Musings on Change, the Holy Spirit, and Inspiration on the Web

THIS:

“Going back to the old isn’t the answer” -Kacie

Source: I Don’t Want To Be Whatever I Want To Be

I love it when I read something, and it makes me say, “finally, someone who understands what I’m feeling right now.”

It means I am not alone.

A lot of the time lately, I feel completely alone.

There are a lot of things changing for me, and I’m mourning the end of a season in my life.

They say you have to grieve.

Grieving sucks.

I remember a time, when I believe the Holy Spirit was with me. WITH ME. As in, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and it gave me this feeling…. of the uttermost peace. Peace like I have never felt before.

You may think that I am crazy, or that I was just on drugs (I wasn’t). Or that maybe I’m just mentally unstable, to feel something vague like a “presence” of the “Holy Spirit”.

You may think one, or all, of these things. But the truth is, I don’t really care what you think.

I would, however, in my current time of turmoil, very much like to feel that presence in my life again.

It seems that the more I try to get back to that place, that feeling, the more elusive it becomes. Sometimes I wonder if I imagined the entire thing. (Now, you say, obviously she is crazy).

At that time in my life, I was going through some difficult things. I had just broken up with my college boyfriend, who I had dated for three years. It came down to the question, are we going to get married? I had come back to God, and was going back to church, and he was not interested in that. I realized that I couldn’t marry him, and that was the beginning of the end of that. Even though I was terrified, and he was my best friend, I knew I was doing the right thing.

Now, I have one of my best friends moving to the Midwest, and I am grieving that. I have this feeling of abandonment, even though I know that’s not really what’s happening. I also feel selfish for feeling that way, when I know it has been hard for her to give up her life here for something totally different.

I am giving up the idea that I may ever have a job that I enjoy, and will be able to support myself (because, you know, why don’t I just get married already?) (a suggestion from people at work).

I question whether or not God has a plan for me that involves anything other than pain. Because that is what I’m dealing with now. I have been looking for another job for almost 8 months now, and it just doesn’t seem to be happening for me.

I am grieving the person that I thought I was, because I’m not where I thought I would be by now.

I went to get my Christmas decorations from my ex’s house (they were in his attic). It made me sad to think that we had made all of these plans together, and that none of it worked out that way. I grieve the loss of that friendship, and the companionship I had with him.

Just lots of sadness. And lots of crying. I’m a crier. I have always been a crier. Whenever I have any strong emotion (even anger) I cry. The friend that’s moving likes to remind me, “tears are healing for the soul.” It’s a good thing to remember in a society that hates tears and showing emotion, especially women who show emotion.

Plans seldom work out the way we think that they will. God probably is up there just giggling at how we think we are in control, when in reality none of us have much control over anything.

I keep wanting to get back to that place, where I felt comfort, and peace.

I can’t seem to get there.

It’s the most frustrating thing.

It seems like God is just out of reach, always another arm’s length away from me.

 

 

Advertisements

The Winter Blues

I’ve been exhausted lately.

Exhausted as in, “go to bed at 8:45pm on a Friday night” exhausted (and sleep straight through the night and wake up at 7:00am the next morning).

It comes with the weather…. the darkness…. the gray sky.

I want to sleep earlier, and sleep in later. I want to come home after work, and not go out again (into the dark). I want to snuggle on the couch under piles of quilts, and curl up with a good book (currently reading “Interrupted” by Jen Hatmaker and some eschatology books that are over my head for the most part, but fascinating just the same).

I don’t want to go to work. (Does anyone ever want to go to work? If so, who are these people? What do they do? How can I be like them?)

I have moved into my new cubicle. It’s very small. I wish I still had an office, so I could play my music without people judging me for my choices. I brought my artwork home as I have nowhere to hang it anymore.

I recently met a girl at church, who I seem to have a lot in common with. She had talked openly about her struggles with depression, which made me feel at ease immediately. We talked about how I’m looking to make some changes in my career path and am wanting to go in a different direction and she said she would keep an ear out for anything.

I ran into her the other day in the parking lot of the grocery store, and she hadn’t gotten back to me about some job connections she had…. and moral of the story is I have a coffee meeting with one of her connections this week. So…… fingers crossed! I know people don’t like to hire around the holidays, so I’m a little concerned about that.  All I can do is keep trying.

My Mom asked me the other day, “Are you trying to fix the problem, or are you letting God fix it?”

Valid question. However, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not going to be me that’s going to make this happen. I’ve been trying to do all I can for months and nothing has happened. God will need to open some doors in order to make this happen. Maybe He just doesn’t want to right now. And that just… really sucks.

Sometimes I just get angry about that part.

Seriously, what are you waiting for??? (Yes, I tend to have casual, daily conversations with God. I believe he knows me so well that he can handle my informal style). I mean, He did design me.

So I continue to try and have patience (not something I excel at) and take it one day at a time. And I’m reading a lot. Distractions are helpful too.

Here’s to distractions and Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving if you’re like me) and hopefully some extra rest (it seems like I need it).

 

Dating Sucks

I’m just going to say it: dating really sucks.

Dating when you’re a Christian seems to be even more difficult. People don’t get it; they don’t get why you have certain ideas about what should or should not happen on a date, or what the big deal is about sex, or a man pursuing a woman…..

“Your idea of dating is antiquated”, they say.

“Get real…. No man is going to be okay with not sleeping with you”.

To be honest, I’m getting sick of answering questions about my dating life (or lack thereof) because I’m sick of seeing people’s reactions. I can tell when they think I’m being ridiculous (even if they don’t say it). I want it to not bother me. But it still does sometimes.

People are in disbelief. “No one has standards these days”, they say.

But that does not mean that as a believer, I should just say, “oh well everyone else is doing it so…..” like it doesn’t matter. People may not understand it, but actually, they don’t need to. They just need to respect it. If your friends can’t respect your boundaries, get some new friends.

We are all broken people. I am broken, and so are you. We all have pasts…. pasts that have hurt us, and hurt others. But there is grace from God. As believers, we can repent and ask for forgiveness and have the slate wiped clean. Jesus is not holding your past against you. So it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, if you are holding yourself to a higher standard now….. that is what is important.

This is something that can be hard for me to believe at times. I can’t always believe that God isn’t judging me for my past mistakes and reminding me of all of the times I’ve messed up. It seems too good to be true for Him to forgive me and just let it go.

I feel like most dating articles/books are about manipulating: manipulating other people and manipulating situations in order to get what you want (whatever that may be). Is this really the way to an honest, healthy relationship?

We are told that as believers we are not “of this world”. There should be something different about believers. That’s something that I have struggled with myself. I am a believer, but sometimes I wonder if people who meet me, or know me from work, can see a difference between me and a nonbeliever. Or are we both just “nice”? We can all be nice, even moral, people when we want to be.

How do I, as a believer, show Jesus’ love to others? How am I showing others that He has made a difference in my life? Or am I too wrapped up in my own struggles to focus on anyone else? I think a big part of it is telling our own stories to others. This is something that I have gotten better at, but still makes me anxious. Dating makes all of this stuff even more difficult… it seems to have gotten more and more complicated over time:

  • Who is supposed to pay? (I would say that the guy should normally pay for the first date, but I tend to be old fashioned about that)
  • Is it better to be friends first or not – (there seems to be a huge difference of opinion on this)

This is what I’m thinking on tonight. I don’t feel well, and I’m drinking tea and laying on the couch. It’s one of those times that I think: it would be so nice to have someone here with me, taking care of me. Someone who will run to the store and get ginger ale or soup, or more Nyquil. The little things that help you get through the night (when you can’t talk or breathe out of your nose). Hopefully someday I’ll find someone who wants to take care of me when I’m sick, because I know I’m pretty awesome at taking care of others when they need it.

I’m sure that God has this whole thing planned out, but sometimes (especially now, when I’m single, and lonely) that I just want to say to Him “WHAT IS THE HOLD UP?!” because I don’t get it. I’m getting older and I’m afraid that I’m running out of time. I’m pretty sure that is a lie from Satan and I’m not THAT OLD AT ALL and need to just relax. Of course that is easier said than done.

I’ll keep working on it.

Praying With Strangers

Last week I had strangers ask if I wanted to join them in prayer. It surprised me. I had a really strange and emotional day.

I started out at church at 8:30am to attend a talk by Ray Ortlund, a Pastor and author from Nashville, TN. We had been using his book, “When God Comes to Church” this past summer to go with the sermon series. I have not read the entire book, but I have read about half of it. The book is about revival. It’s not a topic I had every really thought about it to be honest. His talk was really interesting and we had the band worshipping at the end of his talk. They mentioned that if you needed prayer you could go and talk to one of the pastors. I was a little embarrassed, but felt like I should do that. I was getting emotional thinking about my current work situation.

I feel so stuck.

I moved to NC for a specific job. I had never been here and did not know a single person when I moved here. I didn’t realize how different the culture would be from Michigan.

I’ve lived here now for about 2 and ½ years, and I still feel like I don’t belong. The one thing that has helped was getting involved in a Community Group at church. We meet every Wednesday evening and talk about the previous week’s sermon and our lives. It’s a safe place to not be okay. And everyone needs that. For the last couple of months, with trying to find a new job, I have been feeling more hopeless and depressed than I have in a very long time. Everyone keeps telling me that God has me where He wants me, and that I just need to be patient.

Patience is not something that I am good at.

I keep trying to lean on God, and am praying a lot, but some day are just harder than others. I miss my parents, and my friends back in Michigan.

I went to Barnes and Noble for the afternoon, because it was raining here (again) and spent about four hours there just browsing. I sat down in one of the empty chairs and three people were sitting there, talking in Spanish. The one guy introduced himself, and so I introduced myself too. My Spanish is alright, but by no means fluent. So I didn’t follow everything that they were saying. Who am I kidding, I didn’t understand…. Barely any of it! But I noticed that he had CS Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” on the table with his notebook. The other gentleman said he was a Pastor, so of course I asked about the church. I had heard of it, but never been. I told them where I went and we chatted pleasantly for a couple of minutes. I went back to my reading and thought that was the end of it. Later, when they were about to leave, they asked me if I wanted to pray with them.

I thought that it was nice of them to ask. They prayed in Spanish first, which I didn’t understand, but then he started in English, and they prayed for me. And it was just beautiful thing that made me feel so much better…. Just the fact that these people, who don’t know me, were willing to do that for me.

It made my heart hurt a little less. And that was just what I needed at that moment.

 

Lynda.com Will Save Me

Still trying to figure this whole blog thing out. I’ve been watching some Lynda.com videos on WordPress, since I’m pretty much totally clueless about all of this.

On another note, I had a big win today. I finally got a new (used) car!! I’ve been car shopping for awhile (which was horrible) and I finally did the paperwork last night and picked up my new Honda today! I’m incredibly elated/relieved to have a new vehicle that will be more reliable for me than my previous one. I’m terrified to have a car payment (I’ve never had one before) but I guess this is what being an adult is all about? Bills? It’s absolutely crazy to me but it will be a huge piece of mind to not have to worry every morning if my car will start or not.

New Honda
The NEW Honda in all of its glory!

Work has been pretty miserable as of late, and so this win is something I am not taking lightly. I am CELEBRATING and thanking God for this good news. I really needed it.

Persevering and attempting (sometimes unsuccessfully) that it could be worse. At least I’m employed.

Labor Day is coming up, which means an extra day off next week….  YAY!!

Taking it one day at a time….

L

Just Do It

It’s a slogan for Nike…. but it applies to life as well. I’ve been wanting (and ignoring) my desire to start a blog for awhile. It seems I have countless reasons to NOT start one…. but mostly it’s just fear. There’s this thing on Pinterest that I keep seeing, about how many times the Bible says “do not be afraid”. And I’m trying to focus on that. I am not the one in control.

Fear will paralyze you if you let it.

So here goes nothing….

L