As far back as I can recall I have always thought "As soon as I get out of high school I am leaving Yakima". I wasn't quite sure why. I knew all my friends said the same thing and we all felt like we were way way too cool for this town and what it had to offer.
Yakima isn't terrible and now I look at it with fondness (maybe because I AM out).
Yakima is where God moved me and my family when I was 4 years old. You may think "no, it was your moms job-a job she had to get because her husband was fired for having an affair with a gal at his work". Yeah, to the naked eye it can seem that way (and I am sure it did at the time to my mama who packed up her 4 girls, cheating husband and left the only home she had ever known and all her family behind). But now, looking back I can see it was ALL God. It was his plan for all of us.
I look back at my teen years in Yakima where I traded my purity for popularity and received the latter (which only lasts for a moment) but the issues from committing (truly) a sin against your own body lasts forever.
I traded a large portion of my short term memory for a lot of nights smoking pot.
I traded my value to guys who showed any bit of interest.
But the biggest trade was worth it all. I traded my terrible, depressed, dirty self for a brand new one on the day I decided that Jesus was really the only person who would love me forever and walk WITH me through dealing with and healing from everything I had done to myself and baby, that was the BEST day in Yakima!
And now when we visit Yakima and we drive through town, past places and houses where I did some of my most shameful things I no longer feel like I am held to that person that I built, but I am restored and I am now the person that He built and it was worth it. All the nights of crying and praying and asking God to take memories and thoughts away I can say (with confidence) that He has heard my cry and has always been faithful to help me.
So with all that said, this past week I went to Yakima with just my babe in tow (Daniel is out of the state for work) and it was so refreshing to be around friends that I know deeply and they know me just as deeply. Friends who have prayed with me and walked with me through some tough days. Friends who are building their families and open their doors to me like Tenn and I are one of theirs. I LOVE it. I LOVE Yakima and everything it has facilitated; heartbreak, my sin, shortcomings, terrible decisions and redemption from it ALL!
So here are some snapshots of our week.
FIRST STOP! To see my fav friend and her adorable boys (and a girl, but she wasn't down with getting her picture taken). I LOVE these boys!
And we will keep writing our love story......