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Most important part of me? I am a Christian. I love God. Next? I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder... yes, I love shiny things and squirrels. I love to make people laugh. Humor is kind of my thing. (A benefit of ADHD) I had two major surgeries on my right hip on January 6th, 2010, a gallbladder surgery and surgery to fix a herniated bellybutton that May, another hip surgery on my left hip September 1st, and two more surgeries on my right hip December 1st. Were you counting? That's 7 surgeries in 2010! I have been blessed with a selfless family, and a great network of friends to support me. God has grown me through the whole experience. I want to be totally and utterly immersed in God. God is my all. His love is the reason I am alive today, and my reason for living everyday! I'm now a music major at a community college and using my voice for God's glory. You should check God out if you haven't already... I don't know how to put this, but He's kind of a big deal. (Yeah I stole it from Anchorman.)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Television was (not just) my babysitter

I stared at his dreamy, chiseled, porcelain face in awe. His face was a work of art. His cheekbones could cut diamonds. His piercing eyes could shoot an arrow straight into my heart, and his chin oh boy that chin. In the grand scheme of life, in the glowing tapestry of what I want to be when I grow up, I want to be Conan O'Brien. I want his ginger hair. I want his charming personality. I want his laugh, his humor, and his comedic timing, but most of all, I just want his freaking show. I want to be on television. I want to be the one from which everyone gets news about the president, because let's be honest, no one has the attention span to sit down and watch the news. It's not even funny! Or god forbid read a freaking newspaper. Especially if there aren't any pictures. Forget about it. I want to be a baby sitter's saving grace when the kids won't calm down and she just needs some quiet time while they watch the boob-toob. I want to host Saturday Night Live and have my face streamed across every lap-top in every college student's dorm room in between watching videos of cats and naked Miley Cyrus abusing construction equipment. I want my friends to say "I knew that girl. I made fun of her in high school. I guess I shouldn't have been a huge douche bag because now she's famous, and there is no chance I would be able to ask her for money or even hope to hang out with her. If only I would have seen her for the vibrant, effervescent, and hilarious young woman she really is instead of only seeing her as a 220 lb loser in high school." But I'll be honest, they will never be able to say that because most of them  cannot use words with more than 2 syllables, let alone pronounce the word "effervescent" correctly. It's okay high school friends, I forgive you. To me television is not just a form of entertainment. Television is art. Acting, set design, script writing, production, directing, costumes, makeup, is artistry. And heck, even getting donuts, fetching sparkling water, picking out the brown M&M's of each bowl, and doing other ridiculous things for stuck-up stars and their high-maintenance eating habits (is something I would totally do for someone like Emma Stone although she does not seem like that kind of a person) is artistry. What am I getting at here? Well, crap, I forgot... hold on... I need to read the beginning of this post to see for myself. Oh yeah. Television shows like Sherlock, Community, SNL, The Walking Dead, New Girl, Conan O'Brien, and The Carol Burnett show (I have a thing for redheads) are what inspired me to audition for musicals and pursue theater and even (very) recently decide to minor in theater at Colorado Christian University. I first became interested in these television shows not because they were entertaining or a way to pass the time, but because I could relate to each character. I could see myself in each character, and I didn't feel so abnormal anymore. Jess from New Girl showed me that it's okay to sometimes sing sentences or break into song during a conversation. Sherlock taught me that it's okay to be sociopathic sometimes, as long as you have a Watson around to bring you back to earth and deflate your giant sun sized head around which everything revolves. Once I saw that my differences were often the same differences that made a television character so funny or cool or relatable, I did not feel as much like a weird, selfish, egotistical doofus anymore. Television has inspired me to be that character for another Erin Darling out there in the world who is insecure about who she really is. I want to be the actor that, through their performance, can communicate that just because you are different, quirky, weird, or not accepted by society, YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND IT'S OKAY TO BE YOU. I want to continue to pursue theater and acting after I graduate. I want to show everyone that there are people just like you who struggle day to day externally with others and internally as well through the characters I portray. I want everyone to know that I am one of those people. I am egotistical, spontaneous, annoying, naive, analytical, hyper, weird, and lazy. Television has shown me that I am I am the sidekick, the hero, the villain, the damsel, the old fart, the clueless inspector, the robot, the snot-nosed kid, the cocky dirt-bag, the attractive leading lady, the plaid shirt wearing assistant, the crazy asian, the monkey named Annie's Boobs, the smart old neighbor, and the surprisingly wise janitor. I am me, and I'm not perfect, but I am not alone.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Confessions of a moralist.

Today is Sunday, and I was supposed to go to church like a good Christian, but I didn’t. I tried to get a ride, but it didn’t work out. I thought “Good. Now I have more time to finish homework.” Instead I found myself pulling up a podcast on Spiritual Formation vs. Moral Formation by John Coe. (Now was that just expert procrastination, or the Holy Spirit? I’ll let you be the judge.) He talked about moral formation. Moral formation was defined as a way we try to hide our bad with good things we do; a way we cover up the guilt and shame that comes with our bad, and how we try to prove to others our worth and that we are lovable that comes from our insecurity of knowing our badness and thinking no one will ever love us if they see who we truly are inside. It’s the attempt to fix/grow/transform ourselves whenever we feel convicted by doing good things. He stated that spiritual disciplines do not grow you. It is only by the work of the Holy Spirit. Because “Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.” Christian life is about denouncing the moral life as a way of happiness and trying to please God. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. 
Just because we feel dry in our spiritual lives, does not mean that nothing is happening. It is the Holy Spirit taking us on a journey. He is opening us up to a relationship with God, abiding in Him. John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” We cannot “bear fruit” unless we abide in Jesus! The “good works” come from abiding or depending on God, not the other way around! I mix this up constantly. I constantly try to fix myself and manage my life so I can be a better servant of God. That’s not what Jesus was about! He didn’t die for us and take away our sin and give us his righteousness so we could continue trying to fix ourselves! He took away our sin so we could have a relationship with God again!! So we could come near to Him, abide in Him, and depend on Him! 
So John Coe also said that if we are convicted by our sin, and our first response is “I’m going to do better,” or “I’m going to work on it and fix it” then we might be a moralist! (Did that sound like a Jeff Foxworthy joke to you too? You might be a moralist if…) Apart from Christ I can do nothing. A speaker in CCU chapel last week worded it like this: It would be like trying to keep a balloon filled with oxygen off the ground. You constantly have to hit it up into the air, only for it to come right back down. Instead, we could just fill it with helium, and then it’s not by our own power that we need to keep that stinkin balloon up in the air! We rely on something apart from ourselves to keep the balloon up, and it’s LESS WORK! Bam. Moralism.
“If awareness of your own sin results in feelings of frustration, self-rejection, and failure, so much so that you don’t want to feel these things, then you might be a moralist. Moralists cannot bear the awareness of being a failure; they cannot bear the awareness of the truth of their motivations; or knowing what really drives them…. And in this we have missed the point of self-awareness. We’ve missed the point of awareness of sin because awareness of bad is a door into love and grace. Awareness of our sin should lead us into awareness of God’s love in the midst of our sin! Our self-awareness should not shame us into deep depression or a motivation to try to be a better person, but it should turn our self-awareness into rejoicing! “I CAN’T GET RID OF MY BAD ON MY OWN BUT HOORAY CUZ CHRIST DID IT FOR ME! I AM NOT DEAD ANYMORE! I HAVE NEW LIFE! THE GOSPEL IS TOTALLY RAD!” Guilt can be healthy. The difference between guilt and shame is that guilt says “I did bad.” and shame says “I am bad.” Healthy conviction would sound like “I can’t and do not want to do anything apart from Christ. I need Jesus.” 
So now it’s personal application time. I am a moralist. I’m a painfully self-aware person. I see my sin and failure, and it discourages me from doing anything out of fear that I’ll mess it up. I pray and pray that God will help me to see myself as He sees me, and to take away my self-doubt. But what if the self-doubt forces me to rely on Jesus? What if God is trying to remind me through my self-doubt and guilt, that He has saved me from all of that? What if God is just poking those thoughts into my brain to remind me of the amazing grace He has offered me? Instead of rebuking my self-awareness, Christ has allowed me the freedom to worship Him! I can worship God in my self-awareness of sin by being thankful for saving me from my sin! Instead of focusing inward, I can now focus on God. 
2 Corinthians 1:9 says “Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” This is my all time favorite verse. It’s underlined in my bible with little girly hearts next to it. My heart feels as though I am constantly living out the final moments of my death sentence. Depression really does that to me sometimes. But that verse says that we can choose to focus on the death sentence, the depression, the self-doubt, the enormous amount of sin and failure that clogs up our soul and rely on ourselves to fix it, OR we can focus on the miracle of God’s power to raise the dead and rely on Him to do the same for us. I don’t know about you, but I like option 2. And yeah I intentionally phrased that to sound like a T-Swift song. You can judge me. It’s okay. So yeah. There’s a purpose in all this suffering, guilt, and shame, and it’s not to make yourself a better person. It’s to rely on God, who raises the dead.  
So now I’m kind of nervous, because I have about 2 hours to do some homework until I work at 3-10. After getting home tonight, I don’t know how motivated I will be to do homework. Maybe if I don’t get my homework done, I can direct my profs to my blog and tell them it’s the Holy Spirit’s fault…. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

After God's Heart

   So I should be working on my homework... but I am procrastinating. On a professional level. I've convinced myself that my soul needs to write about Jesus and all He's done in my life and other profound things like that. Yeah Jesus takes precedence over homework, right? Right.

   I'm at work right now, listening to a song called Love is All Around. My cynical heart immediately throws up from the cheese and disgust and hatred toward anything mushy, but secretly my heart wants all of that. My heart has been conditioned to think that if I don't have something, then I have to hate everyone else who does. Maybe that's why I hate romantic comedies so much... No I just hate them because they are so cheesy and predictable and they always star Kate Hudson and Matthew Macono- I don't even care how you spell his last name. I'm just sick of them. 
   
   So anyway... today I've been meditating on Psalm 136, the chapter in Psalm that repeats "His love endures forever." It got me wondering why David would repeat that 26 times? He states something about God and follows it in every single verse with "His love endures forever." I wonder at his motivation for writing that so much. It kind of reminds me of the junior high days when I had a crush on someone and I would write his name 1000+ times on my notebook. Not the cover where everyone could see, but on the very last page, where no one would ever think to look because I was a smart sneaky paranoid junior high student. 
   
   I would like to think that David had the same feeling I did when I wrote my crush's name all over my notebook. (Minus the unhealthy, stalker-y, obsession-y aspect of it.) I think David was just so enamored with God's love that every time he wrote "His love endures forever." It felt like the first time writing it, or he felt like he hadn't written it enough. It didn't do God justice to just say it once. I want a love like that.
 
  Or maybe David was going through a rough time. Maybe David needed to constantly remind himself that God's love endures forever. In that case, I totally get that. My own worst enemy is my faulty memory. I wish I could go throughout my day remembering everything God has done for me and feel all the love that He is constantly pouring on me, but then again, if that were the case, then I would always be focused on what's behind me. I would be focused on superficial things. 
   
   So my goal at the beginning of the semester was to love the lord my God with my heart, soul, and strength, but especially and specifically with my mind. I wanted to learn how to love God by doing well in school. The more school went on, the more I realized how hard it really is, especially being so distracted all the time. I started praying for God to help me get my homework done. The prayers stopped being about Him and others, and started becoming about managing my life. 

   In my Old Testament class, our teacher got on his soapbox like he usually does and preached about using God to manage your life. (Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE when my teachers preach. Especially Koerper.) That's when I realized how much I was using God as my personal assistant. 

   That's when my focus changed. Instead of asking God to solve all of my problems, I'm just going to focus on spending more time with Him. I'm done trying to fix myself. That's what I'm always about is fixing myself so that I can be a better person so that I don't need Jesus as much. My pride wants me to be able to stand on my own even if I'm like a newborn baby giraffe, but my heart says that apart from Christ I can do nothing. So I just want more Jesus. I always need more of Jesus, but now more than ever I want to be near Him. I want and need that constant reminder that His love endures forever. 

   I want the love that David had for God. I want the kind of love that makes me write all over my things about God's ridiculous love for me. I don't care if that sounds silly, cuz let's be honest. David stripped down to his undies because he was so excited about God. There are worse things I could do. I want to be the woman after God's own heart, and nothing else. Not personal gain, not good grades, not a boyfriend or husband, social status, friends, or applause. I just want God's own heart. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Confessions

   So I've been looking back at all I've been through and reflecting on what God has helped me endure. There are a lot of things I haven't admitted here, so I figure I may as well be honest, because I'm not perfect, and I don't try to be. This past summer I tried to commit suicide. I tried to overdose on sleeping pills. I obviously failed. There are a lot of days I wish I hadn't failed. There are a lot of days I am glad I did. Some days I remind myself that God must really want me on this earth for a reason, otherwise I would have just died that night.
   Life is a constant battle for me. I battle for the motivation to do simple tasks like homework and staying organized. I battle myself every single moment. There are a lot of times that I absolutely hate myself. To say that I see any worth in myself would be a lie. The one thing I do know is true though is that Christ gives me worth. Whether I had any worth to begin with or not. Like I said, I've been through a lot, but that doesn't mean I have everything figured out.
   I swear like a sailor, I am selfish, I hate my body, I hate my looks, I hold grudges toward those who make fun of me, I am so stinkin quick to judge, I pretend I am strong, I am controlling, I put up walls so I don't get hurt, I am ungrateful, I lie, I lust, I'm arrogant, I'm so stubborn, I'm rude, I am so so broken. More broken than I could ever know, and that kills me. Sometimes so much so, that I forget that Christ loves me deeper than my brokenness. He's redeemed me and made me a new creation. Most of the time I forget, or I don't feel like a new creation. Most of the time I know the world would be better off without me.
   I know that God has me in this place for some reason. I am not struggling with all this depression, insecurity, and suicidal thoughts in vain. I am not writing this for your sympathy. That's not what I'm after. What I'm after is that I am done pretending that I have it all together. It's not helping me or anyone. I just want the world to know that I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am covered by Christ's blood, not because of anything I've done, but because for some crazy awesome out of this world reason, He loves me. For some odd reason, He created me with a specific purpose. I'm clay in His hands. I'm not a masterpiece yet, but I'm not just a lump of un-molded clay anymore either.
   I am not defined by my failure or how well I know and follow the teachings of the bible. (Thank God.)  I am defined by Jesus Christ and Him alone. I just pray during that the next attack of depression and suicidal thoughts, I will remember this and hope. I know that someday I will rise up. It may be a while, but it is someday. I may despair, but that is only because I know there is hope. "There cannot be despair without hope."
   I am so thankful to be here at school going through these struggles, because I know I am not alone. I have such a good community of fellow believers who build me up and see worth in me when I cannot. I know I am going through all this crap for a reason. It has a purpose. Right now, my job is not to figure out what that purpose is or trust God to fix my life. He is not a personal assistant. Right now my job is to draw closer to Him and seek Him first. Not to get something. Not for any gain other than to spend time with Him, to love and be loved by Him. So that's what I'm going to do. At freaking 3 o'clock in the morning. I'm going to spend time with Jesus. That's how I roll. That's what I need. I just need more Jesus. Thank God that Jesus is and will always be more than enough for me. I can never need Him too much.
   Okay enough gabbing. If you're reading this, I just ask that you pray for me. Maybe share with me your struggles. I'm a freaking open book now, so why not open up too? Just because we go to a Christian college, doesn't mean we can't share our struggles. I'm not going to judge. I mean, who am I anyway? Just a fiery punk redhead. Vulnerability breeds connection. You want a true sense of community? Get vulnerable. Share crap that you are too embarrassed to share with others. You won't believe the freedom you get. Truth will set you free. Do it. Now. Okay not now, I'm about to pray and go to sleep.
   To sum up this post, I am a sinner. I have nothing to brag about except for my savior. My God is awesome. He loves me though I don't even remotely deserve it. The end.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The pursuit of pursuit.

   Faith story. I don't like that term. To me, it implies work on our behalf to get to Jesus. I think it sounds like it's implying too much on our behalf. What made me come to this decision? I don't know. I guess just being lonely. To you, that doesn't quite make sense, but let me explain. All of my friends are getting married. I'm just getting tattoos. I just saw a first dance at a reception on Saturday. It was so beautiful that it almost made me cry. I don't cry. I think crying is stupid and messy and it gives me headaches. I've only cried during 3 movies. Mrs. Doubtfire, Men in Black 3, and The Princess and The Frog. But to see two people so in love get to share a beautiful moment together just made me tear up.
   All that to say, I'm lonely. I miss being pursued. Every girl longs to be pursued. I was thinking about this as I rode my bike to church today after youth Sunday. Oh yeah! Today was youth Sunday! I led worship today with my youth band! I always get nervous leading worship in "big people church" because I feel this pressure to be someone I'm not. I feel the need to be formal and impactful and speak the word of God so that I convict and bring people to tears. I need to invoke a response... any response out of the congregation. I'm so afraid I'll say something stupid or accidentally blaspheme, or stumble and stutter my way through something stupid to say. I feel like Moses. He was slow of speech. I'm sometimes slow of thought. I don't articulate my thoughts very well. I know what I want to say, but it doesn't always come out right.
   I read about how Moses told the burning bush he couldn't lead the Isrealites out of Egypt. God said "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Exodus 4:11-12.  
   So that was... somewhat comforting, but I still wasn't convinced. I asked God to give me a sign as obvious as a flaming plant on youth Sunday to show me that worship leading is something He is calling me to do with the rest of my life because so far, all it was doing was causing me so much stress and feeding my insecurities. I kept reading and internally freaking out about how I was going to mess up the worship on Sunday and completely distract people from the presence of God. Then I read this: "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14.
   Pretty sneaky, God. I love this verse because it applies to so so much in my life right now. The internal battle going on inside me, all the stress that worship leading puts me through, my fight for control, my fight against my insecurities. We are all in a battle. The human nature is "fight or flight" it's one or the other. But the bible says to go against your human instinct and just let go. My mind pictured me in a bunch of knight armor in the heat of battle, and then I just lay down my weapons and take off my helmet and armor. Do you see the risk in letting someone else fight a battle for you? You're completely exposed! You run the risk of having a spear or sword run through you. Or your head chopped off! (My imagination makes me laugh sometimes. I seriously did imagine being beheaded.) But not with God. God never loses a battle. Trust me. I've fought him many times. So right then and there, after I read that verse, I prayed. I let go of my insecurity. I let go of the worries about youth Sunday. I let God fight that battle for me. And guess what? Youth Sunday went really well. It was the most fun I've had ever leading worship in "big people church." It felt eerily natural which I've never felt before. Even with some powerpoint problems and some awkward issues with my mic stand, it all went so smoothly that I know for a fact God was in complete control. God either works with me or in spite of me. He orchestrated the whole thing, and I just happened to be an instrument in it. That made me feel awesome.
   There is something so freeing about knowing you aren't in control and God is. It's peaceful and awesome. So anyway, back to whatever I originally set out to talk about... ummmm.... now I have to look back at the beginning of my post to check, because I totally forgot... Oh! Being pursued. Right now, I desperately want to be pursued. Like so much, it's unhealthy. I want to be pursued by all the boys. All. The. Boys. I just want to know that I'm worth it. I want approval. That I'm worthy of being pursued. Then, while I was biking home today, telling God how much I wanted to be pursued, I realized.... God's been pursuing me this whole time. My entire life even. He chose me and He approves of me, and He is pursuing me with a holy passion. Even in my darkest moments when I denied God. Even in the moments where I would try to play God in my own life. Even when I chose worthless idols over the Almighty. Even now while I complain about not feeling pursued!
   I look back at everything I've experienced in my life, and I see God in ALL of it. I mean, every single moment. And it brings me to tears. I've been chosen. It's never meant so much to me before in all my life. God chose ME. Even though I'm selfish and immature and irresponsible and absent minded and proud and controlling and sarcastic and fickle and impatient and SO STINKING SPITEFUL. God CHOSE me. Why? Because underdogs are God's specialty. He loves me. I'm a lovable underdog. I feel so blessed and undeserving. That's how this grace thing works I guess.
   So back to this whole "faith story" thing. I don't like it. I want to call it something else. I want to call it  "the story of God's pursuit of a sinner and how she finally gave in," but that's too long of a title. I just don't want people to look at me and say, that girl was searching for Jesus and finally found him. Because let's get one thing straight, I wasn't ever searching for Jesus. I was searching for fulfillment and purpose in every avenue other than Jesus. Jesus pursued me. I did nothing of my own power to come to my faith in Jesus. My story is just a story of how my brokenness brought me to my knees at the foot of the cross. I didn't do anything to find Jesus. He found me. And praise the Lord; I saw the Light.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Phat, but with an f

   I think it is safe to say I am out of the pit. Or I'm at least in the process of pulling myself out of the pit. Now I'm kind of... I don't know... wary I guess is the word. Wary of moving forward. I'm exhausted from all I've been through. Absolutely exhausted. My excitement for the day I leave for Colorado is clouded by the utter shell shock of the past year.
   In my weary state, all I want to do is rest. I want to rest in things like movies and tv shows and internet. These things give my brain a chance to check out and numb the pain. But I know that is not the answer. It's time to rest in the Lord. He says to come to Him, all who are weary and heavy laden, and He will give us rest. So I guess the first step in this process would be to go to the Lord.
   With camp coming up, I'm not feeling that usual sense of excitement. I'm scared. I'm scared I'm going to screw everything up. I'm scared I will not make camp as impactful as it should be. Every year has been so successful that I feel all this pressure to exceed that expectation. What I'm forgetting is that all that success did not come from the work I did. It came from the Lord. Instead of relying on my strengths to make camp awesome, I need to rely on God. If I try to make camp better than last year, than I've already missed the point of camp.
   Now so far my summer has not nearly been as cool as last year. I've just been going to work and church and home. For the fourth of July, I saw my dad which has become too rare of an occasion in my life. I stayed with him and had a wonderful time. I went to the Blues Fest in Davenport with my friend Gretchen and experienced some REAL music. I only regret using the time I set aside to see my dad to do something else with someone else. I feel really bad about that. What little time we spend together is already so precious, and I just took away from that.
   There hasn't been a drive home from my father's in which I haven't cried. Every single stinking time I leave I hate it. I hate not knowing when I'll see my dad again. I just want to go eat something to make me feel better. Oh that's another little parasite that has been gnawing at my brain. I've gained weight since last summer. I've gained about 10 lbs and I can see it. Every time I see a picture of me from last summer, I feel so embarrassed at how I look now.
   Here's a life lesson to all you insecure women out there: If you have insecurities about yourself at 220 lbs, you will still have the same insecurities at 140 lbs. Just because the weight goes away, doesn't mean the problem does. In addition to the heartache I experience when I look at a thinner version of myself, every time I hate on myself for gaining weight, I beat myself up for not accepting myself for who I am at whatever weight I happen to be. How messed up is that?? It just makes me sad at my broken state.
   Oh and boys, here's a little lesson for you as well: DON'T EVER CALL A WOMAN FAT. EVER. (Okay so obviously there is some deep seeded pain from personal experience coming out here. A boy called me fat in front of my whole youth group, my youth pastor, my small group leader, and all my friends, and no one stood up for me. That happened in middle school, and I'm still not over it yet. That's how much it hurt.) Don't call a woman fat. Even if she's the skinniest person in the world, and she may know it. She still has insecurities and you will only be feeding them. She will hate herself and carry those issues around for the rest of her life. Nothing breaks down a woman more than being made fun of. Period. Now I cannot blame my bully completely for my problems. I'm not a complete victim here. There's an old saying: Inside every person is two dogs fighting each other. One is good, and one is evil. The dog that wins is the dog you feed more. It's ultimately your choice ladies, but men... Come on. Don't be douchebags. I obviously have some forgiveness issues here. Phew, shake it off Erin.
   In order to feed the good dog, I'm going to need some divine intervention. I can't just be better at talking myself up. I can't just try harder at loving myself. That's not how the soul works. It's trusting that there is nothing I can do on my own to better myself and trusting God to help me.
   On a lighter, more miracle based note, God is providing for me. I've been praying for the means to buy myself a new laptop, and God just gave me a laptop. My cousin gifted it to me, even though he was going to sell it and use the money to buy a much needed car for him and his family. I am so blessed, my cousin David is truly a blessing, and God is so awesome. I'll just end this on that note and try to get my buns to bed now. Goodnight everyone. God bless.
 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A necessary death sentence

   To me, not having a best friend in which to share everything is the worst kind of hell. It means I cannot find affirmation and value through someone else. Right now I'm suffering. There is so much I want to say, but no one to hear it. I went to my psychiatrist a few weeks ago to talk to him about my anxiety attacks and suicidal episodes, and he said after everything I've been through this past year, it's normal. Normal? The word stabbed me with every beat of my heart, keeping a steady rhythm like a sick metronome. If this is normal, then I don't want any part of it. I was so sure that he would just diagnose me and give me some more medicine to cure me. It scared me to know that what I was going through was normal.
   I walked out of the office in complete shock and terror. I felt like I was walking back to my car in pitch darkness groping around for any type of support or sign of life. I felt like I had just plead guilty and had been sentenced to death. I walked to my car like it was the gallows. I sat in my car and cried. I cried in despair and cried out to God. "I don't want to deal with this anymore" has become a common plea and is no exception in this case. Being so overwhelmed with depression and anxiety that it makes death look like my only friend is not something I want to continue to deal with. It just downright sucks.
   My heart sobbed while my soul sang an all too familiar tune to me which became so much more literal and meaningful than it had ever been before: "Indeed in our very hearts we felt the sentence of death, but this happened that we may not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead." (2 Corinthians 1:9) This death sentence I've incurred is necessary. I need this death sentence. Otherwise I will only rely on my own dwindling strength to get through and eventually give up. And my God raises the dead, so in Him I have hope. I've been in pain for the past few months, so much so that sometimes I just want to end it all, but this pain will not go in vain. For some reason and in some way, God is working this together for my good. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28.
   I'm so close to leaving for Colorado. 47 days. It feels like an eternity. Some days I don't think I can make it one more day. Some days I just want to go home to be with Jesus, because I have absolutely nothing to offer this world. I have left a path of pain and destruction in my wake, and I don't want that for anyone. I don't mean to end this post on a sour note, so I'll just end with some reassurance. Right now, not having someone close to go to has forced me to go to God. It's been good. Also, I'm trusting God in this time of despair and hopelessness. "I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope." (Bane from The Dark Knight Rises)
   Which brings me to my next topic, tattoos. I'm getting a tattoo. This decision was made on April 14th. The tattoo will say Rise up in Moroccan Arabic. It's the chant the prisoners scream as Bruce Wayne climbs from the Lazarus pit from The Dark Knight Rises. I had made some horrible life decisions and I told a friend "I feel like Bruce Wayne when he's thrown into the pit, but I have no desire to climb up and escape because I belong down here with all the criminal scum. I deserve to rot at the bottom of the pit." And to that, my friend said "When all you know is darkness, the idea of light gives little comfort and freedom and just seems like an illusion, so you embrace the darkness like you belong there. Trust those of us who know the light. Trust us right now, then later, when you are in the light, you can trust the light." Then they said "Rise, rise, RISE!"
   That's why I'm getting the tattoo. As a reminder of the darkness I've been in. It's a reminder to see myself the way God sees me and to keep rising through the darkness. It will help me remember that I will never be so lost or broken or defeated or so deep in the pit that God can't allow me to rise up from it. My hope comes from above and I just need to lift up my head for deliverance, and the Lord will enable me to rise up and meet it.
   I may seem completely hopeless and beaten down and depressed, but God. That's it. But God. I have God in my life and He is my only hope right now. I hold out hope that He has something awesome planned for me and that He loves even though I hate myself. He sees something in me that I cannot. Even though I feel weak and incapable of doing anything right, I can hope in the Lord because He uses the weak to lead the strong. Underdogs are His specialty.
   I mean, Sampson was one slice of beefcake, and then he went and got stupid with a girl and lost all his strength then got blinded, bound, and captured. But God still used him to take down an entire city! God STILL used Sampson! God used Sampson in his weakest, most broken down state! God could have chosen to use him when he had all his strength, but it's that much more of a miracle when God used him in his weakness!
   I don't know what's in store for me, maybe I'll get to take down a city with a donkey's jawbone, I don't know. Only 47 days. All I have to do is make the most of the time I have with the God I love and the people who support me. I need to be thankful of what I have and for what I don't have. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows." James 1:17. I will rise up.
تيجي بسرعة
(This is my tattoo. I'm getting it on my wrist. Judge me all you want. I don't care.)