i will feel
with the fingers of a thousand tender hands.
where the absence of hesitancy leads one to stand.
where we learn to be
i will rest
in the assurance of hope that blooms
like a fetus, unexposed in the womb
here in the absence
i will live
as though my present is buckling under the end.
where birds go extinct because time happened.
where i learn to love
i will see
all of creation as it groans and shoves ahead.
developing into proof the Creator’s not dead.
here in the presence
i will feel in awe.
i will rest in the absence of fear.
i will live where i learn to love breathing.
i will see peace.
i will feel
last year i wrote this up as part of an assignment for a bible study lesson. it seems appropriate.
my hopes and dreams for the future.
i’d like to go to college (done!).
i’d like to live on my own — to get a chance to function as an adult.
but both of those things aren’t really too far into the future, and they’re fairly certain.
i’d like to be among
i’d like to be given the opportunity to help those people.
i hope i never lose my aspirations as a reader.
i’d also like to be knowledgable about the world around me.
i want, Lord willing, to be a listener. a thinker.
because safety has always
been important to me, i’d
like to be a safe place
where people can go and
feel the love of God.
i want to love Jesus.
more than anything.
with my whole heart.
i want to be a forgiver. i hope to be humble and tender-hearted.
i want to soften as i get older.
i want to have deep-in-the-ground kind of friendships — rooted in the best kind of soil — ready to grow and grow and grow…
i SO DESIRE to shed ALL my
shallow thoughts and insecurities.
other than that, i have no hopes and dreams for the future.
i don’t care if i’m married or single.
i don’t have much of an opinion about children.
i don’t need a lot of money.
vocation…geographical location…the Lord can put me where He likes.
i just dream of the day
to describe how i feel in this exact moment.
i have anticipated this day for so many years.
and now, finally, it’s here.
in 4 hours i leave to find the adult version of myself.
the one that’s waiting to get out.
who will i meet?
what will my classes be like?
will i be able to keep myself accountable?
people will be missed.
i will cry.
but God is directing my steps.
of this, i am confident.
greenville, here i come.
i think one of the things i love most about us is that we get along so well. seriously. we had a few years in junior high where it was rough, but everything after that has been great. i look around and i see all these siblings at our age that don’t get along…but you’re one of my best friends.
i love your laugh — how it sounds like you’re choking for air. i love your blonde moments. i love how happy and silly you get. i love your infatuation with shirtless soccer boys and the mutual love we share for Baby Mama that no one else could ever understand. i love your beautiful singing voice. i love the familiarity of hearing you sing every day from underneath my room. i love you brain! you take awhile to sort through things, but you almost always come to the best decision. i love that you’re a neat freak and that you tolerate my messiness. i love that you call me cute everyday even though i’m not. i love that you’ll lie around watching documentaries and random sad dramas with me that no one has ever heard of because you love me. i love that when we go shopping you hand me clothes and push me into the dressing room and make me buy stuff. i love you.
thanks for dying my hair again even after you stained your hands.
thanks for making me food when i come home from work.
thanks for listening the countless times i’ve been crying about something.
thanks for talking to me and letting me share in your life.
thanks for asking my opinion about things.
thanks for looking up to me even after i’ve been a complete idiot.
i think our parents divorce helped unify us a lot. visiting dad every other weekend and going through all our family drama together connected us. but i know a huge part is just the genuine love for the Lord we share. the like-mindedness we have in worship and loving Jesus.
i know we haven’t seen eye to eye 100% about some things recently, but i will always, forever, love you.
i thought about splitting this day into several parts, but have decided to knock it all out in one posting. when it comes to my parents, i can get long-winded. and since it seems like there’s always stuff going on with them, for now i will have a certain amount of discretion.
basically we have a horrible relationship. if i’m close with someone, i may go into further detail. but suffice it to say that he is very angry and prideful. he said sorry to me once and i still remember it.
it’s hard to speak about him without saying mean things, but it’s hard to say those things, too. because honestly i know in my head that he loves me. i think he just doesn’t know how to show it. it’s all a cycle. his parents were awful to him. they created a ”overpass” on the 2nd. floor between their room and their kids, and they’d tell them if they crossed it they were dead. then they’d hang out in their room all day. i also know they were really verbally abusive, and said that no one in the house was ever allowed to cry unless they saw blood.
basically my dad grew up in a house where God was non-existant, and by further extension, “love” was a pretty sterile, tasteless term.
so what did i expect?
he says he’s a christian. my two sisters (also his kids) think he is. i really struggle with that, but he’s always treated me differently than them. i think he’s always felt i could take the brunt of whatever he had to dish out because i’m the oldest and all that.
my dad’s asked me before if i’ve lost my virginity or if i’m on any kind of drugs. my problem with his questions aren’t that they’re asked, but that they’re asked without taking the time to get to know me. i get the feeling that he cares less about me and more about his reputation as a father. which is funny, all things considered.
my dad is in love with money and power — these loves have manifested themselves through countless degrees and being married to his work. he told me he would rather i be a lawyer or a doctor than a social worker.
but he loves me.
to be quite honest, i don’t even know him really. he goes to work, comes home, goes in his room and sleeps. when he first married mom, i was pressured a lot to be close to him and treat him like a father. but we’ve never had that kind of relationship. sometimes i feel guilty about that but the efforts that he and i have both made over the years have never really seemed to stick. we’re too opposite in too many ways.
i think he’s probably a great guy for mom. they kinda have the same sense of humor. it’s hard to believe they’ve been married almost as long as my dad and mom were. but they’re making it. and i know it wasn’t easy being thrown into a family with no initial degree under your belt and be expected to provide for them. i can appreciate that.
he’s pretty much the exact opposite of my dad. he tried every drug in the book, was obsessed with music, and dropped out of highschool. he grew up one of two kids and was very spoiled. he didn’t become a christian til 5 years before he met my mom. but if you try to talk to him about any of that now he’ll avoid the topic at all cost. he hates talking about it all.
anyway, if he and my mom split or for whatever reason he was out of the picture, i’d be generally sad, but we’re not close. he’s just here. and that’s the way it is.
one of my favorite things about mom is i can’t ever recall a time where i questioned whether or not she loved me. there are very few people i can say that about, and her love means more than most. she’s always cared about me. and worried over me. i think mom and i share those two attributes: worry and being emotional.
another thing is she’s really insecure. it’s funny to think about a 40-something being insecure about anything. but she’s been through (pardon the expression) hell and back, and so her doubts and fears are not entirely off-the-wall. i respect her simply because she has struggled through so much in her life, and i like to take that pain of hers and learn from it. in some ways it inspires me.
she absolutely hates it when i don’t talk to her about things. more than anything i think because she knows i don’t usually talk to her about things. and she gets angry really easily. we haven’t always gotten along the best. but really the older i get, the more i like her.
and i know when i go to school in a couple weeks she’s going to fall apart. and honestly that means the world to me.
spiritually i’ve never been thrusted forward by any of my parents really. i know they mean well, but the example they set is mostly to do the right things, rather than loving God with your heart. though they do all profess to be Christians, and i believe this to be true in mom and doug at the very least, in some ways i’ve had to concentrate on being a light even to them. but i’m okay with that. sometimes it’s not about knowing everything about where everybody’s at…relationally…emotionally…spiritually. sometimes it’s just about taking each small step and loving them in that, to the best of your ability.
so that’s what i try to do.
my room looks like a city of destruction — the aftermath of a deathly demise. the rubble consists of things i’m expected to use in building the next phase of my life: college. …cardboard boxes, plastic bags, photographs, DVDs and piles of clothes: i’m in the process of sorting out my life…deciding what to take and what to leave behind. as i empty my dresser and clean out my closet, i am painfully aware of the sudden emptiness leftover. it’s slowly registering with me how much things will change this year. i’ve been in “phase one” of my life for so long, i wonder how i’ll handle the pressure and new mysteries that lie around the corner.
i like stability.
and yet somewhere in that stable normality, i want an unpredictable adventure.
not really knowing what i’m getting myself into or what the next place will be like has a certain appeal to it. but i still have a hard time thinking about being dropped in a place with hundreds of people i don’t know…leaving so many i do behind. it’s only an hour away, but it’s more than that. i’m making a mark on my future. i’m telling the world (and myself) that i am growing up and that it’s time for an older, more mature me. at least that’s the way i see it. i can get carried away.
but i don’t have a car so i can’t drive home every chance i want. i can’t be in constant connection with everyone at home. i’m going to be really busy. sometimes when i think about it, my heart sinks a little.
my biggest struggle is discerning what God’s will is for my life. i used to think that this was it — go to greenville, get my masters, become a social worker, maybe get married someday…but God has proven over and over again that my plans aren’t His. and there’s really no telling where i’ll end up. if this isn’t God’s will for me, how will i ever find it? what if i hear Him wrong? these are the questions that keep floating through my brain.
what i’ve learned in just the small amount of life i have is that sometimes God doesn’t give me full-on direction until i just step out in obedience and go. sometimes the answers i want to hear don’t come word for word in the Bible or through someone else’s piece of advice. sometimes it slowly leaks through, and i can only hear those soft words once i decide to keep going.
He is my stability through every unpredictable new turn. if i really trust Him, i believe my life will consist of things which i, like Habukkuk, couldn’t even imagine if i tried.
i often get lost in the mentality that God has something in store for me, but His job is to hide, and my job is to cry and worry until i figure out what His plan is. instead, i’m learning that God’s plan for my life isn’t an exact moment in my future. it’s my present. it’s me actively, consistantly living…day in and day out…with the purpose of loving Him to the best of my ability. everything i’m doing now ties into the vast future. the moments i don’t understand and the moments i hurt are shaping me.
i’ll let you in on a secret: God’s will for my life, AND YOURS, is to live as though i have no tomorrow.
this means taking chances, dreaming big, hoping much.
His will for me is to live out a sweet, intimate prayer life. to open the Word as if it’s my first time reading it, allowing myself to be bowled over with what He’s saying. He wants me to grasp the moments i might otherwise miss to minister and love people. He wants me to feel His mercy and goodness with a fresh, new perspective.
sometimes He asks me to stay.
sometimes He asks me to go.
sometimes i know exactly what He wants me to do.
sometimes i have no idea what i’m doing, and am forced to rely on the faith that says He’ll lead me.
the funny thing is He’s not like me at all. His plans never come up empty. and He won’t withhold a life of purpose for me so He can laugh at my mediocre existence.
as of this posting, i am packing to move out to Greenville, IL in 16 days. newness and unpredictability are all around me. “home” is never going to be a specific place on this earth. home is with the people i love and care about. i can feel at home with someone i barely know. but more than anything, i feel at home when i’m walking in God’s will. if there’s anything i can learn about brown boxes and plastic bags, it’s that He is my security now and forever.
be my then. be my later. be my now.
i find this day pretty humorous…on the count of me having recently broken up with my first and only boyfriend…and also given that i have decided to take a sabbatical from men (or — a “mannatical” as some have put it).
i could take this day to talk about everything i’ve learned coming out of a relationship with someone, but i think that would be more appropriate for later posting.
in short, i am going to attempt, for a year (well, atleast til the end of the school year) to discard all lingering thoughts of men in the romantic sort of way. the key word here is lingering, as thoughts will always be there. but i really feel like i need to use this year to build solid friendships and grow. and i think it would be a better way for me to glorify God right now, in singleness.
if this day was meant to talk about some sort of casual guy i am crushing on, then i have certainly ruined this post with serious standards towards a way of living. because quite honestly, i have no crushes. not even actors or singers. my ex-boyfriend adam was the only guy i thought of for 7 months. he was the only guy i thought of for 6 months before hand while we were friends. and he is the only guy i have really thought much of since — this time not really in the passionate sense (obviously) but in concentrating on letting things go.
i regret to inform you that i have nothing very exciting pertaining to “a crush” and furthermore would like to be single for as long as God so wills.