Chalets. My mom and I spent my last two weeks of clinical in an old chalet-styled cabin with steep stairs, bunk beds, and a distinct smell. But these cabins were right along the water and they were fine overall, and I realizes that sometimes it’s about what God is doing and about what He can do than anything we are doing, trying, thinking, or disliking. Yes, the chalet was not what we expected, and it was old and gross, but the bigger picture from those two weeks was that it was place of chocolate-covered cherries, watching Friends before bed, rooftop dinners, early morning sunrise runs, and out-loud prayer. I am so grateful for the time there and that my mom stayed with me. She told me on our last day that a spider crawled on her while in the shower on day one but she didn’t say anything when it originally happened to not freak me out. She had to spend the day there while I was at work! And she did it, along with beach trips to St. Joseph. This was a special time for my mom and I to spend, and I know she would have preferred to be anywhere else, but the quote of it’s not where you are but who you’re with has never rung truer. We will always laugh about the chalets. (We quickly realized that in the same way that a sunset or sunrise doesn’t photograph as beautiful as it really is, these chalets don’t photograph how junky they are)
We had some chalet-visitors- Katie came for a beach day and night for our first day there. We sat in beach chairs and got bit by black flies and got burgers downtown St. Joseph, sitting outside at the Buck. It was so nice to catch up with my newly engaged friend and do our favorite things of beach, eating, and running.
Then the following weekend my friends came. Emily, Monica, and Danielle all piled in. We decided it was fine to surprise Danielle with cake and balloons 11 days before her birthday, so we ran to Meijer and made it back just in time to light candles. She walked in thinking she must have forgotten someone’s birthday. We talked non-stop throughout the weekend while eating Danielle’s cookie cake. We talked about our summers, our jobs, our classes, our hopes for the upcoming season. We sat at the beach in St. Joseph, ate at the Buck (again, love that place), drank red wine, and laughed.
Our last morning we talked prayer requests, things that were heavy on our hearts or worries we had, and then we held hands and prayed, sitting on rocks by Lake Michigan, listening to the waves amongst our honest words and hopes, my favorite part of the weekend. So grateful for friends making the effort and the drive to meet up and stay in one place, and for hearts united in God to be able to pray together. Sometimes it may take a bit of newness or discomfort to say “Let’s talk about what’s really bothering us, what hurts, what were scared about”, but with just a little nudge, this created space and opportunity for God to show up, and He showed up. It was as if we pushed through a narrow hallway and into a big room that was filled with His holy light, peace, and strength. We chose this scripture from Galatians 6:2 to center us while we live in four different cities-
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ
And all this happened at the lovely chalet. Praise Jesus.