Thursday, August 5, 2010

Before and After Chocolate

I've been in a bit of a slump lately. Nothing terrible has happened. Just a few family upsets, friends gone home, some physical pangs and the ever present expanse between me and those I hold dear. Like I said, nothing terrible just a few frumpy days peppered with crying. Bound to happen. If you asked me how I was, I would tell you honestly, "I'm great, never better."

I cannot believe it is August and that tomorrow is Friday already. We are now 4 months from December, from catching a plane ride home. For some here at college it means 4 months from the next step, 4 months from an answer to the question of "what now?"

A good friend dealing with that question invited me for coffee last night. She is a friend who makes me laugh and lifts my spirit. She is a joy to be with and so I said of course, I'm in. Deciding it was too late to walk and we neither wanted coffee, we settled on a chocolate shop destination. We did the chatty small talk on the way there and by the time we parked the car it was getting real and honest. She went on to unload about her fears, her wants, her sacrifices made, her questions, her hopes, her desires and no answers, worry over making the wrong decisions. All the quandary of it. The uncertainty. I listened and listened some more. Still in the car, in the thick of it. As she talked I was careful to hear everything she needed to say. I wanted her every care to be validated but I couldn't leave her there. I asked her to think on all she's learned this year and started to encourage her that there is always hope, to keep the faith and that we'll do it together, that so much can change and shift and happen in a day or a month and to trust in the God who knows her tomorrows though she cannot see them. That He sees all she has sacrificed and has not forgotten her.

At a pausing point we made our way from the car to the chocolate. Chocolate shops are big here and I am a fan. You walk into a rich creamy chocolate covered dimly lit cafe with barstools and jars of cookies, brownies, sprinkles, gumdrops and melty chocolate drizzle. Big thick bars of solid chocolate line the walls. I had my usual American Marshmallow Chocolate Cocoa and a cookie. We talked of boys and dreams and looked at pictures on her phone in chocolate heaven.

On the ride home she said "I just don't know what to do, what if I make the wrong decision?" I totally empathize with her, how many times have I said that? It just came out of me and exuberantly I said "I think you should do what you love, spend time with the people who build you up and make you strong, live life, celebrate it, enjoy it, listen to your heart, yes you can plan but the Lord leads your steps." I went on to talk about how much I've learned from two favorite authors about living a great story. That maybe God just wants to live a great story through each of us, His story. That maybe He wants us to celebrate life and enjoy the gift of knowing Him more along the way. That maybe it's not so much about right and wrong decisions as much as it's about our knowing Him and displaying who He is around us. That's His will for us after all, to know Him. As much as I was speaking to her, if not more, I was speaking to myself.

Back at the house we prayed together with a lilt in our voices, offering warm hugs and leaving with an encouraged and inspired bounce. All to my great surprise, before and after chocolate.

Now this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, The one and only true God, And Jesus Christ, whom you sent. John 17:3 msg


  1. Kris! You are making me re-think my no chocolate rule. You little stinker. I am glad that girl had you to listen to her. You are really good at that.

  2. Thanks R!! And so sorry to tempt you with the chocolate talk.

  3. Lilt-filled prayers are always a lovely thing.