. . . have been on my mind since last Monday. I've been thinking about all my deepest and best memories and a lot of them involved some kind of parking lot! I decided both of my best friends were really my best friends when I was talking to them in the car in a parking lot. I decided I loved my future husband when we were sitting in a parking lot telling insanely ridiculous secrets. I've cried my brain dry after work in a parking lot (not in front of the work place, I promise!!!) and I have beat the steering wheel in frustration in a parking lot. Parking lots are the place!
So having the frequent thoughts of my parking lot life, my Thursday was totally unexpected. I went to my car after getting out of class early. I always park in the institute lot because 1. it's easier to find my car and 2. why would I park anywhere else!? So I got out of class and was dinking around in the car waiting for 7:oo to roll around so I could go to mine and Jake's weekly institute date debating whether or not I actually was hungry or if I just really WANTED to be hungry so I could eat Taco Bell and glorious Baja Blast Mountain Dew. So I'm getting my text on while debating and a girl, who obviously doesn't notice me, parked toward me (like a head on collision?? parking job? I know what I mean) gets in her car.
I'm kind of creepy I guess because I TOTALLY watched her. . . weird. But she locked herself into her car, pulled an iPod earbud out of her ear, looked at her steering wheel and her whole demeanor changed. While she was getting in the car, she was nothing but smiles. Not the fake kind either; no, her glow was the radiant, I-just-got-the-A-I-studied-for-and-the-cute-boy-just-texted-me-and-I-understand-a-whole-chapter-in-Isaiah glow.
In an instant, in the security of her car and the security of her mind and being in a place of solace she let out her inside feelings. This fabulously beaming girl changed into a girl of fear, worry. . . all the things that are our worst enemies.
The story basically ends there. She looked up and I looked away early enough to let her have her privacy, but quick enough to nod her on before she drove away, but I just can't stop thinking about her. I think about how this young woman, this gorgeous daughter of God could hurt and be alone and it stinks because she was so good at hiding it.
I learned, in a matter of 3o seconds, a lesson before institute and it has already helped me in becoming a better person. I learned that every single person has an inside and an outside and that the two aren't going to be in sync every day or even every hour and minute. And THAT is where our beautiful gospel comes in to play. When we feel loved, confused, sad, upset and joyful we're never alone in that feeling. It's hard in the bad times to remember that we're being watched over, but it's in that moment when we can pull it together and drive out of the parking lot that we remember that we can make it and that we WILL make it and that we will make it out of the situation, good or bad, with a loving Heavenly Father and Christ.
In the parking lots, nothing makes more sense.