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Olivia Holbrook

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Coming to work at Lake Forest Ranch was never something I actually envisioned happening to me. It was always more of an idealized dream, a summer that I always wanted but would never get. God decided to make this dream come true in order to show me things He knew I needed. Here is a poem I wrote right before coming to LFR:

ALIVE

There have, in fact, been times where I’ve felt calmer

Restless sleep and constant wonder

Each day goes by and I ask is it all right to feel better?

Can I go visit, and can I piece myself together?

Head and heart, now broken

One screams go, GO—the other not yet, no

There have, in fact, been times where I’ve felt calmer

 The ebb and flow of feeling life comes and goes

 

 It seems as if graveyards beckon me towards them when I drive

 As my headlights reflect off of the gravestones

 and the light bounces back—as if to catch my eye.

But are they playing some reverse psychology with me?

 Because when I do stop and smell the fake roses

It seems all they scream at me is to spend more time with the living

 

 Plant lavender for luck,

 It is time to live boldly,

 Never let a day go by without laughing, at least once.

These are scribbled on a paper taped to the mirror

 Do not go gentle into that good night

I keep my door open because there is no knock

 Plant lavender for luck—spend more time with the living

 

 And so I do—or try, at least

 Walk into my room to stop and see REAL little things

My walls filled with small memories

Pictures scattered across the room, with no rhythm or rhyme

Wild flowers hung upside down, will I remember the associated memory?

 Look at my windowsill; each item with a stolen moment

 Real flowers in a jar; all seems so beautifully normal

 Stars in the sky with la Luna beside

They all make me feel finally alive

Writing this poem made me feel good. I thought that I had aired out and let the LORD show me that it was important for me to believe in Him more. Little did I know His job was far from over and it was all about His work happening through me and not things that made me feel good. I have been shown time and time again to believe in the Lord and all He does. Everything happens for a reason even if it is not according to MY plan. I have had the opportunity to watch Him work in girls all summer and seen seeds planted and seen children grow in their understanding of who He is; I have even had the privilege of getting to be a part of some of these first hand. I have been choosing to believe (not that it is incorrect, but in the way that it is hard to put my flesh away and focus on God) that He is not done with them, only just getting started. Even the girls whose hearts seemed to be sealed towards Him I am putting my faith and believing they will be shown more of Him and loved by those who love God. This summer has been a huge part of my growth with God. Being surrounded by wonderful people whom I can go to with questions or just talking with them about God is such an incredible experience and I am so grateful to have been able to experience it. Had I not been around these people I would have never made it through this summer. They called me out when I was walking in the flesh and did not allow their sin to say that they were better than me. My brothers and sisters in Christ encouraged me daily to spend time with God and to admire His creations even if that just meant spending five silent minutes looking at the lake and drinking coffee. I truly believe that LFR is as close to a tiny piece of Heaven as one can get. Even now, as I sit typing with a broken foot (another story), I know that it happened for a reason, I am just excited to find out what are all the reasons for everything He does. May I never forget to treasure the sweet moments with my LFR family I have had and may His steadfast love endure forever.