Thursday, May 21, 2009

Jen & Kate's Florida Adventure

A couple weeks ago my now best friend (and twin), Katie came to visit me in the ATL. After singing in the choir together at my church, FBC Woodstock, we packed up the car the very next day and headed to Florida for a week-long adventure. Neither of us had any idea what God was about to do on this much needed trip. The week was jam-packed full of God's favor and blessings on His girls. He did so much to lavish upon us His love and to show us that He is truly in control of our lives and has big plans for each of us.

On our road trip, we made a list of all the things we wanted to do while on vacation in Florida. The list was over 40 items long, and we got all but just a few completed and were able to add a few more along the way. I could share so many stories about each of our adventures that this post would go on forever, so here are some of the things we did in a nutshell for you...

...Sang in the choir at FBC Woodstock, played tennis, watched movies, made a pitstop in Ashburn, GA which happened to be the home of the "Fire Ant Festival" and were led by a police officer to see a fire ant the size of his car, went to Madeira Beach, went on the "Dolphin Racer" (a large speedboat that gets schools of dolphins to jump in the wake behind it almost so close you could touch them), went to two Bible Studies, went to the "Silver Edge" in Ybor to exchange Katie's ring for two beautiful new bracelets (another amazing story where God showed His favor), went to Busch Gardens and rode the Sheikra twice, drove through a scary storm with a tornado, went to Fort Desoto, had a picnic lunch on the beach, played cards, had dinner with my family, played with my nephews, had a picnic lunch in Vinoy Park on the water in Downtown St Pete, watched the sunset on the beach, rode bikes along the water's edge in Downtown St Pete, met my friends Tom & Karen Hudgins for dinner on Clearwater Beach, went to Rita's, went to the Saturday Morning Market in Downtown St Pete, went to the Ellenton Outlet Mall where I got a cute skirt, belt and scarf from Banana Republic, went to the North Shore Pool in Downtown St Pete where we got locked in and had to call 911 to get out and were given lots of free icecream, went to the St Pete Pier, went to the "Madison at St Pete" where I used to live to enjoy their hot tub and outdoor courtyard/fireplace, went walking on the beach in the rain...(just to name a few)

As you can see, our week was full of lots of adventures and we will have many stories to look back on for years to come. As I mentioned, God showed us some amazing things while on our trip. One was during a scary storm that we drove through. It was amazing that God gave us such beautiful weather all week long as the weather reports were showing thunderstorms everyday. However, as we were driving home from Tampa one afternoon a storm came up from nowhere and the rain pounded down. We attempted to drive in it to get home to eat the turkey tacos my mom had prepared for us, and it was probably the scariest storm I have ever driven through. The rain and lightning did not let up our entire trip over the bridge on the interstate from Tampa into St Pete. We couldn't even see the road in front of us and there were a few times I almost lost control of my car as we hit large puddles in the road. I had lost the feeling in my fingers because I was gripping the steering wheel so tightly. Once we finally got off the interstate, the rain just stopped. The rest of the week, we had beautiful weather and did not have any other storms like that one.

We found out later, that there was a tornado in that storm and the reason it lasted for so long was because we were moving right along with it. It followed us right across the bridge into St Pete.

Have you ever experienced a storm such as this one? I have been experiencing a storm in my life similar to this for awhile now. Satan is like that destructive tornado that attempts to destroy and throws things at us to try to get us to lose control. It may seem like the storm won't let up, as though it is just following you. However, God promises to be there with us during the storms of life. You may not be able to see the road ahead, but if you put your trust completely in Christ, He will lead you out of it in His perfect timing.

I believe that God has something absolutely incredible waiting for me on the other side of the storm that I cannot see. I know that eventually the rain is going to come to a halt and there will be something beautiful waiting for me. In the meantime, I am going to cling to my Jesus for dear life as He brings me through it. I know that one day I'll be able to look back and thank Him for the storm because it will be that pain that He will use to bring about His perfect plan.
God reminds me in His word, "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on Me, when you come and pray to Me, I'll listen. When you come looking for Me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding Me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." (Jeremiah 29:11-13 The Message)

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