Monday, January 21, 2008

A peek into my journal

Reading past journal entries is often thought-provoking.
I sat in Starbucks (I'm sad to admit it, but I've become more of a Starbucks girl than a Dutch Brothers girl since moving to Eugene) with a good friend, my Bible, journal, and a nonfat white chocolate mocha.

I didn't write anything new because I got so wrapped up in my past entries.
  • March 4, 2006: the "Be Real" all-campus retreat at Twin Rocks
  • March 8, 2006: Praising God for my new-found confidence. "I don't ever want to forget how I feel right now -- a bit restless, w/ butterflies that won't go away. I want this confidence to permeate everything that I do." Asking questions about post-graduation decisions: Tilikum or inner-city San Francisco with CSM?
  • March 19, 2006: Sitting at the Portland airport, traveling to interview with CSM
  • March 21, 2006: Committing to work at Tilikum
  • March 28, 2006: Spring Break in San Diego, asking God to heal me of my sunburn :)
  • May 2, 2006, laying on the carpet at a beach house with my parents and grandparents with a glass of red wine and Vicky Beeching in the cd player: "I am a college graduate! ...later that night, we ended up laying down in the middle of the quad, looking at the stars, wondering about life after graduation...Baccalaureate was a moving time to worship together for the last time...I grinned for pictures... Karissa's dad accepted her honorary diploma and everyone stood and clapped; I cried as I remembered her...I took pictures with family and then they left to go back to the hotel. I walked back to my house in the rain. I felt sad, but wouldn't let myself cry. Everything I had invested in for 4 years had come to a close. I finished school...and that was it. I was surrounded with love and reminded of my dear friends who love me and accept me just as I am."
  • May 13, 2006: "Lord, I'm just a confused 21-almost-22-year old. Please help me."
  • June 1, 2006: Tilikum Staff Training, day 2: "Colossians 2:19 The whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments & sinews, grows as God causes it to grow." I am complete!
  • June 14, 2006: "I'm starting to feel a little uneasy about the Fall. God, I realize my schedule does not look like that of a person who wants to hear your voice. Help me to remember to be still. I need direction, and I desperately want to hear your voice in the silence."
  • June 24, 2006: "I don't want to be thinking or wanting things that you don't want me to have. This is difficult for me to say because sometimes I really want things that aren't the best for me. Help me discern so I may be wise."
  • July 3, 2006: "Father, forgive me for the things I repeatedly do that I shouldn't be doing... it's the 'little' things I find trapping me... comparing myself to others, seeking man's empty praise, judging... I'm sorry for thinking other voices are really more interesting than yours. I'm trying to work on being still, listening for you in the whispers, rather than in the fire & wind, or in the voices of my friends and staff. I know you speak through them, and I also know you desire to speak TO me. I want so badly to hear from you myself."
  • September 11, 2006: "Fear is silent wonder, radical amazement, affectionate awe at the infinite goodness of God." -Brennan Manning
  • September 27, 2006: "My Word Made Flesh application is in. Now I struggle to wait patiently for their decision. God, help me release this opportunity into your hands. I trust that you know my desire and the best fit for me this year. I want to be obedient."
  • October 26, 2006: "Some thoughts on Bolivia: anxious, a dream, starting think about the realities and what I will miss, nervous, excited, how can I possibly prepare for this?, My family won't be accessible to me, freaking out on the inside, $4800, what will I come back to? Who will remember me while I'm there? Spanish... I'm going to freeze."
  • November 12, 2006: feeling twitterpated...
  • November 30, 2006: "Thank you for the way you use my friends to bless me... I don't even know if the word "bless" is appropriate to use-- I feel like it's limiting and makes me think of those less-fortunate, as though they aren't blessed?! I don't know... I think I have issues now that I'm consumed by thoughts of poverty and justice. Maybe 'blessed' has just been misused for so long and really has nothing to do with material things..."
  • December 1, 2006: "I'm really wondering if you're calling me to a life of living among the poor. I'm scared, and I can't shake the way this book has aroused something inside me. I'm still questioning: having the means and resources while using them to help the poor - how can I do this? I have a dream of living not for myself, but for others. "living simply so that others may simply live." How can I, as one person, make a difference? What do I need to commit my life to, besides my 4 months in Bolivia?"
  • January 2, 2007: "Forgetting what is behind and looking to what is ahead. I'm in a funk...wondering, questioning, doubting, waiting, anticipating. Discouragement, exhaustion, nomadic, bewilderment."
  • January 12, 2007: "Living in tension...will we choose to make enough noise about injustice that our society has to pay attention?"
  • January 15, 2007: "You keep me in awe of how big and great you are. Your hand is in everything and I give you credit for these 'coincidences.'"
  • January 30, 2007: "I finally feel ready for Bolivia. My head reminds me of my nervousness, how difficult things will be, my fears, what ifs?, and details to finalize. My heart, though is ready. I am filled with inexpressible peace and confidence."
  • February 13, 2007: "Mom and Dad are concerned/sad about me leaving - extra hugs, curious questions, wondering together about the next 4 months. I cuddled with mom on the couch and realized how much I love her hugs and touch. How will I manage without them? I laid in bed and cried, thinking "what the heck am I doing?"
  • *insert Bolivia break...*
  • August 5, 2007: "Ok, it hurts. I haven't cried about this for a while - maybe it's healing? I'm struggling to trust you right now. I know you have my best interests in mind, so why is it still so hard to surrender? Help me to trust you... w/ a job, a man, and friends who understand.
  • September 4, 2007: "Tuesday evening, a quiet night with Stef in the apartment, storm clouds rolling in, news that another job I applied for has already been filled, still waiting to her about the other, looking into grad schools, wondering about timing."
  • September 8, 2007: "Confusion is running at full-speed, yet there's unexplainable excitement, too. It's Saturday morning and I have no plans until tonight. Hopefully I'll finish my application materials for NCC."
  • September 9, 2007: "Tomorrow is the day... interviews at Northwest Christian College. God, thank you for filling me with such peace about this opportunity. My hopes are up, which concerns me. I'm simply amazed at how the desires you've placed in my heart seem to line up so well with the responsibilities for this job as an ARC."
  • November 1, 2007: "I've been at NCC for almost 3 weeks and after only 24 hours of notice, I spoke in chapel. I feel distracted because my mind keeps replaying my message. I felt so comfortable, yet I can't help but wonder and question if I really conveyed my heart accurately to these students. This can hardly be called a job -- it's life! There are tough conversations each day. There are hurting people each day that I encounter."
  • November 15, 2007: "I want to walk in the Spirit today, that I would know divine appointments and respond."

I often wrote about confusion, doubt, lack of surrender, and discouragement.
As I reflect on the changes that have taken place over the last 2 years, I like to think I'm a little more confident, a little more bold, a little more focused.

This year, I want to be Spirit-led.
This is an excerpt of an email I recently wrote to a good friend:

So... I've been thinking all day about what I read in Ezekiel last night. I even woke up with it on my mind so I wouldn't forget to tell you about it. I've been repeating the verses over and over in my mind (paraphrased, of course). I've been talking about my desire to be more in tune with the Spirit. I want my words and actions to be led by the Spirit so that nothing I do or say will be stuff I "made up."
I would hate for myself to get in the way of what Jesus wants to do through me.

Anyway, I read the first 6 chapters of 'Zeke' and then paused to think about what I wanted to remember about that passage. A few things jumped out to me:

  • He is divinely called and anointed. It was evident to him (through the Holy Spirit's promptings) that not everyone would receive what he had to say, even if it was from the Lord. It's disheartening... yet completely true. The Lord knew that even in Ezekiel's prophecy, there would be some who didn't accept the truth. Maybe it was too hard to hear? Too good to be true? Too hard to be true?
  • 1:28-2:2 "This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking. He said to me "Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you." As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me."
  • The Holy Spirit is empowering. Without the spirit, Ezekiel's face was to the ground. Because he'd glimpsed God's glory, he couldn't stand. But, it was when the Holy Spirit entered him that he was able to stand again. It was when the Spirit entered him that he was able to hear what the Spirit was saying. Am I that open to be filled by the Holy Spirit? Am I that in awe, that I would literally lay my face on the ground in the presence of God? And, would I live in that prostrate state until the Spirit filled me?
  • 3:12,14 "Then the Spirit lifted me up. The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away...and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord upon me." I don't really get the part about being bitter and angry, but it intrigues me.
  • It's interesting that I continue to be captivated by verses that talk about "standing." That in the end, when the battle is over, we will stand (in reference to wearing our spiritual armor). The Holy Spirit makes us stand. I think standing could symbolize confidence... I am also learning about confidence. Pretty cool how the Lord is weaving these two things together... ya think?
Holy Moly, God is so good.
It's now very early in the morning, so I'm thankful for a day off tomorrow.


ryanmortinson said...

Ah yes, why is it I feel that I've aged more this year than in the previous 4? Life is a wonderful thing. Thank you for sharing a few of your thoughts.

and you reminded me of when I used to baby sit my cousins. for some reason, my cousins always thought it was hilarious to give me the ken doll that only had his underwear on and his legs were always falling off. which then reminds me of my brother's ken doll... I would horrify my brother by wrapping the drape cord around ken's neck and then throwing him so his head popped off. oh man, barbies, what great fun!

Anonymous said...

:) i love reading what you write. i think so many times i compared myself to you, thinking of how much better of a christian you were.... but i think as time goes on, your questions, confusion, doubt, awe and wonder inspire and encourage me to take my faith to the same level. keep writing my friend.

Anonymous said...

hehehe.... so as i re-read my post the word "were" stuck out at me. and maybe "are" would have been the better word to use. hehehe. forgive me.

Stev'n said...

I loved that ken doll...and now he's gone. :(