prison, hikes, and Abi

So, I went to prison this past week. Don’t be concerned mom, it was for work.

On my way to meet my boss (Ash, a member of the Scottish Parliament) in the lobby of parliament, I got a text that said “can you bring my coat, brolly, and crisps.” We were already running late, so just picture me in heels literally running through parliament trying to figure out what the heck a brolly is.

We climbed into the taxi and Ash began to ask for briefings on a seminar and about where we were heading. Thumbing through my notes and files as she put on her lipstick, I felt intimately connected to Anne Hatheway in the Devil Wears Prada. Except Ash is entirely too kind to be Meryl Streep’s character. I took notes as she talked with a tall, Scottish, well-mannered man. I’m proud to say it was my first time in a prison.priso

For the weekend, I was supposed to go to Paris, but heard the Lord speak loudly and clearly and we diverted our plans. On a whim, we booked train tickets to Windermere, England—in the Lakes District. We found an incredibly cheap Airbnb outside of town advertised as “a small room with 8 beds.” It was exactly as advertised, except only had 7 beds. This town consisted of New Dungeon Ghyll Tavern and Old Dungeon Ghyll Tavern. We ate at both. We also took one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever taken. First, we hiked up to Stickle Tarn, and then proceeded up the next mountain. Photos below.

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My Come to Jesus Moment 

My internship supervisor, Abi, is a single mom with an 8 year old son. Her son, Nate, was diagnosed with NF1 as a two year old, when his father left the picture (NF1 is a genetic malfunction, progressive, frequently causing noncancerous tumors all over the body. In some cases, they may not only be benign). Abi told me that in December, Nate began having more severe headaches than normal, and was given an “urgent” appointment through the National Health System. Set for January 25 (almost an entire month out…) Nate received multiple scans, MRIs, and optic ultrasounds last weekend. Abi was essentially a nervous wreck all week. Thursday, she and I distributed flyers across Ash’s (the member of parliament I work for) constituency all morning. About 6 miles into our 8 mile parade, she realized she had missed 3 calls from the doctor. Trying to hide her panic, we stopped and both began dialing the doctor and NHS operating board. I reached the doctor (no idea who I was speaking with just had better luck getting through to the correct ward) and handed the phone to Abi. Standing there trying to give her space, I realized that this moment very well might be one of the biggest moments of her life. I knew there was a high probability that the doctor find a tumor in his brain, and by the looks of 3 consecutive calls, the urgency of the matter seemed high.

As I tried to read the expression on her face, I began thinking about what the heck I would do if the news was bad. Praise the Lord it was good, and no tumor was found. The scans were being sent to the optometrist to look at the optic nerve. Abi was relieved, and so was I. The moment, however, weighed more heavily on me than expected however. Mostly because I simply felt so unequipped to handle it. With a dear friend, I typically respond well and without thought to comfort, pray, and encourage. However, with someone who still feels like a stranger, and also someone whom I know does not share my faith, my ability to comfort, pray, and encourage, seemed quite flat. I spent the rest of the morning pondering what exactly I would have done if the news had been bad. I realized that I felt pretty uncomfortable with the idea of asking to pray over her, even though that’s all my body had the idea or capability to do. I found myself thinking, “prayer wouldn’t even really mean anything to her since she isn’t a Christian, so I could just walk in silence but pray to myself.” I’m actually kinda mad I had this thought. I later rationed through this and realized I was totally stripping prayer of its power. And what the heck Lexie, how could I possibly think that prayer only works for people who know God? I had a brief come to Jesus moment about claiming my faith and being prepared to boldly love people the way I know best, regardless of how they might perceive it. My job is to trust that the Lord will use me how He wills.

The Lord is good, and the Lord is loud. If you will, pray for Abi and her son Nate, and pray that I would be bold enough to listen to the Lord’s still, small, yet often loud voice.

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One thought on “prison, hikes, and Abi

  1. Lexie … I could totally relate to your response /ambivalence on how to react to Abi’s situation. I know that I have been there numerous times in my life ( since I am 33 years older than you!) I always pray in situations like that for the Lord to speak through me and recieve encouragement from a verse I’ve read ( can’t remember where ) that says to “not be afraid for in that time the Lord will give you the words to say.” There will be people who don’t want prayer ): or have hardened hearts … but that is a prayer right there. Anyway…I am so happy for your awareness of your own need for the Lord to use you and teach you. I am also soooo happy you have had opportunities to marvel at His splendour and share experiences with Caroline and Emily❤ Finally please know that your vulnerability allows your stories to reach in my heart and have me reflect on what I need to trust the Lord to do in my own life too. So thank you so much … continuing to pray and be so proud of you. Love, Crissy

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