Friday, December 23, 2011

If You Wanna Go...

That awkward moment when you realize someone you once really cared about has become someone you still care about.  Not even become, if you're going to be honest, but really always has been.

It's late, my eyes are tired, but my spirit is even more tired of caring for people and things in my life that honestly don't deserve it...the people who have totally messed with my heart but yet can still bring me to tears in one thought.  They are the people who make me hate that I'm so sensitive, that I let them into my life at all, that I would still be willing to give them a chance if they were to ask for one.  Does that make me pathetic?  Weak?  Or does that make me grace-giving?

But the other half of me shuts down the care with little ounces of dignity and self-worth.  No one should settle for being kind of liked or for uncertainty that ends in heartache.  We cling to what we love, even if it doesn't love us back.  Are we like Christ in that way?

Maybe it's the self-analyzation that should stop.  Maybe I've stepped into the trap of thinking about how I can best serve God instead of focusing on God Himself.  I mean isn't that what church is teaching us these days?  What if I don't trust in my own strength?

I have way too many questions and no answers, like usual.  Actually though, I do have an answer for something, a little piece of truth.  You can't make someone love you if they don't, and even a step farther than that, you can't make someone admit that they do if they won't.  The wisdom comes in realizing that these two things are the same.
So for all the people who don't think you're worth it or aren't sure enough about themselves to ever love you the way you should be loved, let them walk away without a fight.  If they wanna go, just let them go.  And if they ever have the audacity to come back, forgive them.  But remember that they have an unsophisticated heart, and remember the precious nature of yours.  For it is in forgetting that we lose ourselves.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That Awkward Time When You Don't Want to Start Something New...

So I'm sitting here after my philosophy final thinking about everything I could have added but didn't, about all the hours I spent prepping for the other questions that I never got to answer while my mind takes some time to recover.  And since I have dinner plans in twenty minutes, I thought it a perfect time for a blog post.

It's about that time when I start reflecting on this past semester, its importance, and what it's taught me about life, or rather what God has taught me through it.  I only took 15 credits, so I don't have much to show for what I've learned, especially since getting straight A's is totally out of the question.  But man, it's been some semester :)  The integration I experienced between education psychology, Old Testament, and philosophy is quite incredible; I never knew how integral the nature of how we welcome goods and what a child needs to develop and viewing Genesis as a function account rather than a creation account could become when studied simultaneously.  Such is the beauty of a liberal arts education.  Not only have my classes been incredible (and excruciatingly yet pleasantly? tough), but my rooming situation has added greatly to my life.  It's been extremely difficult learning how to best love and live with my best friend, and it's been rough most of the time, but only because of that roughness can we have its opposite.  Never before have I acknowledged my insatiable desire to please people because my personality is so strong that it obscures this.  It's true though, like mother like daughter, I've inherited this flaw.  And so has my roommate, but it's expressed in a completely different way.  Where she changes outwardly in response to people's demands and wants of her, I change inwardly.  I let the ones I love walk all over me, I let their opinion of me create a war against myself, and I keep my true voice from being heard so as not to be seen as obstinate.  Most people would probably say they hear my true voice too often, but not regarding relationships.  I can speak my mind about ideas and still respect yours, but I can't stand up for myself in a relationship if it knocks the other person down.  Sometimes however, as I've found recently, by letting someone walk on you in a relationship you're making sure they never truly learn how to treat someone and so are limiting their ability to flourish.  Maybe it's not a knocking down that occurs when you lovingly stand your ground but a picking back up, a dusting off, into the will of God.

So here's to this semester, for finding my voice again through the grace and peace extended to me through Jesus Christ.  Here's to this semester, which has brought with it an even stronger calling to education, to writing, and to philosophy.  And finally, here's what was worth more than even the $17,000 spent on this semester: that I've found my way through Divinity to the path of trust.

Keep carrying the fire.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Haunting of the Heart

My heart has undergone quite a bit since November of 2010, yet it still seems to ask the same questions.  I think I'm finally starting to understand that as cliche as it sounds, He is the only answer.  This conclusion, as seemingly shallow and amateur to the Christian faith, was reached logically for me a long time ago.  But it took me a broken relationship, family illness, friendship betrayal, philosophical quandaries, and a whole lot of confusion for it to resonate in my soul.

I've never felt fulfilled in my life, although I have had moments, days, and even weeks that appeared so.  I thought that if I just sought God harder, dove into His Word more adamantly, I would finally get the questions of my heart answered.  But God doesn't promise self-fulfillment here on earth, as my Old Testament teacher reminded us on Friday.  And finally, I felt my soul say, Yes, it is well.  Finally something was answering its scream with, "You weren't meant to!"  I am outrageously blessed and at times I'm filled with joy that can only come from the spiritual realm, but still something haunts me.  Something evades my senses and threatens me with its chill.  Just like the love that I lost last year.

St. Augustine describes in Confessions how he nailed his heart to a person, and when that person backed up, it stretched his heart so far that it broke.  Who gave us these nails?  Maybe it was God.  Maybe these nails were meant to bring us to Him but our sin corrupted our actions.  No, though.  I don't think God gave them to us.  We don't need nails to bind our wandering hearts to the Maker of them--we need trust, that which ebbs and flows with each circumstance but remains steadfast.  I think our enemies give us nails.  Culture says fulfillment is to be had.  The ones who want us to love them manipulate us into thinking we need them, and we sometimes become their slaves.  The enticement of security and certainty beckons from a distance, saying who can take out these nails once you've pierced them?  And we laugh when we find out that it was partially true, that our heart broke instead.  There's a morbidity to it, what we do to ourselves, what we let our enemies do to us.  But we think it's all there is.  We think we've found the answer to life even though we can't hold it long enough to know for sure.

Even when we find an answer, we want a different one, or we want more questions so we can find more answers.  We can only be satisfied with what is infinite and eternal.  So let your heart be haunted this Christmas season, let it hunger and thirst for that which is eternal--resting at the fountain of Living Water all of us crazy Christians talk about.  It's not a promise of complete fulfillment because in this life we only catch glimpses of what is to come.  But it is a promise of restoration, of redemption, of beauty, and most ontologically, of TRUTH.

My heart has been left aching in search, but it aches now instead for what is good and noble and pure.  I'll leave you with my own meditation, a future marriage mirror of mine that reflects the very fiery passion of my soul that seeks the most Wild Lover in all of history.

i focused on our foot steps, the soft patting of our worn soles against the gravel.  so much peace, so much security.  i have this smile.  this particular smile.  but it only comes out when i feel like everything is right, when the bad fades into this part of myself that i’m no longer in touch with.  well, there is no time when everything is right, just when it feels right.  when my soul is longing for this guy they called jesus but at the same time, it’s so full.  so full.  we continue walking.  he leads the conversation.  i think back to another.
i like when the girl talks, he had said.  because i never really have much to say.  and if she doesn’t say anything, then it’s awkward, and i don’t like it.
no, he’s not.  no.  he has things to say.  he has people to love.  he has places to see.  he has a world in his heart and his mind that he’s ready to explore.  we sit down under a tree. our tree.  the one with the weeping branches that sways so smooth.  we like the drooping branches, the ones that look heavy but yet yell this lightness, this air of softness, of strength.  i don’t lean against him.  i don’t have to.  i want to, with the want of the world, but something stops me.  this tug on my heart. it pulls.  to gaze upon someone who finds his strength from the maker of that tree that we call ours. what longing we find there.  but this longing isn’t of the world.  he knows that.  we know.  so there’s no need for touch, for treasure to become temptation.  more power exists in the patience, a power we are both enslaved to.  it frees us.  it frees us to know this power we don’t possess is surrounding us in the sways so smooth, in the wind that whips my hair from my face, in his eyes where such intention lies. i think back to another.
to be in the way of his intention rather than the intent of his intention.  oh the difference!  to be talked to, but no, not as an equal, as a means to mention something memorable.  school, he had said, home he had said, surface talk. 
the subconscious, he said, the supernatural.  these things which we think about, that make up the substance.  the majesty of the arts...books, poems, lyrics.  together, under the sways so smooth we silence our souls.  to know, to be known is to know the lord.  the only lord.  we submit.  we sink into the earth.  he smiles at me and says i’m captivating, i love to love the lord in you, he said, i love to love the mind in you, i love to love that smile.  that particular smile, he said.  knowing that i can never put it there alone.  i think back to another.
he didn’t try to make me smile.  he didn’t care.  he was there.  yea, he was there.  he saw me.  yea, he saw the outside of me.  he didn’t care to know more.  he was a godly man, he liked sunday service.  punctual.  consistent.  he will provide someday, he will.  he’s a moral man.  don’t try to impress them, i had said.  they already like your face, your features.  they like your lackadaisical lay, your casual way.  they don’t need the mind, they have the eye.
what’s it mean, he asked, to turn water to wine.  what’s it mean to have an undivided heart, neither hot nor cold. o church of Laodicea!  why do we not think about the way we think or sit together, together, under the sways so smooth and not awe at his majesty, his might, his mason jar.  i want to travel the world with you, he said, i want to travel, and taste, to be tangential.  and touch, to touch your skin on our wedding night.  i want to love your imperfections, to wipe your hair away from your tear-smeared face, to get frustrated with you, to fear how you know me, he said.  but, this want, this want comes from what’s good and pure and lovely and admirable.  with you, darling, i want to serve the maker of that tree we call ours, he says.  all the days of my life.