Wow. What a busy and exhausting but wonderful week it has been.
New York City. “The city that never sleeps.”
My gracious parents took my sisters and I on this family vacation for a week, and while it was an overall wonderful experience, God taught me a lot in terms of anguish– but ultimately love.
I wrote THIS the evening we arrived in the city:
I’m currently typing this on the very high 17th floor terrace of the Edison Hotel in New York City; literally right above NYC’s busiest, nosiest strip. It is 11:41pm, Monday, and the city that never sleeps is certainly not sleeping; in fact, the noises, flashes, and shouts are deafening. Office buildings are aglow; there are giant billboards advertising models and perfumes staring back at me; and I’m here typing on my laptop, messy bun and pjs, after a little cry and prayer time, in awe of my Lord who never ceases to meet me and love me exactly where I’m at.
All the LORD spoke into my heart was what He reminded Martha of in the well-known parable in Luke’s gospel: “Only one thing is needed, and it will not be taken from you” (Luke 10:41).
I was so overwhelmed that first day. I spoke with my dad about how humbling it was to witness such masses of people, knowing and reminded that our God is sovereign over all of them. What peace we can take in that… but also how I anguish seeing such blatant love of the world.
The endless money spending, fixation on fashion and looks, pollution and industrialism and “self-sufficient” focus made me so sad at first, I felt I couldn’t shake it.
But I prayed that first night, and the Lord reminded me that His Spirit had been in New York City long before I had come; it always had been and always would be. Just like any other time, my only call was to submit to His authority and what He was doing.
Part of that was sharing in anguish for what the devil was attempting, sure, but it was mostly loving and embracing God’s people.
I slept very well that night.
The next morning brought sunshine and bonding time. Endless Starbucks trips throughout the trip became little pockets of curing my homesickness– but of course, I needed only Jesus for that.
That morning we went to the top of the Rockefeller centre, which provided the best view of the city. I highly recommend this! It was absolutely overwhelming to look out at the sea of architecture.
The rest of that next day brought more touring and pursuing, including a stop outside the famous “Friends” apartment building, and “Waverley Place” of Wizards of Waverley Place.
Dinner was at a DELICIOUS family style pasta place called Carmine’s. My dad and I happily shared a massive plate of linguine in white wine sauce with garlic shrimp. I want to experience the taste all over again!
Wednesday was Central Park day, where we rented bikes and biked all through the park. So many smiling faces and happy, sunshiney people out enjoying the park, too. I couldn’t stop smiling flying down the hills on my bike.
We had sushi at Whole Foods for lunch and then went to the 9/11 memorial, which was such an emotional place. I felt the Spirit’s presence so strongly in that place.
Crossing the Brooklyn bridge was next! Right over rush hour and hot and sweaty, we embarked the bridge over zooming cars and the beautiful lake. Again, I felt so small, so aware of my only purpose as the only eternal One’s child and servant.
We ferried to Stanton Island that evening and I enjoyed more seafood and pasta. What blessedly delicious food on this trip!
Our final full day in the city involved A LOT of hot and sweaty walking. We toured Manhattan and China Town, ate at some famous cafes such as By Chloe and, my very favourite, OatMeals (I got the ELVIS– oatmeal with bacon, peanut butter, and banana, YUM), and a stop outside Kleinfield’s.
And that evening was WICKED. My favourite part of the trip ended up being this incredible Broadway show, in which the main character was nothing but a Christ-figure and the talent in singing, acting, and dancing was altogether mind-blowing. We were all mesmerized!
Complete with musical road tripping and bonding with my sisters and parents, this trip was a blessing and a lesson. And just like always, ONLY ONE THING WAS NEEDED– and it was the position at Jesus’ feet. He provided joy, opportunities, and love, and I trust in Him alone.