cathartic?

oy.
there is just so much to write about and i feel like it’s all swimming up in my head…but so much is swirling around up there that i’m not exactly sure what i’m trying to get out. and typing is not quite as cathartic as writing it out by hand, but you do with what you’ve got.

So I’m at the libes workin the graveyard shift, as always on Mondays. I really think I need to quit this job. It’s not really bringing in the dough, and I’m just kinda getting sick of it. I’m always giving up my shifts because I’m too busy to take them, which means a) i get no money, and b) i think ppl are sick of me giving away my shifts. And John just gave me my evaluation form, and I had a decent number of 3’s–which means “average”. But overall, I’m at a 2, which is “above average” but not a 1, which is “superior”. And how do you do anything less than superior when all you do is sit at a desk and look at books or look people up in the system? Really. Tell me now. Annnd my boss is just walking by. Perhaps on his way out the door, or maybe not…as he stands there with his laptop, looking down at us small little exit workers as we sit in this enclosed nest area that we have. And really, my coworker isn’t even in the circle, so our boss is just kinda typing away at his laptop.

on the other hand, the lab job, while i love the larger vision that’s taking place, my menial tasks are not exactly as thrilling as i thought they would be. But that’s alright. And besides that, it’s kind of an unsteady job. I basically go in whenever i want, and when I’m done with all the work that she has set out for us, I wait around until we get more. So for the last two weeks, I haven’t really popped into the lab at all. Which was good for me–with EngageNU and midterms, I just had no time to spare. And i feel like my brain is running on low…the wheels are turning and there’s no oil so it’s just this painful cranking and squealing of cogs, you know what I’m saying? It might be because it’s 12:45 and I didnt’ get the most restful sleep and I’m drinking a frapp, which is causing all that caffeine to run into my veins. And I can just picture these little caffeine molecules running into my synapses and making this sparks fly. I guess I’ll try to go into lab tomorrow maybe and get some stuff done. I kind of like the monotony, sometimes. It’s nice to just get away and work in the dark and listen to my music undisturbed. Yeah, maybe I’ll do that. Awww, crap. It’s supposed to thunderstorm tomorrow afternoon, which is when I get back from my long bio class at the field museum. I hope it’s not too intensive tomorrow.

So let’s see. There’s been a lot of changes going on. Vision Team was selected. Which is good, I suppose, because I’m on it! But Barney and are are the only non-white members, although Josh and Justin are both half hispanic. Their dynamic is interesting. I feel like Josh is almost condescending towards Justin, although it’s like I know he’s joking, there’s always a bit of truth in every joke, you know what I’m saying? And I really do think it wears on Justin sometimes, although who I am to say, really? i don’t know him *that* well, although you can definitely see it in his face sometimes,and the way he laughs at the jokes made at his expense.

i dunno…i’m not exactly sure how leading with Josh is going to work. We’re two very different sorts of people, with different passions, different gifts, and even different modes of communication. He’s very dominant–he has strong opinions, assumes that everyone agrees with him, and then states his opinion to the masses. I on the other hand, consider all the sides, and thus never really stand one way or another, take a long time to come to a decision if i come to one at all, and then think that everyone is going to disagree with me. And I’ve found that even when I’m asking questions, I ask it, then phrase multiple answers to my own question and say this orrrr this orrr….and then I let it trail off. I’m really not direct in terms of communication. And Josh, being a teacher, that’s a good thing. But when it comes to community, to people, to support, to accountability, I feel like all that falls into my domain, and yet, it’s not built in to our SG structure for next year. And so I’m not only going to have to work within the structure and training and so forth, but I’m going to have to work crazy hard outside of it all in order to support my SGLS, seeing as how that is a terrifying, large, complicated, multiple foci-ed role that is quite possibly the most important in MEIV. basically, i can forsee myself getting burnt out. i’m already burnt out and the quarter isn’t even over and our “reign” as VTeam hasn’t even begun yet. oh dear.

and he’s a wonderful teacher, and i’m afraid of teaching. I embrace all the ways that we can make our leaders feel loved, but teaching? the bible? really, i don’t know so much about that. I can’t pull out passages from Leviticus or Nahum and connect them to what we’re reading in Nehemiah. I can’t even understand the passage fully on my own. how am I supposed to lead the small group leaders? I haven’t even been a very good small group leader this year. I haven’t even done my community duties. I don’t even know why I was picked as SGLC. I mean, I suppose it all boils down to trust. do i trust the vision team of this year that they made the best decision? Do I trust them that they were earnestly seeking God’s opinion in all of this and that he truly wanted me to be SGLC? Do I trust God enough to raise me up as a lackluster leader and go forth with all of this? I don’t know. I would love to say yes, yes, yes! But the truth is not quite so easy. So that’s where it stands now, although a few weeks ago, I was basically in the depths of despair about all of this.

***
time machine
***
three weeks back
***

so allen came to talk at one of our large groups about engageNU. And when he mentioned it, he said “Barney and a few other people” spearheaded it last year. And thus, I became “a few other people”. Not only that, but right before that they announced Vision Team, and when my name was called, most people didn’t hear my name be called, and so I stood up to delayed applause.

the next week, allen put together an EngageNu training joint LG. And he assigns tasks to everyone. So 30 second schpeel about our station (Amy or Marcus). one minute schpeel about our event (amy or Marcus). Training for our actual station (Amy or Marcus). And where was my name in all of that? Nowhere to be found. It was as if I wasn’t a leader at all. And the hardest thing about that was I had considered stepping down from EngageNu leadership. with 2 jobs (libe and lab), and three leadership positions in MEIV (SGL, new VTeam, and cohead for Engage) I just could not take it all. And so I prayed the day that I was going to tell my coheads that I was stepping down, and as clear as day I heard God say *NO.* So I stuck with it. And that was what I get. I couldn’t believe that Allen, a staffworker, that Allen, the one who had trained me and Barney week after week last year, that Allen, who had asked me to cohead the church event, had just completely overlooked me not once, but twice.

I was really hurt and really upset by that.

And not only that, but the Bible study before Engage was the hardest Bible study of the year, and we couldnt’ figure out a time for the BSL (Josh) and the SGLS to meet in order to prep. So I talked to Josh on the phone on Tuesday night, and talked to Eddy, my coleader, on the phone on Wednesday. Eddy told me that Josh had talked to him about this whole coleading business, and that Josh had said that he wanted me to lead this Bible study because he thought that I hadn’t led at all this year. And I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean, that I hadn’t led at all this year. SGLing is not just leading Bible study, it’s caring, it’s leading prayer, it’s making sure your sg members feel loved and supported. And who led prayer last quarter? And who made care packages for everyone? And who made care packages for those people who were sick? And who made a care package for Caroline when she had the toughest night ever? And who noticed that I did all those things without asking for recognition? Right. Right. And who sends out all the emails with people’s prayer requests and links to bbc news so we can be up to date on what’s going on in the world? mmhmm. thats what i do as a leader. It’s true, i haven’t led bible study. but please don’t mistake that for not being a small group leader.

so these words were coming from Josh, who I am going to be a coSGLC with next year, and what was most upsetting is not that he wanted me to lead the hardest study of the year, not that he wanted me to lead when he just sent us an email prep, but that he didn’t even talk to *me* about it. He talked to my coleader. That bugged the crap out of me because it shows that he didn’t have the trust in me to come to me personally. And how can I lead with someone next year when he doesn’t even trust me? when he doesn’t even feel comfortable talking things through with me? when he doubts my leadership abilities??

and then there were stupid things with boys too. sophi thought it would be hilarious to reply to an email that someone sent out to the listserv. She wrote, and I quote:
“[insert name here].

You are a beautiful human being and I love you.

Yours truly,
The Awesome Superstar”
O.M.G. what the crap. yeah, so that’s what he got. from my email address. nice. and so i talked to him at the next LG (the workshop one), and it was the most awkward conversation ever. i apologized, and he said, oh it’s okay, i read the next email (saying it was sophi) right afterwards. so then we stood around awkwardly. i asked how he was. he said okay. then he said he had to go speak to somebody. and that is EXACTLY the line you use to get you out of an awkward situation. seriously now. the most awkward conversation EVER.

yeah. and then the next day or something whit is talking about this guy who is trying to go out with her, and asking for advice on how to say no. and she brings up mike scafidi, from freshman year. and my other suitemate, andrea, says “what?! who would ask *you* out?!” she said she meant “who asked you out?” but it clearly did not come out that way, and i take her first quote as the one that truly had her intent in it. the second was an attempt to cover it up. So that got me really down as well, even though it was just about boys.

and i thought to myself, oh, at least my self esteem is still there, until fang so graciously decided to call me a….what was it? a garbage disposal? something along those lines. and that was one of the most insulting things i have ever heard come out of his mouth. and he said it so nonchalantly. i could have kicked him hard in the shin in that split second. I should have. *rawr*

so basically all areas of my life were under attack, and the most important, the most hurtful, was about leadership and my ministry in MEIV. I just could not see clearly, even though i knew this was all lies, i just couldnt’ get myself out of that pit of despair. and so i cried night after night. for a week. up until our actual event, which hit multiple snares. (i lost my wallet, there was no AV equiment, Parkes wasn’t booked under our name, our food order wasn’t under MArcus’ name, etc) so much tried to take us down that night.

But by God’s grace, the room was packed. at least 80 people came out, a good 1/3 or more of them non-Chrisitan. and it was a blessing. and it was good. And afterward, Marcus and Amy (who I’d told of my troubles), we all just had a group hug and it was wonderful. And Andy Bilhorn, who’d worked with us and our absolutely AMAZING team, came up to me and thanked me personally. And he told me that it was the best outreach event that he’d ever been to at Northwestern, and he’s been around for quite awhile. Mmm, I love Andy Bilhorn. He was such an asset and SUCH an even bigger blessing to us all on the Church event. my oh my. He was really wonderful and having him say that, as a staffworker, after what I’d been through with Allen, I just had no words to say how grateful I was. for real. And not only that, but he hugged me too! He was just…words can’t describe how highly I think of him. Of course, he has his flaws, but don’t we all? And God loves us despite them, and despite what others think, I love Andy Bilhorn 🙂 I thank God for him and how kind he is, and how he led us.

And since then, I just haven’t had the pain or sorrow come back. i still have my doubts about leadership next year and about being on Vteam and a looooot about working with josh. But God was faithful through all of that, and I know without a doubt that he will continue to be faithful to me till the day I see him face to face 🙂

so for now, i guess that’s it. especially as the college students come toward the lantern like cockaroaches crawling out of the cracks in the wall…
that’s my cue to leave for the night. 🙂
so long.
farewell!
aufweidersein adieu!

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