Archive for October, 2010


So I don’t really get it.

I see my friends, and usually, when we’re together, we’re having a good time. Chillin’, playing some music, playing Quelf — almost to the point where it’s routine and a little bit nonsequitur because minutes earlier we could’ve been engaged in deep, spiritual conversation.

And so I don’t get it. If someone feels like crap, why not let the world know you feel like crap?

Then again, I’ve been on both sides of that spectrum. Letting the world know how you feel gets labeled “being an attention whore.” Letting no one know how you feel is the brave thing to do.

So when I see my friends sad, broken, despairing, I can’t help but think that I’d do anything to see them smile genuinely again. But that’s where the cosmic universe comes in: I’m helpless in about 99.1% of all situations that I want to be of some use in.

It’s a sucky reality.

So I pray. And I ask God: Where are you? Because when people break, it’s not for no reason. And my reasoning is that He can work in that reason.

So I wait. I wait for God when He should be waiting for me. I wait for some answer to my prayers, to others’ prayers, and there’s no doubt that I’ve seen them before. But still I wait.

So I worry. I worry because I’m afraid maybe God’s not listening, and I’ve seen my fair share of that, too. People praying and nothing coming of it, I mean. And I see disappointment and sadness and sometimes tinges of anger. And really, at that point, even my heart gives out a little.

So I hope. I hope for brighter tomorrows and to see that smile again. Even if I can’t see them now, I trust in God and His promises.

Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:24-25


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Coin flip.

That’s where it all began. One AM on a cold, study-filled night (Yes, I used to study.), I flipped a coin to make what turned out to be a pretty huge decision. And so I went to Fall Con. So I started to check out who Jesus was. So here I am. I realize now as I’m writing this that I’m much less dependent on coins to make decisions now, though I’m still quite indecisive.

It’s been a whole year, and we’re finally coming full circle. Though you can certainly expect a few laps to be had.

It’s like… once upon a time you went somewhere, somewhere really important to you. But it didn’t begin that way, because like all journeys, it started with a single step. And this is like going back to where I took that first step.

Retracing my footprints, remembering everything that’s happened in this past year — the good and the bad — embarking… no, continuing on a new leg of this journey. And see, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to expect good things so that I’m never disappointed, but right now, I’m feeling kind of expectant of Jesus to do something crazy. And I’m pretty sure He won’t let me down.

So here we go (again, in some ways): let this be a year of praising God.

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I don’t use that word a lot. Or, I try not to. It’s a bit too formal and holds that connotation of, “Oh, my God, that’s indubitable!” for me. I’m the kind of person who prefers the words “awesome” or “cool” or “ridiculous” or “preposterous.” Besides, I’m not easily impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m easily amused — I find joy in a lot of simple things and do like my life that way. But if you want me to drop my jaw, you’re gonna have to pull out a chainsaw, a live hen, and a rabid monkey from your pocket. Then start juggling them.

Then again, as with the universe, all things are possible. Cosmic universe, how do you pull things off like that? You never cease to, er, amuse me.

And really, this week’s been nothing short of amazing. And I can go down the list of things and why they were so awesome (there’s that word!) and that all jazz, but that would feel really routine. So I’m going to do it anyway because it’s 1 AM, and routine is good for 1 AM.

1) I’m sick! Boo. Actually, just kidding.
Anyone who’s around me on a consistent basis knows when I get sick… I get sick. As in things go downhill really fast and stay that way for a long time. (One month lung infection in spring quarter, anyone?) So when I started feeling the itchy-scratchies and phlegmy goodness of illness upon me, I steeled myself for the long haul. I was about ready to submit my Ashe center appointment request when…! Well, to appropriate give props to the big man upstairs, I should start by saying that I prayed. Not a lot, certainly not wholeheartedly, but I prayed. And here I am, already getting better, never having gotten too bad, a half bag of cough drops still sitting at my desk. If anyone else gets sick, take them; they are yours. (Oh, there goes the liquid in my lungs. Cough, hack, keel over.)

2) Push and pull.
A double-edged sword. I had a conversation with a good friend a few weeks ago, where she kind of said in passing, “I wish people talked about sin more, because it’s so real.” And it’s true. True that one: sin is scary real. Real enough that everyone knows it and has had some degree experience with it. So why’s it got to feel all taboo like that? It’s one of those things that I wanted to jump at with intercessory prayer, but time got me on that one. And it’s hard to commit to that on your own. So coming back to school is… weird. There’s a million and one factors here that draw me into wanting something that I know I don’t need and would only damage my relationship with God, but they all still manage to drive me crazy. The brighter, snazzier side of this is that so far, I’m doing “well” in standing away from all that. Some days it’s harder than others, but if it were easy all the time, I wouldn’t take anything away from the fight, now would I?

3) Double-edged sword, part two.
Along with sin, something that’s super real but gets taboo is how Satan attempts to work in our lives to, well, bring us down. As I continue down this path (and I’m nearly assured now that I was insane to even start), it’s getting more apparent to me how the enemy tries to get into our lives in both big and small ways. Big ways… let’s not get too crazy up in here, but I’ll try to be practical: anger and rage; some of the greater lies that we believe about ourselves and about God. Small way… impatience. But that longer-than-necessary talk aside, what’s been good about this is similar to how it’s been with sin (and they do coincide, no?). What’s different is that, well, sin is chosen — albeit often times presented by the enemy, it’s a choice. The greater challenge presented by him, or so I feel, is emotion. I hate having my emotions toyed with. And so I’m in this place right now where I’m fighting to believe in what I will generically called “the good.” It’s getting better than it was not six months ago, but truthfully, I will tell you, there are some really sucky thoughts running through my brain. Still, God’s been going at really setting my heart at peace over this and yonder previous topic, and despite my writing about it at length, it doesn’t pick at my brain as much as it may seem.

4) Settling down.
No, wait, not what you’re thinking. I mean… life is settling down. Chaos kind of marked the first few weeks, but everything’s coming together nicely (for once). It’s nice. Not often in my life do I find myself at peace, and no more than ten days ago, I can safely tell you that I wasn’t. (And off the editor’s edge I went.) But this… this is not unlike trying to fix a sliding door and finding the groove that it goes in. It’s rhythmic almost. Not that my life is redundant. By all means, no. But as I attempt to find some modicum of direction, having a good pace to go at is really helpful.

5) Watching people start/learn/continue to follow Jesus.
I have to say, being on the other side of the spectrum has filled me with a lot of joy in the past few weeks. I can only hope that the people who mentored me and watched me grow (and still do) last year had this much happiness in them from all that, no matter how hard it was sometimes. I tend to be difficult. I honestly do wish I could feel like a more integral part of that, but even being in the backseat is a huge blessing. Every time someone takes a step forward, it’s like a huge crowd in my heart leaps up and starts cheering — not unlike at a sports event. With soda hats, snack vendors, body paint, and all. And Jesus is scoring BIG this week.

So yes, amazing. I feel like amazing got chalked up to “combination of good things happening in life,” but really, it is. I mean, how often do you find yourself going, “Holy crap, a bunch of awesome things happened this week!” Got to say something when that time does come around, right?

That’s not to say that life doesn’t have its worse-for-wear moments. Completely missed my EMT exam (good thing I can reschedule it). Realized today how stupid it is of me to think that I can’t reach out to people (didn’t people think that about me at all last year?). Started thinking about particular things I’d really rather not (vague, I know.). But it’s all found an interesting balance in my life. The good and the bad, the normal and the odd, the joyful and the difficult.

I think it’s hard to not want to be emotionally dull when you’re as an emotional person as I am. (And yes, I do consider myself highly emotional.) I usually don’t characterize people, or myself, based on that value, so I don’t have a mental list or anything — but I get curious, am I the only one that thinks that sometimes? Maybe I’m just weird. Only a weirdo would blog at 1 AM (now 2 AM), anyway.

(Weirder people blog at 5 AM ;] )

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If things were okay, I wouldn’t cry, right?

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And we hardly see a sufficient amount of time to do that nowadays, do we?

If you’re wondering (after reading the timestamp on this post), “Aren’t you tired?” Yes, yes, I am.

And at the same time, no, because I am glued to this plastic chair doing something that I love — granted, however, these moments don’t come without some parcel of frustration. And maybe in those bits, I’ve forgotten a bit about why I do the things I do. At some point, I stopped doing it for me and started doing it for everyone else. In these quiet hours though, when the only noise is that of a friend (and surprise guest! Though not to my abode.) stirring in her sleep behind me, it gets a bit clearer. Few things are that way this late in the evening.

So here I sit, about another thirteen minutes to go in this rendering adventure, now realizing I may have edits to make later after review. Of course. Anticipating the cold, lonesome walk back to my dorm (absolutely safe on a Thursday night/Friday morning); shivering but afraid to move too much for fear of waking the people who, well, actually live here; resisting the urge to slam my head on the desk. There’s slight satisfaction — pride in this work, transforming from my own into His. Because I wouldn’t be able to do anything, even breathe, without Him. A lesson I’m grasping at the coattails of.

These cold, dimly lit hours in front of this screen yield one video and one Aha! moment.

Answer to a question asked long ago?

Because I’m true to my heart now.

And that’s all I need to know to believe that I’m in the right place.

Brr, it’s cold in here.

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