Happy Halloweeniversary. (To me.)

October 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

I have dressed up once.  In my whole life.

For Halloween 2010, I was Krispy Kreme Lady Gaga.  With the help of my cousins Hannah and Olivia, there was a sleeve made out of Krispy Kreme bags, a skirt out of boxes, and a hat complete with donuts and a cup of coffee sitting neatly in the middle of it.  Amazing, amirite?

With hat. And with Rosa!

(Sidebar: I think there might have been a point as a kid that I was a sheep or a bee.  Wait, yeah, I’m almost positive I was a bee when I was little as Momma calls me her “Bitty Bee”…you’re welcome for that ammo.)  On the whole, our family didn’t celebrate Halloween.  Dressing up isn’t something I’ve ever deemed as important because, overall, the day doesn’t carry a lot of weight.

The one exception?  And it’s a biggie.
Halloween of 1999.
I am a senior in high school and, though an extrovert, my workaholic tendencies are already beginning to plant themselves firmly in place.  I also wanted to avoid going to church with my family because I hated it.  Three hymns and a sermon with a lot of saving face has never been my speed.

The other thing was that Dad had a rule.  He (and I) believed that if you were scheduled to work during church, you worked.  Not everyone gets Sundays off and you don’t get to be the exception.  So, in my effort to avoid service, I went to my boss at the Piggly Wiggly and requested to work from 7am-3pm every single Sunday.
I was a genius.

Along comes Jack Hoey.  This kid… 🙂
Invited me to church.  “Hahaha, I got this one,” I think to myself.
“I’m sorry, Jack.  I work until 3pm.”
“Perfect!” he says.  “Church is at 530.  I’ll come get you at 5?”
(Dammiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.)

Three weeks later, sitting in prayer on Halloween at that very same church, my ‘get-it’ switch flipped to on.  As a great guy named Josh Atkinson prayed over me unexpectedly, something clicked between me and this guy people called Jesus.  In the 13 years since, if you know me at all, you know that this version of myself is much much different than the version without Him.

Laughing in Raleigh, 2012. Laughing in Macedonia, 2001.

Oh, the sass and the laughter are still there, alleluia.  Wheezing laughter will always be my favorite emotion.  I still love to dance and fight for the little guy.  But, kindness and compassion and understanding are fighting to take over.  Rather than fire back quickly or take a strong position, I find myself trying to see things from someone else’s perspective.  When Love is the reason for your everything, it becomes easier to treat people as the incredible souls they really are.

Sanctification, the process of becoming more like Love, is a lifelong slow and beautiful dance.  I’m a human, not perfect.  But, as I have gotten older, things about myself and my life have begun to make more sense.

Why did I never react harshly to the man I thought I would marry who disappeared for seven years?  Because of Love.  Waiting on Him (and him) allowed for something absolutely beautiful to happen.
Why did I take French for five semesters in high school?  Because the summer after high school, I went on a mission trip to a French speaking country in west Africa.
Why did I learn to swing dance?  Okay, there’s no reason for this one.  That’s just fun.  You should go.

Jesus took a day with roots in celebrating the dead and gave me life.
I will say until the day that I die that all things can be redeemed.
Everything.

Happy Halloween, y’all!

PS Don’t be lame.  Give out candy.

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