I actually wrote 3/4th of this post all the way back in September as I was planning for the Mosaic Moments series on my blog. I knew I had to write about my fellow interns. More than just friends – my forever brothers and sisters in Christ.
This post was always the easiest post to write. But now as I revisit and edit and add onto the September draft at the end of December, the timing is even more perfect to dedicate this post to a very special group of people.
Sidenote: If I didn’t write about you, there are 18 of us and only so much attention the reader can give. I love you and see you, and you’ll probably pop up in another post somewhere on this blog, either named or unnamed.
When I think of miracles, I think of timing.
Basically, For a cookie to be perfectly crisp on the outside and mush on the inside, you can have the perfect amount of ingredients, but more importantly, you need to take it out of the oven at the right time.
So when I think of the biggest miracle of this internship, I marvel at the fact that 19 of us could’ve chosen to do something else with our summers or even done this particular internship in 2020 or 2018. But we all ended up in LA and spent 2 months together in 2019.
And if timing is a huge detail, then this is true: we entered each other’s lives exactly when God wanted us to be in each other’s lives.
The way I met Dallas Star Stober was either by chance or by design. Real name, by the way.
The small detail seems insignificant but knowing God makes everything significant.
It’s interesting reflecting on my first conversation with Dallas as the very start of my internship. It started off with Dallas complimenting my entire outfit, then the MadHappy mystery of why people were spending hundreds of dollars on super comfy hoodies, and then we spent a good chunk of that conversation talking about our testimony, about how we ended up where we are.
We both talked about our past. But we focused on the ‘snap’ where everything aligned, where our parents’ faith became our own faith, where our hearts lined up with who we’ve always thought we could be, where we first encountered Jesus and could never turn back.
It’s the moment that I talk about as the heart-shift. I also like to think of it as the moment that the lights turned on, and there was no way you’d want to go back to utter darkness.
For me, it happened in San Francisco for a brief second; for her, she cried for an entire 3 hour drive between Kelowna and Vancouver.
And it is interesting because that ended up being one of the last conversations we had in person. We talked about how the people in our lives needed to have that ‘snap’, like how a bone would jut out of your body after a bad injury, and a doctor would need to push the bone back into its place.
It’s not that we would ever wish ill upon anyone, but if you’re on the same page as me and Dallas, you’d agree with her words ‘it’s sad to say this but I can’t wait for their ‘trauma’ to happen.‘
Because she knows that the pain of all that led up to driving and crying for 3 hours is worth the future filled with joy, peace and hope that comes with a heart fully aligned with Jesus.
That’s just only one story out of the 2 months with Dallas. And Dallas is only one of the 18 other interns that I got to know uniquely and dearly. If I were to share all the conversations I had the privilege of having, I’d write a book, and get proper permission.
But to give you a better illustration of the larger miracle of the timing of Summer 2019, aside from the smaller yet just as significant personal miracles within our testimonies, is the diversity of interns.
There’s Dallas, a girl from Canada that could’ve been Avril but actually stayed cool instead of doing the pop princess thing with the softest heart in the world.
Through Dallas, there is actually the sweetest soul of Lilly Foster. Incredibly smart, hardworking, earnest – and has a Southern twang that makes all the boys swoon (the secret’s out Lil, many boys have crushed on you this summer teehee).
And Rebecca latched herself onto Dallas and Lilly. No one quite works the basement like Rebecca can. Rebecca is a spitfire personality that is going to be undeniable a force in the future after some refinement of growing up and growing closer to God. If Rebecca ever reads this, she would roll her eyes.
In the Mosaic Hollywood campus where I spent most of my time serving, there were 8 of us in the beginning. I didn’t get to know Val until the 4th week of the internship because we never had the chance to talk (that’s how busy serving is). Then on a fine Monday, we got to spend A LOT OF HOURS together on errands and many Chick-Fil-A mishaps. But we finally got the time to talk, and hear each other’s life story. This is a conversation we always refer back to where we knew we were sisters for life.
And by Wednesday, she got moved to Mosaic Venice, and all 8 of us cried (no lie). Val and I never really got a chance to talk talk after that. Until November after Mosaic Conference, and we picked up the story as if she was still the 8th intern in the Hollywood Campus.
There’s Griffin, one of the weirdest people you’ll ever meet (certified truth), also more than 6 ft. tall for all you ladies who care. Most importantly, he has a heart and past that’s been completely changed and redeemed for Jesus. Someday he’ll write a book of his own life, but all I’ll leave you with is when he got the chance to share a 3-min sermon, he said ‘at 17 I was a drug dealer, and then at 18 I was leading worship for a bunch of highschoolers.‘
And there’s Ryan, who I literally have no idea how she’s still alive (that’s the real miracle). On the outside, she’s got the most sincere eyes when you talk to her, cries every other hour, and is always inches away from a car accident. But on the inside, you would be blown away by the Spirit living in her, her strength to constantly choose to love Jesus and love people relentlessly.
Then there are two of the OG Mosaic members – Rachel and Josue. Rachel and Josue are two completely different people who are both serving faithfully in the same church. If you knew Rachel and Josue, you wouldn’t except them to show up in the same paragraph.
Rachel is so meticulous, detail-oriented and willing to do WHATEVER it takes to make sure the pastors’ requests are met. Josue is the chillest homeboy who is always joyful, and he serves passionately when the time calls, but he’s mostly seen finding new ways to call Pastor Chad ‘Dad’.
But the beauty of church isn’t in its monolithic identity – it’s in the mosaic of people who choose to choose each other time and time again.
At the end of this post, most if not all the interns would agree: if they had to do this summer again, all the tears and sweat and stress, we would do it again just to meet each other.
We wouldn’t necessarily do it for the brand of Mosaic or for the institution of ‘church’, but we’d do it for each other because the church Is NOT a building or a physical epicenter for a pilgrimage – the church is my brothers and sisters in Christ.