Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Love the Lord your God, and love one another. Love one another as he loves. Love with strength and purpose and passion and no matter what comes against you. Don't weaken. Stand against the darkness, and love. That's the way back into Eden. That's the way back into life." --Redeeming Love

So, by the way, here's the finished room! Living in it the last month of summer= bliss. Leaving it to return to a college twin bed= heartbreak. On the bright side though, I'll be going home for Labor Day weekend, meaning that bed of love will again be mine. At least for two days. I really can't wait.

There is a bit of a new [amazing] era at Jessup. Tonight all the on-campus students participated in beginning swing dancing! People dressed up, and I had the privilege of being the permanent male-partner to my dear friend Hannah. (5'11" is not the most desirable female-swing-dancer height it turns out). THEN, this coffee-roasting company came and served us free espresso/chocolate drinks, and they might have been the most delicious coffee drinks I have yet to consume. (I also had a delicious iced vanilla latte earlier this afternoon, yum). THEN, a group of us lovely music majors/random people/people who like to freestyle/rap, all combined our voices/talents/abilities/instruments to create a pretty awesome jam session. I may or may not sound like a hipster music kid right now, which in actuality I am not-- but it was real, and it was fun, and it was real fun.

This year has started out pretty....unexpectedly? I feel as though I've been living in this last week for a year. But I'm excited for what's to come, like really excited.

Jesus is working stuff out, friends are so plentiful, and new memories are already being created. Mm.

p.s. I went the whole day okay with the fact that I didn't wash my hair last night, and it's greasy, and it's gross, and it's time to shower, but I feel great.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

How I already know my American Lit class is going to be amazing: (we read this aloud today)

Meditation 8 (First Series)
John 6:51: 'I am the living bread.'

"I kenning through astronomy divine
The world's bright battlement, wherein I spy
A golden path my pencil cannot line
From that bright throne unto my threshold lie.
And while my puzzled thoughts about it pour,
I find the bread of life in't at my door.

When that this bird of paradise put in
This wicker cage (my corpse) to tweedle praise
Had pecked the fruit forbad, and so did fling
Away its food, and lost its golden days,
It fell into celestial famine sore,
And never could attain a morsel more.

Alas! Alas! Poor bird, what wilt thou do?
The creatures' field no food for souls e'er gave;
And if thou knock at angels' doors, they show
An empty barrel; they no soul bread have.
Alas! Poor bird, the world's white loaf is done,
And cannot yield thee here the smallest crumb.

In this sad state, God's tender bowels run
Out streams of grace; and He to end all strife
The purest wheat in heaven, His dear-dear Son,
Grinds and kneads up into this bread of life,
Which bread of life from heaven down came and stands
Dished on thy table up by angels' hands.

Did God mold up this bread in heaven, and bake,
Which from His table came, and to thine goeth?
Doth He bespeak thee thus, 'This soul bread take;
Come, eat thy fill of this, thy God's white loaf!
It's food too fine for angels, yet come, take
And eat thy fill. It's heaven's sugar cake.'

What grace is this knead in this loaf? This thing
Souls are but petty things it to admire.
Ye angels, help; this fill would to the brim
Heav'ns whelmed-down crystal meal bowl, yea and higher,
This bread of life dropped in my mouth doth cry:
'Eat, eat me, soul, and thou shalt never die.' "

---Edward Taylor, 1642-1729

If you read the whole thing...(which if you didn't, really, go back and read each word), my goodness.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Your love defines strength
and comfort and renewal.
But Jesus Your love also hurts sometimes
for You love us so much
but we just don't fully see it.
We won't ever fully see it.
That's where trust comes in,
that word that is synonymous with
God I know You hear me,
for I feel You with me,
I see You in everything,
You are my portion
which is more than enough.
Today Lord I asked You,
"Don't you feel my hurt too, don't you know?"
Then silence washed over me
as I looked into Your eyes,
which were filling with tears,
because it is me, oh God it is me
who has done the same to You.
I have broken Your heart, and not once or twice
but too many times to count
and I am sorry, so sorry, that You
feel the pain of heartbreak from all Your children
daily, and all I can say is that my God,
I love you. 
My ear will not be deafened to Your voice God,
not in this heartache and not in the joys to come.
Oh God, so I see, it is You, it has always been You,
You are the holder of unconditional Love,
the Maker of it all.
You are holding me still,
and not letting go.
It is You Lord, it is You,
rid me of myself.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rawness. Vulnerability. Brokenness, utter brokenness. Loss.

God brings us strength at times just in order that we can be weak. Confusing, but right.

Peace. Light. Anew. Refreshed, redesigned. Growth. Hope.

I have so many questions for Him, even though deep down He has already given me the answers. The hurt inside tells me to disregard the answers. The hope inside tell me to embrace the answers.

God told me I'm allowed to walk through both. When I laid my anxieties on Him before coming back to school, He told me not to worry about them. And then, in a twisted turn of events, He eliminated them to the point where He wouldn't give me the chance to have to worry about them.

With that comes a new set of pain, but even in the pain I know there is a bigger peace; a peace that transcends all understanding, for He is guarding my heart and my mind in Jesus.

By no means is there complete restoration or healing yet. Everything comes in waves. The loss itself, as each day goes by and the distance gets further, is what hurts the most. The unveiling of truth even contains pain, because having to accept the decision means having to accept the loss.

Thankfully God says He is close to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit. I feel Him wholly. I need and depend on Him wholly. And now, I am truly His and He is mine.

Finding love is magical, losing love is painful; but understanding that love goes beyond the label of 'being in a relationship' is empowering. Through the journey of love I have grown closer to my Father, as has he, so how can I not believe in the success of that relationship? It has caused the betterment of us both, despite the ending that wasn't anticipated. Loving someone isn't just being with them. Sometimes, this time, it is about letting them go because you understand it is what needs to happen for them, and yourself, to grow wholly into who we are without the condition of each other.

There are things I'm working through still. Questions. But I believe that I found love and it changed me positively, and now I've lost love, but it again will change me anew. I'm thankful for a God who invests so richly in my life. I am ready/on the path to being ready to invest my life back into Him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

There is something about this chair that always gives me the desire to write. It's a green Lazyboy recliner (arguably the best all-around-comfort chair), and its capability to gently rock as it supports my neck, arms, and back makes me want to milk it for all it's worth. (Isn't it comical how weird sayings like that always manage to come to surface in writing? I wonder why...) I remember writing about David in this chair, and I also remember writing over Easter break in this chair. Today there is nothing specific I want to express, but still, the longing to write is pretty strong.

I suppose it could be because I am once again transitioning from this current stage of familiarity into something much more unknown. Summer is over, I move back tomorrow, and my natural instinct tells me that a reflection on these last 3 months is necessary. My mind already does this automatically, but actually writing it down is 'supposed, scientifically proven, expected, said to' help those thoughts really stick. So here goes. (I could also just be avoiding the daunting task of continuing to pack...but we'll disregard that half-thought and say that I just really, really, want to be deep right now).

Change has come to me in many forms this last year. I found out 2 weeks before school started that I'd be attending college in the fall, and that undoubtedly has been the catalyst for much, if not all, of the experiences I've had in the last 12 months. I entered as a girl who thought she had everything in control from her faith, to her confidence, to her relationships, and to her overall definition of 'herself.' God slowly shattered each of those facades, and putting the pieces back together since then has been the hardest, most uplifting, 'make-over' I have yet to experience. A main struggle I've had for awhile is the lie in comparing myself to others. Comparing leads to a lack of self-fulfillment, lack of worth, thus getting into insecurities and more. I haven't fully mastered it, I don't know if anyone ever could, but lessening it is definitely attainable. Being here now, I'm smiling, because I can now say with true confidence, (the kind that comes from the Savior Himself) that I am on that path of developing what Jesus wants me to do and who He wants me to be. I've heard it all my life, but truly surrendering to His will is so indescribable. It challenges you and makes you cry while simultaneously encourages you and makes you laugh. When you draw close to Him, surprise, He really will draw close to you. And to think we doubt and put it off for so long...

Going into another school year, I'll be frank. It can be a little scary. Same situations, new situations, same people, new people, same experiences, new experiences....I can't help but wonder where my growth will thrive and where it will be threatened. I talked with God about it this morning. He tells us to cast all our anxieties on Him because he cares for us in 1 Peter. What a great guy. Well I did, I told Him any and all (both pointless and significant) worries I had about going into a new year. The difference between how the conversation went today and how it went a few months back is pretty telling in itself. I can have some worries, fears, anxieties, because I'm a mere human who doesn't have everything figured out nor will I ever, but the cool thing about having them now is that they don't control me. They are not telling me what I can or cannot accomplish, nor are they saying who I am and who I am not. Instead they're pushing me closer to my Father, causing me to depend on Him all the more. I'm not worried about my worries anymore. Rather I'm going to embrace them and know that I'll be taken care of regardless. Why waste the energy on freaking out about them when He's already told me He's holding me in the palm of His hand? Good question. Let's remember the answer.

I'm young. I have a whole life ahead of me that I couldn't possibly sit down and figure out right now, no matter how much I would like to. We just can't. There have been too many reminders this last year that life is short, and so inevitably fleeting, so all I can commit to is one day at a time. I am so blessed, so happy, so excited that I've been given this gift called life, showered in grace, and that each day is an opportunity to give back a little to the God who gave up everything.

Here's to another year!  ...oh...and packing...shoot.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

As most of you know, my brother and I had a wonderful friend named David who passed away this last Christmas. When we went to our family cabin up at Dinkey Creek in July, I was rock-hopping when I came across this fallen log that someone had carved the interlocking words of 'Faith' and 'David'. My mouth dropped open and I was speechless, automatically grabbing the camera. It was the only thing carved into this particular log (usually there are hundreds of messages and names people write). I don't know who wrote it, when, or what David they were referring to, but it was a special moment and reminder that our David, whom we got to spend the whole day with before he went back into the hospital, is with us still and forever will be. God is faithful, no matter what, and we can't wait to see David again. It's like it was written there just for him. <3

From one of my first blog entries in January, when this all was happening:
"David taught me what it means to have faith. That faith takes effort, and strength, but most of all, surrender. Sacrifice. His life and his story reminded me how I should be living, and that truly truly, we are not guaranteed anything, especially tomorrow."

We love you David Allen Kennedy!