Sunday, November 28, 2010

Self-absorption is my middle name
it's my worst enemy and my best friend
I hold onto it and it holds onto me
and we wrestle and dance and we can't be free

I'm a clock that's ticking
on a watch that's not mine
but I live for me as if I have all the time
in the world;
but I don't.

Caring is action and words are empty without it
yet I condemn those who are stagnant
while staying motionless myself,
getting wrapped up in I's and me's
getting locked between my own knees
until I fall and someone else trips
because I'm not watching
and now my immobility and mess
has caused them to digress

Living on praise is as natural as breathing
oh I'm so great, you think so too?
Tell me more tell me more
Empty phrases lining the shore
of my life and I welcome them
as though they define me.
Being liked is easy and loved even easier
but if there is no depth behind it
how much does it matter?

I am a floater on the ocean of people's compliments
bobbing up and down
swaying from side to side
until a new wave picks me up
and I ride it to see where it will take me
and what it will give me.
If it leads me off-course
then I'd rather drown
because having to accept a fault
means having to let go of the crown.

It is me, me, me
all the time
every day
and it is gross and defiling
and leads so many astray.

Cause and effect have both action and reaction
I am not the only human living
I am merely a speck in the multitude.
Refocus your focus so you are no longer in view
say goodbye, self-serving Queen,
nasty and mean
cold and unseen
I bid you adieu

Friday, November 26, 2010

There have been few times in my life when I am completely silenced and overcome by the reality of the fleetingness of this world. The first time was when I heard about David; all those countless moments when all I could do was be on my knees in prayer. And then when I knew he had gone to be with our Father, just feeling that overwhelming heaviness of knowing this Earth is not our home.

This same feeling was replicated yesterday, along with shock and an uncontrollable swell of emotion. As we were driving to my aunt's for Thanksgiving, I checked Facebook on my phone only to see several posts from close friends giving their condolences to our brother in Christ at Jessup, Justin Woodard. My heart started beating so fast as my mind tried to figure out what was going on. He was in a fatal car accident the night before Thanksgiving, and that is all I know. I couldn't stop the tears at the point.

I was not one of Justin's closest friends. I did not know Justin's life story in depth. But this is the thing about Justin---you didn't have to know his life story to know his life. Justin had a heart, literally, that radiated the love of Christ. He cared for every person that he was in contact with. I remember when he would come and do rounds in our wing, and each and every time he walked in our door, he would sit on the couch and talk with whomever happened to be in the wing. I had the absolute privilege of sharing a few conversations with him this year, and I am eternally grateful for those. His sincerity was beautiful, and I always left our conversations feeling like we had just talked about something really deep and meaningful, even if we had simply discussing trivial things like open dorm hours (haha!). He was so passionate about being a disciple for God. It is so hard, this life. We cannot understand why 20 and 25 year old people are taken so early to be Home. But we can rest easy knowing that they are indeed Home. David and Justin are together now, and with Jesus, and I really can't help but smile at that. I think they are friends up there, and they are so happy.

I don't think our campus has had a loss like this before. Going back to school is going to be met by a lot of heavy hearts and a huge piece of Jessup missing; Justin. He was actually involved in everything; security, the cafeteria, leadership...all of it. What is so cool, though, is that the Jessup community really is a family. Whether or not we all know each other very well, we just, we are all connected. And this will only bring us all closer. I have never seen so many young people talk about this hard concept of death and handle it with so much peace. We all know that Justin, as I saw one girl put it, "beat us home." We all know that he is where we too will be one day, and that place is where we belong. Justin is with our God! With our Father! Our Savior! That is beautiful. Justin has just reminded a lot of people to be so grateful in every circumstance, because we just don't know what the day brings. Our time here is too short to spend one second of it not being thankful. Justin did His Father proud, so, so proud. :)

To the Woodard family, to his closest friends, to the Jessup community, to all who are feeling this loss; may you find rest and comfort in the Lord, knowing that Justin is right beside Him.

We love you Justin.

I'm gonna miss that oranges Reeses shirt, by the way. Represent up there big man. <3

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

 I have tried to write on my occurrences of nostalgia a few different times, but just now is it finally flowing freely.

I am so thankful. I am thankful for a heart that has been kissed with healing by my Savior. This season was very different for me last year. I was smitten, new to college, on the brink of growth, and so blissfully naive. My memories of this time last year are inevitable. What I am grateful for, though, is that I can sit here, in this moment, and welcome them with a smile. I cannot express how wonderful it feels to feel peace in how everything has played out. It is an absolute blessing to hold no bitterness, hold no anger, hold no resentment. These waves of nostalgia still seem so close; I can still remember so many of my thoughts and feelings, and of course, my heart still feels them too, but they are not being suffocated by hurt, and that is truly something to thank my Almighty Protector for. There is still healing, and there will probably be mini-hurdles to jump in the future, but right now, tonight, I can remember my year, my summer, and just be thankful for it.

Love is weird because it is supposed to be what awakens us and makes us feel alive. It is believed to be the ultimate power that can heal anything. "If you love each other, that's all that matters." But this really isn't the case. At least, not this type of love. True love does drive out fear, but that love only comes from Christ. And this other love, the one we experiment with as we grow older, is conflicting because at the same time that it does awaken us, it also holds us captive. We give our hearts over to so many things that we have no control over, and when that happens, there is potential for hurt. I am open with the fact that I was hurt, but I will be more open with the fact that this hurt has spurred me on to grow into someone I am proud of, not scared or ashamed or insecure of, and I think the same has happened on the other end. Love is going to come and go when it is not the love that God has planned for you. And that is hard, there is no saying that is not hard. The part that matters, though, is what you do when you lose that love---when you lose that one part of your heart you thought you had locked tight but also worried would somehow get broken. I don't know what it looks like individually, but I just know that I am grateful for such a hard year of wrestling with identities when the final product is being where I am now. I will always cherish that first trial of love, and I will always look back with favor and peace, knowing that it was one more part of my life that grew me into the woman Christ is yearning for me to be.

Be healed, be thankful, be open for what is to come. He is holding us still.

Ps. Those are some pictures from Fall Tour :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lord, draw near to me once more. Be my sight and my song, be my only reason for breath. It is You that I care for, and it is You who holds my heart; nothing else and no one else. You are truth and it is You whose promises never fail. Keep your faithfulness and love near so that I may replicate it to others, and prepare this heart for whatever You have planned. I choose You, Savior.

Ps. I am still a double-major. Long story short, my love of music outweighs my fear of a daunting class schedule, and the Lord especially made that clear during choir tour this last weekend. :)

Happy Thanksgiving Break!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This was from my birthday night, which was a lovely celebration with great friends all around, like my dear Gennean here.

I am in a big transition phase of life currently; both in the immediate context as well as the context of the last 6 months or so. The Lord has been so adamant in refining who I am in Him, and that process has been equally rewarding as it has been challenging. In this present time, I have been reevaluating what it is that I am seeking in my future. There has been a big struggle this last week with the decision of whether or not I will remain a double-major in English and Music. It has been so hard to decipher if I am simply getting overwhelmed by the daunting 2 and a half years left of 18 unit semesters, plus two more summers of extra schooling, or if it is truly in my heart that becoming a Music minor will still be able to offer me the investment I thrive off and seek for in my love for music. 

It's true that switching to a minor will not change much of my involvement in the department; I will still get to partake in piano, of course, as well as choir, and I will also still have some music courses to develop my craft. Ultimately, switching to a minor will allow me to register for all the classes I need, open up availability to become a dorm RA next year as well as really seek out a job, and lastly, give me the opportunity to confidently finish college in 4 years without breaking the bank or sacrificing my complete sanity.

At the same time however, I have to be cautious that I am not missing out on the big picture. If there is any single time in my life where I could crank out all my energy to accomplish something that will benefit me for the days to come, it is right now, in college. I definitely am capable of finishing a double-major (and technically a minor, as well) in 4 years. I will take a full class load until I graduate, I will do a couple more summer courses, and I will forego luxuries like only have 2 classes a day or being able to sit for 20 minutes and eat lunch. In the big picture, those are not the worst things to have to miss out on. My worry though, is that it will cause me to sacrifice many other (fruitful) opportunities, when I could still be getting out of music what I love about music--playing piano and singing.

Entering college, I did not want to be a Music major. Actually, I've never wanted to be a Music major. I love music, I adore playing piano, but getting my degree in Music was never something I necessarily desired. This isn't to say I haven't loved being a Music major this last year and a half, because I have. This also isn't to say that getting my degree in Music wouldn't be beneficial for me. It would be ignorant to assume that I can confidently say I will never teach Music, at whatever level, because there is no possible way to know that yet. I do know, though, that Music is my hobby, and it always has been. Being a Music minor would still grow and challenge that hobby, it absolutely would. It is just that bittersweet aftertaste of knowing that I will no longer be a double-major, I won't have as many classes with my beautiful, fellow Music-majors, and then the idea that I might wish I had gotten my Music degree alongside my English degree in 20 years.

So, if you are still with me, (haha) thank you for bearing through my thought-process with me. I just paused to actually talk about it some more with Hanner, and I think deep down I already know my decision, which is to be a minor. How the logistics of this decision will play out, I do not know yet, but I can be confident that God is taking care of and preparing those ahead of me as we speak. I think I will still take 18 units this semester and not officially declare my minor, just as a buffer, in case in another 6 months something huge happens that makes me wish I had still been a major. 

Here is the beginning of that process though...cheer, cheer? Prayers regarding this specific area of my life would always be appreciated, as well! The Lord is continuing to grow me into a Daughter who seeks His face first, and I know that if I continue to discover His will in regards to my future, I will not fail. 

I believe a smile is coming to my lips...I believe that is something called peace, and blessing.

Happy Sunday, everyone.