Wednesday, February 23, 2011
To have complete faith and optimism in the world. Whatever is going to happen should happen, but it would be nice to be able to want God's plan and to trust in it fully.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
When we first moved into this apartment, I was in fifth grade. Our neighbors brought over spaghetti and for the first time, I felt the warmth of community. My room faced the hills and the sunshine. In the summer, the sun pierced my window with so much force that it was impossible to see anything- the white walls reflected the light. If I left the door open and looked in from the hallway, I could see the sunlight spilling from the frame.
This was home. My parents allowed me to pierce the walls with tacks so that I could put pictures up. In all of the other apartments, I'd have to use tape- "we're moving soon and we don't want to have to fix the walls," they'd say. This place has felt my presence. The carpet is worn from our furniture, and the window has been replaced as a result of my anger. This isn't the first time that I've had to leave home, and this is definitely the shortest distance that I have ever gone. I have a second home now anyway, on campus, where I live with 52 amazing UCI students, but that doesn't stop me from being nostalgic tonight. My heart is heavy with memories, and the floor is packed with boxes.
Here's to moving on. Again.
Friday, February 4, 2011
As a Christian, I have nevertheless always been reluctant to give myself over to the grace of God, or to accept any surrender of power. He, after all, has to look over the whole world. How can I trust Him to notice me among all of the troubles that He must help others through? Besides, I was reminded of the one time that I depended upon Him. I was a third-year in highschool and the guy I had been dating for over a year- a Christian- had turned to drugs and alcohol, and was using them in excess in order to deal with his depression. He was attempting to fill a void with substance, not with God, and I prayed constantly for God to heal him. I gave up all power and lived through blind faith that he was going to be okay. I would close my eyes and pray for this storm to go away. But every time I'd open my eyes again, I would be nauseated by the horror of what I saw. With each month, he got sicker. He ran away from home and rehab. He cheated on me- with a girl he met at church, and with some of my closest friends. He pushed me physically and I was completely at loss of what to do. My relationship with my parents, who hated him, was severed. My confidence was shot. I had this poisonous person ruling over my life- and my relationship with God.
Let's take a break from my story to consider how many young women are trapped in the same cycle of prayer and dependence on the Lord for blind salvation. I'm sure anyone can relate- maybe not the the same extreme, but we have all been pressured to act and we have all wanted to save those that we had strong feelings for. Through the whole thing, I prayed for God to act. And through the whole year, I was angry because He didn't. That boy sent me a message on facebook last January. "Life still sucks." He had been to rehab again, and it didn't help. Again.
So where was God in this storm? He was with me. He didn't work as I had expected Him to. He didn't cleanse my ex-boyfriend from the pain that he was dealing with, nor did He make it too much easier on any of us. But then, when my friends were dealing with addictions or sexual abuse or bad relationships or even the death of loved ones due to substance abuse, I could be a light for them in helping them overcome the pain, since I could relate and I have since been healed by allowing God into my heart. Even my friends who aren't Christian have benefited from the calmness that a Christian heart can bring into a situation.
God didn't help the boy, because he never allowed Him to enter into his heart. His soul was too consumed by drugs, and they leave no room for thought or personal growth. While I have matured, he has remained the same- living only for the next thrill. The experience has been painful for me, but it is a way for me to see that now, I am blessed. God watches over His daughters like a Father who believes that we can be trusted to make the right choice- and although I made so many wrong ones, once I finally gave up control of the situation, left my ex, and committed myself to healing through God, my life became beautiful. Mine is just one of many stories, and the process of healing hasn't been easy, but it has been steady and guided by the Lord.