Journey Prologues.

Conformist Success?

I like to think sometimes that I am a nonconformist, but really I work within the system, and today I am tentatively excited to announce that I’m taking what I’m hoping is a step up within that system. I’ve gotten accepted for a new job. I don’t expect it to be perfect. Nothing is all it’s advertised to be, but I can say that the workers there that I saw through the large glass window while I waited in the lobby for my interview, well…they seemed happy. Happiness at work is something I value highly…though a laid back dress code, flexible hours, and benefits don’t hurt either. I wonder what the names of those people are? I wonder, what are their stories?

I’m taking a risk. Today I have to tell the owner of the grocery store, see if he’ll keep me on part time or not. Today I’m taking a tangible, somewhat scary step forward in response to my restless spirit, of late. I’m accepting the possibility of leaving my comfortable, routine job entirely after my two weeks’ notice is up. I’ve always appreciated the lyrics to the Carmen song that defines faith as “Stepping out on there and finding somethin’ there.” I feel like I’m stepping out on air right now, and I really hope that I do, in fact, find something there. Yet I realize that I may not. And, if that is the case I’ll have to find something else, maybe a lesser job. Performance based employment is risk. Telemarketing isn’t  exactly what many would consider to be an honorable career. But, for me, it is at least a refusal to settle. I see so many people who have given up and settled for a job at the store permanently. Sometimes I see the sentiments that caused them to content themselves with this lot in life in myself, and that scares me. So yeah, that’s what’s new in my life. I’m becoming a doer, and not just a talker. We shall see how it all turns out. Not many people would consider a job of this nature an adventure, but for me it is, and I’m setting out to prove all the naysayers wrong.

So, that’s the long and short of where I am right now. Actually, it’s the short version. There’s more that it isn’t ready to be written yet. But I can’t leave a post as short as two paragraphs, so I’ll share this poem of St. Francis that I happened upon framed on the wall at my sister’s future college. I may write on it more on the future, I know not. For now I shall commentate only that it was thought provoking for me, and I would love to hear your reactions…

 

” 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.
                                                                                                 “

 

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Mess Of Ponderings

I think I shall go buy a new wardrobe because the old one doesn’t suit me anymore. How cliche, money-wasting, and impulsive, right? Did I mention that, yet again, it is late and I am writing even though I have to get up at an udgodly hour for work? Old habits never change, do they? Nor do old sins. I struggle with the same things over and over, as any faithful reader of my blog would attest. Meanwhile, Christian movie reviewers at http://www.pluggedin.com condemn this film partially ( I get that there are other condemning factors) for its underlying theme–questioning people’s ability to truly change. I look around me and within myself and question too.

Anyhow, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a thought provoking movie. Its premise has been the start of several fascinating conversations at work regarding whether or not coworkers would want any portions erased from their memories…when I get the chance to talk. Sometimes it feels like people only listen as a courtesy, and promptly butt in unleashing their problems as soon as a civil point for opening that topic presents itself. But I suppose I have no room to complain. Recently I went to my self-assigned honorary grandmother’s house (she’s a coworker). It only took a few caring questions, and then there was no turning off my babbling. I felt guilty after…but sometimes a person needs to just get everything out, you know? She thinks God wants me to stay at this job right now. I’m not so sure.

Speaking of needing to get it all out… I got a call while at work the other day from an elderly customer. She wanted to know about dog food, although she didn’t yet have a dog, nor any especially hopeful prospects of obtaining one. It ended up that we discussed much more than dog food, however. She told me of her heart problems, she has them like her dad did only worse. They didn’t have the money  to fix him, so his killed him, and her problems, well, they’re past the point that doctors can fix them even though she (apparently) has money, yet she is bound and determined that she’s going to go join the military. After all “Everyone in this town is a nutcase. Don’t you think so?” She ended off saying she’d pray  for me. She just needed someone to talk to. Sometimes I think I get along with the old and the young better than anyone else.

I don’t know where this post is heading or where to end. Nothing has changed since last post. I’m still drawn to the new, but allowing my comfort zone and financial state to hold me back. I thought recently of the title of a John Piper book I once read, though I didn’t particularly care for it:” Don’t Waste Your Life”. Much like the book trailer for Rosalie de Rosset’s “Unseduced and Unshaken”, his title drew me–the questions suggested by it are compelling–but I found the book to be an unsatisfactory answer. How does one go about not wasting his life? How does one gain the willpower to be unseduced and unshaken? Where is the key to fulfillment, and strength, and dignity? Most Christians are afraid to go at  those questions with anything less that Sunday School answers, so, I suppose, to these authors’ credit, at least they tried. Anyhow, I’m once again off topic, and the hour is late. Unfortunately, sleep is a necessity  as is my dull job, at least until I happen upon something better. I suppose this post is naught but a mess of ponderings.

Goodnight my friends.

 

 

 

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Restless

“I wanted to be a rockstar–sing for a living. I did for a while, I guess. I opened for a few famous bands…you wouldn’t know them. But hey, if that’d happened I’d never have gotten to work at this palace.”

Sarcasm runs thick in his last sentence. He works morning crew, up well before the sun to stock shelves; he sings for a local cover band on  weekends, always looking for a gig. He piqued my curiosity. I started asking others: “What was your dream job when you were younger?” She was hesitant to divulge.

“I don’t know…

“Come on there must’ve been something.”

“Well, I used to want to work at a bakery.”

You should. You would be good at that.”

“Oh, it’s too late now…”

Her attention to detail, the perfectly dribbled white chocolate accents on her once-a-year chocolate covered strawberries, her flawless fruit trays. On her off days she bakes cookies with her young granddaughter, then comes in showing pictures. (“Look how well she did for her age.”) Maybe it runs in the genes.

“I wanted to be a major league baseball player, but my realistic dream was to be a teacher.”

“What kind?”

“Oh, I didn’t have that nailed down yet…maybe History or Economics. A teacher and a coach.”

“Why didn’t you?”

My dad ran off with his girlfriend, and we were kind of backwards, you know…didn’t know how to get loans and stuff.” 

He would’ve made a great teacher and coach. He teaches in church now and again, using object lessons; he’s and umpire during the softball season in the effort to earn a little extra cash.

I’ve been restless lately, itching to move on. I think it’d be fun to work at a zoo or as a truck driver, or something… Maybe it’s stupid to want that. My manager is amazing. He gave me two ice cream sandwiches today, slipped me money to take a coworker who’s been down out to eat last week.  You can’t put a price tag on that. Money shouldn’t matter, even if I could make more money working at McDonald’s than here, but, at the same time I don’t want to work produce my whole life long. I want to make a difference, see the world–but also watch my brother’s grow up. As usual I’m conflicted.

I don’t want to be a tragedy like their stories. Years go tricking by. I have enough dreadlocks to enjoy, but not too many to hide. Could I get hired? Do I want to? I’ve not always had much luck with that in the past, but now I can say I have some job experience under my belt. Even so, there aren’t many options for jobs around here, unless I want factory work. Or I could move. Now there’s a scary prospect.

These are the thoughts that occupy my mind, my time. Is this restless a prompting of God, or my own selfishness manifested? I’ve always been enticed by the idea of travel, being a vagabond as described by Robert W. Service in his poem The Men Who Don’t Fit In:

“There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
    A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don’t know how to rest.”
.

But that’s just the first stanza. The rest reads:

.

“If they just went straight they might go far;
    They are strong and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are,
    And they want the strange and new.
They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
    What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
    Is only a fresh mistake.
And each forgets, as he strips and runs
    With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
    Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
    Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
    In the glare of the truth at last.
He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
    He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
    And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
    He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
    He’s a man who won’t fit in.”
.

No matter what I do I’ll never fit in, but it seems to me that this is the part of life where I choose if I’ll go straight and (supposedly) far, or bounce around everywhere and get (supposedly) nowhere., My instinct says go roam, though my comfort zone holds me back. Any advice for someone on the brink? Any stories? What did you dream of being way back when?

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Vegetables vs. People

Remember when I used to post twice a week back in my good blogger days when I had at least some of the answers and life was slower and filled with the people I loved? Those days are long gone now. So much has changed now, and I know less than I did before. But I’ve had a precious opportunity to go back for a week to people. Summer camp…those magical words. Senior high…I’ve been there, done that shebang. I may not have much wisdom, but at least I can relate. The idea of summer, and being surrounded by excited brink-of-adulthood people, and wearing normal or abnormal clothes (my job makes me realize how much I took both jeans and Ts and being allowed to express my weirdness through my apparel for granted), and seeking God together, and being outdoors makes my heart light up in places that have been dim for quite some time. Actually, I’m afraid I’ll be discontent when I have to go back.

I’ve said it before, I don’t really mind my job. I like handling food, produce in particular, though by this point I’ve seen more than my fair share. The people are pretty amazing. They appreciate my weirdness (apart from the store owner). My boss works with me and forgives my stupid mistakes (like showing up for work two hours early due to bleariness from working mornings all week and general incompetence with numbers.) The money isn’t bad, and we’ve got a pay raise coming up here soon. Honestly, my only complaint is that my wrists being mutilated from the repeated motions of the wrapper. Writing two pages in a notebook never hurt like that before. But when your boss gets you a $10.00 pen for Christmas, it’s not exactly right to complain that your job is encumbering your writing either, is it? I’ve faced worse pain. I’ll survive.

No, I don’t mind my job much at all. There are good days and bad days, but such is life. Yet, while I don’t dislike my job, it also does not fulfill my passion. Maybe it’s unrealistic to expect that anymore. Maybe I’m stupid to still want to do something that I love. After all, I’m lucky to be doing something that I don’t hate with people that I get along with most of the time. That makes me better off than many I know. Besides, I might not even like teaching. It’s a morning job, and sometimes being cooped up in a building with a bunch of over-dramatic adults is enough to get on my nerves, and that doesn’t even hold a candle to being in a classroom with a group of melodramatic teens, struggling, sometimes in very unattractive, frustrating ways, to find their place in the world. Even still, that mental image ignites my soul, much like that of the week of counseling at summer camp. I want to be making a difference. No matter what the par of my work with vegetables and fruits, no matter the degree of excellence or professionalism I achieve, it’s not going to change anyone’s life. Should I settle for less?

I should note here that I realize the possibility of being a light to my coworkers, and I do strive to be one. But there is something about the impressionable, young time. The majority of people who make a decision for Christ do so before their late teens. Even if it were not so, those people, those kind of places put a light in my soul like no other. A week without pay is more than worth a week at camp to me. But is there a way I could love the people and make a living simultaneously? Something achievable, and not debt inducing? A journey there that I could enjoy along the way? Or should I settle? Some of the employees at the store I work with have been there for twenty plus years. Regardless of whether I stay there, do I want to work any job not geared towards the people for any length of time? I think these things, and I get up and go to work each day. I’ve come no closer to a conclusion. I think, for now, maybe I’ll buy myself a car.

 

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Weak & Wounded

Did you know you can die of grief and stress? A troubled mind causes heart-attack-like symptoms; they call it Broken Heart Syndrome–dying of a broken heart. Usually the syndrome occurs in older women, but I wonder if whether or not it happens is linked to mental strength as well as physical? Right now I’m the weakest I’ve ever been. The nightmare my life has been since October nineteenth has to do with much more than just my friend’s choice. Every time I’m halfway coping another trouble wounds me deeply. They come from out of nowhere. The people around me try to help, but they cannot live my life for me.  I’m not the only one with physical pain due to heart wrenching emotion. We are all more than a little messed up right now.

I wish I could go back and wake up that Sunday morning and listen to the gut instincts I had all day. The Holy Spirit can be ignored; I may have been guilty of that. I felt I  should not let our mutual friend come to youth group with me, but rather stay with him. I thought I should have followed him into the woods–because isn’t that what we all want, to be followed by dogged love? I had the urge to randomly stop by the house on the way home. I knew I should have checked my facebook sooner when I felt the nudge instead of putting it off and telling myself to stop being addicted to social media… I know, I can’t live in the past. I go to work and act like I’m ok every day. If I act like it I feel like it more or less eventually, but then reality brings me back down.

The last thing I want is to go to another funeral thanks to suicide. I hate depression like some people hate cancer, because it steals the ones I love, if not physically then mentally. But reality is if I keep loving the people long enough eventually I’ll find myself at another mourning ceremony courtesy of depression. They lean on me. I do my best to keep them alive, for both their sake and mine. But the balance between trust and betrayal is terrible. I’ll break trust so they can continue living, despite the fact that their lives feel like wretched, pointless torture. And then they’ll hate me. Last time breaking trust only made it worse.

I am worn, and I am tired, and I am empty. I can’t sleep tonight. My hair is falling out. My immune system is suffering. Mental stress is catching up to my body, but life does not relent. There is no time out, there is not pause button, there is no relief. Don’t pity me. I’m not saying this here for pity. Rather, I’m typing it out because it is a part of my journey, plus, since these words started circling in my head an hour or so ago they would not cease. If I fought them long enough they would have been gone by morning. They were being stubborn, and I didn’t want to lose them–that is how writing works for me. Maybe now that the words are all typed out I can slip into the gentle oblivion of sleep. We’ll see.

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Muddling on

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf I told you everything that is happening in my life right now you would think I was making it up because it sound more like science fiction than reality. It’s odd, because I’m living under the shell of normalcy– I go to work every day, I’m applying for college–but none of that really matters. It’s the conversations in the wee hours that mean something to my numb heart. Answering questions about Hell and “Have you ever been depressed?”, acknowledging together that the hungry darkness doesn’t want to stop with taking just one soul, trying to help with unnamed problems…many other things I will not tell you here.

Sometimes I don’t know why the people trust me. God knows, many days continuing the fight seems just as impossible to me as to them, but (as a new friend of mine likes to say) “I know the rules. Muddle on.” There is nothing new under the sun. Man is still born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. And that trouble is heavy. The darkness is deep. There is no way to prevail without God, yet  I talk mostly to those who have not yet chosen Him. It gets sad sometimes. Someone told me the other day “I am a perfect, wretched soul.” Truly, God has planted eternity in the hearts of men. Yet we can be so close to truth and still so far away.

I am not better than them. I am human. Maybe I was unfairly blessed to have God in my upbringing, but that is the only difference. It is amazing that even with all the study of life and psychology and the human condition we cannot understand them. They are uncondensible. The only words that get them right are found in lyrics and the Bible because both are vague enough to retain the mystery. I laugh when people call the Bible God’s love letter. Have they read it?

But I am getting off topic. My train of thought is a train wreck of late–even more scattered than usual. I’ve been wanting to write here though. Again, I have no perfect ending, nothing to say except that I covet your prayers. I try to impart wisdom in the wee hours; I am struggling to live wisely myself. I am discovering how important it is that my hope is built on nothing less and nothing more than Jesus, that it be found in Christ alone because all else will fail. I am fighting emotions and lack thereof. “I’m not all-right. I’m broken inside.” But I don’t want pity; don’t worry over me. So long for now, friends. I will be back sometime, writing who knows what. It takes so little time for everything to change.

 

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Confession

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou want to know something? I’m not a good Christian. I strongly dislike study books, and even when I’ve tried to  get over my distaste and just do them anyways (because sometimes in Sunday School they give you homework)  I’ve rarely, if ever, finished. Not only do I dislike study books, but I’ve never read the Bible in a year, or even in two. I’m fairly sure that I’ve probably read every word in there in bits and pieces but never systematically or all at once. It’s hard enough for me to read straight through a book. More often than not you’ll find me doing Bible roulette. Y’know: open, read, digest, repeat again the next day. That kind of formula. Though if I open to Leviticus or Kings I’ve been known to shut, open, and retry. I did read through Isaiah once. C’mon people, Isaiah! But I don’t know that I really got much out of it. Nope, not really.

It really bugs me when people try to reduce everything down to a formula or to legalism. To sermon points. Most of the time life is random and not very sense making, and I like that the Bible is un-linear too. I mean, honestly, I don’t really get why randomness like the rape of Tamar or the exact dimensions of the tabernacle has to be in there. But it is. The Bible isn’t as straightforward as all of our little help books make it out to be. It isn’t as charismatic. (“Those who fight against the Lord will be broken.”) It isn’t as safe. But it is real. It shows life in all of it’s beauty and ugliness. It shows the unfairness of it all.

So when my mind is in a chaotic state, like now, I can still appreciate the Bible and the church depicted there, which, I may point out, is not the tradition stricken, systematic, boxable thing we often see today. I can still live free from the worry of “Is this grey area thing I did a sin? I don’t fell guilty. Should I repent?”  Christianity isn’t about legalism.  I can go outside and appreciate the beauty of creation. I can listen to atypical music by non-Christians that captures truth without fear of condemnation. I can pray to the Heavens and not feel a thing and know that it is normal. It’s ok. It happened to Job and Daniel both for a long time before they got answers. I could go on…

But it boils down to this: I just wanted you to know that I’m not a “good” Christian. I don’t have it all together. Not even close. Sometimes I fear that I simplify things too much for these blog posts. In truth, the conclusions I reach for them are not always the things I live. I disagree with much of what most of the “good” Christian people that I work with believe. I admire deep tattoos. I read a Kyle Idleman book once and wasn’t much affected. Actually, I prefer the work of the ex-porn addict Max Andrew Dubinsky.

Sometimes I talk to good Christians and feel that they speak a different language. Often I think that they feel that I am one of them. And honestly, I’m not. Though I will say that I am not here to judge them. I’m glad that their structured belief works for them. I still love them even though we are so different. The basic, grounding principles of our beliefs are the same. Maybe I’m wrong for being so flippant, and different, and anti-tradition. Maybe someday God will tell me he was displeased with me. But really, from what I can derive, Jesus didn’t fit the good Christian mold either, so I kind of doubt that will be the case. But if so, so be it. He’ll have to let me know if He wants me to change.

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My Future & My Now

What is the point? Who will I be? Where do I want to go? Because the wild child with the gung ho heart, creative apparel, and feathers in her hair OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwasn’t much for getting jobs. Unpredictable equals don’t hire. Makes sense. Though I finally did get a job, by the grace of God. I suppose I’m not grateful enough for it. The people there are nice even when I mess up, and I don’t have to work with numbers. But it fences me in; it pulls me down.  A Christian workplace means I’m not meeting new desperate people, forming new relationships. I tell myself I don’t mind the work, know I don’t mind the money, but it drains my time with the old people (I’ve had to cut off seekers’ deep, late night conversations because I have to wake up and function the next morning) and prevents me from meeting new ones. Someday I am afraid there will be none left… I was right–the connections here are surface level, except for a couple. One I already had. I rock the boat here. (“You are crazy. I have no idea what goes on inside your head.”) I don’t mind it. But it isn’t where I’m supposed to be, at least not for long.

But people say stay, and I know that is wise. I’ve got my foot in the door here. This is a steady job, and I’m not good at acquiring jobs, remember? It’s not like I want to start anew, stress anew, learn anew somewhere else, but I do not fit here.  I was right before, predicting I would live for my days off, weekends, and time with the people. Everyone says “It’s work. You’re not supposed to enjoy it.” Maybe they’re right; maybe I’m not being a realist. But I need to have the people now and always, and soon these old ones will grow up and move on. I’m not meeting the next generation at the people place this year…What to do?

God has been working. He has been exciting me with the people lately. I’m seeing more to make me hope than ever before. Talked to one I hadn’t seen in months online, and he said he got baptized that day. I asked if that meant anything to him. “Yes…”He talked about how he had changed this summer, lost a lot of friends because of his new beliefs. Another one, an agnostic I’ve known a while was going through dark times. I prayed, asked another lover of people who is seeking truth to pray. Next day the dark times aren’t as bleak, and he wants to read the whole Bible; he can’t wait until I get him one. He’s giving God a chance. Then there is the atheist from the family I’ve cried many late night, intercessory tears over who’s band mates have converted, want to “glorify Jesus” with their music now, and conversations with a stubborn member of the same family over why I’ll gamble my everything on eternity and let that effect my now. So many more… God is working. He is alive. He is amazing.

To be clear, I don’t see the people as projects. They are friends, they mean a lot to me, and they will continue to do so regardless of their decisions. I get excited about their considering Christ and about His pursuit of them because I want to see them happy, I want them to know truth, selfishly I want to spend eternity with them. I love pouring myself into people. It is what makes me thrive. Sometimes I feel that I am running empty, that no one is pouring into me, but I lean into God in those times and press on. The people need me, and God is using me. It feels good to be used by God.

Still, my conundrum remains. The thing that takes the most of my time is not the most important thing, the one which means the most to me. For some reason I have to squeeze that thing around work for now, which can be aggravating and frustrating sometimes. Hopefully this won’t be forever though. I am working on applying to a new people place that may allow me eventually to stay with my people, my mission, for the rest of my life. If I am rejected I don’t know what I will do. I cannot continue with this imbalance of my priorities forever, but for now I suppose I must. I love the people. God helps me. He helps me help them. Their problems are too big for me. I can do nothing (not this or my future), absolutely nothing alone.

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Season One

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe summer is ending. Did you know that? The summer is ending, and the endings of seasons are good times for self-evaluation. So, I suppose that’s what I’ll do with this post– evaluate how winter/spring Veronicah is different from summer/going into fall Veronicah.  Have I grown or regressed? To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve grown, at least not in the right ways. I’ve grown pessimistic. I’ve been told that I’ve grown to be overly critical. I’ve not grown in God like I should’ve despite the overly-hyped “This will grow your walk with God!” missions trip. Despite church, despite youth group, despite Christian self-help books, sage advice, and my struggling attempts to “stay in the Word.” I don’t blame those things though. It was mostly my fault.

I’m coming back. It feels different, but good. God loves me, He accepts me. He helps me turn my life around. I had known seasons of being spiritually over-nourished with nowhere to give before, but this season I experienced something new–the joy and responsibility of giving and the importance of staying close to God in that and in everything. When I try to control my life I am drained.

Another thing…I feel that I know less than before. I still believe God is the answer, the cure, the only way to Heaven, our only hope. But since leading someone to God who hasn’t felt God yet, since listening to another someone say he stopped believing after every single person and situation he earnestly prayed for only got worse, since befriending so many agnostics with so many different stories I have become less enthusiastic. Maybe I don’t share my faith enough. I don’t know. They know I believe, they know I care for them, and they know I pray. Is that not enough?

I have written less this season, both on my blog and for myself. Hopefully I’ll write more this winter. My thinking and worldview has changed more recently than ever before. I have been too busy…I hope to remedy that. I have had deep friends. I had always wanted deeper friends, and now that I have them I’ve been told it’s sad that I have no girl friends my age, but I am inclined to disagree. I couldn’t ask for more than the guys who are my confidants. They make me happy; they care. Finally I have friendships that are give and take. I am afraid to lose them.

One last thing: I now feel both more typical and more different than I did before. I am very human; I have very predictable reactions and emotions. But I also am and always will be markedly isolated and seperate. My choices are not the same as those of my peers, which is why I am still at home, not yet acquiring the much-glorified higher education. The world is moving on without me. The people are back at the people place, but I am not there. I miss it.  They are my passion, and I’m thankful for the connections I’ve been able to retain, but I hope someday to go back to those halls and classrooms and love the people there again. This is where I am now. This is the end of season one. I wonder what is yet to come. Shall I flash the words across the screen for you?

To be continued…

Categories: Journey Prologues., My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Purpose

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was afraid of losing my purpose, of purposelessness. I was  afraid of too much suffocating small talk this winter at work. “Nice”, facade shrouded Christian  people who wouldn’t let me in versus the “bad”, crazy, hurting, needy ones at the people place I’ve had to leave behind. That is what I was going to write about last week. I had the words scrawled in a notebook. It wasn’t my best post ever, but it would have done. But I didn’t get a chance to type it, because I was too busy doing more important things. Instant messaging is amazing. It means I haven’t had to leave the people behind.

Go to bed they tell me. Go to sleep. Get off the computer. And I do. I always leave before I want to, but sometimes it’s hard to balance the necessary things that don’t mean anything to me, and (what some people would call) the unnecessary things that matter beyond words. The joke at our house has always been “I can’t get off! Someone is wrong on the internet.” but that doesn’t even begin to compare to my reason now. “I can’t get off. Someone is hurting, needy, broken, desperate, seeking God…on the internet.” I thought for a while that I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I think I even talked about it on here. I decided not to because it’s a lot of time and money to get the degree, and with it I wouldn’t even be able to help the ones I want to anyways. The ones I want to help can’t or won’t pay. But just because I’ve decided against that career doesn’t mean that the reason I was attracted to it is gone. The people still need love and hope. I still feel the deep need to be the ear they need. No one wants to be alone.

Another thing I said I was afraid of in my old post was living for the weekend. Not in the typical sense, but still. I’m afraid of surviving the workweek, not really living, always waiting for the next time I get to see the people. The next time I get to be Jesus. This is what I live for now–to love on the people. This is what fulfills me even though I know (and am becoming ever more aware of) the fact that it isn’t me or my words that can heal them. I can’t heal, but I can be an arrow. I live to point them to the one who can help. I live for this, which is why the last few years before I went to the people place were so hard. I was purposeless, living in a bubble of Christian “friends” when what I really wanted to do was reach the broken. I am terrified of being that again.

It’s a huge responsibility. Which words to say? I represent Christ, and if I flub up there are consequences. It’s hard sometimes because there are so many, and I can’t help them all. When they all message me at once, and I want to give each the attention they deserve it can get overwhelming. But I’m learning how to balance.  I’m learning how to balance four conversations at once. I’m learning how to balance the annoying necessities like earning money, and the deeply meaningful like loving on other humans. Like accepting them, embracing them, and being the ear they need. They’re not weak, they’re just human. We all need a listening ear.

So whatever I do, wherever I go, I don’t want anything ever to stop me from this. This is my purpose. This is my passion. This is my reason to live.

Categories: Journey Prologues., My Life | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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