Late night ponders again. It's 1 am, and I really should be in bed, and honestly I was just about to brush my teeth and crawl under the covers when I remembered my Newseum ticket. And I remembered that this is me - the girl who stays up late just to write out her thoughts, the girl who has these thoughts - and I decided right then and there that I would not push this thought away for later. Right here, right now, it's going down. After all, this is the remembering place.
Rain had soaked Washington, D.C. for the past week, and Mother Nature wasn't letting up today. Sunday afternoon my sister Taylor and I had visited the Newseum, but our visit was cut short. I had planned on making the most of my 2-day pass, but didn't make it back to my favorite museum the next day.
Tuesday comes and I'm pedaling down Louisiana Avenue, head tucked down to avoid rain in my face. Black rain jacket zipped tight, legs soaked. I park, disembark, and lock my bike, shoes squeaking on the Newseum floors as I enter.
Cash was exchanged for a small piece of paper, which was instantly tucked in my rain jacket pocket.
I spent a couple hours wandering through the halls, revisiting my favorite exhibits and new ones. In the midst of being in my favorite museum, among some of my favorite exhibits - it qualifies as a happy place - I was fighting tears and the welling emotions within me.
Even though D.C. is a treasured city to me and spending 5 weeks in the summer there was a dream come true, it was rough. Expectations weren't met; I was alone a good bit of the time; anxiety would come onto me; and I would question if I had made the right decision to come. A cloud would hover over me, just as a cloud sat over D.C. that day.
I remember standing in front of the museum's theaters and just crying out from within. Lord, I just bind Satan! I know these feelings aren't from you!
It wasn't instantaneous, but the emotions passed fairly quickly. God heard me! Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you God! I kept praying those simple words every time I felt the cloud coming. D.C. did get easier, and I do look back on it with fond memories. It was a time of growth and time for God to display his constant faithfulness in my daily battles.
Fast-forward to this fall, on a September Thursday. Rain-jacket donned on my way to a class for the sprinkle outside.... which quickly turned into a downpour. The jacket was rendered useless when faced with the monsoon.
I entered the Journalism building with Converse squishing water out the sides. I dried myself off in the bathroom and squeezed all the liquid out of my socks, carrying my shoes to class. Quite a picture and not the way I had planned my day. To be quite honest, freshman year wasn't (isn't) going quite the way I had planned. Huge change, expectations not met, struggling with 'down' feelings (as I call them), loneliness, occasional anxiety - sound familiar?
Walking barefoot back from that class, I stuck my hand in my jacket. The weathered Newseum ticket was still there. Of course, I knew that. I often found myself fingering it, glancing at the folded paper, taking me back to the D.C. days, to that moment.
But today, I held on to that ticket, caressed all of its white-lined creases, and saw something different.
I saw the faithfulness of God.
In the midst of the mess that I felt that I was sinking in, I had not just one, but so many Newseum tickets to hold onto.
Time and time again God has proven himself faithful. He hears, he listens (different than just hearing), he responds. It may not be the way we want or when we want, but he listens to the cries of his people.
And if I'm not careful, I'll forget. I'll forget the story He has woven and the story He's weaving. I'll forget how He's moved in my life and so many others. I will forget answered prayers, moments of revelation, and the Cross.
I need my Newseum ticket. I need to remember. For you, it may be a verse or a person or prayer journal.
For me, it's a crinkled-up museum pass, tucked in a pocket for a rainy day, that whispers in the downpour of whatever that day may bring, "Remember, I am proof of the faithfulness of God."