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I have no idea why the memory of the time when my friend Landry Waterford stood up in front of everyone at Monday night Bible study and told about how he was broken into faith crosses my mind now. Itís been at least three months since that happened-today is Saturday, March 22, 2008.
What makes this spontaneous recollection even stranger is that Iím in a hotel room in Dallas because my mom, my sister Alice, and I have been shopping for the past three days. Until now, most of my thoughts have centered on tailored shirts, white shoes, and Bobbi Brown make-up.
As awkward as it is, though, it must mean something. The expression on my face is enough to compel my mom to ask me whatís wrong. However, the trouble with me answering her is that I donít want to talk about it, so I go off on another tangent as I speak, while in my mind I make a radical decision: I, Arlene Millicent, am going to tell Landry Waterford the story of how I was broken into faith, and for the first time I am not going to hide even the most shameful details of my breaking.
Diane, Ellen, and I decide somewhat on the spur of the moment to stop at Sonic for ice cream. Our justification for this unmitigated indulgence is taking ice cream to Ellenís mom. It works-thank goodness Ellen knows what ice cream her mom likes.
To wait out the time between now and prayer meeting, Ellen shows me and Diane her pictures from her spring break trip to Atlanta. Itís March 24, 2008, the Monday after spring break, yet Ellen is still replete with the excitement from her trip.
While in Atlanta, Ellen and the others on the trip volunteered at a charity center for handicapped people. Ellen met several of the employees who were themselves physically challenged, which inspired the possibility of her working with disabled children after she graduates with her education degree.
As Ellen reels in her joy, there is a different kind of excitement brewing inside me. Itís trepidation and anticipation simultaneously, the kind of feeling that comes before committing an extremely temerarious act. And itís all because tonight could be the perfect night to tell Landry my story.
"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."-Jeremiah 33:3, King James Version
"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."-Psalm 119:105, New Living Translation
The present and future are not about who you were in the past-rather, they are about who you are and who you will become.
"Writing is truly glorious in that an author can put on paper the words that fear denies the voice to speak."-from my short story, "Set Free"
"...What you feel is what you are;
What you are is beautiful..."
-from "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls
Life surprises you! And I'm talking about the good stuff, because a bad surprise is not a surprise at all, it is just shock and horror. All of these good surprises, they are rewards, and the things that happen to remind you that you matter and that you should make yourself faithful so that you can be deserving of all of life's good surprises. Every wonderful surprise in life is a chance to flourish, so grab life by the horns-but don't ride, steer instead: life's horns are life's joystick. You can handle it, because your life's horns are made especially for you. If you don't give up, all of this will hold true and life will continue to surprise you.
Aubri, a. k. a. "Leopard Lady"