Tag Archives: god’s will

Fear & the Will of God

Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real orimagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension,consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm.
Antonyms: courage,security, calm, intrepidity.

The third of this dictionary series.

These past six months have been absurd.  Filled with quick blushes, fluttering hearts, and alabaster jars full of tears.  As a twenty six year old who has never been in a relationship, these past six months were full of uncertainty, excitement, and revelations, as for the first time, I was “seeing someone”.

He came out of nowhere.  I was happy being single, busy with friends, school, research, and church.  I had just come back from Urbana, InterVarsity’s amazing missions conference, where the Lord reminded me that he has a perfect plan, a me-shaped dream that is part of his plan in restoring the world.  He reminded me that he made me, down to the interests and specific experiences that I’ve had in my life, and nothing, nothing goes wasted under his watch.  He is a purposeful God.

So coming off this conference high, my friends told me that they were speaking to this guy about me, and suggesting that we meet.  They’d been talking to him for months, and he was asking my best friend tons of questions about me to see whether he wanted to take a risk and meet me.  Eventually, he decided that he would jump, and he asked me out to coffee in mid January.

We met once a week, no more, no less.  And we tried to keep the boundaries platonic.  Ever since our second meeting, we always went dutch, and physically we did nothing–not even holding hands.  But over time, he found me making my way into his heart, and eventually, I found him in mine.  As cliche as it was, things happened so quickly.  He told me  in early March that he “liked [me], and really enjoyed spending time together”.  And in early April, I tried ungracefully to tell him the same–“soooyanothatsongthatsplayinginthatsceneinbeautyandthebeastwheretheyrethrowingsnowballsateachother?yeaaah,ithinkthatswhereimat.”  Hahaha 🙂  But he graciously let me express myself in the only way that I could.

We went and found new restaurants together through yelp, we fast danced (me awkwardly) at the Navy’s Anniversary Ball, and we sat beneath the shade of trees and talked for hours, often spending a quarter of a day together.  Restaurants would close, but our conversations would continue as we strolled along the Ala Wai canal, or sat in a car.

He believes in one of those Christian alternatives to dating–dating with friendship at the forefront and marriage in mind, then once he knew that I would be the one, he would propose, and then pursue until I said yes.  It’s modeled after Christ’s pursuit of our own hearts–a commitment to loving us that inspired and motivated the greatest act of love known to mankind.  Commitment first, pursuit second.  And although I struggled (and quite frankly was frustrated) with wanting a traditional relationship where pursuit and romance happens at the onset of emotions, I respected his conviction and I admired that his eyes were focused on the cross.

Being in the Navy, he would occasionally be gone, disappearing into a submarine for weeks at a time, and communication was spotty and via email at best.  But we made it through, with biblical encouragement and the cds of worship songs he’d make me.  His last underway was most difficult, I was so used to texting him every day, and that morning he’d sent me a text, facebook message, and email, so every line of communication that I had was another reminder that he would be gone for 21 days.  And I actually was counting them down one by one in the beginning, because I missed him so.

But while he was gone, I was praying with open hands, asking the Lord what he would want from us.  Specifically, “What should we do, Lord?”  And behold, I heard “Break up.”  Over the course of a few weeks, I’d press the question again twice after that, not believing what I’d heard, and honestly not wanting it to be true.  So finally, when I heard it a third time, I began asking the Lord for confirmation–through scripture, through quiet times, through anything, but specifically, I asked that my friend Jeannie, who had always been so supportive of us, would confirm what I’d heard.

The Lord provided.  Be careful what you pray for, because He is a God who answers.

Since we stopped dating, the tears just won’t stop coming.  I sobbed in the beginning, and I just had no words to say to anyone, including God.  It was all I could do to just sit there with Him in my car, watching the sun sink over the Honolulu skyline, and know that He hears and He was with me.

Through this time though, God has taught me so much.  I’ve begun to read books on Guidance, Finding God’s Will,  listening to sermons on singleness and listening in silence…and through it God has shown me much.

We all want God to tell us what to do.  We all want God to simply save us the pain and the struggle of figuring things out for ourselves, because we know that his plans are infinitely better than ours.  That his plans lead to his glory.  And who wouldn’t want to take a shortcut to get there?  Why bother with my own plans and my own desires when i know my heart is sinful, and when I know that whatever he wants is best for me?

Because he wants you to be an autonomous being that is both fully you and fully submitted to him.  Just as he didn’t force you to choose him, he will not and does not want you to just be a puppet who does whatever He wants.   In a sermon by Tim Keller, he provided this illustration:

Imagine you’re a parent.  And your five year old asks you for permission to go out and play.  “Of course,” you say.  “But be back home by five, because your mother and I are cooking dinner.”  Now imagine that it’s 15 years later, and your 20 year old calls and says “Hi Dad, my friends are playing frisbee at the park, is it ok if I go play with them?”  You’re dumbfounded.  “You’re 20 years old!  You know your workload, you know how much time you can afford to spend with your friends.  You don’t need to ask me, you can decide for yourself.”

The greatest lessons are learned through living, not told by word of mouth.  Did you come to believe that God loves you because you heard it week after week in a building with a steeple, or did you come to know that God loves you because you had an undeniable experience where his love completely overwhelmed you like the flood of rushing waters?  Did you come to know that you are a sinner because people with picket signs pointed their fingers and accused you, or did you come to find you’re a sinner because you were shown a mirror and saw the depth of depravity within your own soul that looks so shiny and good from the outside?

Likewise, God’s guidance, his wisdom comes through learning.  Learning to listen for the promptings of the Spirit, and learning to walk in ways that are just and true.

Of course, when you’re making difficult decisions that have nothing to do with morality (for those, the answer is in God’s word), things get complicated.  What job to take, what school to go to, who we should marry, we often turn to God for guidance and for direction for these.  As we should.  There are certainly better options, and there are worse options.  Prayer, wisdom, and countenance of friends are certainly necessary.

But to ask God directly for what He wants, I think we need to examine our hearts for why we ask this question.  Sometimes the way just doesn’t seem clear.  And any of the options before you seem good, so therefore you really want to inquire of the Lord and make an informed decision.  And often times, he may just tell us to choose.

Sometimes, however, we ask the Lord what he wants because we’re afraid.  We fear making the wrong choice, because we’re afraid of the consequences.  We don’t want to pick the path less traveled by and come to find it’s full of thorns and wild beasts waiting to devour us.   It may seem like the holy way to go, inquiring of the Lord.  But your heart is quaking in fear.  You’d rather He just make the decision because then there’s no responsibility on your part–God told you do this.  And if God told you to do it, it must be good!

Remember, God is a God who answers prayers.

When I asked the Lord what to do with this man, I was in the second boat.  Not only did I fear the consequences of my actions, but I honestly thought that if God made the decision and told me what to do, then I would follow, and I hoped that it would expedite his glory.  God, you, me, and the right person, we’ll make a good team one day.  So if he is the one, tell me to get a move on and climb aboard.  Silly me.  Expedite his glory.  As if such a thing exists!  The rocks cry out day and night with the sound of his praises!  As if I could delay his glory by making the wrong choice.  As if I had any power to do such a thing, as if such a thing could even happen!  The Lord will be glorified in our sin or in our worship, it’s simply our choice.

But the Lord convicted me today that I asked him what to do out of fear.  He in his grace, answered anyway.  I was afraid because I knew that he was close to a proposal.  I was afraid because if it turns out I don’t want to marry him, I didn’t want to hurt him.   I was afraid because if I don’t want to marry him, I may end up alone forever.  I was afraid because if he didn’t want to marry me, I would be heartbroken.  I was afraid because deep down inside marriage scares me.  I was afraid because my parents are divorced, I’ve never seen a healthy marriage, and I’m terrified of going through it myself.

Being a child of divorce leaves scars.  It just does.  The Lord heals the pain, but that divorce is never erased from your memory.  My identity was shaken.  I became the product of a broken home.  But as the pieces were shaking, what came to the surface was that I was first and foremost a child of God.  Should God strip away all the other labels that people place on me (daughter, sister, tree hugger, student, staffworker, etc), only that would remain.

Nevertheless, I didn’t realize until today just how scared I was of marriage because I’m afraid of divorce.  I’m afraid of the arguments that come between two people who vowed to love each other till death do you part.  I’m afraid of marrying the wrong person because I know how painful and earth shattering divorce is.  And I know the bitterness and the resentment that can come.

I was talking on the phone to my best friend, and I told her my fear of being single.  And she said–what’s meant to be will be.  But I asked her–were my parents meant to get a divorce?  Was that meant to be??  And I still am wrestling with God about the answer.  I know that sin wormed its way into their marriage and rotted it from the insdie out.  But was that part of God’s plan?

The Lord convicted me too, asking me…do you really believe that I work everything out for Good?  Do you really believe that my plans always prevail in the end?  Do you really believe that you can mess with life so badly that my plans do not come to fruition?  Do you really believe that I am Sovereign??

So choose.  Pray, consult, listen, use wisdom.  But choose.  Don’t live life in fear of making the wrong choices because no matter what you go through, I will be there.  No matter what happens, I will use it for good.  No matter what happens, I have you in my hands.  No matter what happens, I am in control.  No matter what happens, I love you and that is enough.

Do not fear impending danger.  Do not fear evil derailing my plan.  Do not fear a life of pain.  Do not fear threats that are real or imagined.  Because I am the Lord your God, and you are mine.  Trust me.

When we seek to know the Lord, we aim to please him, and we find ourselves squarely in the will of the Lord.  It’s not something to be sought, but something to be lived.

The antonyms to fear are courage,security, calm, and intrepidity.  (Does this not sound like a life lived in freedom in the Lord?)

The cure to fear, however, is faith.

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The Joy of Wandering in the Wilderness

I read 1 Kings 19 this morning, and I just…there’s so much in here.

1 KINGS 18

Elijah  comes to Israel, where the king has done great evil in the eyes of God, and has therefore led the nation astray.  I got the sense that the sins of the people lie with the people, but also on the king.  And Elijah asks the people:  “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”  Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal–each will put forth a sacrifice on the altars, and whoever is the true God will bring down fire to consume the sacrifice.  So the prophets of Baal pray all morning and into the afternoon, and they wail and they cut themselves that their god might hear them, but nothing happens.  Elijah, after them, takes four cisterns full of water and pours them over the sacrifice–not once, not twice, but THREE times, so much water that it’s flooding and pooling around the sacrifice.  And he calls out to God, and immediately fire rains down and consumes the water and the sacrifice, and all the people believe.  So they round up the prophets of Baal and put them to death.

How long will you waver between two opinions?? Elijah asks them.  This really hit home for me, as I’ve been struggling to find joy in obedience to the Lord.  He has asked me to end a dating relationship that I’ve been in for six months (my first, at the age of 26 years old), with a God-fearing man who meditates on scripture, writes songs based on the psalms, and respects me and sees me as a daughter of the King, and not as a prize to be gained or an object to be used.  This relationship has grown and stretched me in the Lord in so many ways, and he has said that it’s as iron sharpens iron.  But perhaps nothing in our relationship has grown me as much as obeying the Lord and choosing to (attempt) to let go.  It’s been two months now, and sometimes, there are still pain and tears when I think about the loss, and it’s a pain unlike that I’ve felt before. (will be a post in itself)

And yet in this, God convicted me on Sunday that he requires obedience not just in deed, but obedience in attitudes of the heart.  We have ended things, we are no longer talking about marriage, or meeting up one on one, or once a week.  We no longer text, or call, we hardly talk, really.  But I have not been glad to obey God in this, I’ve only felt sorrow and have even chosen to rub salt in my own wounds by reminiscing and allowing myself to think about him.  But God is calling me to be joyful in my obedience, to not just want to obey, but to be glad to follow him.  What kind of relationship is it if you just drag your feet through the motions, kicking the curb and dawdling like a petulant child?  Joy is independent of circumstances.  Happiness is based on what happens, events.  But joy, true joy from the Lord, is everlasting. He gives us joy in our poverty, in our afflictions, in the aching of our hearts, to know that He alone is enough, and He is with us always.  How long will I be obedient in action, but long for God to change his mind in my heart?  Ah, it’s truly painful.

1 KINGS 19

So in 1 Kings 19, Elijah gets word that the king and his wife want to put him to death for killing all of their prophets.  So Elijah, this man of God who just called on God to burn a soaking sacrifice, who is known for being so godly that death never touches him, and he rides up to heaven in a chariot of fire, this man, flees.  He runs away.  Once he reaches a large town, he leaves his servant there and continues to run into the wilderness.

He fears for his life, and lies down in the wilderness, asking for God to take his life before Jezebel reaches him.  He fears dying at the hands of man.

Instead, an angel feeds him, twice, saying “Arise, eat, this journey is too great for you.” And it is enough to sustain him for forty days’ wanderings as he progresses towards a mountain.  When he reaches his destination, the Lord speaks to him and asks him “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  He answers, saying that he is fleeing for his life.  The voice tells him to go and stand at the mountain, and “Behold, the Lord was passing!”

A great and strong wind rocks the mountain walls, then an earthquake, and then a great fire.  But the Lord is not in any of them.  He comes after the fire, in the sound of a gentle blowing, and at this, Elijah emerges from the cave he was in, wraps his face in his mantle, and steps out to meet the Lord.  Again, the Lord asks him “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  And again, Elijah tells the Lord that he is fleeing for his life.

The Lord then tells Elijah to turn around, go back into the wilderness, to go to Damascus, and proclaim new kings for both Israel and Judah, and then to anoint Elisha to take his place.

He arrives in Damascus, finds Elisha, and puts his mantle over him.  Elisha, however, asks to say goodbye to his parents, which Elijah allows, and then Elisha follows and attends to Elijah.

There is SO much goodness in this passage.

  1. A man as holy as Elijah has his moments where he fears man more than he fears the Lord.  And God is not angry with him, God simply wants Elijah to admit where he’s at (What are you doing here?), to recognize that he is fleeing from man, instead of trusting in Him.  And God meets Elijah in a crazy way in the midst of his fear.
  2. After such a strong demonstration of God’s power (lighting the wet sacrifice), there will be those who turn to follow God, but there will be those too, who will seek to kill you and the God that you worship.  We’re always at war.
  3. Elijah fled to the wilderness alone.  He left his servant behind, just as Abraham left his servants behind when he went up on a mountain, and just as Jesus often retired by himself to pray.  These people willingly chose to be alone when they go to meet with the Lord, but in truth, the wilderness can be a lonely place.  Jesus was alone in the wilderness for forty days as well, led by the Spirit to go there.
  4. Even holy people have moments where they would rather just be taken up and leave this earth behind.  It is selfish and sinful, to be sure, to escape the trials and difficulties and fears of this world, but at least we are not alone when we have such thoughts.
  5. God knows what we can handle, and he will provide and sustain us so we can continue.  Arise, and eat, for this journey is too great for you.” How beautiful!!!  The Lord knows, even when we flee in fear, that we are weak, and he is tender and gentle with us.  While we are still on this earth, while God still has plans for us, he will sustain us so we can accomplish his plans.  And what he provides is enough.  Elijah lasted forty days on those two meals.
  6. Even in the wilderness, Elijah is open and sensitive to the words of the Lord, and obeys his commands, and the Lord meets him.
  7. I love that the Lord was not in the great wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire.  These great demonstrations of power and might announce the Lord’s coming (and strike fear and awe in our hearts), but the Lord himself appears as the “sound of a gentle blowing”.  Again, it’s so tender.  He is the God of angel armies, the God of all creation, the God of righteousness and justice, of power and might, but he presents himself as the rustling of a gentle breeze.  I think sometimes, especially when we find ourselves in sin, like Elijah, fearing the world more than our God, fleeing to protect ourselves, and wanting to die to avoid the pain and fears of this world, we often expect harsh judgement and a godly slap in the face.  Or even when Jesus came, the Jews expected to find a mighty king who would overthrow governments and reign in power.  But instead, it’s his loving kindness that leads us to repentance, it’s his great mercy and grace that touches our hearts and bids us die and follow him.  Surely our God is the God of both/and–he is both righteous AND gracious, just AND merciful, pillars of fire AND the sound of a breeze…and he chose to be a baby in a manger.  As Matthew Henry says  “Gracious souls are more affected by the tender mercies of the Lord than by his terrors.”
  8. He calls Elijah by name and gives him a mountain top experience, where his courage is restored, he is refreshed, and his purpose and vision are renewed.  It may have been in the midst of dark and uncertain times for him–no food, no water, Jezebel and the wrath of the king seeking his life, but God was there, and God not only provided his needs, but he attended to his soul–Why are you here, Elijah?, and revealed his plans for him.

And so yes, even in my disobedient heart that still wants what the Lord has said is not for me, even as I rub salt in my own wounds (why??), he convicts me, but he is still so tender and so gracious with me.

And he has reminded me too, of all that he has done, of my testimony from day one of laying down my life for him to everything that has led me to being here in Hawaii.  That his hand was upon it all, and while there were periods of wandering in the desert, he was still there, and he was still leading me.  And Lord, that year of wilderness felt so long.  I felt so deserted and spiritually dry.  But your amazing timing and incredible plans were at work even then, this I know full well.

And so you may be leading me into the wilderness now–my closest friend here having graduated and moved away, ending a relationship with my other good friend, small group girls moving away, and my grad school friends all gone or busy with their own lives, you’re pruning my life. Truth, there’s still one good friend here, but even still.  I may not be choosing this for myself, like Elijah, Abraham, or Jesus did, but I know that you still have good work to be done, and that even if I end up in that dreaded wilderness again, that you will meet me there.  You will speak tenderly to me and call me by name, and you will give me new purpose.  You will make these dry bones live.

Ezekiel 37:1-6

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

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if you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat.

God has been showering me with unexpected blessings these past few weeks.

But first I’ll take you back a little….

So at every CFW, there’s always a staff party.  And at the staff party they say goodbye and commission staff that are leaving.  And I had such a hard time whenever they did this, because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.  It didn’t matter that for the most part, I’d just met the staff, it was just this attachment to IV, to a job that I love, to a calling that I’d heard once upon a time.  I held it together as various staff approached me and thanked me for my service as they headed for the cabin door.  Thankfully we were meeting during free time, so after most of the staff had left, I made a beeline for where I’d had my first retreat of silence back in freshman year.  part of me hoped to be stopped, to be comforted, but the overwhelming feeling was just to walk quickly in hopes that no one would see my tears.

I walked along grassy paths, through the small winding ways near the boys’ cabins, until I felt the soft sand beneath my flipflops.  At the far end of Cedar there’s a small strip of sand that leads to the woods on the other side of camp, and all along it there are rocks of all sizes, many large enough to just sit down and enjoy the view.  Because Cedar’s out on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you’re just surrounded by water.  It’s beautiful and so calming.  I chose a the largest rock near the shore and sat down to find some one on one time with God.

I told him all about the pain I was feeling, and how I was of two minds–wanting to follow but wanting to stay.

And this year I’ve been drawing more than ever before in my journal, as inspiration hits during sermons, during ROS’s, etc.  And this time as I was just resting, listening for God and staring out at the water, I just had this image of a boat out in the middle of water.  Nothing’s around it, no land, no people, just a small sailboat.  The sail is white, as though it’s a white flag at the end of battle, and I wrote the words “I surrender…”  and “you are my only anchor”.

A few days later, interestingly enough, as I was doing my devotional through My Utmost for His Highest, the title was “What’s Next To Do?”  And Oswald wrote “If you yourself do not cut the lines that tie you to the dock, God will have to use a storm to sever them and to send you out to sea.  Put everything in your life afloat upon God, going out to sea on the great swelling tide of his purpose…You are not to spend all your time in the calm waters just inside the harbor, full of joy, but always tied to the dock.  You have to get out past the harbor into the great depths of God…””  I was out of the harbor and out at sea.

Little did I know that I really would feel so lost and without community this summer.  InterVarsity gone, church falling apart…He has become my only anchor.  Even friends that I relied on so closely this past year aren’t in my life in the same way anymore, through no fault of their own or my own.

So with Him as my anchor, he’s been blessing me in ways that I didn’t expect.  Most recently the Shedd internship.  I applied about a month or so ago to volunteer (general), and for 3 internships at the Shedd Aquarium–one for developing a staff training program, one of donor relations, and one in the fishes department.  After a few weeks, I heard back from the staff training internship, asking me to come in for an interview.  It went alright, but I forgot to tell her about all the team dynamics and training I’d done with the vision teams.  oops.  lol  She even mentioned at one point “if this doesn’t work out, you should still apply for some other internships with animals that would be closer to your passions.  not to say that this isn’t going to work out.”  but after she said that, I wasn’t really expecting anything, though she told me that she had some more people that she was going to interview, and that I’d hear back in about a week.  I asked the volunteer coordinator what the general followup process looks like for other internships, and if I should expect to hear something back or not.  He told me that they’re only offering a few internships this season, and that getting one interview was lucky enough, and that if I did not hear back from anyone else, I should assume that they’re not interested.

A little less than a week later I actually heard back from the fishes department, and they wanted to bring me in for another interview!  I spoke again with the volunteer coordinator, who told me that the staff training lady was interested in taking me on, but now with the fishes interview, he had to coordinate with the two of them so that there’d be no competition!  I ended up being interviewed by a group of 5 people in the fishes department, and the main person who contacted me actually apologized to me.  He told me that he was sorry for contacting me so late, but that they had only received one out of the two required letters of recommendation, and so my application was incomplete.  After the interview was over, he also let me know that they had a number of other applicants that they’re looking at, but that they would be in touch with me by the middle of September.

God is so faithful.  Despite the fact that these internships are targeted at graduate students and undergraduate students, despite the fact that my application was incomplete, despite all the other people that have applied (i’ve been told that they’re very competitive even though they’re unpaid), he provided two interviews, two interested opportunities, and actually gave me a position that is both animal husbandry AND some research experience!!!

Not only that but my animal hospital supervisor was not only cool with switching up the schedule I was hired for, but is also excited for me!  I was really afraid that she’d fire me since I messed up earlier that week as well.

Wow.  Thanks, God!  I don’t know if it’s correlated, but I feel like He’s blessing me in my obedience to leave staff, blessing me since I got out of the boat and surrendered, blessing me as he became my only anchor.

“Man cannot discover new oceans
unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
–Andre Gide
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i kissed dating goodbye

it’s finally my last day of finals…and I just have to write a ten page paper…and two pages of another paper 🙂

but i was thinking…as i was procrastinating and surfing facebook…
so there’s this one guy that i briefly mentioned in a couple entries already, and he popped up in my 6 friends box.  he and i almost went out about a year and a half ago…and he was the one that i gave over to God because he wasn’t a Christian, and I wouldn’t let myself enter into a relationship with him.  But I was thinking earlier about how thankful I was that I didn’t start anything with him, because he would have been my first boyfriend (he would have been the first guy that i ever said yes to, not that he’s the first guy who ever asked me out :P), and knowing me, I would have become emotionally attached to him (of course!), and I really don’t think it would have brought me closer to God, because he’s not a Christian, he’s a frat guy–a really nice one, albeit, but still.  And giving that up really taught me a lot and so I’m still saving myself.  And yes, at times, I do wish that by now I would have said yes to one of them…so at least I could have had a dating experience by the time I turned 21. 

But along the way I’ve made promises to myself, and promises to God.  I wouldn’t date in highschool, because I’m not ready, my relationship with God was still developing, and I knew I should find my desire for God first before I consider joining myself to someone else–even if it’s just a boyfriend.  And then first year of college came around, and I told myself that I wouldn’t date because dating your freshman year would detract from God, and detract from making friendships that will last all of college.  And then sophomore year came and went, and I didn’t really think about it too much, except to note that upperclassmen suggested that I hold off on dating until junior year because freshman and sophomore year you’re still figuring out who you are, who your friends are.  And now that it’s junior year…I’ve opened myself up to the possibility…but the only guy I’m interested in is painfully shy at times, and i’m a baboon myself.  And it’s only an interest…I’d just like to get to know him better.

But really this entry wasn’t supposed to be about me.

I wanted to say that I looked at mike’s profile, and I thought about how happy he must be with his girlfriend now.  They started dating about 6 months after we had our DTR (and he was so nice about it–he told me that since I knew where he stood, that it was completely up to me and he would respect my decision), and it was so good just to see how happy they are together.  She’s a graduated senior, and so I doubt they would have started dating had he and I been together…but they love each other, and really, it all works out for the best for everyone when we decide to follow God.  And thinking about it from his perspective, I hate to say, is something that I hadn’t done a whole lot.  but they’re so happy together, and I can’t imagine them breaking up now that they’ve done a year long distance!  he’s so much happier than he would have been 🙂

ookay…i guess I should get back to my paper…

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so close to that famous happy ending…

When I think about Vision Team, when I think about all the decisions we have to make and how it affects those in the chapter–both the graduating seniors, the current Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen…I feel as though I’m trudging through mud. Like every step I take is just so…laden with burden and weighed down by the tradition, the emotions, the hurt feelings, the broken relationships, the memories of how “things used to be”, the personal issues. Where is God in all of this?? Where is the God that I know, the God that leads be beside still waters, the God that restores my soul, the God that never leaves and is always faithful? Where is MY God in all of this human crap?? Where is the voice of my father? Where is his guidance? Where is his glory? Where is his vision?? Why do I feel like every move we make, every decision, every opinion that we share, is just so chained down by our humanity? Our insecurities, our pride, our agenda. Why are we talking about each other? Why are we asking how other people feel?? Why aren’t we just seeking out God’s will, regardless of how we feel, regardless of what we think is right in our minds, in our memories? Whatever God’s will is, whatever he wants for our chapter, that’s the ONLY way we should follow. And I feel like right now…we’re just so, resistant to each other, so determined to disagree, to pick sides, that this division is just clouding our ears and eyes. We need prayer more than ever. We can’t keep talking about how we feel, what we think, what the freshmen think, we need Divine Intervention. Divine Guidance and Vision. And that comes from only one place. From our Heavenly Father, from our Redeemer, our Savior, our Light and Love.

Journalling is one of the only times when I feel as though I can think and see clearly. That, and prayer. Because all we do in prayer is praise and ask and wait and listen.

And I guess the shallow part of me wants to record other things as well.

like about him. And how God’s still pulling these funny little tricks on me…Wednesday I went to Whole foods to get Amy Chen the flowers that she deserves for being so wonderful. And I bumped into Lauren on the way out, and inadvertantly we ended up talking about Amy Chen and Bradford and how cute they are together. And she was so happy because Amy and Bradford are both really NICE people, really GOOD people, you know? And that makes her happy to see couples like that. So she told me that I should date. That I should date….him! Because we’d be really cute together since we’re both so nice.

And during our Spring Celebration, his singing debut…what song did he do? Oh, that’s right. The one that I have set as my text message reminder. Huh. Thanks God, you’re a funny one. lol So now every time I get a text…

But at the same time…it’s just so awkward…Like, Zhen and I were having dinner on Thursday, and he walked by us in Norris, and didn’t say anything. And then he walked out of Norris, and again, he didn’t say anything. I saw him in the background because I was looking at Zhen, and he was walking past us behind her…and I felt like (I think) he kept glancing our way so that if he and I made eye contact, he would say hi. But to no avail. I determindly didn’t look at him. And so he never stopped by to say hi. And I know he saw us, because we were right in front of the staircase in the basement of Norris, first table, first row. And he knows us both, it’s not like he ought to feel strange saying hello.

And last night, when we all went to Clarkes, he ended up sitting at my table, and eating some of my ice cream…and it was just so…I couldn’t even start a conversation with him. And Euge showed him the video that I took of him singing. And even when he did jump into the conversation, I’m just such a baboon that I really couldn’t…I just can’t…*sigh* And really, what’s my problem? If this is how it’s supposed to be…if he’s the one that I’m supposed to…and I mean, odds are, he’s not. but then why do I still like him? It’s been nearly 1.5 years already, can’t I just get over him? Can’t I just stop, and give up, like everyone else who’s come before him? What benefit does this do for me, what do I learn from this experience? What kind of glory does God get out of this? What’s the point? Because I know, with matters of the heart, I know that God is in this. That God’s presence is there ahead of me, in whatever happens. And I know that God is in the details, that nothing is too insignificant because every experience shapes us, for better or for worse, every experience tells us something, teaches us, stretches us. So what’s the lesson of this one? That I don’t get everything that I want? That somethings are just longings…for long periods of time…and those longings are just…pain in the end? Is that the ending that I have to look forward to? Is that the ending I’m supposed to anticipate? If it is, I don’t want this. I give this up gladly to you with open hands, God. This is yours for the taking. i’ve learned my lesson, this has happened to me before, and I don’t need to learn the lesson twice. I got it the first time, God. Mike wasn’t for me, even though we both liked each other. He wasn’t the one that you’ve called me to, the one that you have waiting for me. And so I gave him up God, I did it. I learned from it, and i don’t regret it, not really. Because from this side of the fence, it’s so clear that it would have been a bad move.  But what about him??

Can you just take it away God? I don’t want it anymore. I really don’t…things like these…they always end painfully. they always end with tears and disappointment, and I can’t take another one of those just yet. I’ll follow you if you tell me to give it up, God, but I know it’s going to be painful.  I’m not strong enough to have hope and end up alone again, God. And I know, to look to you, to find my completion in you, to find you as my center, to not need the affirmation of people here, to know that you find me captivating and that alone is enough. I know those things, God. I know you ought to be my yearning, my desire, the lover of my soul. So can we please move past this? And soon? God, I can’t take more of this awkwardness. I can’t take more of this… “the way it used to be”…

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