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This weekend, I attended a Winter Retreat with my campus ministry, CCF at NC State. Retreats, to me, are always an important time to focus on connecting with God and with others around me.

On our way home, we stopped at a Dunkin Donuts in a gas station on the far side of Rocky Mount (cuz coffee duh). As we pulled into the parking lot, there were huge sheets of glass piled up together in a grassy field beside the station that looked to me like a miniature greenhouse. Sam & I quickly decided we had to check it out while our other friends went inside. We ran up to it and what I thought was a greenhouse was really pieces of a glass roof from a building nowhere to be seen. This exhibit of weathered glass and rusted metal interspersed with overgrown weeds was to me a work of art, not a pile of junk. So I wondered, what brought these aged forms to their beautiful demise.


Many hours and photographs later, we did some research. If you didn’t notice, in some of the photographs you can make out a sign that says Tarrytown Mall. The Tarrytown Mall of Rocky Mount was the second oldest enclosed mall in North Carolina opening in 1962. After Hurricane Floyd of late 1999, the entire mall was damaged by flooding causing all of its businesses to relocate and the mall to be torn down.

Imagine, for a second, all the connections made in that mall; the chance encounters, the dates in the food court, the gifts bought for loved ones, the memories that still live on today. Now, imagine all the choices made in my life that took me to this point; the high school I attended, the friends I’ve made, the student ministries to which these friends introduced me, the retreats I’ve gone to with these ministries, even the random choice of which exit to get gas.

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If any one of these choices had been different or connections not made, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this; I wouldn’t have ever known about the Tarrytown Mall and its journey; I wouldn’t even be the person I am today.

In essence, life is just the result of a series of connections, one to the next. Each pit-stop or choice we make leads to another & another. Then one day you look back and realize how all of your small choices were carefully crafted in order to bring you somewhere you never imagined you would be. There is beauty in all of these choices because God is in them & there is beauty in your life because God is in you.

-from Anna with love

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