Ambushed. / by Sarah Schwartz

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer." (F. Scott Fitzgerald) There's something about summers. It's always the summers. You'd think I would have caught on by now.

The summer before I started high school was the summer, the summer I fell apart into more pieces than I knew I was made of, the summer I was first ambushed by the reckless and unrelenting love of God. After the dust had settled and the wreckage somewhat swept up, it was the summer I would look back on and say I'd do all over again. It changed everything.

Then there was the summer of 17, the summer of, go to Seattle, an ambush of a whisper, a whisper that I argued with with all my might. A whisper I ultimately followed 200 miles away from everything I loved, and quite a few things, in hindsight, I needed to be away from. It was a summer I couldn't have known I needed, a summer that planted seeds that will one day come to harvest.

Fast forward to this summer. In an odd turn of events that no one, including myself, saw coming, I find myself in a little house in an unfamiliar town in the middle of the desert, hundreds of miles from anything I call my own, about to start a job I know nothing about. Each morning this week I have woken up in a bed that isn't my own and wondered, How did I get here? But deep down I know exactly how.

I've been ambushed. Again.

All I want is to be in my little apartment in La Mirada, or my beloved farm in Oregon, but instead, I'm here, hours away from the comforts and distractions I try so hard to surround myself with in an attempt to keep Him at bay. You see, for weeks now, I have been busy hiding; hands over my ears, jaw clenched, kicking at the goads until my feet bleed. And now, for the next 8 weeks, He's got me cornered, with all the love of Father to Son, Son to creation, Vine to branch, Abba to child.

Gentle yet relentless God, You've got me cornered. And I've got to hand it to You, the desert was a clever, poetic touch.

As I attempt to make myself familiar in what will be my home for the next two months, I keep thinking of a line from one of my favorite poems that says,

"...asking all of my ghosts to join me on the dance floor. Let’s shimmy. Let's twist."

So You and me God? Let's shimmy. Let's twist. Let's do this summer dance. Ready or not.