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Showing posts from 2015

Merry or Not, it's Christmas.

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Today is Christmas. I don't know how I feel about that. I wanted to be excited about Christmas this year so badly and I truly thought I was excited. But now that Christmas is here, I just feel sort of numb. I keep thinking about how many people are lonely this Christmas. It makes me feel sad and helpless to help them. Also, my semester in college did not wrap up the way I wanted it to. I'm frustrated, and no amount of presents or food could change these things. 
Secondly, something feels deeply broken.  My heart? Maybe.  My family? Yes, probably.  My confidence? Absolutely. 
It's these three things that feel the most broken. 
My heart is broken for many reasons, but mainly with grief and pain. 
My family feels broken because we lost major pieces of our group this year, which I've already talked about on this blog many times. 
My confidence feels broken because I just feel that I can't quite do things right. I can't make the grades I want, I can't succeed in the way…

Enough.

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This blog post came out of no where. (Or maybe not...but that's how it feels to me right now.)

I was listening to the radio and a song I love came on. Well, "love" is a stretch. A song I rather admire came on. It's a song by my all-time favorite band and songwriter, but it's probably my least favorite song on this particular album.

The song? "Enough to Let Me Go" by Switchfoot. I believe the song was written by Jon Foreman, my favorite song writer (most of SF's songs are written by Jon).

Suddenly, tonight, this song hit me hard--and I never saw it coming.

Here are the lyrics and the song, off YouTube:



Listening to that song tonight, it struck me like never before. I'm not sure what Jon was intending when he wrote the song, but in some ways, I imagine myself singing the song to Jesus.

"Do you love me enough to let me go and fall for you on my own?" I say to Jesus. And while I ask Jesus these questions during the song, he is silent. But …

Late Night Ramblings: The Roller Coaster of Life & Death.

Today is December 2nd. It is currently 2 AM. I should not be awake, but I am. And I'm crying.

There are so many reasons I am crying that it's hard to explain them all adequately, but I'll try, because I feel like I have to, or "should," or something like that.

This semester back at college has been a roller coaster. So many ups and downs. Fun at times, scary at other times. Tears of joy, and also tears of "Oh, please get me off of this crazy ride!"

Mostly, I am just still grieving. It's an "all-the-time" kind of thing. Losing two beloved family members in a year can do that to you, apparently.

I went to a group called GriefShare this semester. It ended tonight, after 13 weeks of weekly sessions. If you've never heard of GriefShare, visit Griefshare.org and find out more about it. Or, e-mail me and I'll tell you about it. It was amazing...so good for me. (So good, in fact, that I'd honestly like to lead a GriefShare group, possi…

Somber Occasions, Bookends, & Marathons.

The post is mostly for me. I needed to take some time to process this weekend. But, if anyone can learn something from my journey, then by all means--read away! 

It's late; about 1:30 AM. I'm in a house I've known since I was...well, probably since around the time I was born, I guess. It's my Aunt and Uncle's house. Almost all my family is gathered here this weekend for a somber yet special occasion: beginning to clean out my other Aunt's possessions from her house. I've looked forward to and dreaded this occasion, which is probably why I can't sleep so far tonight. It may also be the reason I've slept SO much during the last week. Sometimes sleep is my only escape from the reality that my family is broken. We're missing huge, gaping chunks from what used to seem perfectly whole. Empty chairs at the table. Or, a smaller table at a restaurant will do...because our family's down by two this year. And I just can't tell you how that hurts. I…

A 24th Birthday Prayer.

Lately, I've finally been giving out my blogging "business" cards, so I felt that I needed to update my good ol' blog. Also, I turned 24 a few weeks ago! So, those two things (handing out my cards and my 24th birthday) motivated me to write the next 24 things, in the form of a prayer. Here it goes....

Dear Lord, 
1. Thank you for another year of life. I know that you ordained and blessed my life 24 years ago and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I praise you, and I ask that if it be your will I would be blessed with many more years on Earth to struggle & fight for your Kingdom...because for me to live means I get more chances to share my story of Your redemption, and to die means I get to be with You in paradise forevermore. Either way, I'm good! It is well with my soul! 
2. Thank you for my family. I pray protection over them and that they would seek you, Lord. They have taken care of me and been a blessing for me in too many ways to count. I love ea…

For Aunt Jan.

Dear Aunt Jan,

This letter is mostly for me, but I don't mind others reading it. I really meant to write you a goodbye letter before I left for Argentina, just in case you passed away while I was out of the country. Little did I know that would be exactly the case.

It's been a little over two weeks since you died. I suppose I am still in shock. It doesn't seem like you're gone. My head knows the truth but my heart hasn't caught up yet.

I was sitting in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina when I found out you had died. Dad called us on wifi. It was such a shock; so terrible. But I had just been praying that very morning--not knowing how badly you were doing--that God might take you home soon if you were in too much pain. God answered my prayer, but it wasn't exactly the answer I was hoping for.

I was hoping you might have more time. I was hoping we might have more time together. I was hoping I would get to really say goodbye.

I'm crying really hard now, …

You're Invited to "Go With Me" to Argentina!

Dear friends and family,

In about a week, I'll be leaving on a mission trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a part of the "Let's Start Talking" Ministry. My team and I will partner with a local congregation and missionary to reach out to people who are interested in improving their conversational English. In order to help them improve their English, we will be reading the Gospel of Luke with them one-on-one, in the Easy-to-Read version of the Bible. During my project in Buenos Aires, I'll be focusing on two concepts: sharing Jesus and sharing myself. I'll have the chance to build friendships and serve as an illustration of the difference Jesus can make in our lives.

 This will be my first opportunity to go on a mission with Let's Start Talking (LST), and you are invited to join me in this mission over the next few weeks, both prayerfully and financially if you feel led to contribute. Presently I am still about $900 short of my goal of $3,650, which I commi…

For the Love of Dogs.

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I don't know exactly when it happened, but I have a feeling I was born with it: my love of dogs. As long as I can remember I have been in love with dogs. I'm drawn to them, even more than I am drawn to people. I love dogs of all shapes and sizes, and even being bitten now and then when I was young won't stop me from loving almost every dog I meet. I've been bitten before, and I'm sure I'll be bitten again, because I cannot deny that there's just something special about dogs that fascinates me. 

Whenever I "graduated" from elementary school, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, and my answer was put in the yearbook along with all the other 4th graders. What I really wanted was just to work with dogs and have lots of puppies, so I said: "dog breeder." I don't think anyone took me seriously, probably because most kids really don't know what they actually want to do with their lives. After all, my brother (who is currently …

The Journey.

I am on Spring Break in Colorado with my family and some friends. This ski trip is a tradition at our church. So many different people have come and gone in our ski trip group. Many of us have been on the trip many times. I counted, and this is my 15th ski trip, but it could be my last one. Next year I'm thinking about going on a mission trip or something, and then after that I don't know if I'll have a Spring Break. I'm not sure where I will end up after graduation next year, but I'm excited about the possibilities. 
As I look forward to the future, I can't help but think about where I've been. It's amazing to think about where I was just two years ago. I was so fragile and broken. In many ways, I still am. I've come a long way though. The journey has been so difficult. I don't know what lies ahead, but that's life. Despite all the difficult things I've been through, I trust that God still has good things planned for me, even if that mea…

Stricken.

I got sick again tonight, inexplicably. One moment I was laughing with my roommates, and the next thing I knew I was throwing up. Why? 
I am grief-stricken. 
I've heard and experienced that grief comes in waves. These days, a little over 2 months after Colby's death, the waves come a little less frequently, but they are cripplingly huge when they come. Tonight, I'm drowning in my sadness and I just want...I don't know what. For reality to not be true? I want her back. But reality is, she's gone and there's nothing I can do to get her back. Now, my cousin visits me only in my dreams, where I sometimes seem to forget that she has died.  
And I honestly am happy for her. I know her soul will live on where there is no pain, only joy. But what about me? Now I have to suffer on without my cousin/friend, whom I could always count on to suffer alongside me. 
My mom says that this will probably be one of the greatest losses of my life, because of the timing, the suddenness,…

Sing Song, Big and Small.

So, for the first time in four years, I am in a Sing Song act. (If you aren't connected with the ACU community and you don't know what Sing Song is, I don't really feel like explaining it right now. Look it up on YouTube.) To those of you who really know me and my passions, this may come as a shock, because at the top of the list of things I love to do are: performing, singing, dancing, etc. And it's what I'm the best at, compared to like, sports. Ha. 
But if you really know me, even if you just read this blog, you'll already know that college has been extremely difficult and challenging for me. I've been through several deaths of loved ones, multiple health crises, and even a hospitalization and a semester off. Yet, I'm still here. I'm still in college, and I have finally returned to the Sing Song stage. 
If I didn't struggle with depression and anxiety, it would have been my dream to audition for hostess or be a director of an act. Unfortunately…

Life After Death.

It's been over a month since my younger cousin Colby died, and today I went to the funeral of my beloved Great Uncle Elbert. Here's a fact: Life goes on after someone dies. Here's my question in response: How?!

How can life go on after the deaths of two people I love? How has the world not stopped spinning? In some ways, for me, it did stop spinning. My world stopped spinning, if only momentarily. I mean, those questions are rhetorical. They're part of the process of grief. When loved ones die, you want everyone to know, everyone to feel what you feel, for everything to be as affected by this horrible situation as you are yourself. At least that's how I feel, down to the person working a drive-through. I found myself laughing at myself this morning as I was driving out of the Chick-Fil-A parking lot with my chicken biscuit and heading to Uncle Elbert's funeral, all because the girl at the window said, "Have a good day!" and I almost said, "I won&…