Heads in the Sand

Can I speak?

No, I mean I can, but I really meant

Should I speak?

I have some conflicting ideas. On one hand, I was always told to speak your mind, express yourself, that I live in a free country and can have an opinion. In school I was rewarded for speaking up, for asking questions, for processing aloud. On the other hand, I was told that sometimes it’s better to have peace than to have my perspective shared. In this climate lately, I’ve been told explicitly and implicitly my perspective doesn’t matter, well unless my opinion reflects those who speak the loudest and most passionately now.

I also happen to carry certain identifiers that also render my opinion invalid because of the crimes of my predecessors. I’m not here to make another whiny no-one-will-listen-to-a-white-christian-male post, I’m just clarifying that lately I’ve felt less inclined to express my opinion for the fear that it will be completely disregarded, not that some (most) of the criticisms are valid. I mean it has been colonialism that have led to many of our worldly woes.

I digress.

I honestly haven’t written in a long time for a myriad of reasons. Most of them are internal. I hated repeating the whiny broken record of “Why God? It doesn’t make sense! I’m living in one of the greatest places on earth and don’t know what I’m doing. I have a dependable job with benefits that is flexible for life. I have to pay off dental bills for the fixing of my teeth. Wah”

It’s exhausting to go through the motions in and of them self to then rehash it out for others.

So my throat tightened.

My thoughts and emotions suppressed.

Left to sit.

But..

When God designed me, when he set the parameters for how I was raised, He made me to express and share. In fact I don’t function well at all if I don’t talk things out, to formulate my thoughts out loud, and hopefully with someone as a sounding board. The last few months I’ve been sick, not visibly but internally, heart sick. All the thoughts and feelings have been stewing inside and creating poison. Every now and then I release a little bit, I allow some to seep out or some of the poison lashed out, but up until about two weeks ago when I began to work on healing, I allowed poison to grow. I knew it was there but I tried to distract myself with a million little things to avoid the truth.

The thing about truth, whether personal or objective, it is good when let out, but it’s not always pretty. Towards the end of last year when I was exhausted from asking God to heal me, or bring focus, He challenged me to begin to pull away from my self medications, my distractions. I slowly began pulling them out by the root and had serious withdrawals. Most of my distractions were simple but effective (social media being king). I wouldn’t allow for a moment to go by without occupying my mind, so I began to allow myself to be bored, to not be distracted. It was awful. I was in a scary place.

I was alone, alone with my thoughts.

All those things I had not dealt with, that had lingered, now stared me down. I couldn’t face them alone, so I prayed.

Relief. Sweet relief.

I began to realize my problem, I was never able to receive healing because I was ignoring my problem, my sickness. Ignoring a knife wound and willing it away doesn’t fix it. Dressing it up in fancy wraps doesn’t mend it. Making self-deprecating jokes doesn’t heal. You’ve go to take the knife out (not immediately, in the presence of a great surgeon) and allow yourself to be patched up.

Lately, things have been getting chaotic. And ignoring it won’t help. So now I look at it and now I will process out loud. If you’ve read this far, hopefully that means you won’t readily discount my thoughts. I know my personal struggle lends nothing to my education or my perspective, but I hope it allows you to see that I am human, that I struggle and that I have some personal character.

Breathe.

The world is a messy place. You know that, I know that. It’s also a beautiful place.

It’s sick. For a long time people have liked to think otherwise, that the problem is “those people”, but the problem is those people are just like you, part of humanity, flawed, messy, and beautiful. You who argue that morality is gray, how can you say I am wrong that all humans are simultaneously capable of wonder and atrocity.

There’s healing available. Good healing. The caveat requires that we give up something of ourselves, our pride mostly. We have to all recognize how we contribute to the problem before we can figure out how to be part of the healing.

That’s the rub isn’t it though, it’s so much easier to see someone else’s problems, “Can you believe that person would say or do this thing that I abhor”, you say. They retort, “At least I don’t do that thing or think the way you do!”

Right now we have a President in the USA who is making a lot of bold moves that are scary to a lot of people. If you are not concerned with how concerned the country is, I wan’t you to ask someone why they are scared. If you are in a fever pitch with how disgusted you are, can you ask someone what fear they had that led them to their perspective? If you who scream tolerance are intolerant of another how do expect progress? If you claim to love your neighbor but won’t stop to hear their story how can you expect love to grow? Are you able to confidently accuse someone else of bias without recognizing your own limited bias?

Can I march with you if I don’t agree with everything you say or support?

Can I not march and still feel passionately?

Will you listen to what I have to say before disregarding what I have to say, without a retort ready on your lips?

What if I told you I am Pro-life and think defunding Planned Parenthood is terrible?

That I believe in the right to bear arms but I think war is deplorable.

What if I told you some of the most brilliant, open minded individuals have an accent different than yours?

I believe in empathy and understanding, but I don’t think safe spaces are a healthy solution.

Can you imagine a world, a country, a room even where people are not afraid to share their perspective for fear of being shamed or disregarded? Isn’t that what has this been about? Or has all of history just been a repeating cycle of the bullied becoming the bullies?

 

Now, this is where I become more divisive. I believe the healing we need is love. The love I refer to is not the one that is permissive, that allows children (who are still developing and need direction) to do whatever they want. (sidebar, why do we spend so much money on training and disciplining pets if we don’t care enough for our children to guide them) Not the love that is unhealthy and codependent allowing for abuses because one day someone might turn around. I mean the active, healthy good love we all need. The love that comes to us and tells us when we’re messing up but makes sure to walk alongside us when we need it. The love that gets into the ditch to help up out when we’ve slipped. The love that celebrates our victories with the most relish. The love that protects but urges us to be brave. The love that makes us our best and the most we could be.

I believe that love comes from one source. You have every freedom to disagree with my “limited” view but in my life when everything is crashing, when I am what I described above that love is God, made apparent in Jesus Christ. My attempts at good are a farce in comparison to what I have done through Him. (not ignoring all those who misuse his name and character, that is evident in their character) Jesus is my healer and the one to heal the seeping wound of this world.

 

Now you know what I think. Now I’ve just got to get better at representing Him. Although the great thing is, all I have to do is let down my guard with Him. (Which is scary). Recognize that part of me is the cause of hurt and as long as I continually go to Him I will become part of the solution.

That’s all I meant to say, I’ve gotta take my head out of the sand. I’ve gotta speak and be a part of the solution.

 

 

A Post Script for those who follow Christ as I have aforementioned. I don’t understand how we can ignore the pain and the cries of so many, even if you disagree with policy. How is the red, white, and blue greater than the Kingdom of Heaven? I thought we were not of this world? I thought we pay taxes to Caesar, honor and pray for him (or her), but we are not nationalists. We are not supposed to be Greek, Jew, Gentile but citizens of heaven? With all that how can you offer me a “but…”? I will listen, I do think the system is messed up, but never has our hope or salvation been in a political leader or policy? We cannot become pharisees, we cannot wish so badly to adopt the customs of our neighbors that we get Saul at the end of his reign, or an Absalom (at least he was of the line of David?). Why do we want a king so badly? Let’s learn from Israel’s history, not repeat it (this is not a political stance on current nation of Israel a critical view at Biblical Israel).

 

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I am not Good, and neither are you

There are hard lessons that we cannot avoid and there are hard lessons that persist under the surface waiting to be taken hold of, to be understood and then relearned the next day.

And the next day.

And the day after that.

There are a few things I know, that are at the center of my “web of knowledge” (theory of knowledge buzz term).

In the top five category comes the knowledge that God is good.

Now this is difficult to say, to stand on because many people have trouble with this. In fact for many people tis is the main reason they cannot believe in God because they look at the world and wonder how a good entity could create something so “flawed”.

In fact, though this is a core belief, a core knowledge of mine, I wonder at it a lot of times. When I look at big things like poverty, war, abuse, etc. I wonder how do I reconcile this information with this truth that I know? When I look at my mom, her suffering, my dad’s journey through that, I wonder.

But I know God is good.

How do I know? (I apologize if Whitney Houston’s voice is now coursing through your brain)

How do I know God is good?

Honestly, I know when I see people get excited about something. When someone’s eyes light up because of something deep stirring inside of them. Passion.

Let me explain.

Recently I was discussing with one of my roommates the fatal flaw of socialism: people. Now regardless of your political standing, socialism always sounds great. Different peoples have been attempting Utopia for centuries, where everyone is equal, everyone does their part and we all love in peace and harmony. No poverty. No hunger. People can access opportunities for good health no matter their station. The lesson in History is this: Utopia doesn’t work. People don’t all pull their weight, some people want more, people mess up the system, and before long people begin to try to determine who can stay or who cannot and suddenly we enter dystopia, because suddenly it’s up to one or a few to decide what’s required of everyone. How did they get this power? Who’s standard are we supposed to follow?

People are flawed. That has been agreed upon.

“I’m only human”

So how can a bunch of people make a perfect system?
It’s not possible.

Now, before you think I’m sinking my own case, let me attempt to show the beauty of God.

In the beginning of things (well our beginning) God creates this being that has higher level thinking, they can think beyond urges and instincts. He gives them creativity and the ability to choose their path. Then He tells them the standard. That God made them to work in conjunction with Him. It’s all about this teamwork. So we were designed to run a certain way, this is declared as good. But because He is so intelligent and amazing He gave us the choice, because what kind of relationship would it be without choice.

Let be more clear, working as we are designed to work (namely with Him) anything else is not good. In other terms, bad.

So like day 27 of life (this is not theologically determined, rather given in the metaphorical sense for the purpose of narrative), the early beings working life with God made their first decision that was bad (read: not in their intended design). They thought they could try life on their own, which ended badly for everyone involved (and yet to be involved).

Humans are beings designed to work one way, but incapable of doing so, since this moment.

We are not good.

Our language and culture has watered down the word good to either mean well intentioned or beneficial to someone and it becomes this messy word that has lost its original meaning.

God is good, all that He embodies or characterized by is good, anything else is not.

Growing up my mom used to use a metaphor for truth, “You’re either pregnant or you’re not, there’s no kind of pregnant”. Similarly, as much as we would like, there is no kind of Good, there is or there isn’t.

“Woah, that’s kind of extreme, what about…?”

We could discuss this at nauseum, but at the end of the day that is where the word comes from, what it means. And when you look at people that are “kind of Good”, they’re kind of bad, too. Every well intentioned thought or action that does not stem from direct relationship to God, has selfish motives to it, self serving.

“But isn’t it good to take care of yourself?”

When we aren’t serving the needs of another we are drawing away from each other.
And when you’re honest with yourself, you will see the uncomfortable truth of this concept.

The story of God, written in the Bible, is Him in His goodness trying to get people to be good, restore the! To factory settings. Even those contentious moments are part of the narrative to motivate people to seek Him out, to be in relationship with Him, because that is the greatest Good. From that people can begin to love Him and in conjunction, love those He created.

So, all these terrible things in the world that we have brought upon ourselves by trying to go our own way, can be turned Good by God when we stop trying to fix it on our own, seek Him and move forward in that. Then people will understand Him, the way He meant life to be lived, and then the world begins to heal. It won’t ever be complete by our attempts.

Everyday, I must relearn this hard lesson, either from reflection or repeating mistakes, so that I can give up this false control I think I have over life and trust His control.

Situations may seem dire and I may doubt, but regardless of how I feel, He is good.

Cake Pop

“Please, mommy! Look it’s my favorite”

I hear as I wait in the back while on my break.

“It’s my favorite cake pop, can’t I please have it.”

She’s impassioned. You could here it in her voice. What she wanted more than anything in the world at this moment was that cake pop. I waited to hear how the mom would respond. I was invested in this now. Probably a little cynical in my eavesdropping expecting what normally occurs where the parent feebly responds no until giving in after the child begins  throwing a tantrum.

“Honey, no we are already getting a treat and we’re going to go and have dinner when we get home, we’ll get it some other time. Remember I said not to ask for it”

Here comes the tantrum.

“I’m sorry, I know.” Her voice begins to get choked up, “It’s just my favorite. I’m sorry, I just really want it.”

“I know honey, but I said not now-”

By now the little girl is sobbing, not hysterics, just completely broken up about this cake pop.

“Haven’t I been good, though mommy? I’ve been really good and I really think I deserve the cake pop” She can barely get her words out. She is weeping at this point.

I think her mom became really concerned at this juncture, “What’s the matter? You have been really good. I know you want this cake pop and we’ll get it some other time but not tonight.”

“Alright”

“How about I let you pick out dinner? What would you like?”

More quiet sniffling, “I donno”

Now I was impressed at first at how well behaved this girl acted. She was not throwing a tantrum, hoping to sway her mom, she was just sad. She didn’t understand why in the world she couldn’t have this good thing. She had acted good, validated by her mother, and her mom showed concern and love for her, which leads me to believe her mother has given her good things before, basically meaning the mother was not known to promise good and withhold it.

The little girl just didn’t understand. She knew her mother loved her and gave her good things and she had a grasp of the concept that typically when you do good things you get rewarded with good, but here she was learning a new lesson.

Reward not always following good behavior, but more than that good being held for a greater good that lies just around the corner.

In that moment, God spoke to me. He said it is the same with me right now and for a lot of how he operates. He has this greatest good for us and we see the good in front of us. We perform well, we behave well, and we expect the good that we see and desire. God knows better and He holds off, and has us be patient.

He doesn’t love us less, in fact He loves us more. He loves us too much to give us the first thing we see.

How do we respond to this? Well I know how I have responded:

God I gave up everything for you, for this, to be here, can’t I please have this. I’ve done what you’ve asked, I’ve been faithful, can’t I have this? Please, I need this. Lord, I need this right now, I am about to sink, this may be the last straw, what if this is the point of no return with my faith remaining? All these people are looking at me, expecting success in your name, where is it? I don’t want to let them down. They’ll think I was a fool, that they were right for not believing you could do this or that you even want to do this. Lord please.

Meanwhile, God has this great plan, this great gift waiting for us, but if we could stop focusing on ourselves we might see it.

I don’t want to settle for a cake pop if there’s cheesecake waiting, if there’s an entire meal at my disposal.

And since when did I actually do anything warranting more blessing than I can even think or imagine.

Honestly, I like to think I deserve the world, when I don’t even deserve that cake pop.

A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of everyday
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow’s just a dream away

These optimistic song lyrics are used in the Disneyland attraction “Innoventions” a place where Disney tries to show the power of innovation and invention. The song refers to the hopeful view of the future, the thought that tomorrow (the future) is brighter when people dream up possibility and pursue it.

Today I went and saw the movie “Tomorrowland” named after the area in Disneyland where tomorrow is possible today. When Walt Disney thought up Disneyland he wanted to bring in some of his nostalgia from better, simpler days and team it up with the seemingly limitless possibility of the future.

“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

-Walt Disney (Opening Day Speech)

You see Walt was a dreamer and he believed that our world, though marred by human failings had the possibility for better, evidenced in the good of the past and the possibility of the future. The movie’s premise followed this line of thinking, that with the combined efforts of the hardworking, diligent, and hopeful people of the world we could create a better tomorrow.

Without giving too much of the plot away, the movies focuses on a young dreamer and an old disillusioned inventor who are brought together by a recruiter, someone who’s job was to bring people to Tomorrowland, in order to see the promise of the future continue. While watching the movie I was enamored with the whimsical technology of the future, I was more enraptured with the themes the movie laid out.

Simply put, our world is broken, all around there are natural disasters and human induced destruction, and the idea that there might be this better world if we truly tried. The greatest point that the movie brought forth was that this glittering possible future wasn’t made with great strides of science but rather created in the small hopeful actions played out each day. It was the daily persistence of doing simple and small good that would change the world.

One of the most memorable scenes is when one character, who has lost all hope, explains incredulously how when faced with the daily omens of destruction and death, humanity has quit; people have given up trying and have welcomed their fate of destruction. This pivotal scene sold me on the movie. I love movies that have a hopeful message of human dedication to do good turning the tide and here was that poignant point. When we daily decide to turn away from apathy, from the resignation that the world just is awful, and pursue what we can do today, then tomorrow seems that much more brighter.

And here is where the message coalesces for me. Throughout the Bible there is mention of the Kingdom of God, that place where God reigns and there is no more pain or fear. In many of my college classes we learned about the characteristics of the Kingdom in what one of my professors dubbed “Kingdom Culture” and how we are to live as if we live in that kingdom. Studying this subject we come across the phrase “now but not yet” which talks about God’s kingdom. One day Jesus will return and take us to a new earth, a new home, paradise. In that paradise, that kingdom, there is a way of living, where there is no lying, no cheating, no hurting, no hating, no pain, etc. Basically a world devoid of bad.

Because Jesus died on the cross for wrongs he did not commit and then rose back from the dead, we can choose that life. We can choose the life of someone redeemed, not broken. We can accept it in part, because we are still on earth, but if we accept that life one day we will continue living with God in paradise. While we are still here, we live as much as we can of that paradise by following God’s way, taking his perspective, his perspective of hope, of grace, and most importantly love. So while we are still here, we can live like we live in that paradise, as if the paradise is here. Gradually, as we tell others of paradise, more can join in this mission of living in paradise now. It won’t be complete yet, but we can live as if it is now.

This is the hope of following Christ. Living in creation as he planned it. This is what I saw and learned again in watching this movie. My part is to daily live as if I live in paradise, as if that is the destination I am headed to. I live that in the small things, the daily interactions with my world. Slowly, the hope is that others will focus less on the destruction and terror and more on the potential of what tomorrow can hold.

A Feeler

I am a feeler, I am learning what this means more everyday. This is probably my ego-centrism, but I think I feel deeply, perhaps more deeply than others. I take information in and I feel the depth of it. I take on the feelings of those around me. Worst of all, I take things too personally.

Oftentimes when someone acts or does something around me, I have to figure out what they are thinking of me in that moment and how that feeling framed what they said or did. I know others do this, but I don’t know if they do it to the extent that I do. I am constantly analyzing the people around me, the social dynamics, whether people are genuine in their friendship or just friendly because I am there. 

There are blissful moments where I don’t over analyze, these moments are when I get caught up in what is going on and forget to think about it. Honestly, these moments are happening more often. There are a few individuals where I completely expose my insecurities, fears, and anxieties.

You see, I’m a feeler. According to Myers and Briggs I am an ENFJ, which means that I am a people person, or something like that. I like arranging social situations and be loved by those around me. To top it off, my highest love language is quality time. Withholding love is my kryptonite, but because of my anxiety of being rejected I distance myself from others so they do not have a chance to withhold from me, so…

…I am withholding love from myself.

 

Why is this frankness relevant? 

I am lonely. It is refreshing to finally admit it. I am lonely. I have friends but I long to go deeper in these friendships, most aren’t ready or willing for that, but it’s getting better. I think I am more willing to open up to friends, without feeling the need to perfect what I say and do around them. I am beginning to feel like myself. 

I am lonely in another way…romance.

I am not a serial dater, in fact in the last six years there have only been two, both times it ended the feelings on their end just evaporated. I still don’t know how that happens, but anyway the issue I face is I want someone. I want that special girl in my life, my best friend, someone to kiss, to date, to cuddle, to marry, to watch netflix with, to travel with, to fight with, to cook with, etc. I want that in my life. Someone to start a family with. 

I am lonely, but I am not alone. I am surrounded by people that love and appreciate me. Right now is not the time for a relationship and that’s okay. I think now is the time when God will remind me again of how to be close with Him and how to be a friend to those around me. To be confident in who He has made me to be and pursue His call on my life, to sacrifice myself daily for Him.

 

Thanks for allowing me to debrief and be honest. 

I Have no Idea

I have learned a lot at college. The thing I keep learning is that there is a lot of stuff I don’t know, and a lot I don’t quite get, but that’s okay.

It’s not that I don’t know a lot, more there is a lot more that I don’t know while I’m still learning. 

Yes, a lot of this interestingly enough relates to leadership and ministry, but I didn’t learn most of this in the classroom. Perhaps I can break it down in a few lesson pieces.

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. 

This may seem simple and obvious, I mean, unless you work heavily in the prophetic or you have some clairvoyant abilities, most people think they know what will happen next. I mean you can have a general idea, in regards to work schedule and such, but you really never know what could happen. Even the Bible talks about boasting about tomorrow, you never know.

Bigger than a weekly schedule, though, I don’t know what is next in life for me. I mean I have a general idea, but even that is not definite. As a few of you know by now, I had planned on being in New York City by now, in fact, when I first moved here, I thought I was going to be in New York a year ago. I am still in Virginia and it seems like I will be for at least another four years. I thought that would make sense only if I had reason to stay. I thought that reason would be very specific and obvious, a serious relationship, but through a conversation tonight I realized that again I was being to center focused.

I don’t understand how to love.

Now, although this does relate to romantic love, it is more about general love of people, the agape love I ought to have for others. You have to let people go to truly love them. If you hold on too tight to an ideal, it’s not real, it’s stifling and it only limits you in the end. Being realistic is not pessimistic, but it allows you to speak truth when it needs to be spoken and it allows you the freedom from feeling guilt.

I realized that I have been idolizing this idea of friendship, of companionship, that I miss it when it’s there and I push people too much when it isn’t. Not wanting to be alone and being afraid of it, are two very different things. It’s time.

I don’t know how to lead.

This is attached to the idea of love. When you love someone and you see greatness in them, you can’t just expect them to figure it out. Helping someone realize their potential is not easy and more often than not, it requires confrontation so the difficulties can rise to the top. God does this with us, He allows difficult circumstances in our lives so we can grow, so we can allow the negative aspects of our lives rise and be removed.

I know I can be demanding, but I shouldn’t shy away from speaking truth because it will offend someone. Jesus did it all the time. I cannot allow others to suffer for the sake of one anymore. You can see the good in people and do all you can to help them, but if they do not seek for it themselves, it will amount to nothing.

 

I don’t know how to do this.

 

But you know what? It’s okay, because I have a God who does. This is part of my process, too. I get to learn. I don’t have to have everything figured out. And I know it will be hard, but when is life easy? I can’t keep hoping and waiting for some perfect scenario for life, because there is none in this one. All we can do? Seek first God’s kingdom. Everything else is gravy.

It Is a truth universally known, that a man pursuing ministry is in want of a Wife….

Girls aren’t the only ones that have been let down by the expectations set by Disney movies for relationships.

Growing up I always thought that if I acted like a Disney prince that one day I would get my princess. I thought that if I was a gentlemen, if I thought of her first, catered to her needs, romanced her with flowers and fun excursions and most importantly made my love known, then I could get the girl. This, sadly, is not true. In life, things are so much more complicated. 

I thought love was this ideal, this epitome of life. If you had a girl you loved to the moon and back, then you were set. I mean of course you have to have a castle and a kingdom to run, but to have true happiness all you need is a princess. I thought that if I could find the love of my life then everything else should magically fall into place, I mean at least that’s what the movies talked about. Nothing else mattered really, jobs could be adjusted, people could move, all for love. This was the ultimate goal in life.

For many years this was all I looked for in life. I mean sure, I worked hard, did my studying but my eyes were always alert for the future Mrs. Rushton. This seems pretty dramatic at first, especially for a guy to say, I mean do guys really look for this? Yes, we do, it’s just not manly to admit to it, plus the added bonus of our gender not really adept at handling complex and difficult emotions that require vulnerability (I’m breaking all kinds of rules here). But really, looking for your wife?

Yes.

I was raised in a house where we were not allowed to date until we were sixteen, and even then my parents impressed upon us to not just date to date, but to get to know a person and then, if you thought it was serious and that it may ever lead to marriage, then by all means date them. Because I am who I am, I took this as the letter of the law and I adopted this as my philosophy on dating. You date to marry. Then there were the movies, not just Disney movies, but most, if not all movies. They created this view that a significant other was the ultimate goal in life. Being a person who wants to make others happy and desperately craves for the love and affirmation of others, I am a sucker for this mentality.

I find this one person who just “gets me” who laughs with me, who is my best friend, who I can tell anything in the world to and still loves me, I find this girl, and I am set for life, nothing else really matters. Not to mention the church admonishes marriage so much, to a point that may be unhealthy (but that is another conversation).

I prayed and asked for this girl. There were a few promising prospects, but for some reason or another it would always break down before something really happened. I explained it to myself (in order to make me feel better) that we were headed in different directions, different callings.

You see, I have this call on my life, I’m sure if you’re reading this you know a little bit about it, but I feel called to minister to the city of New York (hence AdventuresInNY) and more specifically to those in the theatre industry. I have given my life to God and in this offering, He has staked a claim on my life for this city and I always knew I would eventually end up there so I prayed that I would meet someone with a similar calling or a calling to that area so we could marry, move to the city and ride off in the sunset of marital bliss changing a city for God. They had to have a similar calling because I never want to be in a relationship where I am more important than the call of God on a person’s life.

Then I met this beautiful lady. I fancied her and when (in a bold move) I told her how I felt she let me know that she fancied me. We began the courtship process while honoring the restrictions set by the school we were attending. When the time was right we started dating, it was wonderful. She was my first girlfriend and I thought she was to be my wife. Remember the paradigm I had been working with and she expressed an interest in my city and she even admitted to the same thoughts I had. Then she went home for the summer and all the bubbly, new relationship feelings dwindled a bit. 

Distance is hard on relationships. When she came back to school she realized that she wasn’t sure if she could end up in New York and I began to have the feelings that I was to move by December (which is what motivated the resurgence of my blogging). We broke up because we were heading to different futures. 

This goes against my romantic nature. Love is supposed to go beyond circumstances. 

I didn’t end up going to New York yet and it just makes me wonder…

And suddenly all those romantic feelings resurface. The paranoia, “What if she is the one?” “Did I make a mistake?”

Life is a messy place and emotions just make them confusing, but that is what makes life worth living. It is in these moments that I realize life is not a Disney movie and the really good love stories are the ones that don’t seem likely until the last moment. I don’t know what God has for in store for me in this department, but I will trust Him and continue to pursue the calling he has on my life, who knows while I’m running towards Him I might start to notice someone running beside me. (Sorry, I had to use this cliche, it’s my favorite). 

Cheeseburger

I haven’t written yet this year. This absence is not due to a lack of things to write about, but rather the lack of focus to write them out. So much has happened since I wrote last. We had Christmas, I flew back to Virginia, New Years Eve came and went (I had planned on writing some thought provoking post about new beginnings, but I neglected it, probably for the better) and we started back up with working here at School.It’s been great and God has really been pressing in on me with different little lessons.

Money has been extremely tight lately. Tighter than I have every really experienced, but God is faithful and he provides for me consistently. All break I had been praying that there would be money to help sustain me so that I would be able to spend more time at school and working with the Performing/Fine Arts here at the school (my internship). Last Friday, it was approved. When I got back from break last Monday, I had $10 to spend on groceries, in a week and a half I have not gone in want of food. Money is tight, but God is good.

This experience has been so humbling for me and so completely beneficial. Every time I have gotten to a place where I thought I had my life together, that I could take care of myself, times like these come where I have very limited resources and I am forced to completely rely on God. And he has come through, he has taken care of me. Today McDonalds had a deal for $.49 burgers and I did not have even enough money for that, yet God provided. My former roommate and I went and he used some of the money on his gift card to buy both of us lunch. I have never appreciated a McDonalds burger as much as I did today at lunch. This friend of mine, doesn’t have much more money than I do, but he shared his gift card with me and we both feasted on three junior burgers.

It’s amazing how grateful you can be when you have nothing and you begin to realize how much you really have. I have a place to live and a community that surrounds me with love and care, more than that I have the Lord of the Universe caring for me, taking care of me, making sure I can have a prayer answered in the form of a junior cheeseburger. 

I know I am not the only one that can be in a place where you don’t know where the next meal is coming or the next paycheck, but know this: God is taking care of you, He will provide for you.