Eden: There Will Be Surprises

Hello Friends, 

While I was home on Thanksgiving break, some people began to question my mental health based upon my last post and the silence which followed. I realized that I left you all on a rather dismal note. My apologies. That will be remedied shortly. For you see, on that dreary day of November the 4th, just minutes after posting “Slowing Down,” my sad and sick self was surprised by a knock at the door. 

“You’ve been alone all day. Mind if I come in?” 

I first met Eden in September at Soma, a Thursday night worship gathering in the campus chapel. I was scanning a sheet of lyrics, when whirling around unexpectedly, Eden pointed at me and exclaimed, “You’re in my Western Heritage class!” 

“Um, I think you’ve got the wrong person,” I responded apologetically. “I’ve never seen you before. My Western Heritage professor is Dr. Miles Smith IV. Do you have him?”

“No, I’m with Strasburg,” she replied, wrinkling her nose in confusion. Then she shrugged, “I’m Eden. Nice to meet you.” 

Another evening that same week, my beloved roommate, Rebekah, was accosted while reading outside on the dorm patio. 

“How can you see out here, Avery?” asked Eden, coming up the sidewalk. 

“I’m Rebekah, not Avery,” Rebekah corrected her. “Wait, aren’t you in my Western Heritage class?” 

As it turns out, Rebekah and I look very similar. This can be incredibly annoying at times (such as when people continue to believe I’m from Nebraska), but it has also led me to meet incredible people (like Eden). 

I encountered Eden again at an ice cream social, where I learned that she had lived in the Dominican Republic and had become well-versed in Alex Zurdo music. I was also thrilled to discover that she was planning to attend the same church down the street. Not surprisingly, we arranged to walk together that Sunday morning.

Over the next two months, I found even more reasons to love my new friend: Eden, whose heart of service causes her to leap over furniture to grab you a fork. Eden, whose perpetual singing, even in the hardest times, testifies to the peace that surpasses all understanding. Eden, who never accepts a “yes” or “no” answer and forces you to find the deeper answer.

Return with me to November the 4th.

Sitting down on the other side of the room, Eden began reading a book, something theological if I remember correctly. I pegged away at my Iberian Literature homework, grateful for her company. It’s a beautiful thing, I realized, to have a friend with whom one can sit in natural silence. We continued in this manner for some time, then discussed some of our reoccurring topics of conversation: music, family, and predestination. (I still had a little voice left in me.) Although I cannot remember the all details of what we talked about, I can tell you that Eden’s visit completely changed my opinion of that disappointing day. 

I later asked Rebekah if she had sent Eden to our room. 

“No,” she said. “All I know is that one minute, some friends and I were supposed to wait for her in the lobby, the next moment we weren’t. I think the Lord intervened.” 

Finally, I asked Eden herself why she showed up. 

“Because I didn’t want to do homework, and I was bored, and then I remembered that you were alone and probably bored, too.”

This answer, anti-clamatic as it was, only reinforced my belief that God had providentially “commented” on my blog post. After all, boredom can be resolved in many ways, and visiting a sick room is not the most appealing option, especially on a Friday at our college campus. The timing was just too perfect to have been mere coincidence.

Perhaps this post was just me reminiscing about college during a ridiculously long (but much-appreciated!) break from school. Be that as it may, I hope it inspires you all to look back over this year and to thank God for His Providence in your lives. 

Have a very Merry Christmas!


6 thoughts on “Eden: There Will Be Surprises

  1. LOVE this— The way you wrote here was so honest but well-phrased, and as Eden’s older sister English teacher, I can tell you that you honored the character of Eden in writing as well! Loved the line about how God providentially commented on your last post. Being able to sit with Eden quietly and not talk about anything is one of my favorite things about her. Thanks so much for sharing.


  2. Avery,
    As I, ahem, reflect, on Eden’s journey, God’s faithful footprints are ubiquitous. Your presence is now too, a part of the scenery in which we can marvel at how He works. Can’t wait to meet you!
    Mrs. Ryan


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