Monday, January 25, 2010

I am attempting to gather my thoughts, and it's taking longer than I thought it would.
Several weeks...and hey, maybe these thoughts aren't the sort that get gathered after all, aye? So I'll just try to sort through them in this way, instead. When I can see them in front of me, and read through them, and tilt my head, and see what I can get done in that way.

So. yeah. I've been struggling, I guess. For no good reason, which is always the worst kind of struggle- with no pinpointed reason why, it's hard to make it stop. And before you know it, you're stuck in this cycle of internal struggle because you don't know why you're there, and what does it matter anymore, you'll just deal. But no! I do not want to deal! I want to fight it! Or do I? See, the internal struggle...

The verses that came to mind was Romans 7:15-18. It's Paul's somewhat famous internal struggle. He says:

"15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t."

It's nice to know I'm not the only person who wonders, "Why do I do what I don't want to do? Why do I insist on feeling what I don't want to feel? Why am I making myself unhappy when I see the way to happiness?" Honestly, I want to be happy. I truly do. I have felt the joy that comes with submission to Christ and I want it, every single day. But...there's always but. But it seems that set myself up for failure, and then stay there. This weekend a bunch of my friends were out of town, and so I hung out mostly with my best friend, and something just felt off. And as the days went by, I couldn't put my finger on it, but something seemed wrong, and it was just making me frustrated and angry with her. However, instead of confronting her, I just continued to let all of that bitterness fester even though I honestly had no idea why we were mad at each other. It seriously impacted my days- this feeling of hurt and neglect and abandonment and cold-shoulder syndrome and I had absolutely no explanation for it, except for "she was being that way towards me." And the angrier I got, the less I wanted to confront her and the more I just wanted to pout and sulk. I could throw blame and say she should have confronted me because she started it or something, but, no, the fault is mine- I should've confronted her. I knew what I was feeling. I know myself- well.  And yet, I knew what I wanted and what would feel the best, and I just continued to be bitter about it. 

But two things have been brought to my attention by this situation, both things that I have discovered before and that I'm sure I'll discover again.  Number one is this: I tend to let my relationships take precedence  in my life. I worry so much about what my friend does and thinks of me and being with her, and not just the best friend I have now- it seems it's always been that way. This is no good, because it doesn't matter at all what she thinks, and I don't want to be her, I want to be me, running in my own lane, using my own gifts, living my own life, which has a totally different purpose than hers.  BUT, I see that I don't need to shift my direction completely- just to a different best friend. I need to stop letting any earthly relationship steal the spotlight form the one with my Father. Secondly, I need to just do it, whatever it is that I think I don't want to do because I feel like sulking and pouting and feeling unhappy is better, because being happy is better.

Said best friend called and I think most things got squared away and clarified and I don't know for sure, but that's a first step, right? Right.

I read this.

And I realized that it's my sinful nature, and it's the Devil attacking me. I mean, seriously- unhappiness isn't of God. God is joy and love. Sure, God lets things happen to you that make you unhappy, but this isn't that situation. This is the Devil, trying to steal the progress I'm making, and I say, no, sir. Step away, man. You will not win! I will turn to the Lord and He says, "Look, you're not alone. Even the apostle Paul had a sinful nature and yours is no worse than his. The Devil attacked him, too. You're not alone." Okay. I'm not alone. And I have a Redeemer who will be waiting to renew and refresh me.

Hallelujah. With this knowledge, I am tackling next week. Pray for me- and I'll say a little prayer for you, too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I have a hundred million thoughts running around in my head. At least. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and activities and sleepless nights. I don't even know where to start, but I do know that my best start always begins with opening up the computer and forming words and sentences and before I know it, I've gotten it out and there it is, blatantly revealing things I never knew about myself on the page in front of me. So that's what I'm doing. In case you were, you know, wondering what the jibberish you're about to read really was.

And so. There's so many things, so much stuff that I need and want to wade through that's going on in my head. Last semester was nothing less than amazing, and I have this annoying fear that this semester won't measure up, that things will change so much that I just won't love it as much as I did, and I'll look back on August and September and October and November of 2009 and long for them. Change has always presented a problem for me, and so this quandary is really no surprise to someone who is as trained in the ways of me as I am. I read a quote, which I've listed here before, that went something like, "Life is all too often wishing fervently for yesterday, a time that you didn't know you were enjoying so much until it was gone, and missing out on today because of it." (A girl's gotta paraphrase every now and then.) I have loved so many parts of my life so fervently after the fact, or even while on my way to something better. I absolutely loved ninth grade, and I was wary of starting tenth grade because I knew things wouldn't be the same. Chances are, if you would've given me the option then, in my moment of fear, if I could have that ninth grade year forever, I might have said yes. It isn't probable, but it's likely, and that would have sucked. I look back and see that ninth grade was small potatoes compared to what came in tenth grade and eleventh grade and senior year and now. It usually works that way, I know, I know. But that doesn't stifle the anxiety that hits me when I realize "Wait a second...things look different." But things look different indeed. Our classes are different, our schedules are different, our needs and wants are different. So that's one thing; a silly thing, sure, but it's one thing.

And then, there's the Lord. So much, so much. I feel like I've crossed this road in my relationship with has matured in such a way that I'm now on to a deeper relationship. I've conquered fears and trials and issues that I had struggled with throughout high school. College has given me that push, and I'm in a more real, more demanding, more frightening, more rewarding relationship. My heart is full, and, as is not uncommon with my God but somewhat surprising to any who know me, I cannot put much of it into words, except for that I am trying very hard to be open and ready and to jump into it with my eyes on Him. I want to be a good and faithful servant, someone who exudes Christ in her everyday life. I want my words and my actions to match, and I want them to point to Him. I want to worship Him with more than the songs that I sing, but also in the way that I console a friend or say, "Excuse me," or smile at someone or share my faith. And all of that is harder than it reads, a lifelong adventure. But I want to be who He wants me to be, and I want to do what He wants me to do, and that's that.

I can already feel the stress that is school settle over me like the suffocation that belongs to a sweatshirt that is too small. It's bearable, but man, you just want out. I don't want out of school, necessarily- I love school, I love my friends, I love the busy that surrounds it, and truthfully, I get crazy without the go. But I'm already making to-do lists and feeling overwhelmed and nervous and it's only day three. It's going to take a bit to get used to going to class every single day, I'll tell you that much. I keep waiting for the day when I don't have class (which was three days a week last semester!), and that day isn't coming until, well, Saturday. Pshh. Been there, done that, and it was called high school. So, yeah, a little getting used to is in order. I think this semester is going to go a little differently than last, as I already mentioned. Last semester we were so caught up in each other, and in the magic of being on our own and making our own decisions that we made some interesting ones. I wouldn't take back the nights that turned into mornings, or the endless movies with all of us molded into someone's dorm room. No, I wouldn't. But, at least for me, that might not be a repeat this semester. I've got early morning classes (see three sentences ago) and I'm exercising (wish me luck) and that takes time and energy and now that I know I can have a 4.0 (!) I want to maintain it, and I feel that is certainly possible this semester, with a little time and effort.

It's truly shaping up to be a really cool time in my life, as long as I let it. I want to let go of the fears that hold onto me with their grubby little fists and just be. I want to run in my own lane, and glorify God and be happy as much as possible. My problem is that I often get caught on things that matter not, things that I spin into issues and let them fester, until I'm mad or hurt over something that shouldn't have been a blip on my radar. Today's the day to change that!

I realize this post was all over everywhere, and for that I apologize. You should know that I didn't even scrape the surface that is this thought center of mine. There's more and more and more. But that's enough for tonight.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Oy vey.

It's Monday morning. Classes start today. Mine in 47 minutes, actually. And I want so badly for this to be a stand-out semester. Last semester gave me everything that I had begged of it: a routine, incredible friends, the ability to find my way around, good feelings that make you warm inside like acceptance and belonging and adoration. I want this semester to be just as wonderful, but in different. I have my friends, I know my way around, I've done this before already. But I don't want the excitement and the luster to wear off of this place. I still want to walk around with appreciation and in awe of how awesome everything here is, of how much I'm learning both in and out of class, of how absolutely positive I am that I should be here. And, I want to maintain my 4.0 and run a half-marathon. Pshhh.

But today- the start! the new beginning! the chance to do whatever you want to do!- had not started off happy or cheerful or thankful or appreciative or awe-inspiring. It has been a curse word, a scowl, a limp. It has been frustration and disappointment. And it's only 9:18. Alright, it hasn't been that bad. I woke up at 5:45 a.m. (before the sun and all that jazz) and went to the gym. We went for cycling class but cycling class was full (Before the sun rises! These people are ridic!) and so I ran a mile and walked a mile and decided day three of training for a half-marathon must be the hardest day. My goal this week was to run a mile each day, and now the soreness of OH MY GOD I DON'T USE THOSE MUSCLES EVER BECAUSE I AM A LAZY FATSO has set in and ow. I came home and napped for an hour, and then went to shower. On this cold, frigid, watch-you-breath-freeze-midair morning, my water refused to get hot and, as a matter of fact, dropped  degrees by the second. Now, I hate a cold shower. I really can't think of anything that gets me angrier than that instant when I start to feel the heat fading and I'm not finished yet. But of all times for this to happen for whatever reason (nobody else was even in the shower!)- Monday morning at 8 a.m. when I've got aching muscles and have a first day of class coming up is NOT THE TIME. So, that got me in a relatively crappy mood, and I shivered through the next ten minutes and then threw on clothes faster than you could say, "Hey, you have a big butt. You should go to the gym."

Here I am, emailing this lady who is telling me I may have to live on campus next year because of my scholarship and that may mean I don't get to live with my best friend, and sure, these are small problems in the big scheme of life but this Monday stinks. I'm hoping the ten o'clock hour offers me something happier.