Sunday, November 14, 2010

... on waking up



10 pounds
9 streets away from work
8 minutes past my bedtime
7 months of silence
6 hours of sleep
5 saturday classes
4 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (extended versions)
3 business partners
2 condos
1 laptop

When I feel…
worthless
wretched
dirty
awful
undeserving
not smart enough
in sin
in the dark
unmotivated
dead
hopeless
like sleeping my life away will fix all my problems

I have to remember that…
I am redeemed
I am pure
I am honest
I am true
I am not less human
I am not less of a person
I am deserving of God’s grace
being awake is far better than sleeping
I am awake, and life is good.

There is hope.

I find it extremely hard to communicate what I am truly feeling and thinking when in a dark place.  Especially when so much time, energy, focus, and effort seem to have been stolen from me and put into various other things --seemingly worthless-- for over such a long period of time.  I mean, it’s not really rocket science, but it’s a lot … and I still think I’m too young for this!  This past year has been an all consuming, trying, difficult, frustrating, unhappy year – to say the least.  When things in life shock you into bad habits it's hard to know precisely what's going on or even how to fix it.  Unfortunately, the only cure that I can figure out is that it takes time.  I’ve felt that over the past year I’ve been robbed of my life. Robbed of joy, happiness, clear thinking, friendships, time, and resources.  I do not like nor appreciate this feeling.  These bad habits of withdrawing and seeking darkness rather than light keep a person on an unhealthy continuum. 

Lately I’ve been slightly obsessed with a show, Grey’s Anatomy.  One of the concepts that sucks me into watching this show is their way of depicting precisely and accurately what the characters are feeling and thinking.  I guess one could say I use it as a form of self-medicating.  But, what is therapy really?  Therapy is learning how to accurately communicate what you are thinking and feeling to loved ones so they might understand you better and therefore the relationship can be enhanced through that effective communication.  So, here I am, telling the internet what I have learned about myself over the past year.  And, believe me, I’ve had those conversations with the people I need to, so they can understand me better and our relationship can continue to be cultivated.  To be completely honest with you, I don't (think I) need very many encouraging words in my life because I typically rely on the power and strength of Christ.  HOWEVER! ...that does not negate the fact that encouraging words are very uplifting and helpful in times of distress.  I am forever grateful for my family and friends who fight for me, while offering these encouraging words, and have put up with me this year.  They have been here for me and my seemingly minute complaints – especially when I couldn’t verbalize it and the only words I had for them is “I don’t like this at all…”  During this time I have learned that I am strong and can deal with the difficulties that are presented to me.  I can find my way to the light, and out of the bad habits that weigh me down.  I may protest and sink back into my chair because I might think that not dealing with it would be easier (read other blog), but ultimately I know that God in me is strong enough (possibly stronger…) than any trial that is handed to me.

I am awake.
I am alive.
I am thriving.
I love my life.  

…and, I will be late for work tomorrow if I don’t get some sleep tonight!

So those, dear followers, are my thoughts and conclusions regarding the past year...  I know that Jesus is still working on me and I will do my best at continuing to persevere through the trials, tribulations, joys, and successes...

But, for now, I leave you with words from a song that has haunted me for the past 4 months…Enjoy.

Cosy in a Rocket by Psapp

Climb, climb into the rocket
And we set the fuse to go, go, go
Head start, cosy in the rocket
And I need to go, to go, go, go
Tip top ready for the sky
And I'm tip top ready to go
Tip top ready for the sky
And I'm tip top ready to go, go, go

Come, come, fly into my palm
And collapse
Oh oh, suppose you'll never know

Nobody knows where they might end up
Nobody knows
Nobody knows where they might wake up
Nobody knows
Nobody knows where they might end up
Nobody knows
Nobody knows where they might wake up
Nobody knows

Tick tack toe, you're fitting into place
And now the old ways don't seem true
Stick stop blue you're only shifting
In the same old shape you always do
Tip top ready for the sky
And I'm tip top ready to go
Tip top ready for the sky
And I'm tip top ready to go, go, go

Come, come, fly into my palm
And collapse
Oh oh, suppose you'll never know

Come, come, fly into my palm
And collapse
Oh oh, suppose you'll never know

Monday, April 26, 2010

... on escaping reality

Do you find yourself thinking “If only I could run away, every problem, every trial, and every test will disappear and fade into the abyss”?


I
wish
it
was
that
simple. 

(Okay, I may have stole that format from Rob Bell, but hey – there’s nothing new under the sun, right?!)

I wish that we could just say, “I don’t feel like working on this particular area of my life right now, nor ever, see you later!”  It often times seems like escaping reality would be the answer to certain problems or situations.  Nevertheless, we still have to confront problems and issues in our lives on a perpetual basis – God won’t let us just fade away into the background.  And, if we don’t deal with it right then and there, having that burden to carry with us wherever we go only makes the burden heavier.  Then the problem/issue comes back at us in an inflated manner.  Then, like a boomerang, it hits us when we least expect it.

I was recently watching the movie entitled Up In the Air, George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, teaches seminars on emptying out one’s baggage.  No, seriously – that’s what his character was teaching at these seminars!  He preaches that everyone should relieve one’s life of excess physical and emotional baggage.  If only that were the case, then we would have more time to focus on ourselves and our desires and…

How selfish!!

If we really practiced that we wouldn’t feel a responsibility to our family and friends and ultimately loving others how God really wants us to.  So, we come back to our original thought… Would it really be easier just to escape reality?

There is beauty in pain. 

I remember someone once saying to me that you have to take the bad in with the good.  It’s about the whole package.  Even though we all might have our negative qualities, I’m pretty sure we have positive qualities as well.  And, there’s always redemption, right?! So, even though we may be feeling like there are more bads than goods we have to remember that we are worth more than that.

One of my favorite bands is Modest Mouse.  They have a song called “The View” off of their album Good News for People Who Love Bad News.  This song always presents a challenge to me when listening to it.  The following is just the chorus of the song.

As life gets longer, awful feels softer
And it feels pretty soft to me
And if it takes s*** to make bliss
Well, I feel pretty blissfully

If life’s not beautiful without the pain
Well, I’d just rather never ever even see beauty again
Well, as life gets longer, awful feels softer
And it feels pretty soft to me

I love how a simple song from a (non-Christian) rock band can put things in perspective.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

... on trust

I’m struggling with being able to trust God with my WHOLE life.

I feel that in my life I know what’s best for me, so therefore I must be in complete control. Being in control makes me happy. It makes me feel confident, strong and knowledgeable.

It’s like sometimes I would just rather take hold of the steering wheel and drive instead of letting God direct my path. How can I really trust that He knows what’s best? But then again, there are certain areas of my life where I find it easy to trust in Him because He has proved Himself faithful to me time and time again.

The thing about driving is that I know where I’m going and I know how to get there. The freeways and streets are familiar, and I even know short-cuts. I know how to be prepared before a journey, like putting gas in the car and regularly taking it in to get the tires rotated and change the oil. I know what type of music I like to listen to on my drive. My friends are even comfortable in my car. They trust me. They trust that I will get us all to the destination alive and in one piece. But this can all change if I make a wrong move, or if I’m too tired and fall asleep at the wheel, then we have a major problem (humans are fallible, though - another topic for a different day!). But, I would not choose to make a wrong decision when driving, unless I’m being spontaneous about the destination. But, just as my friends trust me to get us to our destination safely; I should be able to trust that God will get me to the destination too.

I would LOVE to understand HOW to trust God. But, for some reason the connection is bad and all I’m hearing is static. Does anyone really have a clear connection with God? Or, is it that those connections we have with Him are by choice? And, am I just choosing to listen to Him with some areas of my life and not listening to other areas?

Well, apparently I’m not alone in struggling with trust … Trust is mentioned in the Bible way too many times to count – seriously! The passage that enters my thoughts with regards to trust is this:

Psalm 37:3-6

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Trust and do good. Hmm … sound familiar?