Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Combining those two things is like mixing ice cream with manure...

It may not do much to the manure, but it sure messes up the ice cream. Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President

I wrote this back in September, but I feel like it fits the "thankfulness for everything God has been doing" deal. So, here 'tis.

So there's been a lot of questions about how I ended up here, why I'm here, and what's been going on since I got here. I'd like to clear that up for myself, and for all of you. So.

Way back in February, my roommate at YWAM, hannaHRose (who is kind of a hippie and rocked my entire world to its core), jokingly said I could come live with her after DTS. At the time I was horrified at the idea and said something along the lines of "Dear God no."
In May, when I got home, all my big plans for my life started falling apart. I couldn't go to my dream school because it cost too much money... My back up cost too much money. My back up to my back up wasn't accepting into the program anymore. I started thinking about North Carolina. Was this something that could really happen? Something that, maybe, would be good for me? I looked into the college here. They didn't have an OT program, but could I take a couple Gen Eds to get out of the way? They weren't accepting anymore freshmen. But then the counselor wanted to work with me and get me into their school. So I was going to take one course. But wait- that cost too much money (if the government wants me to go to college so bad, why does it cost so much darn money??). But I had already saved all this money to pay rent and buy groceries... So it was decided that I would move down anyway. 2 days before their registration deadline, I signed up for a class at RACC. I packed up my things, sucked up the fact that life wasn't going the way I wanted it to, and came down to NC with my tail between my legs. Thrilled to see hannaHRose and be living in the same state as her again, looking forward to the adventure and being on my own, loving the idea of being out of Lancaster again... But terrified of what was going to happen.
Yeah, I had prayed about this- a LOT. And yes, I felt like it was God. But I had talked myself into things before. What if this was one of those things? What if this was me wanting this to be where God was putting me? But on the other hand, this was the only door that had stayed open. This was the only place I had to go, other than sitting at home and being dormant for 5 months. This was, it seemed, my only choice.
I got here and, almost instantly, all the memories came rushing back. The good ones, mostly- the ones that came out in stories that hannaHRose and I managed to get out between bits of laughter. The ones that, for our first 24 hours back together, came non-stop, no matter how much we tried to stop talking about YWAM. But behind those memories were all the harder ones. The ones of what God had done through me during DTS, the ones of what God had done FOR me during DTS. The ones that I had thrown away.
You see, while I was at home this summer, I forgot. I forgot what God had spoken to me, I forgot what I had learned, I forgot what it was like to be in a personal relationship with the one true living God. I threw away all the hard work, all the time and effort, all the blood, sweat, and tears, for a summer of emptiness. A summer of "Well, maybe this is how I'm supposed to live. Maybe I'm not supposed to be relevant. Maybe, I'm supposed to be the kind of Christian who goes to church on Sunday and Wednesday and doesn't think about it for the rest of the week. The kind who gets married and has 2 children, a girl and a boy, and volunteers in the nursery and bakes cookies for youth group." But then I got here.
Here, LIFE is church. You walk in this house and the Holy Spirit is like, WHAM. You forget that you're supposed to say you're a Christian because you're too busy being a follower of Jesus. Everything that was my life for those 5 months at YWAM was preperation for my life here... For self-reflection (which I do a lot of). For ministering into other people's lives (God has me in a place where a friend comes to me at 1 AM and says, this is what I'm dealing with. And it's exactly what I'm dealing with. It's weird, but it's awesome). For having my life ministered into. For being free, released, to have friends, to be friends, to make friends. To open myself up to someone within an hour of meeting them, to hug everyone who walks through our front door, to share whatever it is we have- sweet tea, pie, a movie. To realize that this is where I'm supposed to be, right now, for this time in my life. Maybe for longer.
As I said before, I've had a lot of time for self-reflection. For going back to my hurts and why they're still hurts and not history. Which, for me, means reading. (I'm blessed to be living in a house with people who love books as much as I do and always have a reccommendation.) I read "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller at hannaHRose's request... At first, it was to humor her. And then it became this obsessive thing... This guy came from where I was with God a year ago ("My life had become something to hide; there were secrets in it. My thoughts were private thoughts, my lies were barriers that protected my thoughts, my sharp tonge a weapon to protect the ugly me.") to having all of this book left, which meant God HAD to get better... And, while I'm not to this point yet, I rejoiced when Don says, "To be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously." I rejoiced in knowing that, apparently, God does get better! It's not the end of the story! God knows what He's doing! And, even more than that, I rejoiced in knowing that someone else had been through the same desert I was in! I was not alone!
Then, 3 days ago, hannaHRose handed me "Angry Conversations with God". I almost picked it up a few days ago, but I didn't want to be disappointed by her only being angry with God for the first 5 pages and then getting over it. I couldn't handle it.
I got hooked. And the more hooked I got, the more I couldn't make myself read it. This was way too much like my life. This was this woman saying to her counselor, "Either God isn't personal and I've wasted my time, or He is personal and He hates me." And her counselor telling her, just like so many people have tried to tell me, that there is another option. "God loves you, but crappy things still happen." Yeah whatever. I was halfway through the book. God doesn't get better in this one. But then I got to page 145. And on page 145, I discovered something. I discovered that God speaks into my life even when I want to shove Him off a cliff or slam the door in His face (this was one of those lessons I learned in DTS, but rejected). Susan E. Isaacs says, on her moving across the country, "Perhaps God tricked me into moving here. Maybe he lured me out here with a shiny object and then pulled a bait and switch. But maybe I needed a shiny object to get here, because the real gift might not be so shiny. And maybe I just need to be patient and discover what the real gift is. Besides, Jesus has never let me down..."

I realized... It's true. Jesus has never let me down. And if someone had told me I was coming here so God could get me to look inward and upward, I would have run as fast as I've ever run. The thing is... All the things I have seen in the last 3 weeks, all the things I wake up every morning clinging to and spend my last moments at night rehashing with God, are foundational truths that I would rather not know so that I could keep living my life (which I wasn't really living, anyway.... I was wasting it). This place- Cullowhee, NC- has become the place where I came out of the desert. The place where I found (again), and finally settled into, the arms of God.

To be continued, with where I am at now...


  1. thankfully the lord doesn't make us go at it alone, we have each in this house, i'm glad you're here :)

  2. Thanks, Kanz :)
    I miss you, and Cullowhee!