Peace and Thursday nights

Published 10:35 am Thursday, September 8, 2022

You people are going to think I’m crazy, but here goes nothing.

I went on a quick, last-second, one-night beach trip this week. (Go ahead, tell me I live on the road. . .) The last time I was at Myrtle Beach, I was a sixteen-year-old church youth student hanging out with all my besties.

Let me share my very favorite thing I do when I’m at the beach. While everyone is waking up and settling into the new day, I like to sneak out for a moment alone on the beach and take a walk. The sun isn’t hot yet, and the waves are nice and calm. Every time I have that opportunity, I rush out and take it.

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“Peace” is the best word I can use to describe that moment. It’s a moment that I can reflect and think. May I share with you another peaceful scene?

Picture it: Sixteen-year-old M.M. at South Myrtle on a church camp trip. The world around me was chaotic. It was a Thursday night, which is always the most emotional night at church camp (don’t ask me why), but it was the night that the sermon and music really got to the exhausted, sunburned teenagers. There were lots of tears that night, lots of breaking down and building up. Reflecting on that night even today, I remember how the Lord was moving in hearts––even hard, teenage hearts.

I recall on that trip, there were two boys from a different church––one short and blond, one tall with brown hair. All the girls from my church had fallen in love with them and their dazzling sweaty selves. Except me. I wasn’t into dazzling, sweaty boys with earrings.

Those boys were too cool for school, strutting around the camp with twenty-eight girls hot on their tails. And then Thursday night rolled around. The lights were lowered in the worship room. The students crumbled at the altar.

I had rushed out of the room in tears, and there I was, standing outside of the worship room the night before everyone went home, and I saw both the blond and brown-headed boys being chauffeured out of the room, barely standing on their own. Their eyes were red with tears, their faces wet, smothered in emotion.

“Peace” is the best word I can use to describe that moment. That moment when hard hearts were turned humble.

Peace comes in many different shapes and forms, and I’ve seen that a lot over the past month. For example, there’s nothing peaceful about flying to Colorado through turbulence with a passenger who’s afraid of every little bump and sound (you know who you are.)

But the view? It’s amazing once you land. The tears? Worth it when they start to dry.

It’s peace. It’s worth it to run away for a few days to walk on the beach by yourself and reflect near the ocean waters about the last time you were there. 

And now for the rest of summer. (It’s okay, I think I’m finished traveling this month.) *wink wink.*