Yesterday, Josh Pulley came over to me in chorus and said to me,
"Stephanie, I love you. I love that you sit over here and smile to yourself all the time."
First of all, I thought it was very sweet that he would say that about me and that he came over and told it to me, and second, it's very nice to be noticed.
I sometimes don't even notice that in myself. Why do I smile to myself when it seems as though I'm sitting alone with no one to talk to? It's not that I'm alone at all. I sit to watch and witness all the wonderful, funny, and thoughtful things that go on with out much of a second glance. I appreciate you, when you think no one does.
I find no greater joy that watching people and smiling to myself. The two don't always have to go hand-in-hand, though. I love smiling to myself when someone picks up a paper for a stranger when it falls to the floor and when someone holds the door open for someone else, or for me. I love making funny faces in the mirror and laughing hysterically at how ugly I can look, and I love that glow you feel when you know that nothing matters except you, your faith, and your fierce love. I smile when I see people introduce themselves to strangers, and make small talk with store clerks. I smile when I can look at myself in the mirror and see and feel beauty within, while I wish I could know a person that sees it in me like I do. I realized I have those people. Mom. Dad. I smile again. I smile when I see the bits of God in the soft part of every person that's kept hidden away deep down in their heart. When children laugh and run and play. When adults treat teenagers like real people, and when the shy people finally make a joke, I beam.
Somehow, the world still finds a way to keep me down sometimes. I still feel you when I'm sad.
I'm going on a church retreat next weekend and I'll be gone from Friday afternoon until Sunday night. It's called Search and everyone who's a junior or senior in high school goes on it once, and you can only go once in your life. It's all very secret too. And very important. My dad still has his search cross and knows which number he went to. When I told people I was going next weekend I was congratulated. It's a big deal. Even more so, seeing that the people who have gone before aren't allowed to talk about it to people who haven't gone.
I'm actually really excited and I need it. I'm on the fringe of finding again what God is to me. I'd lost him for awhile and I needed Him back with me so much and I just felt like I had a wall up.
I can't wait to go.
Pray for me and the openness and willingness of my heart.