Saturday, May 28, 2011


This God, see, He's unique. Who else would forgive so many mistakes and overlook so many faults, just to keep His people His? Sure, He gets mad at us sometimes, but He doesn't stay mad. Loving and caring are what He likes to do. He will take pity on us and attack for us the monsters in our thoughts and our behaviors that we've been unable to rid ourselves of. He'll take those things and make them nothing. He will stick by us and show us what love is, just like He did with so many others before us.

--paraphrase of Micah 7:18-20, written during a Bible study weeks ago

Two things that I want to expand on from that: God works in our lives and in our selves. He does stuff. He changes stuff. He is good and He perseveres in faithfully doing good. The character of God as portrayed in Scripture is a very comforting thing to focus on. Through the camp that I was blessed to be able to attend this past week, God has worked in my life and spoken truth into my heart, so I expect to have a lot to post in a short period of time as I process what I have been learning.

A second thing: there's a reason I refer to "monsters" in my paraphrase of the passage to Micah. In my mind, as I try to picture and describe things that bother or frighten me--things I can't seem to conquer myself--I call them monsters. In this case, sin; when I was a teenager, I thought it was my schoolwork, but in retrospect it was really my attitude. This past academic year, I've been fairly intentional about fighting some certain specific monsters, and though I feel I have really made some progress, it seems as if there are always more of the pesky things.

However, "fighting" is a misleadingly active term for what I'm doing. I'm naturally fairly passive, especially with perceived threats. For example, the bees and wasps that occasionally buzzed around me this past week were greeted with no swattings, brushings-away, or running-aways; I just held still and politely requested verbally that they please go buzz elsewhere (no, I wasn't expecting the verbal requests to work). (side note: this method of dealing with threats is part of why I call myself a rabbit.)

Given the Biblical mandates to resist the devil and to stand firm (see James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:6-9, and Ephesians 6:10-17), I'm guessing that I should probably be more assertive with spiritual threats than I am with insects. However, the aforementioned passages also include submitting to God and being strong in the Lord. It is only in His might that we can resist those monsters successfully, so my plan is to keep pursuing Him and working to trust Him more as I try to change. I'm hoping that more boldness will come, but I want to find it by knowing where my confidence comes from, not by trying to feel bold.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Backwards or Forwards?

I am not a fan of change. Tonight, thinking about the things that have changed in my life in the last year or so, and even from longer ago, I almost started to cry, thinking, "I just want to go back."

What did I even mean by that? Back to before I (or my life) changed in some particular way? Back to when I was a child? Back to this past summer, which I spent in a foreign country (and loved it)? Back geographically to that country itself? Or back to before I went there, before that experience and all the unexpected changes in myself that came after it and because of it? Or even "back" (if that is the proper word) to where I would be right now if I had not gone?

I can't lie to myself and say that everything was wonderful there and if I just went back, everything would be wonderful again (ahem--I may possibly have felt something like that when I first got back--ahem). I also can't lie to myself and say that I would wish away the experience, changes notwithstanding. Therefore, I am left not quite knowing what it is I am wishing for.

I am such a reader and writer at heart that at times my dreams are like novels or short stories; that is to say, I play a double role in them, as a character and also a reader, or as a character and also the author. In one "book" that I dreamed one night awhile ago, that I found interesting enough to write down the general idea of, I felt that I really only dreamed the introduction.

See, even though the plot that I did dream certainly had enough drama and conflict and oddity (it was a dream, after all) that, fleshed out, it could probably make a book (if I could manage to make said book quite make sense), as I was reading or writing or living it or whatever I was doing, I felt or knew that the bulk of the book and the really interesting parts of it were yet to come.

I have a choice, I suppose. (There are always choices, as my mother always says.) I could keep trying to go backwards in time or maturity or whatever it is I am trying to go backwards in. I could keep looking back as if all the best things are there. However, the futility of that exercise seems rather obvious. We live forwards, not backwards, and I (obviously) don't have the power to change that or to go back to what I used to be. So, if I am going to have to live forwards, the way everyone except Merlin* does, I may as well be looking forwards too (I imagine one would bump into fewer things that way). And who knows? Maybe the future is the "really interesting part" of my life, for the exact same reason that I'm sometimes scared of it: I don't know what it is yet.

ps I actually wrote this in the one o'clock hour, am, so please forgive if it is not quite my normal writing

*who, according to legend, actually did live backwards, which sounds terribly confusing, but would certainly grant "prophetic" abilities, as he could remember the future as if it was the past