Rear-View Mirror Christianity

What. A. Weekend.

Well, I’m currently crammed in a middle seat on an airplane. I’ve got a neck-pillow, mouth-breather on my left and a tuna sandwich-eater on my right. And despite my current state of being sensorily accosted, I’m in a sheer state of bliss.

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I just had one of the best weekends ever.

I took a “mental health weekend” back in New York City. I was supposed to be there for a shoot, but after it got postponed, (and I had already bought my plane ticket), I decided to go anyways. See my friends. See my city. And just take a couple days to come up for air.

Not that I don’t love being home and helping my mom recover from her stroke…truly…But I abruptly left my life in NYC when I came home without even saying goodbye 2 1/2 months ago. It was good to just go back and reconnect.

Lemme tell ya, there’s nothing like a 3 1/2 hour brunch with your two best friends that really fills your spirit and makes you feel affirmed and so loved.

But the meals together were great. The parties were wonderful. Even just walking the city and taking in the sights and smells — all so healing for my soul.


But there was another unexpected moment that really moved my heart.

It was with…my Uber driver.

It was Sunday morning, and I was meeting my two friends uptown for brunch after church. It was about a 25/30 minute cab ride, and being the chatty midwestern gal I am, I struck up a conversation. Which, if you know anything about NYC-ettique is frankly, unheard of.

But he had a beautiful rosary hanging from the rear-view mirror. And so, I asked him about it. Because…why the heck not?

“So, you Catholic?”

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I don’t know if he was more startled that someone was actually engaging him in conversation instead being buried in their phone, or the fact that I had the balls to ask him about religion, but this guy lit up.

He told me about how he’s newly married. Grew up in the Dominican Republic milking cows on his grandfather’s farm at 6am every morning since the age of 7. Moved to the US at 12, and goes to church every Sunday. And he’s driving Uber as a second job because he’s trying to buy a house for he and his wife.

And the convo then took a very interesting turn after I told him about how I moved home for the last 3 months to help my mom recover from her stroke.

Without skipping a beat, he goes, “Oh God’s gonna reward that. If you obey him, God is gonna bless you on the other side.” 

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Well, okay then. I know I had a few drinks the night before, but there was no doubt in my mind that I was supposed to be in that exact Uber, talking to this gem of a human being.

He continued to urge me to take every single opportunity that comes my way. That God is always working, and that every single door has the possibility of leading to blessings. But that if I don’t open the door, I’m going to miss out.
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Writing that out, it sounds so simple and almost…elementary trite. But my goodness, the way this guy spoke, it was as though I was about to take the field at the Super Bowl or something. I left that cab thinking I could conquer the world.

I spent a lot of time this weekend reflecting. I had turned my cable and Internet off back in January when I decided to stay in Ohio for a while. So I learned really quickly how much I rely on those fabulous fiber-optics on the reg. So there were a lot of moments spent just, thinking. Which, I’m seeing now, was another disguised blessing given to my by our gracious Father.

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But this cabbie, he was right on. And spoke what I needed to hear. God is not going to abandon me. He’s not going to leave me high and dry. I’m doing what I believe He is calling me to do right now. And so I need to allow Him to bless me…and the only way to do that is to seize every opportunity that comes my way, in whatever form it comes.

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I’ve gotten a lot of acting opportunities since being home. I’ve been concocting some exciting plans with my mom for a bible-study book. Not to mention the wonderful bonding opportunities I’ve had with my family.

I need to realize that these are all orchestrating together. And I’ve got to capitalize on each and every one.

My brother told me the other day over dinner, that life is what happens when you’re making other plans.

Who knows, maybe that’s more true than I’d like to believe. Maybe I need to see what God’s putting in front of me right now. Right this very minute.

Take that cabbie’s advice and trust that God’s got me where He wants me, and is already pouring out His blessings. I said “yes” to Him, and He’s not going to leave me high and dry. But I’ve gotta meet Him halfway and seize every opportunity.

So that’s my Uber lesson of the day.

Once again, proving that you just never know when God is going to show up. Even in an Uber on the Upper East Side when you’re hungover.

Go figure.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

240 thoughts on “Rear-View Mirror Christianity

  1. I love it when the divine reminds us of grace through the words of strangers. As a displaced chatty Midwesterner myself, I’m glad you struck up a conversation with that Uber driver, and even happier you told us about it. God is everywhere.
    Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I met a lot of Dominicans in New York. I wouldn’t agree that their Spanish is actually Spanish, though. I think it’ som’un el’. It’s still beautiful, though. Sometimes I prefer it over the Castillians’… Wait, were you talking in Spanish or English to this cabbie of yours…

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  3. That sounds so great being in NYC (from a former NewYawker as they tell me now). Must have been a bit cold though! And I hear you about being in that Uber – I think sometimes you just KNOW that you are where you are SUPPOSED to be! May your next trip back be ever warmer and nicer – enjoy the shoot when it happens. God Bless!

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  4. The line that really caught me is this: “you just never know when God is going to show up”, for that is really true. When he does speak to us, in any other way, we should feel blessed that we heard His wisdom. Also, the bible verse saying, “He will come like a thief in the night”, suddenly comes to mind.

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  5. Your blog post Always remind me to get back on my feet or keep going. Wow this was powerful. God has anyone to speak to us. He will not leave high and dry indeed. Love & kisses ❤️

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      1. Immigrants I’ve met cling to faith as an equalizer and growing up in America freedom and equality are, goals. It’s hard to convey that to new guys especially after naturalization classes they are very patriotic. Love Trump. All that mess. 😀

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  6. I am glad you got some time away!! I was thinking to myself that “this girl needs a break and exercise some different emotions!” haha!

    I myself have been blessed and challenged by my uber drivers as well. Plus having close friends who are uber drivers gives me bonus perspective. I love how God uses the unexpected strangers.

    Looks like this trip to New York allowed refreshment and closure. I pray you get more of that. However, the sacrifices you have made are not in vain.

    -JV

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  7. This is honestly true. God will always reward you for following his instruction even when you cannot see the blessing in disguise. Thank you for sharing this. x

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  8. I’m so excited for you! I can’t imagine how challenging these last months have been – spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. The tone of this post is so positive, hopeful, and excited, that I can’t help but be excited right along with you. God sends us consolations when we need them, and he sends us into the desert, too, but everything he does is for our benefit, our growth, and our ultimate salvation. At every moment, in every situation, he is pouring out exactly the measure of grace that you need. He is always caring for you, and everything that happens now is preparation for what is coming – we just can’t see it. But God sees everything. I’ve been trying to remember my “mountain top moments” during my more trying times, although it’s hard to remember without trying to cling, grasp, or tell myself, “It *should* be different.” I haven’t counted, but it seems like as many times as the Bible says, “Be not afraid,” it also says, “Remember.” I’ve been trying to remind myself of all of his blessings and of all the wonders he already worked in my life, so that I can have confidence in what’s coming. Well, this was a really rambling comment, but my heart is full of joy for you upon reading this, and as always, you are in my prayers! xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful note of encouragement, Lulu. I absolutely love that: yes! He IS pouring out that grace, and I am feeling that more and more every day. And you’re right — He *does* see everything. That’s such great advice – remember. Not rambly at all!! It has filled me with so much joy!! 🙂 big big hugs to you friend xox

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  9. When the world closes a door, the multiverse opens a window. You just have to contort your body and make sure you come up whole on the other side. 🙂 😀 ❤

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      1. You’re welcome! I am so impressed about your journey as I’m sure you’ve learned so many life lessons along the way 😀

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  10. Awesome. Absolutely great cab ride (even better than Cash Cab) All too often we don’t bother counting our blessings until after they’re gone. You’re driver was no doubt a spokesperson for God! And… YOU gave him such a great opportunity and a great listen. Terrific story.

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    1. Thank you so much Clayton! haha yes! much better than cash cab! 🙂 I think you’re right – He was definitely put in my life that day for a reason! thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

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  11. How wonderful! Yes, blessings are certainly mounting for you!! God’s gifts are there for all of us, if we keep trying our best to attain them. You are blest in everything you do and you bless all whose company you partake of. I do hope you have also been blest to be safe in this storm that rolled up the east coast. We got almost 2 feet up here LOL! I am sure God granted you warmth and safety. I hope you are able to keep getting shoot opportunities (what particular ones have you had btw?). I want to share this with you. One of my actions of Lent is to find as many days as I can (can’t do all) to say The Rosary. I always dedicate the last decat to my friends everywhere and all their needs. You and all you have done for your mother have been a major part of that dedication this year! God Bless with hugs, love, and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

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    1. Two feet! oh my gosh! yowza!! I’m glad you’re safe and okay! And gosh, Migueltio, thank you so much for sharing that. I am so touched that you would remember me and my family in your prayers. that is beautiful thing to do for Lent. Thank you for bringing my heart so much joy tonight, friend. big hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love reading your posts. I struggle so much lately. I wouldn’t think it is an issue considering after my Cancer battle. But it seems that I keep falling down and taking steps backward. My writing feels like I reach no one. I haven’t written anything lately. I started last year, thinking it was what I suppose to do. I felt like I was being told to do this. Nothing has come from it. It’s so discouraging. I become dry in writing and thoughts. I struggle with trying to figure things out. Sometimes I wonder why I keep getting attacked. As I sit here and listen to a marriage conference online. Talking about Satan has a plan for everyone also. It feels like I fail too easily to those attacks.

    Ive followed you for a few years. Glad everything is working out for you and you had a good weekend.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so sorry you’re feeling that way recently. I have definitely had spells where I’ve just felt the writing “wasn’t there.” I had to just remind myself why I was writing in the first place…becuase I love it. becuase it’s healing. because it gives me a chance to process. and because it’s fun! 🙂 Maybe some of that resonates with you 🙂 but as soon as i forgot about people reading or not reading, and got back to writing for me and for God, the words seemed to come a little more easily. but hang in there. You’ve had such a victory, God is going to use that! I will definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers 🙂 I look forward to reading your next piece 🙂 Big hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I”m glad you got home and got to reconnect some there….I mean glad you got to NYC 🙂 I have a slight idea of what it must be like.
    Yes, I definitely think you had what I’d a Divine Serendipity there with Uber. I’m glad you listened to the voice that urged you to say something, even more pleased the driver was listening the still small voice of God in his head.
    Relish the thoughts and enjoy that time. I hope things get better with your mother. At some point, you know that you’ll either have to decide to move back to Ohio, or decide your mother has plateaued and you should return to NYC.
    Keep praying and paying attention 🙂
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much Jef! Yeah it was really lovely to get back there and see my friends and check in. Haha maybe God likes that channel to work, after all, every Uber experience is a “chance” interaction where you have at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted time. thanks for stopping by and for your continued prayers. means the world. hugs xox

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  14. Hello, I have really enjoyed your blog and reading about your path. You are a strong woman and precious to God. You are making a difference to others and don’t stop. I’m so glad you have your Catholic Faith. Make it strong and don’t ever waiver. May God bless you and your family, especially your mom. Thanks, Di

    On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 6:06 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “What. A. Weekend. Well, I’m currently crammed > in a middle seat on an airplane. I’ve got a neck-pillow, mouth-breather on > my left and a tuna sandwich-eater on my right. And despite my current state > of being sensorily accosted, I’m in a sheer state of blis” >

    Like

  15. The image above with ‘guy removing glasses’ cause’ he just heard/saw something profound…. Hahahahahaha! I felt that way concerning the quote your brother shared with you. ‘Life is what happens when you are making other plans…’…. Keep writing… stay encouraged…Christ First

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  16. A pastor and a NYC taxi driver were standing at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter gave a welcoming hug to the pastor, but to the cab driver he presented a beautiful crown and robe.

    This did not go unnoticed by the pastor who said, ” He was a taxi driver and you gave him a crown and robe. I was a preacher, and all I got was a handshake.”

    “Yes,” answered Peter, “because people fell asleep when you preached, but they prayed when he drove!”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. [I tried to post the following comment on your article, Coachella Culture (April 18, 2016), but it didn’t work.]

        ***

        I see YouTube deleted the Stones video I posted in the comments last year. Anyway, the Coachella festival is right around the corner. The big act for 2017 is probably Lady Gaga.

        But what I wanted to ask you was about the abruptness of how New Yorkers speak compared to the shallow way Californians talk.

        The trends in California — like starting every sentence with “actually”, or “so” — are annoying!

        The new thing is to end every sentence with an upward inflection — as if you are asking a question. It’s very passive compared to New York speak which is bold and self-assured.

        Know what I mean?

        For instance, you might ask me if I’m going to Coachella this year, and I’ll respond like this:

        “So, I’ve been thinking of going? I haven’t really decided? Actually, I’d like to see Lady gaga? Her performance at the Super Bowl was … amazing?”

        I’ve been wanting to post an article on my blog about this, but I’m kinda unsure? I did find this funny clip that shows what I mean.

        Take care, sister.

        Like

      2. Oh gosh I had no idea that was a thing in LA! Gosh, that’s definitely funny. In New York, everything is about efficiency, so people say things in the most direct, straightforward way possible. No bs. No fluff. To the point 🙂

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  17. Loved reading this, the point where the driver just says God’s going to reward you for that on the other side, just amazing that God would encourage us when we least expect it. Hope you’re well, and hope your mum is recovering 🙂

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  18. Thanks for sharing. The part that touched me is that you are taking care of your mom. I lost my mom when I was 12 yrs. old to massive heart attack. It was not easily and if it hadn’t been for my Sis I would have faded away. Unfortunately years later I lost her to breast cancer. But, In my walk with the Lord He has shown me it was actually Him holding me up and close to His heart those trying times and has brought to now. It was because of Him I survived many a hard trials in life and live to serve Him. God bless.

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    1. Oh friend my heart just goes out to you. What a journey you have been on. Thank you for sharing this with me. I am so sorry that you had to endure such loss from such a young age. You and your family are in my heart and prayers. You’re so right – God holds us in when we need him most. Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I love this post. Granted, I am still working on my feelings with God and will likely be doing that for a long time but I love the message that everyone is put into our life for a reason, even uber drivers. We just need to be open to what we all have to teach each other.

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  20. Ever time we have an opportunity to “serve,” it’s really just God reaching out to us, and when we except (whatever He has called us to,) it is grace He gives us in return. Hugs & Blessings to you for saying yes & being willing to receive His grace.

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  21. I was re-reading this blog (yes they are worth reading twice) andI saw this:

    “I’ve gotten a lot of acting opportunities since being home. I’ve been concocting some exciting plans with my mom for a bible-study book. Not to mention the wonderful bonding opportunities I’ve had with my family.”

    Just want to encourage you to move forward with the Bible Study book. You have a way with words and self expression that is evident from your blogs and I think that you would write a great book. You might even want to build it around your mothers stroke and recovery using pictures of you and your family to dress it up. I suggest this because from your blogs it is clear that you have a talent for illustrating your thoughts and emotions with pictures and video clips (I suspect that is the actress/artist coming through!) and I think you understand how the “visuals” can deepen the meaning of the words.

    Pray about it and see what God tells you to do.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how much this means to me, and how it is coming at the absolute right time in my life right now. Meaning, conversations had last night and this morning, and how this is just the encouragement i needed this morning. thank you with all my heart, my friend. you seriously are such a blessing to me. big hugs xox

      Like

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