Jess Reiche

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(Re)Worked Classics: Say Something

I’ll just put it out there that when I titled this post I immediately thought of 2 things that this is in no way associated with (although both awesome). 1: This Song. 2: This Clip.

The people close to me know that before I met my husband I wasn’t a Christian. I’ve had an interesting spiritual journey all because of what people have said and haven’t said. I was born into a completely Jewish family. Both of my parents were raised with the (more or less) traditional Jewish experience and opted to not pass that on to their children. So I was raised as an “American” as we put it. A nice NY girl raised on good morals, good food and surrounded by a ton of Catholics. My hereditary understanding started with and ended with amazing Kosher food and some awesome holidays with our grandparents in Brooklyn (um hello, a scavenger hunt that ended in gold chocolate coins? AMAZING!) Food aside, I got curious about what all of my friends were doing at CCD and Sunday morning church so once and a while I’d tag along with a friend. It was boring and tiring and all I remember of CCD is coloring and well, I could do that at home. Fast forward to high school and I was a self proclaimed agnostic. I didn’t believe in religion but there was a big part of me that knew that I should/had to/could believe in God. Then college, I took a class studying world religions. I learned about some amazing cultures and history and finally learned about being Jewish. And then decided to write a 10 page paper on Zen Buddhism because it seemed more interesting (and somehow still knew nothing about it since I was high while writing it – sorry mom and dad). My religion of choice became education, boys, partying, getting high, complaining, eating, not eating and the drama/adventure of being a lost young adult.

With me still? It’s about to get interesting.

I was laying in bed one night recalling as many memories as I could to piece together this journey for you, and to be honest, I remember A LOT more than I thought I would. I can’t remember a lot of things, especially from 2000-2004, but this 2004 memory is clearer than anything. For the sake of time, space, your attention span and the fact that I’m married to someone completely different than this story is about, I’m going to just give you the highlights and try to lose the romantic movie script that could probably be written.

In my last year of college I worked at a Friendly’s in the mall near my college. Across the way was an Army recruiting table, often manned by the same guys. After not working there too long I became friends with one of the guys…we called him Army boy (original right?). Well he was interested in me and I was dating someone else and blah blah blah we were just friends for my senior year of college and kept in touch after I graduated. Said boyfriend and I broke up. *Sad movie music cue* Army boy got sent to Iraq and well, somehow I found myself as the girl in his life. Like I mentioned, details not important for this post, but the gist of it is that we kept in touch as much as we could and wrote letters and he called a lot and IMd when he could (remembering AOL Aim anyone?) so I knew A LOT of what was going on over there, mostly emotionally. What does this have to do with my religious journey? Here we go.

*Deep breath*

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Army boy was a bit of a clown and goof ball and got himself in trouble. So his technology privileges were taken away and I went a while without hearing anything about what was going on; If he was okay, where he was, etc etc. It was upsetting only knowing what was on the news and nothing else. I really didn’t know what to do or how to find out if he was okay so I just sat around waiting for a letter (well not really, I did have a life and work and all that jazz), but emotionally I was all over the place. Then one day I got a call in the middle of the night from a number that I didn’t know. It was Army boy. He was allowed to call for 5 minutes. At first I was so relieved to hear from him. But the call wasn’t a good one. At least one of his friends had been killed. He had been relocated to a more dangerous area (which of course he couldn’t tell me where) and he was scared. It was the first and only time I heard him cry. Which of course made me cry. The last thing he said that night was “just please pray. Pray for me. Pray for us over here” and the call ended. So me, having no idea how to pray or even knowing what I believed, got on my knees and did everything I could think to do. (After only seeing Catholics I didn’t know if my eyes should be open or closed, hands folded or not, cross, not cross oy it was confusing! This would be the comedic relief point of my movie of course.) So I just talked to God. And cried. And told Him I didn’t even know if He existed or what I believed but I knew Army boy believed, so I was praying for Him…just in case. And a peace washed over me that I had never felt before.

Days continued and I kept praying.

And every time it was a bit too long since I’d heard from Army boy, God sent me a letter or a sign or some kind of notification that he was okay. Heck I even got a call from his sister once.

Okay…

So let’s get to the romcom part of the story.

Army boy was sent home and on his month or 2 journey home he turned right back into that boy I had no interest in dating up in college lol. He was saying stupid things and making promises of things that had no possibility of happening…and well, it turns out all of those emotions I felt for him were probably just because I was emotional over the situation we found ourselves in. So in awesome Jess fashion, I met and started dating Chris (my now husband) just as Army boy was in route back to the states. Nice timing.

 

But the journey doesn’t end there. It turned out, Chris was the first great guy I’d met that I could see a (good) future with…And…he was a strong Christian. Something that was a complete deal breaker earlier in life was now a curiosity. I had a feeling I believed in God and was open to see what life with God was all about. Chris brought me into a church that had some amazing people in it. And in a very short while, my heart was accepting Jesus and my life was changed forever.

So although I’d love to give my husband ALL of the credit for bringing me to God…I’ve come to understand that God works deeper than that. He works on our hearts way before we accept Him into our lives. He sends glimpses of Himself when we are in positions to consider Him a possibility. He sends a stranger a word that perks your ears up even just for a little while. He works in ways that we cannot plan, understand or even comprehend unless in hindsight. For me, He brought me into a situation that allowed some cooky Army boy to convince me to pray for the first time and start to believe He (God) was out there, watching me.

I leave you with this.

If you ever feel like you have ANYTHING to say to someone. Whether it makes sense or not.

PLEASE, SAY SOMETHING.

Say anything.

Follow God’s promptings.

Be open to His plan.

You may be opening up a journey for someone else in the process.

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