Monday, March 14, 2011

One Year Ago | Remembering Dallas

It's hard to believe it was only a year ago.

And yet, it seems like a distant fog - so long ago.

Did I really live in Dallas, Texas for almost a year? It's so easy for it all to fade into a distant memory, especially since I moved back home afterwards... the place I've known and lived most of my life... and that year of living in Texas hardly seems a year at all.

So journey with me.

A year ago...

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A year ago, I was secretary and finance manager at the Dallas Ministry Center in Dallas, Texas. I managed accounts payable & receiveable, pay roll, and other various things.

My place - where I lived - was on the third floor. I had my own room; my own bathroom. It was like having my own, little house. I could decorate, organize, and clean as I pleased. I decorated with Eiffel Tower figurines, Mid Summer's Night Candles by Yankee Candle, vintage wall art, and an old city Paris/Eiffel Tower shower curtain. My laundry day was Thursday. Cleaning day was Saturday.

It was so very strange being "settled and steady," as I had previously been traveling constantly across the US and the World - living out of my suitcase. In the period of six months, I had visited New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, and many US states. Instead, my suitcases were now stowed away in a dark basement beneath seven floors.

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Just a mile or so down the street was the heart of downtown Dallas.

Saturdays were often spent walking down the street to catch the old trolley, where we rode to the ever-so-fabulous Orange Cup or Pink Berry frozen yogurt and mall shopping stores. For me, it was a chance to get away from being in the office all week, and to enjoy some photography time with my camera.

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The roof of the Dallas Ministry Center was just a fun place to be (strictly for staff only... off-limits for everyone else.) It was on the roof top where I sun-tanned with my girlfriend, Heather. We made up our minds one day to imagine the city noise as being the wind on a beach. (A bit of a stretch for the imagination but... you know, you do what you gotta do to make it more realistic.) ;) Only a couple nights before I moved back to Colorado, Heather and I dragged a mattress out to the roof top and attempted sleeping out on the roof. (Talk about FUN memories!) Oh yes, and not to forget - we had a saw concert one night! You read right -- a saw. You know, the ones that you cut trees down with and stuff...

The commercial kitchen where all of us staff ate was on the main floor. Sarah and others on staff introduced me to such delicious foods that I'd never tried before, such as, Baked Lemon Pasta, Shirred Eggs, Texan style Brisket, Sweet Tea, Baked Raspberry Oatmeal, Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, Blueberry Crepes and so many other yummy foods. I have vivid memories of making myself a cup of Costa Rican coffee with the coffee maker before heading to my office in the morning.

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Last year at this time I was going through one of the most heart wrenching experiences of my life. The excruciating hurt and pain, at the time, seemed humanly unbearable. The couple who were very much like second "parents" to me, encouraged me to pour myself in the word of God and to encourage myself in Him. They also encouraged me to get up extra early every morning to excercise -- to help "release" (in a way) so many of the emotions I was stuffing inside. And so, a year ago at this time, I was getting up at 5:45am every week day to excercise till 6:30am.. and then I'd get ready for another work day.

I remember one particular afternoon in my office, and there was small misunderstanding that went on. In the blur of the slight misunderstanding and all the other major things going on in my life at the time, I just suddenly burst into tears -- and in all reality & honesty, I'm not a very emotional person at all -- but I couldn't help but release all that I was bottling inside. One of my friends, who's office was adjacent to mine, came behind my desk and gave me a huge hug, and began to quote the words, "You give and take away, You give and take away, Still my heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name."

It was in one of the Dallas Ministry Center's spare, empty rooms where I found myself last year.. sobbing and literally weeping the hardest I had ever cried before. God what in the WORLD are you doing?? Why did I have to go through this?? I thought You said...?? What about...?? My lap was literally soaked and drenched from the tears I cried that day. In gasps of air, I cried out to Jesus. And told him that I couldn't any more. At the moment, He must've smiled in His loving tears and whispered, "Ahhh, my child, now I CAN." And it was in that very room, that I placed myself in the Everlasting Arms, and began the road to healing that only He could and can ever preform.

I can say truly ---

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. ..He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." Ecc. 3:1 & 11

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1 comment:

Samantha R. said...

Your pictures are beautiful. I love your style!
A lot can happen in a year! (A year go yesterday I was witnessing a dear friend say her wedding vows and this past week, we got to hold their new baby girl!!)

God knows our hearts. He knows our pain. He feels our sorrow. He holds us and comforts us.
Sometimes crying is the best medicine and just falling into the arms of Jesus.