HOPE for a new beginning.
It has been over 4 MONTHS since my last post. That’s a long time, a VERY long time to go without writing. My apologies but I promise some day I will get this frequent blogger thing down. But since it has been so long, let me catch you up with some pretty big changes that have happened in my life recently…
For those of you who don’t know I am currently living on the west side of Buffalo working for a really cool organization called Jericho Road Ministries (http://www.jrm-buffalo.org) I was hired through Wesley Service Corps which is the Houghton version of Americorps. It’s honestly a sorta complicated process that I’m not sure I even understand. So anyway, I will working in an after school program for refugee High School students (yes, refugee does mean they are from another country!). I’m honestly really excited and very nervous. The work hasn’t really started yet but just sitting down with the rest of the people on the team has gotten me pretty pumped. But other than filling out more paperwork than any one person should in a matter of two week I have already been enjoying myself.
So that’s where I am now and since moving to Buffalo, 3 weeks ago, I have had the opportunity to a lot of down time to think and process the past few months but have watched far too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy instead. Naturally, humans don’t want to be in pain we have nerves on our fingers that trigger the brain to tell us to move our hand away from something that is hot. Well, emotional pain works in a similar way. No one WANTS to be hurting, I mean I definitely don’t so instead of facing everything that has happened in the past year I have just pushed it away. Which is exactly why I haven’t written a post in so long. You see, for the past few years, writing has been my outlet; when you have a hard time opening up and trusting people sometimes journaling is the only thing that keeps you semi sane.
Last week I visited some friends from camp that live near the city and while we were sitting in Applebees trying not to freeze to death we started talking about what we think about during our “down time” and I that’s when I realized what I said earlier, that I haven’t allowed myself much quiet time to think and process things that have happened because it hurts too much. I’ve been avoiding the pain but I can feel myself changing, I can feel myself becoming more bitter and less recognizable to the ones I love. As some of you may know the year of 2012 has not been an easy one for me. It’s been a year of struggle and pain; a year that at times I would have loved to just skip right through. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great things that have happened in the past 9 months but there have been way too many negative things. It’s definitely not been a year I would have ever anticipated happening.
If a year ago you had come up to me and said I would be living in Buffalo working with refugees after graduation I would have considered you crazy. Then again if you had told me that in the next year I would lose a close friend in a car accident, and for lack of a better way to put it… walk away from my faith I would have walked away from you. You see a year ago I was on fire for God and everything made sense. Don’t get me wrong, my life wasn’t perfect by any means but I trusted that God knew what He was doing and I saw His hand in almost every aspect of my life.
So here I am. Approximately 365 days later still not sure if that person still exists, that optimistic, happy person. That bitterness I mentioned earlier has taken over. I have made choices that I NEVER thought I would ever make. Struggled with things I never imagined to be facing at 21. People are always saying things will get better, just wait for it. My question is why do I have to wait for it? Why can’t things be better right now? Why does God have to teach me something through so many shitty things instead of just telling me? Yes I know things will get better. Yes somewhere inside of me I believe that God knows exactly what He’s doing but right now believing that is a lot of work, a lot of energy and a lot of motivation that I seem to have lost over the past few months. I’ll get there eventually but right now I’m just holding on to the little hope I have that there is a new beginning in store for me….
So here’s the thing, when I started this blog I said that it was going to be about how giving up dating this year was effecting my life and my walk with God. Well, all of my past posts have been directly dealing with relationships of the dating type. That being said I wanted to warn you that this post will most likely not have much to do with dating relationships, maybe a little but for the most part I feel like God has something else in store for me to share.
Approximately two weeks ago I blogged about my struggle with finding purpose in life on any level, both in and outside of my faith. I have received a few messages regarding that post where people are sharing they have felt the same way recently or are currently dealing with the same thing, what an encouragement so thank you all who spoke to me. This past weekend I decided to spend a lot of time alone and just try this whole “personal retreat” thing that other people have talked about with me. I definitely realized that I need to do this more often I really had the opportunity to think about a lot of things and start to face things I had suppressed for so long. I spent most of the week and weekend just journaling, spending hours on end just writing down what I was thinking. I didn’t filter my thoughts like I usually do but instead wrote everything down, my frustrations, my fears, and my thoughts about everything else that came to mind. For those of you who are afraid to take a look at what has happened in your past, whether it be years ago or even a few days ago, try writing it down. Don’t think about WHAT you’re writing but think about how you’re feeling, it was honestly the only thing that has helped me in months. I have yet to go back and read everything I’ve read and maybe that will hurt more than writing it all down but it has definitely helped to begin to face the things that have happened.
In writing everything down and just thinking about myself as a person I realized that I absolutely hate who I have become because I have become the one person I have always complained about- a fraud. I absolutely love Houghton and have, for the most part, enjoyed my years here but one thing that has bothered me since the beginning is the lack of truly genuine people on campus and I am not the only one that shares this opinion. I had dinner with some great people tonight and while we were there we discussed this exact topic. We all shared our frustrations on the topic and I really felt like I should share some of the conversation with you all. I think God truly has a message here for more than just the students of Houghton College. I will not apologize for how forward the message is simply because I’m in no way omitting myself from it, it’s directed just as much towards me as it is anyone else.
Everyone does it, we all complain when we find out we were lied to or when we realize the person we’ve been getting to know is nothing like what we thought but yet we all do it. I’m pretty much positive that there’s not a single one of you who can honestly say that you have ALWAYS been true to yourself so where’s the problem? Is it that we can’t be totally genuine or is it the fact that we complain about the issue and then in fact do the same thing we’re complaining about? It makes sense right? If everyone is complaining about people not being genuine then the amount of genuineness should in fact increase, right? But unfortunately it’s that simple and I think we sometimes need more of a motivation
For me it’s the hypocrisy. I absolutely can’t stand when people are hypocrites, when do we feel like we need to be fake and dishonest about who we are depending on who we are with or where we are? Sure I understand there’s a line where we need to be careful HOW we say something to someone in order not to unnecessarily offend the other person but that does NOT give anyone a right to be entirely fake about who they actually are.
One of the most common complaints that non-christians have about Christians is their hypocrisy, the fact that they’re one person in Church and are a completely different person every other day of the week. What type of witness is that? Let me answer for you, it’s not one, at all.
I think as Christians we feel like we need to be seen in a way that follows that of the Bible which isn’t actually true, we do not need to be SEEN in a way congruent to the Word but we need to BE congruent to the word and if you’re not don’t call yourself a Christian. If you are honestly pursuing a relationship with God and are at a low point, that’s one thing but to live a life completely separate of the Word and then call yourself a Christian is doing nothing but hurt your reputation and those of real Christians. One of the girls at dinner put this, I think, in the best way- “own who you are!” Whoever it is that you are, own it. If you’re honestly a Christian, actively pursuing a relationship with God OWN it! If you are a player or a slut OWN it. Don’t let people think you are this person with everything in order, that’s on fire for God or whatever but on the side be sleeping around with who knows who. YOU alone are responsible for your decisions and the reputation you build for yourself, trust me it’s a lot easier to just own those choices then try to cover them up because a lie will ALWAYS surface.
So who ever you are, OWN it and be yourself… be who you choose to be! Obviously that can be scary sometimes, we worry about what people are going to think of us, how people are going to judge us, what ever it may be that’s stopping you- face it! That being said Christians especially- don’t you dare judge these people for their lifestyle. Do NOT make them feel less because you think your lifestyle is what’s better or what’s right. There is not a single person on this earth that’s perfect so own the fact that you’re not and don’t try to tear others down.
So obviously I would love for all of you to choose to follow Christ, to honestly pursue a relationship with Him with everything in you BUT I understand that is probably not going to happen but know that whoever it is you actually are, I would love to get to know that side and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Don’t fear but instead, own.
this is my life.