Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Timeless and Forever. Eternity. They sound beautiful, don't they? The thought of someone or something lasting forever doesn't seem too farfetched, does it? I think it does. And it can be scary. Are we wrong, as people, to think that a work of fiction, now considered a classic, is timeless? Or that a marriage can last forever? Or that I could escape the grasp of oblivion and be known throughout history? Or that we could exist for all eternity with those we love?

Sadly, all good things as we know them must come to an end. If they never ended, would they be so spectacularly etched in our minds as something special? Probably not. Someone I used to know once said, "You can't live the same thing twice. You just have to find something good in everything."

Before I really get started, I just want to say a quick thank you for staying with me after all these months. I've missed writing and I am happy to get back into it. I hope to post about my summer in a day by day fashion, telling specific stories. However, the following post is what my summer has looked like in a nutshell. Thank you in advance for reading!!

Three months ago, I began working a summer job in Cannon Beach, Oregon. At the beginning of the summer I wrote one blogpost with the hope of keeping all of you up to date with my latest adventures, sharing stories and pictures. I meant to write at least two posts a month, but you know, that went kaput pretty quickly. I got so caught up that I never made the time to blog. If I wasn't working, I was hanging out with people, and if I wasn't hanging out with people I was studying or sleeping.

Working at the Cannon Beach Conference Center was such a blessing. It was both a privilege and an honor to work in a Christian environment on the Oregon coast. I met so many amazing people and shared in so many memorable experiences. Work was enjoyable and stressful at the same time, but I believe I quickly found my ground. I liked most of my coworkers and my supervisor was an enjoyable person to work for.

It's interesting to me how so many people came to work at CBCC and we were all with the same people in the same place, and yet everyone had a drastically different experience. My experience was beyond amazing. First of all, I love the place. The small town, the ocean, the sand, the rocks and landscapes. It's a beautiful place to be. I don't know what it's like the rest of the year, but I do know that, having only been there for the summer, I could definitely live in a place like that or it's surrounding towns.
Second, I really enjoyed the company of the people. As I've said before, it's the people that make an experience worthwhile and so memorable. My first couple weeks in Cannon Beach was spent with a small group of people who became fast friends...or so I thought. While we all got along and had fun hanging out, I knew that there was no real connection between us. Which was fine, they were still great people and enjoyable to be around. 
However, I quickly found myself feeling alone a lot of the time once my sister and I began working different shifts and never saw each other. I felt a little lost. I wanted a friend. Not just someone I could hang out with, but a true friend. Someone I could talk to and depend on. Someone who would remain my friend even when summer ended. I hung out with a lot of people. They were great, but we only hung out once. Or we talked in passing but never really talked.

There were several people put in my path who made me realize that not everyone had to be my friend. Some people could be just coworkers and that's fine. I didn't have to socialize with them outside of work. Later I began praying. We're all God's children and He loves all of us. I asked Him to help me to love His children. To love people. That was put to the test when He placed someone in my path. They were drawn to me in ways I'd never really felt with people before. In a strange way, I felt drawn to them as well. I considered them a friend. I felt lead to talk and pray with them. I wanted them to be able to look up to me, but they only pushed me away. Needless to say, in the end, it didn't last past summer. I wish them well though and hope to hear from them again in the future, always keeping them in my prayers.

I did make one amazing friend though. Someone who is definitely still in my life, a month after summer ended and I hope will be in my life for many years to come. We met on June 12th.
I had been at the conference center nearly two weeks. I felt comfortable with my job and the people I had gotten to know. That week, the week of the 12th, so many new people were arriving to work for the summer. I was sitting in the staff lounge when in walks this guy getting a tour of the place. He introduced himself as David. I found out he'd be working in food services just like me. When he walked out, someone asked me who he was. I replied, "I don't know, some new kid. He's like 16."

He started out as a coworker and later became someone I liked being around (turns out he's actually much older than 16 and a lot closer to my age than I initially thought). One night I needed someone to talk to and he was there. We saw the world so similarly. We both have artistic minds and we appreciate the beauty around us. We were both homeschooled and grew up in Christian homes. We became friends and remained friends for several weeks. Until the night he asked me to date him...
I told him that if he and I were going to be "just a summer thing, I don't want to be a part of it because there's no point." He told me, "That is not my intention." We both saw that the reason for dating someone is for potential marriage. And I don't mean dating as in, we go on a few dates and that's it. We skipped that stage entirely. I mean boyfriend/girlfriend. We're committed to each other and we're very intentional and we've both admitted that we care about each other and we're serious about this.

Two months later, I am not home, but I find myself back in South Dakota and he's back in California. We're keeping in touch over texting, phone calls, Skype, and writing letters. We hope to visit each other. We want to continue to get to know each other and keep our relationship moving forward, always keeping God in the center, all the while continuing to grow as individual people. The scary thing about this is, how long will it last? Maybe it won't. Maybe it will. Maybe it will last forever. But what does that mean? I love the thought of forever. My mind cannot even fully comprehend the meaning of the word, but it rings with a certain beauty.
Neither one of us has ever been in a relationship before, so this is all completely new. But I'm excited for where it will lead and I pray and hope for the best.

It's been hard being away from everyone I met during the summer and being away from Cannon Beach. I haven't felt home in a long time, and that's ok because I know my true home is in Heaven with my God. Even though my summer couldn't last forever, maybe I found my temporary home on the Oregon coast, because South Dakota is not home. I admit, it's been emotional, especially the first few days. One thing I know is that my happiness can never depend on any human; not myself, my family, my friends, or even David because who I am and my happiness comes from God.
It's a little bit scary to think that I may not know these people for the rest of my life, because what lasts forever? God does. And I will. Life can be beautiful. It can be an adventure. But it can also be an ugly place. School and exams, jobs, car payments and house payments, sickness and disease, famine, drought, war, persecution, and losing those we care about. We've done a pretty good job of creating a little Hell of our own, tempted by the demons within our own minds. The one beautiful aspect of life that trumps all others is that one day we die. Death is not sad. Death is a beautiful thing. The only sad thing about death is the selfishness of those left behind. One day I will die, but I will then live forever with God. Nothing lasts forever, not the seasons nor the friends we make. But we will if we believe in Him. I take comfort in the thought of my forever.

Yours truly,

P.S. Just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who was a part of my summer. To name only a few of you, Hannah H., Hannah V., Hannah B., Angelo, Kaitlyn, Kinzie, Bri, Rachel, Ronel, Luke F., Keri, Kristie, Paul, Caeli, Caleb, Jetaya, Leah, Chris, Lewah, Austin, Bryan, Daniel, Catherine, Mark L., Nick, Tim F., Jennifer, Colton, Jessica H., Corina, Benji, Aaron, Patrick, Frances, Mat, Ashlyn, Kevin, Tim C., Jared, Savanna, Olivia, and of course, David.You guys are all amazing, it was a blast to work with you and to get to know you!!

P.P.S. The best moments could not be captured in a photo. Moments like that walk on the beach, or seeing a shooting star, or talking as we swayed from the hammock, or running down the middle of the dimly-lit road, or dancing as the sand sparkled beneath our feet, or the look in his eyes that night, or peaking through the windows of the galleries after they closed, or reading the poems on every trashcan in town. Those moments are infinite and are forever etched only in my mind. However, there is a haunting beauty in photos. They hold memories. An image, frozen in time. Remembering that day with those people, doing that one thing. Here are a few of my favorite photos, courtesy of yours truly and David.

Me overlooking North Beach. July 2017.
David and I at the gala. August 2017.
 Bryan and my sister swing dancing. August 2017.
David and I dancing. August 2017.
David, me, Hannah, Jennifer, and Bri at the Farmers Market in Seaside. June 2017.
 My sister and I after an intense game of Fugitive through town. July 2017.
Daniel, David, and I in front of Haystack Rock. June 2017.
My sister and I, Caeli, and Hannah inside Subway. My first time eating at Subway!! June 2017.
David and I watching the Eclipse. August 2017.
My sister, me, and Savannah in the back of the car on the way to Manzanita. June 2017.
Me and David on the top of the Astoria Column. August 2017.
 David and I swaying in the hammock, watching the sunset at North Beach. July 2017.
 Through the tree towards Ecola Point. August 2017.
 Sunset at Cannon Beach. June 2017.
 Hannah, my sister, and I inside the hat shop in Seaside. July 2017.
 Shadows of David and I in Manzanita. July 2017.
My last day of work in Cannon Beach. September 2017.