ride, when I know it’s ending. It’s not over yet, there’s still a few bunny hills, and a few turns left. But, I know it’s ending and I throw my hands in the air, close my eyes and try and take in every single moment I spend the last few moments of the ride trying to enjoy the last few moments so much that I end up psyching myself out and I don’t enjoy it.  Marlie, you’re such a weirdo.  Yeah I know. But look, endings suck. I hate when rides end, I hate when movies end, I hate when stuff ends.  And right now, I’m staring at the end of my undergraduate career and in less than a year,  I’ll walk across the stage, grab a paper, shake a hand, and get kicked off this ride I’ve been on for the last 3 years.

It’s not over yet; there’s still papers to write, a thesis to defend,  a semester abroad in London, and many more memories to make. But to be honest,  this is hard. This school and these people and this part of my life has just been amazing.  And see whenever I get sentimental, I’m like “Marlie, the ride is not over yet.” I know. But I know it’s coming to an end. For the first time, I’m focused on the ending, not another part of the ride. When you start something (like college) you never think that you’ll see the end.  I saw Seniors as some mysterious creature who had everything together and life was bliss for them. I never saw myself as one of them.  I never consciously thought that senior year would come. Not in a “I’m going to fail and never graduate way.” But you just don’t think of the end until the end is all that’s left of the journey. Ya know, it’s like, when I rode Titan (which had the most unbearably long hill) I wasn’t thinking about the end as soon as the train left the station, I was thinking about the hill. Then the drop, then the turns, and corkscrews and the part where the ride pauses and almost dumps everyone out sideways.  And then what’s left to think about when it’s almost over, except the end?

And I’m trying so desperately hard to enjoy these months on campus, with these people, and professors, and a town with 4 restaurants to choose from. I was going to ask for advice on how to do this when the end is coming,  but I think I answered my own question in the beginning.

I’m going to throw my hands up, close my eyes and take in each moment that comes.

P.S.
Post college people, please feel free to comment below and tell me that life outside of college is going to be okay.

Thank you 🙂