Saturday, June 28, 2008

Romance and all that Icky Love Stuff

I am watching my views on many things change before my eyes in very unexpected ways. I think this might mean I am finally starting to grow up, but I am not sure. We'll see.

For quite some time now, I have been a very cynical person. I didn't realize until recently however, that that was actually what had happened to me. Now that I recognize it though, I am finding I am very able to change those tendencies and behaviors. This makes me hopeful. I have been cynical about mankind in general. I have been cynical about politics. I have been greatly cynical about love. This is mostly due to the fact that I honestly believed that I wouldn't be finding love anytime soon, if ever.

I am talking in terms of what you might call "romantic love." The kind of love that leads to marriage and babies and happily ever after and finally being "Mrs. Darcy." Yes. I made the Pride and Prejudice reference. Now wait. I need to say something about Pride and Prejudice. As a girl, it is technically my duty to adore this book and everything it stands for. I often hear young women (and not-so-young women) telling young men that P&P contains everything you need to know to understand a woman, and will therefore, basically, unlock the secrets of the Universe. I used to subscribe to this theory, because, as a girl, it was expected. 

You know what I think though? I think that if women are truly honest with themselves, they don't really want their lives to be like Pride & Prejudice. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice story and all, and I think a lot of people can get swept up in the characters and the language and Lizzy's boldness and the awkwardness that Mr. Collins encompasses. But it isn't truth. And I don't really think that in the end it's all that romantic either. I realize that I will probably be executed for saying this. But I think that this romance stuff that people are so desperate for is not what you find in fiction.

I think that God is terribly romantic though. He loves with a fierce and unyielding love that is not shaken, and he pursues those he loves to the ends of the earth, even when they don't want him. God loves me this way. And it's the same way that he loves you too. 

Because of God, I am finding that I am a romantic after all, too. And I believe that I will find the "romantic love" that I am looking for because God wants us to have that kind of love. He created that kind of love. He created people to need each other. More importantly, he created people to need HIM.

I'm finding that true love might not actually be as emotional as it is painted in the movies. And I find that thought refreshing. Sure, love includes feelings, but it is so much more than that, too. I can't really wrap my brain all the way around that concept, but I am slowly starting to figure things out - mostly from observing other people in my life who know what love is.

Maybe I'll get there one of these days after all.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Plot Points

I feel like I'm ready for things to be different from how they are. Change doesn't often get the chance to sneak up on me these days. I think I've kind of gotten used to things not being constant. For some time now, I've felt that something new was coming, but I didn't know what it was. I still don't fully understand the gravity of what may come, but I'm bracing for it. More importantly, this change feels very hopeful, like when I was in 5th grade and found out my family was moving to Tennessee. I was more excited than scared because I hadn't experienced anything like it before.

I want to know what's coming next.

I started reading Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz today, and it is quietly blowing my mind. I have definitely spent too much time away from learning new things, because I'm taking this book in like water. I'm making a personal determination to become a scholar again. For the first time, though, I'm not interested in studying fiction. I want to learn about life and faith and real people. If anyone out there has suggestions for me, I'd love to hear them, but for now, I think that I'm due for C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity next.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I am consistently amazed at the way my life is turning out. It looks absolutely NOTHING like the life I imagined for myself as I was growing up. All I can say is, "Thank goodness!"

The things I have learned and discovered in the last few days have been enough to blow my entire existence into a new realm. Things that in the past I may have thought were impossible, weird, or at the very least, unconventional (and a younger version of myself was nothing if not conventional) seem like interesting possibilities now. Things that could stretch me to be a stronger and more well-rounded, caring person. This is strange because one part of my mind (I'm actually not sure that it's the logical part these days) is saying, "Shouldn't you naturally think the opposite of this?" but the rest of me is overpowering it with this simple question: "Why does it have to be that way?"

I know this is vague, but choosing to get into details and explanations is, at present, too much information for this forum.

Basically, many elements of my life are currently being challenged. This is an amazing thing to have happen, even though it opens me up to a lot of confusion. I can't even imagine the positive growth that can come from this.

I feel like my brain might explode from thinking too much. And that is my happy thought for today.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Sometimes, I don't recognize myself.

I'm afraid of just about everything. Failure, rejection, what people will think of me if I don't meet their expectations. When I was little, I was definitely a lot more brave. I was excited when I found out we were moving when I was in 5th grade. I don't even remember being nervous when I started my new school (or the next 2 new schools after that). 

Now though, I can't stand the thought of putting myself in a new situation with people I don't know. It terrifies me. This to me is strange, because I generally like making new friends, I guess I just don't like the uncertainty of the "newness." Too much could go wrong.

Today I found myself on a precipice. I was on the back porch, trying to get the dog back inside because she was barking, and I looked out at the rain-soaked lawn and thought, "How long has it been since I've gotten muddy?" So I made a decision. I ran out into the yard in my bare feet and played chase with the dog. And I didn't care about being dirty or cold. I just soaked up the air and the sight of raindrops clinging to leaves and how good everything smelled. I need to do things like that more often.

I've been living in a cage that I designed for myself to keep me safe. 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hands and Feet

This last week has been crazy. Last weekend I flew with my family down to Fresno, CA for my cousin Eric's wedding. What an amazing experience that was! I have been to quite a few weddings in the last few years, but none really touched me like Eric and Abby's did. I was a wreck from start to finish! God really spoke to my heart during the ceremony, and I realized that that is exactly what I want my (future) marriage to look like: Christ-centered and honest. My cousin really blew me away by the man of God he has grown into. I'm so proud of both him and Abby.

On a slightly related topic, I have been feeling a strange pull toward missions lately. This has always been a tough area for me, because I am not evangelically inclined. I can't walk up to people I don't know and start talking about the Lord. It's just not in me, as much as I might want to tell someone about Jesus. I remember a couple of years ago I was thinking about this topic in a similar manner when my church was preparing to go to Nicaragua on a missions trip. Part of me really wanted to go, but I didn't feel called to it, so I decided not to go. I heard someone say something once about missions that resonated with me, and I think I have always carried it with me. They said something to the effect of, "You don't always have to tell people about Jesus with words." To me, that means that if you love someone the way Jesus loved people, they will come to understand Christ's love in that way.

I think that is how I was called to missions. Maybe I'm just supposed to go somewhere and HELP people. I want to go to Africa or Asia and take care of orphans, or help people get clean water and protection from disease. I know that I wasn't made to stand on street corners and proclaim the Gospel like some people were made, but I can serve. And for me, that in itself is a mind-blowing revelation, because I never saw myself as that person before. But I really think that God designed me for a lot of things that I just never saw until now. I still don't really know what that looks like yet, because I also don't believe I was meant to serve alone. I believe I was built for a partnership, which I haven't been made a part of yet. But I think God is definitely showing me a glimmer of what's in my future. With that hope, I move forward.

"I am willing, but I'm so give me strength when I say...I wanna be your hands, I wanna be your feet...I'll go where you send me, go where you send me...And I'll try, yeah I'll try, to touch the world like you've touched my life...And I'll find my way to be your hands..." (Hands and Feet by Audio Adrenaline)