On the first night of summer, a friend asked me if I wanted to watch the sunrise at Red River Gorge the next morning.
Being the chronic agreer I am, I accepted immediately.
As we drove to the gorge, and proceeded to get lost, we were even more lost in conversation. As we hiked up the trail, we got to know each other. And as we gazed upon the sunrise, we were able to enjoy one of the most peaceful mornings I had ever experienced.
I remember thinking as I got home, “This is going to be the summer of a lifetime.”
I had no clue what I was in for.
As the days passed, I settled into the life I would be living over the next three months.
I had awesome roommates and fun times ahead… But I had something even bigger waiting patiently, Someone I had no idea was watching me – God.
As people had walked into and out of my life throughout my junior year, I struggled. I struggled with my confidence, self-worth and direction. I had no concept of who I was or where I was going.
Then, different people started knocking on my door.
These people I hardly knew started to ask me to hang out or come to events – to be honest, they peaked my interest. So, I started to spend nights at friend’s houses or exploring Kentucky, instead of at the bar or parties.
I started to understand how stressed I had allowed myself to get, and how little it did for me.
I started to see a lifestyle I had no idea existed… And I started to enjoy life more than ever before.
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” -Galatians 5:22-23 MSG
Since that trip to the gorge, I have gone to Haiti, been baptized, made friends that challenge me, while keeping my best friends that make me better, and through it all, I have become the happiest person in the world.
That climb was the beginning of an amazing summer, but more importantly, an amazing life.
Yesterday, I climbed to the same spot to watch the sunrise again. As I sat there, I was in awe. The beauty of the sunrise was amazing. The conversation with my friend on the way up had been refreshing. And as I sat there, taking in one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen, I realized how different the girl that had sat there two months ago was from me.
I wasn’t focused on the pictures we could take or what I was wearing. I wasn’t thinking about a guy I had been talking to the day before. I wasn’t planning what I was going to do for the rest of the day.
Instead, I was there.
I was taking in the sight, thanking God for such a beautiful morning.
For the first time in a long time, I watched the sun come out… And it was different; just like me.
That morning, I walked up the same path. I wore the same shoes. I sat in the same place. But, I enjoyed the most peaceful, beautiful, life giving moment of my existence yesterday… And it was all because I hadn’t come alone – I brought God.
The Lord has filled my life. He has taken away my insecurities, worries, and shame. With Him, everything is different. My life is better. Everything finally makes sense.
Open your eyes to God.
He will show you a different world… And believe me, you don’t want to miss this.
Allee is the Public Relations Director for Couture31, but more importantly, she is an amazing friend and beautiful daughter of the King. She loves hugs, lives in Kentucky, and volunteers with the incredible organization, DanceBlue. Connect with her on Instagram at @allee_girl.