Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

8.20.2010

Just a Station

“Wow—so you’re 20 now!”: the phrase I’ve been taking in a lot lately.
Depending on whether you’re 15 or 50, that may seem either like the transition into adulthood or the height of youth. For me, it seems like both.

I am no longer a teenager. I have purportedly entered the realm of “adulthood,” the third decade of my life. And it is strange. But the other side of the coin is that when I started to say, “Well you know, when I was little…” my great-uncle laughed uproariously. Hmm.  It’s all in your perspective, I admit; so thankfully, this week I found a new one.

I was scouring cross stitch samplers, reproductions of actual antiques, looking for a new pattern to try, and I found this one by a girl named Mary Jones.
In painstaking letters made of perfect little crosses that filled square after tiny square she stitched:

Mary Jones is my name New York is my station
Heaven is my dwelling place And Christ is my salvation
When I am dead laid in my grave and all my bones are rotten
When this you see Remember me that I be not forgotten
August 14 AD 1801 and in the 15th year of America's Independence

I was somehow struck by this Mary Jones who two hundred and nine years ago begged us not to forget her, not to ignore the impact she had on her station while she waited for her dwelling place. I don’t know how old Mary Jones was, but whether she was twenty or ten, I can hear this living heart’s cry of hers so clearly that it is almost strange to me that she now truly is dead, laid in her grave, and her bones rotten. Yet the message of her words is so vibrant that we know that even as she worked thread into linen with her earthly silver slip of a needle, her mind was on the things God was working in her on earth and for her in Heaven. Did she know that in the next millenium, girls would ponder the very same thing?

And as I pedaled my bike last week, in the midst of our 42 mile long ride, my mind did go to the same place. I was over halfway through the ride after a grueling seven hours. My legs were cramping, the sun was setting, the night was getting cold, and I had just realized that the last miles were uphill.
And then God gave me a gift: a glorious lake with seuqins of light scattered along the surface, and waters that mirrored the sky--richly pigmented of pinks and golds as the sun lowered in the horizon.

With this gift came my second wind, and I was ready for the transition, which I had heard whispered about.
A long bridge (shown in the picture on the left)loomed in the horizon—a huge uphill battle, which my family and I all fought together—together screaming in delight as we flew down the other side. But soon, even more uphills appeared, the sun had long since set, the air was cold, and darkness frowned upon us. It was then that I remembered the gift of beauty, the glimpse of Heaven that God had granted earlier, and that I thought back through the whole day.

The day had mirrored—in some small, minute way—the way my life, your life, and Mary’s are lived out. We all started carefree, racing down the path, taking breaks often, and laughing as we did so. And no, the joy never disappeared, but it deepened. And the transition did come when we faced the uphills, the deep theology discussions as we peddled side by side, and the exhaustion of moving forward without an end in sight. And there we are right now, peddling away endlessly. But Mary—she has already gone ahead to the last part—she went through the dark forests, passed the one mile marker sign, and hurtled down the unseen path, unable to glimpse even one step ahead but living in faith because that dark place was only her station. The lights that came into view soon enough were her dwelling place, and they were her joy. So as I stared at Mary’s words, looking ahead at the path that lies before me, I realized that I should take it from someone who has really been there. This earth is only my station, and turning twenty is only another step forward to my dwelling place.

5 comments:

  1. Lauren, I hope your calling life will always have you writing and sharing your words. You may only be 20 but you sure are an inspiration and a reminder (of many things) to me. Happy Birthday!

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  2. Beautiful post, couldn't have said it better myself. Sometimes, it's easier to forget the larger scheme of things, the real reason why we're here, and to become discontented if our life here is not turning out the way we thought it should. To read those words written so long ago,was both a joy and a jolt. Thank you Lauren, keep writing (both of you..):)

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  3. Brandy--What a lovely, sweet comment! Thank you for your kind encouragement and birthday wishes! They are a blessing to me!
    Alessandra--A joy and a jolt is exactly how they were to me as well! Thank you so much--you can be certain that I will keep writing--I'm just glad that you keep reading! (-;

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  4. Well said, my friend!
    If only I can always keep an eternal perspective of life...how much that would help with the daily decisions and attitudes.

    And I can't BELIEVE you biked 42 miles! You guys are an inspiration to me in more than just a few ways. :)

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  5. Lauren, a beautiful post! I loved the imagery of the bicycle ride compared to our movement through life. Birthdays have a way of making me think about where I have been and where I am going. I hope you had a very blessed day! : )

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