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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Next Step

There are times when I think that some things will never come to pass. That I will be destined to chase dreams that never become realities. To forever reach and fall short. The truth is, dreams don't often feel like dreams once they come to be. I have this idea that one day we'll live some exotic life on the mission field--but I've been there. There were great adventures and I have some awesome memories and I would never trade it, but at the time, it was just life. I used to dream of having four children, adopting several more, and being this graceful, loving mother. I'm only up to two kids, and although I love them more than anything, I'm rarely graceful.

Life in the moment can feel like such chaos, it's tempting to think it isn't leading anywhere. But then things happen that force you to look back, and suddenly it all fits together. Life takes time. It's messy. It's hard. Sometimes it all blurs together. So when you get the opportunity to really see a step being taken--something you've dreamed about--take it in!

Yesterday I got a phone call... I was accepted into the pre-nursing program for Spring 2013! I am not only freakishly happy, but pretty incredibly shocked as well. Because I didn't even know I would be living here, I ended up applying 5 months after the deadline. It was a long shot, but I figured I'd go for it anyway. Apparently a spot opened up at the last minute and--wa lah! Here I was thinking I would have to wait until March to hear if I got into the fall Nursing program, and now as long as I keep my gpa up during pre-nursing classes I should have a spot come fall! I think this would feel good no matter what, but because of how long I have been working and patiently (haha) waiting for this for what feels like forever, it feels pretty incredible to know it's finally happening. So here it is. The next step God has laid out for me. He is faithful.

Next year this time I may be whining about finals, but for now, I'm going to revel in this. It's gonna be a good day. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Still Moving: Albeit Slowly

The last time I had consistant insomnia was two years ago this time. Pregnant and overwhelmed with our challenges along with the grief of the world. This year I am less overwhelmed with the grief of the world only because my own challenges have consumed me that much more. I don't have much left over for the world. I am hoping when all of this is over (if it's ever over) I will come to some sort of balance.

Sometimes I think the reason I have always been so consumed with the world was as a result of pleasant ignorance of the severity of my own issues and life challenges. It's a painful shift to move from being one who thinks she can save, to being one who so desperately needs saving. I don't wish to go back in the least, I simply wish I could move forward a little faster. This is a lonely and frightening place to be.

It's not that I don't trust God to provide and it's not that I'm unaccustomed to discomfort. I have been in so many desperate situations! There have been many times when we didn't know where our next meal would come from, lived in what most Americans would consider "unsuitable living conditions," and dealt with countless uncertainties, yet God has always provided. For every person who has used or cheated us, others have inexcusably blessed us. Honestly, I have felt more blessed than I deserve for the most part. I have lived around too many people with less to see what we've been through as any real "suffering." It's just that I am so tired. I feel like even if it were easy it would be hard. And it's not easy.

It's painful and isolating when people can't understand your struggles. When they can't cheer you up with quotes and light hearted jokes, you somehow feel like you've disappointed them. They compare your struggles with things that you can't help but see as trivial. They give the impression they think you've given up too easily. But what they don't know is how long you've been fighting. And that whether or not it looks like it, you still are. Even the young grow weary and faint.

Even in moments when I know these trials will not last forever, when I know God is sovereign, there are times when I choose to be angry--regardless of promises kept, or not yet answered. Angry that I am not who I thought I was. Angry what God allows. And some days it's easier to lay paralyzed in my fear and anger than to hope that truth will set me free. To hope that one day joy will reign again, dispersing any desires to push away those I love. That one day I will wake up, not wishing I didn't have to.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I Am Not My Own

Sometimes all I need is a whisper. An acknowledgment that my cries have been heard. A confirmation that God is still in control, even when I am reeling out of control--especially then. The other day I finally sat down and prayed. Or more like begged. Just to feel God near, to know He had not abandoned me to the clutches of darkness. Like a healthy person, I fell asleep that night watching some awful but captivating show that allowed me to keep my mind off my own issues. When I awoke later that night, there was peace. I can't explain it, but there is no mistaking it. I haven't felt that feeling in over a month. Peace. The peace has remained with me in and out of the chaos of each day, and it is the only reason I am able to function.

I don't understand God. I know the world is broken and full of sin and that life here will never be easy, but I also know God's power. I've seen it. When I find myself unable to trust, it's not because I think God is unable, it's because I am afraid He is unwilling. It's hard to trust someone who allows you so much pain, when you know He is capable of taking it all away. Yet, He calls us to trust regardless. And that's the thing about God, you can't pick and choose what you want from Him, He is all or nothing. When you commit your life to Him, you have to trust Him, even when you don't want to or feel unable to. It's a frightening thing to place your life, your love, and your dreams in someone else's hands. Even the hands of your creator.

I constantly feel like I am starting each day at ground zero. I am drained by my failings and feel like I am always having to relearn things. However when I look back on my life, reflect on memories, and read old journals, I see a richness there that is consistant with one thing. God. You see, the thing I forget more often than not is that my life is not my own. That one little perspective changes things tremendously. Suddenly instead of magnifying my failures and weaknesses, I am in awe with the fact that despite those things, God has made me one of His own. He has claimed my life for so much more than my own glory. I understand that none of that sounds very great from a worldly perspective. But if you have seen even an ounce of God's power, even a hint of His love--it's the most incredible thing you could hope for.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Day

Forrest Gump's mom had it right. Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. One might be filled with rich soft chocolate, the next filled with salty carmel or some weird tasting experiment someone decided to make. But you don't complain, right? Because it's a gift, and you reach for another hoping it will be delicious enough to make the nasty ones worth it. It's not a perfect analogy, but I think we've come to the conclusion that imperfection is a significant part of life.

Today, to my surprise, I woke early. After straightening up I had a blissful 5 minutes on the couch, in a clean room, with a cup of coffee in complete silence. I haven't had 5 minutes in a quiet or clean room in much too long. And yes, it was worth getting up before 6:00 a.m. to get. As it turns out, five minutes was all I needed to realize a few things. I realized that I have been doing a lot of regretting lately. A lot of wishing I had done certain things in the past to make my present a little easier. I've been feeling pretty useless, irrelevant, and unworthy. It's hard to face the day when you feel like you don't deserve it.

Regret is such a cliche. Everyone knows you shouldn't bother with it, but when it comes down to it, we all have to face a little regret. The real challenge is, do you succumb to it's debilitating nature? Or decide to let it go and move forward? And it's a constant challenge. Just because we make the right decision now doesn't mean we'll make the right decision tomorrow. Regardless, for this moment I can hold on to the fact that I can choose to make the right decision today. And tomorrow? As Scarlett O'Hara always says, tomorrow is another day.

Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You're at a dead-end. If you won't believe I am who I say I am, you're at the dead-end of sins. You're missing God in your lives." John 8:23-24 The Message

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Running Dry

In the face of deepest darkness is when you truly realize you are no super hero. There was a time when I felt capable of so much. I wonder now, was that the real me? Or was life just simpler then? Will I ever feel like that again? Or have I reached the point of no return?

I'm finding I'm rather jealous of people who truly believe they have things figured out. Even when they know they don't, they know they do. You know those people? I used to be kind of like that, and as annoying as those people may be sometimes, wouldn't that be nice? Feeling like you've got this? Whatever this may be. We've broken out our turbos, but now even those are running dry.

I don't need to know God's plans. I just need to know He's got this. I need to know it. I need to feel Him near.