On Thursday I spent the evening with a very close friend of mine and with someone who was never a close friend but we can always relate to each other when we are together. We spent hours talking about life, about the things that really matter. We shared our struggles and our joys; it was an evening of vulnerability of openess and of honesty. I cannot tell you how much this evening meant to me, the fellowship was amazing. There was no judgement and no suggestions for quick fixes, it was purely listening and understanding. There are not many people whom I have been able to be so brutally honest with and it was truly a breath of fresh air for my wary soul. I left that evening with a renewed sense of hope for my life, I no longer feel alienated and alone. I can see that this epidmic of struggling is not just found in me but rather if we were to look around we would see that it is an epidemic of struggling found within the "church" I use that term lightly because I am unsure whether I would be considered a part of the church by the "church members" any longer, regardless I feel I still am a vital part of this body of Christ.
Something we spoke about while we were together was the idea of the symptom and the root of the problem. Often we are directed to fix the symptom but the problem is that even if that symptom were to disappear the root of the symptom would still remain and another symptom would reappear. If we ignore the root we really aren't treating anything and we won't ever really feel better. We will never feel free and liberated if we don't get down to the root. This is not going to be a quick fix in fact it will be a long drawn out process of years, most likely your whole life but I truly believe that journey will be worth it. I desire to see a change in mindset in my generation we are literally whithering away into our struggles unaware of what this is doing to the state of our generation. One by one we are falling down denouncing our faith because we think that is the root of the feeling of oppression when really that's a symptom; there is something much deeper going on here much much deeper.
Now that I am realizing this I really need to do something but that is where I am stuck. I guess I need to start exploring the root of my symptoms. This is gonna hurt but I'm just beginning to believe that it really is worth it.
Every Friday afternoon I pick Carlos up from work at Chinook Mall. My weekly routine is to get to the mall ten minutes early, run into the mall and get a grande non-fat, sugar-free, vanilla tea misto with grean tea. Every time I go there the same people are working, and they are having so much fun together. I look at them and I envy them, singing and talking and charming every single customer. At the same time that I envy them I feel uncomfortable. It bothers me that I feel uncomfortable, I avoid eye contact I feel awkward if they try and charm me, it's not like they are trying to "pick me up" they are simply being nice to their customers.
I have always had a heart for Africa. It has always been my dream to go there and to do something worthwhile. It's one of the major reasons I wanted to be in a medical profession. I'll be honest though, I really had no idea what the state of Africa really was, politically, physically, or emotionally. The more Carlos tells me about it the more my heart breaks for that continent. This morning I am very close to tears at the news of yet another assassination in the country of Guinea-Bissau. Last night the General of the army was targeted and killed apparently under the orders of he President and just hours laterthe president was shot dead in his home, this comes after months of unrest in the country.
Carlos called this morning on his way to work to tell me the news. He said he was so happy about it because now the country would be free from the opressing power of the president. While I completely understand his joy in the situation I can't help but be very saddened. I don't think this will be the end of this story. There will be far and reaching consequences of todays events and they will never end. What will it take to bring that country to peace, to bring that continent to peace? It's such a sad history and yet nothing can be done, I want to be optimistic but looking at the history that is very hard to do. Just like Robert Mugabe this president was once good and the people liked him at one time but as the years went by power got the best of him and he became corrupt as well. So as I look to the future I wonder how long he bliss will last for the people of Guinea-Bissau.
I am not only saddened because this situation had to come to a presidential assassination but because I am close friends with the nephew of that president. He lives here because of the risk to his life due to his uncle. What a tragedy in his life. Yes the president was a terrible leader but he was also a husband, father, uncle, and brother, I feel for his loved ones and my friend. I am constantly wondering the emotions that my friend is going through but dare nor speak of it because he is trying hard to have a life here among people who despise his uncle and so I will be silent while my heart is breaking inside.
Please pray for this country, I hope God has a great plan but that's all I can do is hope.
I'm currently taking a Religious Studies class in University, "Introduction to the Bible." Originally I thought it would be an easy class, one that I could just slide by and get good grades, and give myself a break. It didn't take me long to realize that my assumptions were as far from the truth as I could ever imagine.
My proff is funny, witty, and everything he says is intentional and thought provoking. He's a biblical scholar who thinks the bible is a load of crap. I'm still trying to figure out why someone who doesn't believe in a word it says would want to spend his life studying it. I guess there's a lot of them out there though.
What I'm seeing is that I'm finally having to struggle inside myself to really figure out if I believe it to be true or not. I'm so glad I've decided to take this class, not because I want to be persuaded out of my former beliefs but because I'm seeing another side of it all. I'm finding that my beliefs still drive everything I say and think and do, no matter what the situation. I may not be living things out but deep inside things are still there. No matter how much evidence and persuasion I am getting in my class against the Bible as truth I can't get away from the nagging in my spirit that says it is. I read the words, I study the words, and I listen to the words, whether they are completely historically true or not has no relevance for me to the truth of God.
Now whether I agree with God, whether I'm angry with him and want nothing to do with him, that's a whole different story. But is he real? I can't get away from Him and so I have to conclude He is.
Well it's 2009 and I can hardly believe 2008 is blown by us already. It's been a year of change, recognition, redemption, and love. I have really enjoyed this past year, it's been hard but very good for me. The start of my nursing program has been the biggest accomplishment in my life because it is me walking out my dreams.
On another note, with 2009 comes new resolutions. You know the ones people make and never keep? Yeah those are what I'm talking about, but along with the resolution comes the resolution to keep your resolution. Just a long winding road but the resolutions always bring you one step closer to what it is you want to achieve so I don't discredit them. Dream, and resolute to your hears desire.
For me I decided to take a step closer to a healthy me. Healthy in every way, spiritually by beginning to see myself as a whole person directly connected to God; mentally by really engaging in my studies; emotionally by letting myself feel again; and physically by lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. I'm really excited to see where this resolution takes me. What I am even more excited about is that I am embarking on a journey with my mom and my sister.
My sister was my hero growing up, I liked everything she liked and wanted to do everything she did. I treated her kids as my own and they are still a huge part of who I am today, but as I grew up and life took us both on very different paths we grew apart. My mom has always been a vital part of my life, she read to me, nurtured me and was there for me in every way she knew how and I am so grateful for who she has been in my life.
We are doing our own "Biggest Loser" and although we're miles apart its something that we can do together and celebrate together. I'm so very excited to have a new chapter with my sister and my mom and my prayer is that this would bring us closer than ever.
I have been having a wonderful visit home for Christmas. One of my best yet I think. I have been able to see everyone I wanted to see and also be able to spend adequate time with my parents. A balance I have never been able to achieve while being home.
The past 3 or so weeks I have had an increasing feeling that my life is in constant change and motion. No matter how much I believe that I am all settled down life is constantly changing and moving and I am constantly feeling like I'm being left behind. Balance has been something I have always desired but something I have never been able to grasp or live out.
There are so many things that I have processed or begun processing lately and I am once again left wondering where am I in the midst of this life? I mean I am right here but in the search of trying to find myself have I only hid myself thinking that it was really me? And if that's the case what was I hiding from or rather WHO was I hiding from?
After reading the novel "The Shack" I have a deeper understanding of who God is in the midst of my life right now and this new understanding is making it easier for me to once again approach the throne of my Father. I am slowly walking towards him one baby step at a time and although it's scary for me right now I know that He is my Redeemer.
He is touching my soul, holding my hand, and whispering in my ear and I am learning to recognize his presence. He is so good, so merciful, so gracious, so gentle, so patient, so loving, and so much more. I am in awe of Him, and his forgiveness in my life.
My prayer for this year is that I would begin to face my demons, to fight the thorn in my flesh and face myself. Would you join me in an incredible journey and adventure?