what gives anyway…

what gives a person the right to hurt someone else?

what gives a 16 year old the right to be stupid and kill someone’s mother and grandmother? what gives a man the right to beat his wife? and then turn on his child? and then mock his child’s pain? what gives a drunk person the right to take the life of a young wife and mother? what gives a person the right to steal the innocence of a child? what gives people the right to harass and torment someone who’s different?

i know that God is out there and He cares about everyone’s pain. i know this. but i hear these stories and i experience these pains and i can’t help but ask ‘why?’. i can’t help but look up and say ‘where were you, God, when these people were hurting?’ ‘where were you God, when this child needed someone to look after them, someone to protect them? was it really necessary that they experience so much pain to become the person they are today?’

i know that God was there the whole time. God was there healing the hearts of the broken. God was there, giving the child strength they never knew they had. God was there, making sure they didn’t die. God was there, holding a family in His hands. God was there the whole time.

i wish i didn’t understand why these awful things happen. i wish that i could blame one person. someone who is completely responsible for all of this. someone on whom i could take out my justified anger and rage.

and then i look at my own life. and i see my problems and my issues and they seem so insignificant in comparison. it’s like… what in MY life justifies the way i feel? nothing terrible has really ever happened to me. and yet i’m still here, a hurting and broken person too. is it necessary that i have to have these? i know that it gives me a base for wanting to help people. it’s what DRIVES me to NEED to help people.

but there are just those days when these things are too much. when life doesn’t seem to make sense. when i hear about pain in the life of someone i love. when i wish so much that i could take that pain away. when i wish that i could carry their pain so that they wouldn’t have to.

so i mean, really. what gives anyway?

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back into the swing of things…

so after about 10 months of absolute craziness and total lack of control of my life, things are starting to settle down. i don’t feel like i’m in some crazy vortex of awful. life is settling down. life is making sense. life, actually, is starting to be rather wonderful again.

i am loving all of my classes. i’m keeping up on homework and i’m catching up on reading this weekend. and it’s not SUPER painful reading either. this is stuff that is actually very interesting to me. and so the 9-13 chapters that will (hopefully) be read by the end of this weekend shouldn’t be terrible. in fact, i’ve already finished two of them. and it wasn’t terrible.

my developmental psychology class is definitely starting to get interesting. of course, all the fundamental stuff was boring, like learning terms and the scientific method and stuff, but i’ve been going over that in ALL of my classes so far, so hopefully all the basic stuff will be DOWN by next thursday, when i have three exams on the same day. painful. i know. but we’ve started on prenatal development and i think this is where things are going to get superbly fascinating.

my social psychology class and sociology class are very interesting because they compliment each other nicely. social psych is super interesting because i’m learning about how people interact with each other, their environment, how they perceive the world, and about different types of thinking (automatic vs. controlled, etc). it’s just super cool. and then my sociology class is really opening my eyes to how i view the world and how ethnocentric i really am. how ingrained it really is. i always thought i was pretty open to other veins of thinking but i definitely compare it to my own and thus pass judgment of right or wrong. or at least, less right and less wrong. if that makes sense.

my stats and methods class is also (surprisingly) interesting. my prof is pretty cool though she has a pretty thick greek (?) accent. sometimes it’s hard to understand her when she gets really excited about what she’s talking about, or really into it, but i’m very quickly getting used it and i think it’s cool. i thought the class would be pretty painfully boring because it’s all about how to conduct research and stuff, but it’s not that bad. i don’t really plan on being a researcher, but as things get rolling in my (hopefully) future practice, i’m sure that things will be very interesting to me and i’ll want to conduct some sort of research. just knowing myself and thus, this class will be very helpful.

and then, of course, there’s band. i LOVE that class. LOVE. and even though there’s been some crazy drama stuff going on, i had a chat with a prof and i know what i need to do now and i’m very at peace with it. while i really let it bother me for the past two weeks, no more. i’m going to do what i HAVE to do. i’ve already done pretty much everything i can regarding this situation because there are some crazy politics going on and nobody wants to deal with it. which means that there’s a certain person who will probably get away with whatever they want. fine. i’m cool with that. it just means that i need to up MY game and improve MY playing. i need to decide if i’m serious now or if i just want to play. i realize that this is going to be difficult, but i’m sure totally worth it. it will be fun to see myself improve. maybe this is just the kick in the bum i needed to get going and really improve.

my jobs are pretty good. i have three. one is still the banner. and now that i blindly submit to my boss and do everything she asks exactly as she asks without really thinking, things are going well. both of us are pretty strong-willed people and so for me to step down off my little pedestal was hard, but it’s made my work environment SO much better. i don’t dread going there. i don’t mind being there. then there’s always good ol’ sodexo. campus dining. oh yeah. it’s not awful, but part of me is thinking that this will be my last semester there. especially if things at the banner continue to improve, which i think they will. and then there’s the band librarian job which i also LOVE. i would so do that for free, getting paid is just a bonus. i enjoy being “in charge” of the band and the music and instruments and working with the good dr. i could not even put into words how much respect i have for this man and his wife. they really care about all of their students and do so much in their power to help out. if i had the choice, i’d never play under anyone else again. but i know that’s so unrealistic.

i also have recently acquired (that was the first word that came to my head and i thought about changing it, but the use of this word amuses me so it’s going to stay) a wonderful boyfriend. in all honesty, he’s pretty much everything i never thought actually existed in a man (outside of my nearly perfect father. can you say daddy’s girl?). he encompasses pretty much everything i’ve ever wanted in someone but i didn’t actually think that someone like that existed. i mean, he likes country, which is something i’ll just have accept. and he is two inches shorter than me. but i’m actually really ok with that now. it was tough at first, really, but i hardly even notice now. and when he jokes about getting tall shoes, all i can think is how weird it would be if he was taller than me. other than that, he’s funny and nerdy and dorky and adult and responsible and mature (mostly) and he’s a thinker and a dreamer and a planner and he wants to be a musician and he LOVES music and concerts and recitals (can you heart my heart singing for happiness here?) and he gets along with my friends and i don’t have to ever babysit a conversation and if it takes too long for me to introduce him he just jumps right in and does it himself. i could go on and on, but i’ll stop with that. in short, he’s super wonderful and ladies? if you try to steal him, i will hunt you down and I will fong you, until your insides are out, your outsides are in, your entrails will become your extrails. I will… rip… all the p… ugh. Pain, lots of pain. so don’t even try. 😀

i think really the only thing that’s missing is time with my closest friends. of course, they’re scattered all over the country now, which makes things hard, but even so, we’re still managing to keep somewhat in touch. and it’s awesome because i think all of us have gone through some major life changes in the past year and so we’ve all just kinda been flailing and sailing along in all of this. i do love these girls dearly. i just wish that i had time to gush about every single one of them (i’m avoiding more reading as i’m writing this. or should i say giving my brain a bit of a break from reading). what i can say is that they’re all bright, intelligent, strong, beautiful, battle-scarred women who i would give the whole world to if it was mine to give. i would NOT be the person i am today without their love and help and support and varied levels of crazy. where would i be without you ladies?

and finally, there are all of my extra-curricular activites, like being in the lake agassiz concert band (mondays) and (pretty much) librarian of that, i have a (tuesday) bible study through church which is AWESOME and pretty sure if it wasn’t for that group, i never would have met the above mentioned wonderful boyfriend (it’s a long story, i’m sure i’ll share it someday), and starting this week is dancing lessons. yes, cari is going to learn how to dance. it’ll be awesome. i’ll try to see what i can do about getting pics because that would be sweet. then there’s college group (wednesdays) and i’m part of a follow-up team there and we meet beforehand every week basically to share what’s going on in our lives and then pray over the group. it’s pretty awesome. at this point, thursday and friday nights are “open” but usually encompass hanging out with the boyfriend and some of his friends. sundays are for church and sometimes my girls in the area. and saturday is working. lots of working, usually.

so as you can see, my life is busy, but i’m blissfully happy right now. i’m right where life makes sense and i’m comfortable and not really losing my mind.

so what is everyone else up to these days?

flowing a river through me…

my utmost for His highest by oswald chambers for sept. 6

A river reaches places which its source never knows. And Jesus said that, if we have received His fullness, “rivers of living water” will flow out of us, reaching in blessing even “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 ) regardless of how small the visible effects of our lives may appear to be. We have nothing to do with the outflow— “This is the work of God, that you believe. . .” ( John 6:29 ). God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others.

A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, but then comes to an obstacle. And for a while it is blocked, yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, only later to emerge again even broader and greater than ever. Do you see God using the lives of others, but an obstacle has come into your life and you do not seem to be of any use to God? Then keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty. The obstacle will be a matter of total indifference to the river that will flow steadily through you if you will simply remember to stay focused on the Source. Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ— not emotion nor experience— nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.

Think of the healing and far-reaching rivers developing and nourishing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up wonderful truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is another indication of the wider power of the river that He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has developed and nourished in you mighty, rushing rivers of blessing for others.

it’s amazing to me how God will always put what i need to hear right in front of me right when i need to hear it. sometimes, and i’m certain that every other Christian can relate, i wonder what kind of influence i’m having. sometimes, i wonder how other people see me. sometimes, i wonder if people notice that i’m a Christian. and i don’t mean on here because honestly, if you haven’t figured it out by now, you need to learn how to read. i’m talking in real life. and i wonder and i criticize myself, thinking that i shouldn’t have said that or shouldn’t have done that, that a real Christian would have done it differently.

and then i read something like that. God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing (s)he is to others. and it encourages me. i get glimpses every now and then through conversations with other people. and it usually happens when they make a comment about something that i thought no one ever noticed. and i can’t help myself, i have to pry just a little bit. sometimes i need that validation. or i think i do. and sometimes i forget that the greatest validation i could get is the fact that i’m constantly striving to be better. if i wasn’t trying to be better, to be closer, to be holier, then i wouldn’t be impacting anyone. i would be just like everyone else who is content right with where they are in life.

i love sharing my heart with all of you. sometimes it’s really really scary, sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s super honest, sometimes a little arrogant, but it’s always all me. all of my crazies. all of my thinking. i’m not hiding anymore. i’m not selecting what part of me everyone gets to see. i’m not just showing the good stuff, but the bad stuff. the dishonest stuff. the impure stuff. the depressed stuff. would i rather hide? yeah maybe a bit. would i rather people only saw the good stuff? yeah a bit. would i be touching people’s lives though? no. not even possible. would it be possible for me to meet some super amazing people out there such as tabitha, kim and nico?

so for all of you being touched by the river God is flowing through me, i’m so glad. and no, i don’t need to know. as long as you leave feeling more content with your life or leave thinking about something i said, i’m happy. as long as you can consider God a little more after interacting (however you do) with me, i’m ok with that. because i’m trying to live for the Bema seat. living my whole life for one day and what a day that will be.

thoughts? opinions?

why i love people…

to be honest, i hadn’t actually read my previous post since i wrote it. i wrote it. i posted it. and i walked away. i read the comments there. but that was it. i got a few texts from people. i got a few facebook messages from people. i was RTed on twitter. i got a twesponse from someone. i think i even got a phone call.

i didn’t realize how many people i was inviting into my pity party. i had no idea. i would be lying if i said that i wrote it just to get it out of my system. i definitely wrote it to reach out in an unobtrusive way, in an indirect way. i didn’t want to talk to anyone or see anyone when i was feeling down, but i was definitely reaching out for some support.

and i got WAY more than i thought i would.

and it really surprised me. i wondered why in the world i was getting so many responses to it, in so many different forms. it really confused me. so i decided to go read it and honestly, i broke my own heart. it astounds me how much just a few words can so accurately describe the way someone feels. i sometimes don’t realize the potency of my words. not that i’m a FANTASTIC writer, but i’m pretty darn good. i know how to use words to say exactly how i feel and i forget that i can pull people right into my heart and my mind and my soul with just a few words.

so i just want to say thanks.

thanks to everyone who took 2 minutes to check in, to see if i’m ok. i’m floored by it. i know that i’ve been really busy lately with school starting and having a few jobs and i know i’ve slacked on keeping in touch with everyone and i do miss being able to keep connected with people and blogs and twitter. i miss having that time. but it was really nice and touching having so many people, some of whom i hardly ever talk to, reach back. you people rock my world. seriously.

will i lose my dignity…

i was walking by the choir room tonight on my way to the band library and i heard a group of students learning parts for the fall musical, ‘rent’. and as i walked by, i thought to myself, ‘how appropriate’.

and if you’re not familiar with it, the lyrics: will i lose my dignity/will someone care/will i wake tomorrow from/this nightmare

now, i know that these people are singing about having AIDS. i know that. but just seemed to fit so well with how i was feeling. sometimes, i wonder why i still feel the need to eat with all the pride i have to swallow every day.

usually, i can make light of it and not let it bother me. but, finally, today i couldn’t do it anymore. i went to go get some food where i work and for whatever reason, i just felt… humiliated. uncomfortable. i mean, seriously, here i am. 23 years old. a college graduate. going back to school. living on campus. depending on a meal plan. waiting in line to eat food made by people i work with.

so what’s so embarrassing about that, you ask?

i don’t have a choice.

i HAVE to live on campus because i can’t afford to pay rent and to commute. i HAVE to have a meal plan because i can’t affod to buy food for myself. it’s the second week of classes and i still don’t have books because i have no money to buy them. my co-workers go to their own apartments every night to eat their own food. i simply feel humiliated.

i’m sure that no one looks down on me or thinks i’m a failure. i’m sure that no one judges me for where i am in life.

but still, i walked across campus to seek solace and comfort in the band library and it took everything inside of me to be able to hold my head up, chin parallel to the ground. because if i had a choice, i wouldn’t be living on campus. i’d be in my own apartment, eating my own food, watching some tv. instead, here i sit. in my room. with my roommate sleeping 4 feet from me. thinking about my meal i had from campus dining.

i’m exhausted from my walk across campus simply because it took so much work to keep my chin up. i canceled plans tonight because i simply couldn’t bear to look anyone in the eye. i just wanted to come back to my own place so i could miserable there. the magic of the band library worked, though. i was happy in there, content in there. but as soon as i left, i felt the same way.

i just feel like i’ve failed. i feel like i had all the tools i needed to succeed and i didn’t use them as well as i could have. right now, i’m not proud of where i am and what i’ve overcome. right now, i just feel like a failure.