Awhile ago my friend, Crystal, and I sat down in front of the biggest bowl of queso we had ever seen. I don't think Crystal knew what she was ordering when she asked for the special queso at Marquez's Restaurant that night. Nonetheless, we both grabbed a chip and took the plunge into the hot cheesy goodness. It had been forever since I sat down with my dear friend. She lives a hour away on the other side of Dallas, but that's pretty close compared to the miles between us the past five years that included an ocean. We had just left the photo expo (she's amazing photographer- check her out here) at the convention center and maneuvered the long way around Arlington to avoid football traffic to get to my favorite mexican restaurant.
As we ate our way through not only the queso, but the sour cream, guacamole, and salsa floating in the cheese, we talked about our days in Arlington. It doesn't seem that long ago when we both going to the University of Arlington, right down the street. Crystal and I had met in youth group when she was dating my friend Cole. After high school, I went on to UTA to start pursuing my nursing degree and Crystal followed the year later. We joined the same Bible study on campus and we've been friends ever since. Coincidently, in the same year, we end up transferring universities- Crystal to Texas A&M and me to UT-Tyler. That night, as we enjoyed our tacos she reminded me how much I wanted to turn around at every exit we passed on I-20 as she helped me moved to East Texas. Well, God had a purpose for everything that happened the next five years in Tyler as I finished my nursing degree, went on mission trips to Guatemala, and finally found my calling with Mercy Ships. The same for her as she moved to College Station, connected and served with the Navigators, and married her high school sweetheart, Cole.
By the time Crystal and I left the restaurant with our appetite satisfied (I don't think I ate cheese for a week after) the football fans had cleared the streets. It took only five minutes to get back to my place compared to the very long and complicated path I had taken earlier. I think about this night because it reminds me how God works in our lives. Sometimes we take longer to get where we need to by choice, by our stubbornness, by pride, by a lot of things, but we eventually make it to our destination. I believe God plans some of those ups and down and twists in our lives so we have to trust Him when the journey is too much. When we do finally make it, God has something even greater in store than we could ever imagine. Almost like how our long drive was worth it for that glorious bowl of queso. Again, I recall how stubborn I was filling out nursing school applications and upset I was about moving to Tyler, but at the end God gave me the most wonderful adventures in serving in West Africa. Tonight, I need to remember this lesson as its been a difficult 10 months being back in the states and I still have no firm plans on graduate school. (I've applied twice to a very competitive FNP program. I meet qualifications, there is just not enough space in the program). I do not doubt that God has worked in my life during this time, through the highs and lows. It might sound silly, but I'm praying soon that this long road I've traveled will bring me to the big bowl of queso I need to get back on the mission field.
Just some more food for thought:
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:33-34
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28