2 years ago I got an email from a man from a place I had never heard of in a little town several states away. The email stated that he had found my resume online, and was very impressed and felt I would be perfect for a job he had, and he would like me to officially submit my resume. After reading the name of the organization, I promptly told him thanks but no thanks, I was a little unsure of the organization and was not really interested. He proceeded to send me more information and asked me to reconsider. I did, and decided I would give it a whirl, so I officially submitted my resume. A couple days later, I had a phone interview that went well, and he told me he wanted to fly me down for a face to face interview, I agreed. My job at the time ended 3 days later, and I packed my car to drive home from a summer working as a boat driver at a summer camp. I was home for the weekend, flew out and back in two days to find a job offer before I even reached home. I packed everything I owned into my car and made a 12 hour car ride down to Virginia with my best friend.
I had a totally random thought today, and thought I would share it… I have a never ending battle with my emotions and logic… Some days one rules over the other.. and more recently I have found a neat little balance between the two that I am satisfied in learning and leaning more on this meshed reasoning…
I have come to the realization that, my emotions are what adds flair and passion to everything I do. The laughter the escapes my mouth all the time, the compassion, and the heart I feel the for hurting, and it is the thing that fuels my desire to understand people and God. My logic however motivates me to move, to act, to accomplish.. Together, there is this kinda fun balancing act that I am learning how to embrace instead of trying to accept one and ignore the other until it explodes out everywhere.
Today I realized, I am totally unsure of what to expect next in my life.. Not that I have ever had this neat little map, but there have definitely been times where I have felt like I knew what to expect next. Currently, I have no idea, and I am totally fine with that… Which is a weird feeling for me. I have this overwhelming peace that everything will be ok, God has this fantastic plan… and I do not need to know what is next, I just need to push on and seek Him…
This I know… God has my total and unhindered faith in His love and plan for my life. Slowly, I will get to see it unfold, and I am pretty excited to see each step as they take place. Everything will be ok, no matter how I feel now or tomorrow.
I have had such a great weekend so far… It has included dancing, lots and lots of laughter, turning around a dozen times in DC while making only a 20 minute drive, good food, wonderful friends, and again more laughter. I simply cannot thank God enough for the things He has given me that I know I do not deserve. However, in the midst of all the genuine goodness, several very good and pointed conversations reminded me how much pain I am surrounded by every day…
To start, my roomie is hurting because of a situation she cannot change, she is grieving and hurting for those around her. I love her heart, and wish I could make it better… take away the pain.. offer some sort of comforting words of wisdom, but instead I cannot change the situation anymore then she can… These are the moments we learn the most, and these are the times when we realize how much we need our personal relationship with our Savior every single day. These moments sear into our hearts how fragile people are, and how important it is to live out exactly what we are told to by God… Love Him, Love others.
Sometimes life is just hard… for no reason at all. I hate Satan.
I got to talk to a really good friend from the couple of years I worked at camp this weekend, we tend to talk every so often, usually just catching each other up and literally hearing what God is doing or the things we are facing in our lives. There are so many times that once I get off the phone I am just blown away by how much God speaks to me through this friend. The no crap truth that they speak, the fact that they hear what I say, and then ask what I am truly thinking or feeling… and then they turn right around and are just as open and honest, and allow me to be the same type of friend for them… I truly treasure this friend, more then I think they have any idea of.
Tonight, I was talking with two of my best friends here, and I was so quickly reminded how much my heart breaks for certain people… No, actually my heart pretty much breaks for everyone at one point or another, sometimes it comes and goes, and other times it feels suffocating. Tonight, I was reminded how lost some people are… My heart literally hurts. Ever since going to Ghana in November of ’08, there are just certain types of pain and hurt that when I am made aware of it in someone else’s life, my heart physically hurts… Tonight is one of those nights. I can do absolutely nothing to fix the problem, and as much as I want to, I cannot force someone to see the error of their ways or how they are perpetuating the problem. The basic problem is, they just simply cannot understand certain facts about our God that I so ignorantly take for granted every single day. Sometimes, I just wish I could shake the people and yell at them “CAN’T YOU SEE HOW EASY THIS COULD BE?!”… And then, my Lord quietly reminds me that, it is not my job, nor my place to fix them… it is His, and He is in fact perfectly capable of taking care of things… and yes, His heart breaks for them too.
Tonight I caught myself thinking “I hate how much I care…” and then I instantly was reminded (in my own mind of course) “… You prayed for this…” and my only rebuttal was stupid and like a little child “yeah, but I just didn’t think it would hurt this much…”
I am double minded sometimes, and I know that fact about myself. I want to spend every day loving those around me, making them feel important and cared for… That task manifests itself differently depending on who it is I am engaging with, but the purpose and heart behind my goal is the same. Then I will turn right around and get so frustrated because I do not want to hurt or feel the pain I feel when I watch those around me hurt… or even when I hear a story of someone else’s pain. I am reminded almost daily of the fact that I am SO thankful I am not God and do not know it all.. or have the responsibility to fix it all… even when I want to.
Tonight I realized, I am never going to be able to forget this pain and ache I feel when I watch those around me deal with pain… regardless of the cause, it is real to them, and I cannot fix it. My heart hurts so much it makes me sick to my stomach sometimes… and that drives me to do the only thing I know for sure… Prayer.
For the first time in more than 8 months I finally feel normal. Not because of a drug, alcohol, a boy, or anything tangible… I just feel like myself again. Laughing comes easily once more, and energy is not something I merely remember having a lot of.
My schedule is about to explode again (which I love), all my best friends are back to work (they are all teachers), and several of them are either taking college classes or teaching college classes, and then there is my wonderful roomie who works at night… My classes start on the 2nd, and then of course there’s all the normal trying to fit time in for people, which I feel like will be doing a lot of inviting people over to hang out or to join me somewhere with wifi…
My roomie has finally returned to me for good, no more galavanting around the country… After this last stint I told her she is never allowed to leave me for that long again (almost a month!). I love having her home… even if we just sit on opposite ends of the awesome couch she bought with our dog between us and watch a movie on a lazy Sunday afternoon… I love it… We laugh a lot, and have more inside jokes then I can count.. we recite one liners from movies constantly, and we purposefully seek to do things for one another all the time. She has no idea how much living with her makes me feel like I belong, like I have a place that is my home, and that my mood at home does not effect how much she loves me and will try to take care of me.. She’s wonderful, and I am not really looking forward to her disappearance in the evenings due to work… so we have decided on a plan of dinners at her work, and probably more than my fair share of sitting at her games (probably doing homework) just so I can be around and see her more than Sunday mornings haha
Even though the start of a new school year means THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of college students who do not know how to drive once again are taking up space on the roads and parking lots.. I really do look forward to the new school year each fall, because for whatever reason I seem to work off a fiscal year better than a calendar year haha! I am looking forward to the bonfires, dinners, sweatshirts, and the mass amounts of laughter from the ridiculousness that is my wonderful friends and their antics and one liners 🙂
I love that from this point in my life I can look both backwards and forwards and see God moving, I can see His hand in every aspect of my life, holding me when I was too broken to keep going, cheering when I made the right choice, I can feel His arms around me as I was hurt and cried more times then I can ever remember crying before, and I can feel His encouragement when I was so frustrated at Him that I had to choose things I knew were right instead of what I wanted. I can see how patient my Lord was when I was angry and let Him know exactly how I was feeling. But, more than any of it… I can see His faithfulness.. Even through all the suck that was this year, I can see how much stronger I am, how much more I have written Him into the fibers of my heart, and I can see all the people He placed around me to care for me… the moments when I did not even know I needed something suddenly I had exactly what I needed to keep going. Even when I was being a brat and really did not deserve it my sweet Savior was there taking care of me unconditionally. I have been through a lot this year, but never once have I felt like God left me hanging to dry, I felt Him with me every step, even when I was so angry at Him and this plan that seemed to contain nothing but one crappy thing after another… He was still there.. ever faithful.
I would do every bit of it again knowing the painful outcome, and the work it would take to come out hopefully being found faithful on the other side…. Only to know that the hard times will come again at some point.
Tonight was the first night in a really long time that I just felt normal.. like laughing just came naturally, that I was surrounded by people who love me, and that I will be ok, and in fact things will be awesome because I am not controlling my future!
So, I have decided to “take the plunge.” … I am going back to school. And, since I cannot seem to do anything half way I am going back for a double masters. I have always said I have no reason to go back to school, and getting a masters just for the sake of having one was totally pointless to me, no, I would only return if I knew exactly what I was going for, and if God told me so.
Well, I do not know that God necessarily told me “Go back to school” but, the idea popped into my head out of nowhere, and seemed to make sense as the perfect timing.. all of my closest friends are either teaching classes in the evening, going back to school, or working in the evenings… so what would I do?… Get new friends or go back to school… 🙂 Mostly my feeling is it is perfect timing, and I am in this “what now?” state, so why not at least be a little productive.. especially if that means later I will get paid more or have a better opportunity to do what I love! 🙂
I am not super excited to go back to school, but I am finding as time progresses and I get through each next step to actually getting signed up and starting classes, I realize I am beginning to have the “lets rock and roll” attitude. Which will be good once I start.
To top everything else off I have dark hair again 🙂 The color did not at all turn out like the color on the box.. The color was “Medium golden brown” the color on my hair became “Dark auburn” haha oh well, I still like it, and it is just hair anyway…
I am really looking forward to fall.
A while ago, I decided I would slowly work through the fruits of the spirit… Not in a barrage attack to figure it out and move on, but in the quiets of my heart, slowly, deliberately, and to work through them as they come up and God points things out. Really, I think this will be a never ending pursuit, and that is totally ok with me.
Anyway, I have been thinking a lot lately about the simple concept of being kind, of gentleness to those around you. In the book I Isaac, take thee Rebekah, Ravi points out that regardless, there is no reason to not be kind to your spouse (or anyone really), that simple comment got me thinking about how often I am really not kind.. and oh man let me tell you, I have every excuse.. I have a list of reasons that I can spin to make people feel as though I may just possibly be in the right with my response. When in reality I have no legitimate reason not to be kind, I have no reason not to always respond with gentleness.
I fail at this kindness and gentleness thing every single day, it is really kinda pathetic and sad. I get so frustrated with myself that I even try to justify in my own mind how I was totally in the right for the way I responded, the tone I took, the words I used, or at the very basic… my motives behind the reaction and response to those around me.
I really want to work on this.. as in, really really… I dislike feeling like I have responded poorly to something. I want to build others up, not be the reason they are frustrated or hurt at the end of the day. I truly want to be known for my gentleness.. not necessarily the perceived type of gentleness that never says things that need to be said.. but completely the type that everything is said out of a spirit of love and caring… Which can include being straightforward… 🙂
I want to make my legacy one of caring, laughter, and a never ending outpouring of Jesus in my life. I think that would be absolutely fantastic… Lord, help me to learn true gentleness.
I woke up this morning feeling terrible, my whole body felt achey and my stomach felt like any sudden movement would cause me to lose it. I sat on my bed and tried to will the illness away, and tried reasoning with myself that 8 1/2 hours of sleep should have cured whatever I had… I got up and tried to begin getting ready for work, only to stop every couple steps willing my stomach to stay put. So, I emailed my boss and explained I was not feeling well and would be in tomorrow.. and promptly went back to sleep for another 6 or so hours…. which brings my total to roughly 14 1/2 hours of sleep last night! Whoa…
So, other than that I am doing really great.. I spent the last week with 30 or so teens and 15 or so adults at the beach. I love the beach or rather anything with water. I spent a week totally focusing outward, I did a lot of observing, and mental checks. I love my kids, all of them.. Some stay on the obnoxious side, others fluctuate, and some stay on the reasonable and enjoyable side… I had lots of fantastic conversation with them about relationships, tattoos, boys, girls, God, the Bible, their families and histories. I took a sheet for the beach instead of a towel, and was never without a child sitting next to me talking, I loved it. My respect for several of my coworkers grew exponentially because of their reactions, and all the little ways they held their composure when really we all wanted to just scream.. I loved every bit of it, even if I did return insanely tired.
I was thinking the other day, how absolutely amazing my Lord is. He took an insanely hectic week full of drama and sunshine to finally let the pain and hurt I have been through the last 7 months bleed out. I do not know how he did it, but somehow the residual effects of my old living situation, my work stresses, boy trouble, friends leaving, home issues, car problems, friend frustrations, health issues, and a slew of other pains all became ok again. Somewhere in there I became ok with what I have gone through, and I know it will at some point in the future be made perfectly clear why it all happened the way it did. It is not like everything is suddenly all better, like a snap of a finger or flash of light.. but rather a total peace with the fact that my life has been especially hard as of late, and I have had to deal with, learn, and persevere through a lot of heartache and pain. I have said all along I would do it all over again because I have learned SO much about who my Lord is, who I am, and how to talk to God when all I really want to do is freak out and run away.
All I keep coming back to is I am ok. Life is slowing down and picking up at the same time. I do not have as many things crammed in as possible anymore… but, at the same time I am keeping the perfect balance of busy. I love summer, but I am content to see it coming to a close, and see fall come. Not that I have any specific plans for the fall, but I am ok for this “season” to come to a close.
I have decided or maybe been forced to realize a few things about myself…
1. I am worthy to be pursued, and until the time that a guy decides that he will pursue and fight for me regardless, I will remain an untouchable. I am too stubborn and loyal to have to deal with crap for crap sake when the guy cannot decide what he wants.
2. Choosing obedience over loyalty is one of the hardest things ever to do.
3. I would willingly go through anything again to learn how to talk to the Creator.
4. I can do more when I stop trying to do it all.
5. Laughter is healing, and when you do not have any it slowly kills you on the inside.
6. I, whether good or bad always seem to choose strength instead of relying on others.
7. Sometimes I pull away because I want to see who insists on being there… And, I am SO thankful for the few that insist on being there.
8. I am endlessly complicated and intricate thanks mostly to my Savior.
9. I am stronger than I realize mostly due to the never ending love and support of God and all the people He has placed in my life.
10. I have learned/am learning that the only thing I need to know is that God has a plan, and I need to choose to be content in that alone.