All I'm After

Author - César Muñoz

"What can hold back the stars
From singing Your name?
And who am I but a witness?
And they're just like my heart.
So wonderfully made
You're all around me. I can feel it."

What a beautiful verse. As I sat listening to song after song for this blog, I landed on All I'm After, and I hope you'll see why after reading more!

Friday morning, we had a long trip from Maui back to New Braunfels, and I could not wait to get back to my bed! I say that jokingly, but after almost two weeks away from my new home at The Fellowship House, I missed it much more than I thought I would.

One quick story from our trip to Texas: the clock hit midnight during our layover in LA, and it was officially Sydney's Birthday! The guys and I had planned to quote Johnny P, who joined us for a portion of our trip to Maui. Johnny is notorious for yelling "KABOOM BABY," and the guys and I (without really thinking) thought it would be great to celebrate Sydney by shouting that in the airport in a very Johnny-like fashion. Emma quickly warned us of our silly idea as we did our ten-second countdown, but it was too late. We had locked that ridiculous idea in our heads, and at the end of that count, the three of us shouted, "KABOOM, BABY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SYDNEY!" It took about a minute before the guys and I realized what we had just yelled in a public airport. I would be lying if I said we weren't a little embarrassed.

Anyways, upon landing at the ATX Airport, we were picked up and driven straight to a Mexican restaurant for breakfast and time to share testimony from Maui with friends and family. It was such a blessing getting to fellowship and share stories. When traveling, we are expected to bring home a "monument" to remember our time serving and all God did.

So, I would like to share about my monument from Maui. On this trip, I wore bandanas more than half the time, and after about two days, I realized that wearing bandanas wasn't common on the island. Several people commented on my bandanas, and over our ten days in Maui, one of my personal goals was to find a bandana. That proved to be a lot harder than expected because they did not sell them anywhere I looked. I even asked friends on the island where to find them, and they said I probably wouldn't find any on Maui. However, I saw it on our last full day in Maui while sorting clothes at Hope Chapel. There, lying next to our throwaway pile, was a black bandana.

I could not describe the joy I experienced as I quickly ran over to pick it up. Now, this bandana was pretty used. Half the pattern was faded on one side and almost completely gone on the other. But I thought it was beautiful. It's just a plain black bandana, and the color is slightly fading. Later that night, I was looking at this bandana. And as I lay awake in bed just admiring it, I remembered the black rock beach. As I had visited just days before, this was not a flat beach. It was jagged and sharp. A very harsh terrain that most people would have a hard time traversing. After exploring and catching a few crabs in tide pools, I stared at the water. It was hypnotizing. Wave after wave crashed over these ununiform rocks, white foam exploding after each impact. I could not tell you how long I watched this, but I can tell you it was beautiful. The way that each collision was different from the last, some bigger and louder, while others calmer and rushed over the rocks. I believe God showed me how beautiful this jagged and sharp terrain was. It was not what I was expecting, but it was beautiful in a unique way. Much like my bandana, I did not think I would find my bandana already worn and in a trash pile. But it was beautiful.

Saturday, the day after our trip back to Texas, TBarM, the camp I served at the last 12 months before joining The Fellowship, was hosting a big weekend get-together for their summer staff. I had no plans to attend this event initially, but I ended up there at 9 p.m. that night. On the short drive there, I kept telling myself I needed to rest after my long trip and that I shouldn't even think about going out right now, but I think God knew I needed this time. Upon arriving, I sat in my car for a few minutes and then walked through the gates of TBarM. I was met with so much love and encouragement from friends, and I got to share what God did with our time in Maui.

That night, I left a little early compared to others. But I showed up for their coffee truck and breakfast first thing in the morning! The rest of that day was spent conversing with friends and catching up, sharing stories from Maui and this last summer. My favorite part of that day was worshiping with all my people. I love worship. I think it is the closest picture I will get of heaven on earth. It is a group of people lifting their voices to praise God. There were no denominations or church politics during this time, and no one focused on who was around them. Everyone was lifting their voices and worshiping, and that's beautiful.

As I finish writing this blog, I am so thankful for all the people God has put around me during this season, and I am incredibly grateful for this team and my family at TBarM. Thank you so much for reading. I hope this post brought you joy and a glimpse of how I saw God in my friends this weekend.

The song for this post is "All I'm After" by Jervis Campbell.

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Albert Villanueva - October 8th, 2023 at 8:04pm

Great blog Juno (Cesar)! So good to see the Lord doing a wonderful work in your life at such a young age. Keep your eyes on the prize!

Cesar Munoz - October 12th, 2023 at 7:27pm

Thanks Grandad! I love you

Rachel Shelton - October 9th, 2023 at 8:23am

Love this Cesar! I can literally hear the tone and inflection of JP’s “kaboom baby” phrase! Ha ha. Happy you found your bandana and now have it as a memory and reminder of what the Lord showed you and allowed you to participate in while you were in Maui.

Cesar Munoz - October 12th, 2023 at 7:26pm

Thank you so much! I worked very hard on it and I am so thankful I found my bandana too. I’ll never forget this trip that’s for sure!