About Me

My Photo

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, November 20, 2014

Poetry from the heart

Haunting, haunting, haunting...
Failure boos me
And death woos me
the more I fail
the more I die inside
the more I die inside,
the louder the ghosts cry
boo, boo, rubbish, filth, slime
The Queen of Refuse am I
I lie in a puddle of melted dreams and hope
The stars mock me at a distance
Laughing from afar
Bringing despair
Shining on my scars
No hope, no hope
Cackles the gaping pit above me
Only despair, only despair
Sneers the darkness around me
Why try, why try
Chant the dancing demons at my feet
Regret and remorse join the demon's dance
The dance of the dead creeps into my bones
The hungry darkness around me consumes my heart
No more no more
I, victim, cry
I can take no more of life
Take me demons, darkness, despair
for I deserve what I cannot bear
I deserve to suffer
in the flames of darkness
that wrap around my soul
choking my spirit
dancing and licking at my heart
Why climb?
Why rise?
Why try?
I
can
not
go
on.

Welcome to my life.

   For I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. You were once dead in your sins, but have been made alive in Christ.
   I don't feel alive. I feel quite dead right now. I feel quite dead most of the time nowadays. The height, length, and depth of my sin is overwhelming me. "Just focus on Christ and it will get better." Oh Gee. I didn't think of that. Thanks. Sometimes I cannot see Jesus through all the sin, stains, muck, and mire that covers my eyes. I need Jesus to wipe it away and give me sight again.
   I truly believe Christ died for me and has wiped me clean of my sins and gave me His righteousness. It's just hard to remember that all the time when you feel so guilty and sinful. How do I get to the place of my security in Christ? I don't really know at this point. More medication? Counseling? Maybe. I just want Jesus to fix me. I just want to be fixed. It's really a thorn in my side preventing me from doing anything because I don't feel capable enough.
   A song we sang in chapel today said "Take my intellect and use every power as you choose." I started crying at this lyric because I don't think I have any intellect. How in the world do I change that mindset? I've believed those lies for so long that I have substituted them for truth.
   Anyway, good times. It's been rough. I mean, I haven't been struggling with this big time, because it's been the norm for me. It's just that sometimes I see these lies exposed in the light and I find a glimpse of hope and it scares me.
   Like what if I'm really smart? What if I'm just lazy and complacent? To me, that is worse than being dumb. I would rather be dumb than be lazy. What if I am so much more capable than I think? That means I have more power than I think. What if God created me for righteousness and I am capable of it? That means that I have no excuse to pursue righteousness.
   Jesus is righteousness, so pursuing righteousness means pursuing Jesus. I've been reading the bible and praying. I desperately want more of Jesus in my life. I need more truth. I need to see not the height, length, and depth of my sin, but the height, length, and depth of God's love.
   Ugh. It's the same old story.
   I need love. I need assurance. Blessed assurance. I need that. God please show me in big ways you love me, and I am forgiven. Please show me I am clean. Please show me I am loved beyond all reason. I need your love. I need you. Please be apparent in my life so I can see you instead of my failure that so easily paralyzes and entangles me. I want to serve. I'm so scared. Help. Sozo me.

More poetry

Attention attention!
Demand comprehension!
This "deficit'
makes me say things inappropriate
Outside the box
like catching a fox
are my thoughts
cascade untaught
unfiltered
bewildered
are my listeners
both hitting and missing her
intended target
too far yet
right on the money
stick with music honey
don't let your emotion
gallop forth like the ocean
waves that so swiftly carry you away
to the sea beyond day
into night
where the wild things are
dangling in infinity
just sit and look pretty
while the wild things destroy your soul
eat a hole
keep up appearances
don't let them see your fear and says
the wild things "You'll never get better."
the woman you are is not close to the woman you want to be yet you're
stuck between a rock and a hard place
between giving up and pressing on chase
the dream and fail or never try at all
do I stumble and fall
or stand tall
in one spot
on this white pedestal
never moving
never failing
always fearing
always bailing
on risks and chances and opportunities
you freeze
unfreed
your need
to bleed
drowns the seed
no good deed
goes unpunished
the battle never won it's
ongoing
betrothing
being captive of no thing
snapped bow-string
no music
time's up you dumb hick

Monday, October 6, 2014

Try to Keep on Keepin On

   "Show me my silver lining. (I try to keep on keepin on.)" It rings in my ears like the cries of the ghosts from my past. This haunts me in a different way. It's the cry of my heart. I don't feel I belong at CCU anymore. I don't know my purpose. "I'm tired of looking for answers." I grow weary of wandering aimlessly in attempt to find my path in life. Maybe I don't have a path. Maybe God's will is for me to wander aimlessly like the Israelites for a while. I need him in the midst of this desert though. I keep looking back at the tracks I've made in the sand, only to see them swept away by the wild wind. I see all I do here being swept away as if it never happened. Everything I do becomes undone. "Show me my silver lining."
 
 "These shackles I've made in an attempt to be free." I fashion my own makeshift freedom that ends up enslaving me more than I was before. These scars on my arms brought me no freedom. My wayward life did not fulfill me. I need freedom in Christ alone. I have to depend on Him as my only source of freedom.


...to be continued...

   My Silver Lining- First Aid Kit

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

For Karisa, Love Erin

 

Transformation Tuesday... Something I've learned over the past 3 years is that just because you lose the weight, doesn't mean you lose the insecurities that went with it. My insecurities related to my body, are not something I can "lose" like a certain number of lbs. Insecurities come from the heart. My insecure heart keeps telling me to lose more weight, because I'm still not happy. I may have reached my weight-loss goal, but the act of reaching that goal did not satisfy. Deep down, we do not love our friends according to their outward appearance, so why do we think that we have to look a certain way in order to love ourselves? The only way I've become truly happy is accepting that I am loved no matter what. True and lasting change starts with the heart. No amount of "behavior modification" could ever solve a heart issue. For example, I tried everything to lose weight. I starved myself, binged and purged, ran many miles with a severe birth defect, but at the end of the day, it all came from the wrong motivation. I only did this because I believed that my sense of worth came from my outer appearance. I believed the lie that who I was as a person, was measured and summed up by the number of lbs on the scale. I tried to lose weight for everyone but myself. I didn't care about being healthy or taking care of the body with which God has blessed me. I just wanted to belong and be accepted by a shallow version of society. The diets I tried, the anorexia, the bulimia, the dangerous exercise, were just another way I punished myself, and nothing more than an expression of hatred toward myself. I'm not saying I no longer struggle with these insecurities. I most definitely do, but the way I handle them now has changed. Eating to numb the pain of depression and low self-worth is one form of self-loathing. Dieting and exercising to lose weight is ultimately to feel good about yourself and get rid of your low self-worth, which is still just a different way of numbing the pain and another form of self-loathing. I dieted because I hated what I looked like, and I associated what I looked like with my identity as a human being. It's only a quick fix though. It's instant and temporary gratification that causes delayed and enduring pain. Like I said, I may have reached my goal, but the act of reaching my goal has not made me love myself more, because love does not depend on outward appearance. My goal now is to merely be transformed by the renewing of my mind... to know God and His unending, unconditional love for me. I want an identity not in myself, my looks, my actions, my thoughts, or words. I want my identity to come from God, because God loves me. God is Love. Love changes the heart. And the heart is what really matters.

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.