Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chapter Two: Pee-otch

After Omar graduated high school in 2002, he decided to lead high school kids to Christ through Young Life. Omar and Whitney and 20-something other people showed me Jesus in a way that was real and exciting, and I was stoked to be a part of it. Little did I know what God was doing behind the scenes…

Omar, Whitney, and other leaders at YL camp, circa 2005 aka before I entered the picture

Our first encounter was in Pioche, Nevada, a town whose population we nearly doubled when our group of 35 people chose to camp out there for three days. Omar and I were fairly distant acquaintances, and I had a crush on our friend Max (which lasted like 5 days, so glad that that’s out in the open now).

On day two of the trip, Omar and I were placed in the same share group. We were supposed to share how we came to have a relationship with God. There were three of us in the group, but it only felt like two. Omar and I bonded over our identical lives; our South American lawyer fathers who weren’t around to raise us, and our ridiculous high school experiences which landed us in the arms of our heavenly Father. Later that day we played a game called “Assassins,” where you covertly shoot each other with water guns. We were all handed pieces of paper with someone else’s name on it, and it became our job to “kill” our target. I was assigned to Omar, so I hid the paper with his name on it in the old testament of my bible, and shot him in the face.


Omar (and Jon) on the wonderous, giant, inflatable slide in Pioche, circa 2005

I remember praying for my future husband a lot during that trip,

how was I to know that he was right under my nose?

to be continued...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chapter One: One world, two worlds

Preface: Omar and I have a very long, interesting, wonderful, long, long, long, love story. Since there are between 50 and 100 people a day that read this blog, and we are asked all the time how we met, which turns into a 1-3 hour story (depending on who is telling it), Ive decided to share it with you, in chapters. Thank you for taking an interest in our life, it means the world to us.

Without further adieu, Chapter one:

Silverado, circa 2001

Our story started together and apart. We both went to Silverado high school in 2000. That same year I met Myles, my first real boyfriend. As far as we know, Omar and I did not meet in high school. However, I did have Spanish class with his girlfriend, and I remember telling her that he was a loser and she should break up with him. And, he kind of was. And so was I. He was heavily into drugs, and neither one of us had much regard for anyone but ourselves. We were both losers, and in our own ways we lost everything. I lost myself in the many many people I dated, cheated on, and broke up with. Omar was as reckless as I was. We were both desperate to fill the voids in ourselves and did it in as many ways as we could. I was in theatre and thrived off of being the center of attention. Omar was a band geek, turned cool kid. He was popular because he knew how to party hard and made out with a lot of girls. He went to Young Life stoned. I wanted nothing to do with God. We were a match made in heaven.

A Midsummer Nights Dream/ perfect visual of my high school experience, circa 2002

I went to Coronado the next year. Somewhere between my first day at Coronado and the day I graduated, I met my best friend, made some of the worst decisions I have ever made, broke up with Myles, and found Jesus. Not in that order. For fun, I got drunk and stole from K-Mart. Then, in October 2002, I decided to hand my life over to Jesus. Omar made the same decision around the same time. Coincidence much? At this point our lives were completely separate, but, without our knowledge, our worlds were about to collide.

Whitney and I, circa 2002

There is a relevant side story that should be interjected here. Whitney. We hated eachother in seventh grade, ironically both moved to the other side of the city and ended up at the same high school. Through some accidental circumstances, we started hanging out. Our bond was unbreakable, and we did everything together. Then, she found Josh and I found Jesus. She went to church with me a few times and I prayed and prayed that she, too, would surrender her life to God and we could embark on this adventure together. She didn’t, and we drifted apart. In that time I started college and went to Europe. When I came back from Europe, I got a phone call from my long lost best friend. “Allie, you should come work at Tropical Smoothie with me, oh yeah, and by the way I am a Young Life leader now, and a Christian.”

So, I did. I had just come out of a stage in my life where I was casually dating every cute boy I met almost simultaneously, and it was not working very well.

And while working with Whitney, I met a guy named Shaun. He was a Christian who helped lead worship at a church, and he adored me. He guarded his heart, but poured out his love, and in turn, showed me what it looked like to have a real relationship. You know, the kind where you don’t make out with every person you meet and actually care about the heart of the person you’re dating. He prayed for his wife every night, whether it was me or not. Turns out, God showed me that he had other plans for my life, and we broke up. But I learned from Shaun something vital to my life; hearts are valuable. I decided at that point not to kiss or date anyone until I knew I was going to marry them. Around that time, I met a group of people that loved God and loved people, and after almost a year of praying, I decided to be a part of Young Life.

this picture is worth a thousand words, circa 2005

to be continued...

To read chapter two, and subsequent chapters, click on "next post" on the bottom, left side of the page!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a hinge-point in history

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
-Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday was one of the few times in my young life where I was proud to be an American. I was never ashamed to be an American until I traveled the world and was automatically pegged to be a greedy, provocative, selfish, violent, ignorant human being. It is shocking to see how much of an influence our leaders and celebrities have on the opinion of outsiders. I do not agree that George Bush or the majority of America fit the stereotypes that have been given to us, but I also do not think that we have lived up to our title of a Christian nation.

There is an element of hope that comes with today. With yesterday. With tomorrow.

I am so excited to think that when my children are born, they will never know what my parents knew about racism and ignorance. They will be born into a country of diversity, where people with different skin colors respect, admire, and look out for eachother.

I met a man last night who stood at Martin Luther King's, "I have a dream" speech. He enjoyed it, and thought it was amazing. He had no idea what he was witnessing. He shared with us last night that history is not that historical in the making, it is nearly impossible to recognize the moment that will separate right now from eternity. And yet? It happens everyday. Everyday we are watching history being made. I have hope, and I am excited, and I am a little afraid, but I am positive that what happened yesterday can make or break our nation, that things will never be the same, and that change has ultimately come to America.

Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
-President Barack Obama