Saturday, November 28, 2009

What I'm Thankful For:

1.) The people who have never left me alone.

"...just grab onto your necklace and remember how much God loves you." - KB

"oh yeah that was when you were being a jerk." D. Russ
"can we maybe try focusing on who I am and not who I've been!?"' - Me.
*big hug, and slightly fresh

gripes00: not to assume anything, but it seems as though during and following the fall retreat your attitude or enthusiasm for god and life in general has shifted toward inspirational and positive
gripes00: is this true
xLaughTilWeCry: hmmm, yes.
gripes00: ok
gripes00: just verifying

and to everyone else who never left my side. If I was being a jerk, if I was downright joyful, no matter what. I'm just so thankful for the people who are generously placed into my life. Without them, I'd obviously be a completely different person. Without a doubt, I am thankful for them every day. I'm unbelievably thankful to have a best friend like Stephanie Harp to just be able to laugh with. I'm also thankful for everyone who lends an ear to me whenever I need it.

2.) For the beautiful things I've seen this year. From Lake Griffen, to a moment of rejoicing throughout my friends hearts. Everything beautiful and tragic I have seen this year has shaped me into not only who I am at this moment, (because quite frankly, I'm not so sure who that is) but also who I am becoming. This year has been really hard, I had a major period of drifting from my Savior, but all of it I am thankful for. Not because He put me there, but because He brought me back.

3.) Being able to play soccer. Headaches or not, full team or not, enemies on my team or not... I am ridiculously thankful, because I can fly again. Say I'm good at something again. I'm also thankful for learning new skills. Like piano. Pretty cool bob.

4.) I am thankful for the devotion to school I have this year. I just hope I can continue to carry through with it and succeed, because it's all very scary to me.

5.) Sweet potato casserole. So. Good.

Well, there's my top five. If I honestly listed everything I'm thankful for it would be like taking an inventory of the entire world. No inspiration to write anymore. I hope everyone had a nice break. Mine was basically summer in a nutshell. Literally, I hung out with steph, got no sleep, ate way to much food, played video games, and watched One Tree Hill. Pretty serious. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coming to terms with things.

Sometimes it's difficult. Especially when my opinions weigh in differently from day to day. By the end of this summer, I had thought that it was my best summer yet. In this moment I agree. About two weeks ago, I confessed that this summer sucked underneath all of the fun. In this moment I agree. In the past, I could have looked over my summer and said, "I don't see God there at all." I can't agree, here in this moment. My heart was so closed for the past six months, so closed to God and everything He had to offer me that I could not see straight. Having that one moment of impact though, that one moment of pure divinity, that one millisecond where I chose to stand up and open my heart not even a millimeter wide, that is the moment where I not only said that I want Christ back in my life, but that I legitimately acted upon it with others, and that it was not a moment of me, but a moment of Him. I could not have seen that moment coming. Hoped for it, yes. Prayed for it, yes. There was nothing, however, that could have predicted that moment of greatness.

To get to the point of this post. My friend brought up the band All Time Low the other day, and I've been having constant flashbacks to smile-worthy times in my life. Not moments that there was just happiness, but also where there was God. I saw Him in last years Winter Retreat, which I did not expect. Most importantly, I saw him in this summer. I saw him in a car with me and Stephanie cruising down a one lane road that stretches through miles of nothing. I saw him trying to burst through the windows of the car from the inside out, because the small space just could not contain him any longer, just like I did the night where I accepted him back into my life, Halloween night. I saw Him when I was parasailing, I saw Him in the ocean and in the joyful faces of my brothers, I saw Him in the ice cream, and the sand, and the huge house we stayed in. I saw Him in it all looking back. The only question that is now haunting my heart; is that wrong? Is it wrong for me have not to seen God when I was going through these times of troubles yet happiness, yet looking back with an accepting heart, now seeing Him? I don't have much knowledge, except for what I am specifically taught and expected to learn. I did know that he was with me even when I couldn't feel Him, but that was hard for me to accept.

"Meeting Jesus does not resolve in our troubles ending; sometimes our troubles just begin."
I am slowly coming to terms with this statement, because I am experiencing it now. I think something I will always take into deep consideration is what I learned at summer camp this year. As a Christian, it's okay to be angry and upset. It's okay not to be downright joyful all the time. The joyousness that comes from God, however, fills my heart and casts away all stress for me. Yes, there are worries, and there is pain, but in all that there is greatness, and I am determined to find it.

I'm happy. It's good to be smiling again. Distant from others, unaccepted by others, disapproved by others are all side effects of this wondrous joy I feel on the inside. Tomorrow is a Wednesday. I get to meet with people who support me, pray for me, and help me get where I am going. I cannot explain to you the goodness I feel when I walk into that room with my renewed heart. My new favorite part of this glorious experience is lifting up prayer requests and praises and then coming together to feel them together in a circle of hope. Like I said in my last post, I am in love. Until you experience this love, it is doubtful that you can grasp what I am trying to say. All I can tell you is that it is a worth while experience to ask God to reveal himself to you. To open your heart, and give that 1%, even if it hurts at first. All of these paragraphs are directed at one person in particular. Myself: the one who didn't get it.

"...Jesus meets her in the middle of her mess.... Ashamed of her past? Not anymore. All she can think about is her future. A woman whose past has defined her is now defined by her present. Her muddled, mistake-ridden, sin-cluttered past has driven her to a man like no other man, and she wants everyone to meet him."
Never did I ever think I would relate to the Samaritan woman that Jesus meets at the well on the outskirts of town. I am in a non-stop mode of thankfulness lately, and it will continue, because there is nothing that is not to be thankful for.

Quotes are from the book Messy Spirituality by Michael Yaconelli.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's been a while,

and everything under the moon has changed.

10/30/09 - 11/1/09 - My faith, hope, joy... Everything was renewed. My faith in God, in my best friends, in the people I used to be incredibly close to. My hope in prayer, in life, in God. My joy in the Lord, within my heart, in everything. This particular weekend has changed my life forever. I would not trade it for anything. It was pure and beautiful. There is no more words that I can use to further describe it.

11/11/09 - I lifted up a prayer request that I might find a coach for my soccer team. A day later, I find that I at least have a coach signed up to coach my team.

11/18/09 - I lifted up a prayer request that I would get a team to play with, because we didn't have enough players. The next day, I find out I have a team, and that the next night I would be receiving my jersey.

The power of prayer is the most amazing, wonderful thing. Sure, soccer playing only leads to the most intense migraines I have ever experienced (with the exception of one). I am unbelievably thankful for the opportunity to play soccer, and also to be surrounded with so many people who are in prayer for me and who love me continually without exception. More then anything, I am incredibly thankful to have something to believe in again. Something that gives me hope, something that takes away the fear, something that makes me smile without question, something that starts with weeping and leads to celebration, something I can't change. Something I love. God. To be in love once again, is a greater feeling that I thought possible. It's better then laughter, breaking 100, Wilmington, NC, the Atlantic ocean, plastic utensils, the outer banks. Everything. And I'm in love. :)

"No room for fear, only faith."