Sunday, September 18, 2011

Here's to 22

In January 2011 my longest standing best friend turned 22.That same month began what would be the ultimate separation for us physically. It had come time where our paths were going to split ways and adulthood stood imminent at our doorsteps. After living in Nashville for three months I returned to live with her for two weeks as we both graduated from Undergrad. She returned home that summer, I stayed in the area and began my year long MSW program. Throughout this whole year we were separated by miles, but of course never by heart. We jokingly recall "22 was a bad year" it was the year we would never dare go back to. Although both of us accomplished big dreams, made great decisions educationally- we made some interesting choices that led to some serious heartaches, bellyaches, and hour long phone conversations. To say the least it was most definitely the year that taught us the most about oursleves, each other, faith, and how harsh the world around us can be. We kept track throughout the year of one liners that described our year and continually joked, "cant wait for 23!". We are both now half way through our year of 23 and I really feel like the tribute to 22 I always promised her is due. So this one is for you Kirsten and thanking God we are no longer 22!

  • Twenty-two is watching everyone else but you get married.
  • Twenty-two is having a degree but being completely broke
  • Twenty-two is sorting out classmates by who's pregnant, engaged, or gay
  • Twenty-two is not wearing makeup 75% of the time because it just doesn't matter anymore. Then when you do put it on, you worry the whole night that it was a waste of your time and that these people were not worth the lip gloss you just bought
  • Twenty-two is at first only having time for then becoming addicted to fast food
  • Twenty-two is constantly thinking life should be more fun that it is but realizing you don't have your own places to live yet
  • Twenty-two is dipping into the Europe fund have been saving for years to then just buy mixed drinks at a lame bar
  • Twenty-two is realizing it is way to late to change your major/career choice
  • Twenty-two is becoming good friends with your exs because you are not actually mad at them anymore
  • Twenty-two is realizing how much you can save on an electric bill by turning off the lights when you leave
Twenty-two is turning to a television show for your weekly dose of romance
  • Twenty-two is making a resume to just get hired as a waitress
  • Twenty-two is starting to realize how messed up marriages from your childhood really were
  • Twenty-two is manipulating your friends to drive because you really cant afford your gas
  • Twenty-two is "you guys have david bridals, I have taco bell to cope"
  • Twenty-two is trying to break all the rules...  but knowing the consequences so not actually doing it.
  • Twenty-two is about going to the bars with our parents more than our friends
  • Twenty-two is living off of b-day/graduation money
  • Twenty-two is sneaking out to see kid movies
  • "Here is to 22... cheers... we won our mind games"
  • "I don't actually approve of 22, making mistakes always seemed like a simple idea but it hurts other people too much..."
  • Twenty-two is realizing not only do you not know anything about life but figuring out you never really did
  • Twenty-two is is an identity crisis
  • Twenty-two is a switch of plans you never intended but grinning and bearing it anyway
  • Twenty-two is the justification of why you cant really chase your dreams
  • Twenty-two is the credit card callers waking you up instead of good morning texts
  • Twenty-two is a negative balance in your bank account when you really just want a dollar coffee
  • Twenty-two is the zest of a new job- only to realize it is a sour lifestyle
  • Twenty-two is finding faith in God because nothing else seems to hang around for long
  • Twenty-two is experiencing the real feeling of being lonely: lonely as a routine. There are hundreds of people you talk to but no one who really knows you
  • Twenty-two is breaking up with 'the love of your life", discovering there is a lot more in life to love
  • Twenty-two is flying out to fancy hotels to meet the boy you know is going to break your heart soon enough
  • Twenty-two is actually beginning to voice your opinion at the dinner table and having relatives entrust in what you are saying and valuing your opinion
  • Twenty-two is feeling more so than ever the longing for something real, deep and meaningful- something worth living for and waking up to each day
  • Twenty-two is internships, student teaching, coupon clipping and maxed out credit cards
  •  Twenty-two is over... thank God. 

I have to say 23 has been much better for both of us. She has found herself in a great relationship where mind games and mixed drinks are not necessary. I have returned to my faith-based love and have stop aching for 'more' elsewhere. Both of us again reached significant goals and have seen some of our dreams flourish and other die.

To summarize the year I could say that three things remain: Faith, Hope, and Love and greatest of these is Love. But in our own words three things remain: Taco Bell, negative bank accounts, and friendship. Of course, the greatest of these being friendship. So here's to 23... and many years to come. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

-with you-

אלוהים הוא איתך
--->God is with you<---
And believe it or not: but that is enough.

Prophetic Board Game?

I got an interesting vision today. Have you ever played Trouble? You know that snug feeling the peg has when it is moved into the new little spot? Like it fits perfect and there is no where it can go except forward. I envisioned that for some reason tonight as I could feel my hope align again with God. What I got from this 'child-like' vision is in the game of Trouble there is no going backwards, no other roads: except straight on. The only way you can be taken away from the main path if someone lands on 'your spot' and sends you back home: to square one (which is never a good feeling). Otherwise you keep it movin'. With each turn you get closer and closer to 'home' and each step along the way just feels 'snug'. Like you are in the perfect place. Meant to be there- it just fits.

And I have to say, I love those seasons in life. When you remember nothing is an accident. When God's plan feels so 'snug' and you remember there is no going backwards with God. He is full steam and ready to go: always. Everything is outside of your control, while at the same time it is in that you find the most peace. God has a plan... *deep breath* God. Has. A. Plan.
When God is in control, life just makes sense. But you have to be intentional about putting Him in the driver's seat. That means taking to pray each day, being in community with like minded souls, submitting to Christian leadership, reading His word: EVERY day, and most importantly not only believing but acting as if you believe Jesus is the son of man and someday He will return to marry His Bride.

I am so thankful that I am now in-tuned again to His plans, that life feels 'snug' even when it is frustrating or disappointing. God is in control. I pray His plans always prosper over mine and that I am able to put my first love back where He belongs: being number one... otherwise the prophetic vision I got of the board game 'trouble' earlier, might be for other reasons.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

To The Day

I have somewhat of a fascination with 'one year ago' and how much things have changed or rather sometimes how much they have not.Facebook has recently gone nostalgic on all of us and has started getting us hooked on these "this day in 2009; 2010" status reminders. Everyone I know has had quite the good time reminiscing on their sappy or quote-tastic statuses.Even without facebook's help I have a cousin, who like many in my family does not let things go easily. And tonight I took her out for a girl's night and we went to the Clubhouse Fun tonight when we realized we were at that exact spot exactly one year ago. To-the-day. However, we were not alone on our first adventure a year ago. No, no we weren't- 'flicker', as she calls him, was there before.

Little does she or facebook know where my heart was a year ago. How crazy it was to reconnect with him after years. To think, that was exactly a year ago. The scene was as such; My heart was at a turning point, God had the answer for me, I had followed his lead and began my single life and this day one year ago I sent a text that forever changed my life.. and I don't say that lightly. 

To-the-day I made the choice one year ago that I was going to chase after the wrong lover. And let me tell you it was quite the year after I made that decision. But I can write tonight from a different heart, from a different longing- I again am in more than awe of my God. I not only reminisce of good times with Him but prioritize my time with my first love. 

I laugh at the thought of when my girls say "Girl- you act like Jesus is your boyfriend" and I understand why they don't get it, and when you don't get it (mainly because you have not experienced it) it makes sense. But there is such a freedom in His presence to be had, there really is a divine romance to enjoy, there is a joy to linger in. You just have to be persistent and consistent. His word says He'll answer. And if there is one thing I have learned from this past year: His word is true, forever and for always. 

Lamentations 3:25-27 "God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times"

2 Chronicles 16:9 "The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."

Matthew 7:7 "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."

Deuteronomy 4:29 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul." 

Jeremiah 29:13 "When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me."

Revelation 2:4 "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first"

Seek Him. He answers. He is our true Lover.