Monday, December 31, 2007

Just Because She's Cute and I Miss Her!

I have my first program at work this week, and will be staying in a hotel...which means no Sasha. So she is with grandma and grandpa for a little while. I didn't realize how much I would miss my dog. It's lonely without her! I was looking through her baby photos (she's like me kid, I can't help it), and couldn't believe how little she used to be..

Look how cute!


I don't remember her being that small...and it's only been 6 months!


Awww....she has always been so sweet when she sleeps...


They grow up too fast!


So little!


She really lays like that...it's weird, I know.


Still sweet when she sleeps...


SO big!!! (55 pounds, 6 months old, and still growing)


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Laura Says I Have Ladders

So, my amazing friend Laura says I have ladders when it comes to guys. Here is the Ladder Theory:
 
"The first thing to notice here is that a woman has not one, but two ladders. This is becasue in addition to the normal ladder, a woman also has a friends ladder. The friends ladder is where a woman puts guys that she considers "just friends". The problem arises because a woman never lets a guy know which ladder he is on. Obviously there is a huge difference, or gap, between these two ladders. All a man can do is "go for it" and make a move on a girl; ask her out, try to kiss her, write her a love note, or whatever. If he's on the good ladder fine. If he is on the friends ladder this is a case of ladder jumping. The man is trying to jump the gap from the friends ladder to the real ladder. The girl has two choices at this point: she can let him on the ladder and all is well, or, more likely, she can kick him in the head, and off the ladder. If you look you'll see that below the ladder is the Abyss (what was it Nietzsche said about a man being on a rope stretched over an Abyss?....well it's worse than he thought; there is no rope.) So the man falls into the Abyss. The Abyss isn't really as bad as it sounds. Mostly it's a period of self-loathing, embarrassment, and of course utter awkwardness with the girl in question if they are talking at all."
 
LOLOLOLOL. I laugh...but sadly, I have to admit that I have ladders. I really don't try to be mean to guys, and I try to give the right ones a chance...but I won't every understand the ladder-jumping. My brain just can't wrap itself around that idea. That's the reason for 2 ladders...it's not polite to force your way onto a ladder you were not assigned. Haha. And in my defense...I have never kicked a guy in the head, and I never create the awkwardness afterwards or stop talking to the guy; he does that all on his own.
 
P.S. The song from Carrie Underwood is HILARIOUS. I really do love my dog :)
 
 
Currently Listening: The More Boys I Meet, by Carrie Underwood (Carnival Ride)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Praise Be to God Great Things He Has Done!

So I have been in my apartment for a couple of weeks now. I still cannot believe that I am finally here, that this time has finally come to be. I am working, in the real world, on my own...It is hard to even begin to describe all that God has done for me in the past few weeks. When God chose to answer, He chose to answer! Everything happened in the matter of a week and it was such a whirlwind of events.

Monday October 22nd: I decided to look again on the Baylor career website. When I got there, I found a posting for an event coordinator job. I sent off my resume like I had so many times before (I literally had to stop counting after 300...) and forgot about it, not really expecting anything to come of it (as usual). That same afternoon I got a phone call asking me if I would be interested in an interview. They wanted to see me pretty quickly and the only day I had off that week was Tuesday. So, Monday night, I hopped in the car and drove to Waco and stayed with a sweet friend who let me crash at her place on the spur of the moment.
Tuesday October 23rd: I drove the rest of the way to Dallas where I had my interview. I loved it! It was a normal interview with normal questions. (I had had some really weird ones throughout the course of my interviewing, let me tell ya) I met the owner and the current event coordinator whose position I was interviewing for. They were so great! I loved the company and the job description. I left the interview feeling pretty good about it. I still tried not to get my hopes up, and yet I felt something stirring in my heart about this one.

Wednesday October 24th: The owner called me and offered me the event coordinator position. Of course, I was SUPER excited, but I still asked for some time to pray about it (I tried to play it cool, but it was really hard. When you wait as long as I did, it takes everything in you not to scream "Hell, YES!" into the phone. I knew this was where God wanted me, but my flesh was still struggling with how low the salary was. I hate that it always comes down to money. But I had been slashing my salary expectations all summer and even after I cut my budget down to the bare minimum, this position still offered $4000 below that threshold. LOL. I laugh because it's hilarious. If you could only know...But I felt as though God was asking me to take the step of faith. I laughed at Him too. He didn't find it very funny.

Thursday October 25th: So I accepted the job. When I called my new boss to tell her the news she was really excited but not the least bit surprised. She knew that I needed to pray about it and hear the confirmation from God, but she knew I would take the job because Jesus had told her to offer it to me. She was confident He wouldn't have told me something different from what He told her.

Friday October 26th: I put in my 2 weeks notice and thought I would start the process of moving. But of course God's plan was different than mine. Because of work and fulfilling commitments, I wasn't able to go up to Dallas until a couple of days before my first day of work. So I had to pack a suitcase and just go without having a place to live. I stayed with my aunt, so I wasn't on the streets, but this would not have been typical Erin-plan. Instead, God was continuing to test my patience and my faith. I had to trust He would provide something soon.

Part of me hated how quickly everything happened, not because it was happening, but because I had no time to prepare for it! That's sounds ridiculous, I know, but I wasn't quite in a rational state of mind at that point anyway. LOL. God completely rocked my world and wouldn't let me take the Erin-plan of carefully planning out every move. I was not in control of my circumstances yet again. And this is where it gets exciting. There was another part of me (a new part of me that I have never seen before) that knew everything would work out and that I had nothing to worry about. To people who know me well...you should close your mouth now, because I swear it's true.

So 2 weeks later, I packed my suitcase, stayed with my aunt for my 1st week of work, and God was faithful to provide an amazing apartment (right price, right location, right safety, etc.)

God has been so faithful, and it has been incredible to see His love and provision in my life. Many people faithfully prayed for my job search; I cannot express in words how thankful I am for each of them. God hears the prayers of His children and answers in awesome ways! I could not have made it through this summer without all of the prayers, encouragement, and love from so many people.

It was quite a journey. I have grown so much over the last few months. I wish I could have learned some of the lessons I needed to in an easier way, but if I am honest with myself, I would say that God knew best that this is how I needed to learn. I had some hard lessons to learn; I was stretched in so many painful ways. So many people walked with me in varying ways during some dark times. There were too many times I doubted God's goodness, doubted His master plan for me. But I can now say that I have come out on the other side of the storm a better person. I have been beaten, bruised, humbled, corrected, forgiven, shaped, and purified. God used my difficult circumstances to mold me even more into the image of His Son; and knowing that result, I would not change the past few months for anything. The things that break us are the things that make us stronger.

After months of waiting, months of silence, months of hurt, fear, disappointment, confusion, etc…God chose to let me in on a piece of His plan for me. When God says His timing is not ours, it is so true! Haha. So now I am working for a company that I find new ways to love every day. I am their new Event Coordinator (yay!). I am responsible for all logistics and execution of national youth success seminars. We help kids learn how to succeed in life, to follow their dreams, to learn the life skills they don't teach in classrooms. So far, I love every minute of my job, and I am really trying to soak in all that God has done for me.

Not too long ago, I had a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I never thought this day would come. And yet here I am, setting up my Christmas tree in my new apartment (one of my pleas to God was that I would be settled by Christmas). I have started this whole new life in a matter of days, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me. The hard times aren't over. Taking this job was a step of faith in more ways than one. But no matter what I may face, I know I can trust Him. I know that He has good things planned for me…even if they are not what my finite mind can conceive. God's ways are better than my ways. He is good and faithful. Praise be to God, great things He has done!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Answer to Prayers!!

I cannot even begin to describe all that the Lord has done for me! I promise to update with all of the news...I am still reaping all of His blessings and trying to get settled. God has generously provided in so many ways and it's all I can do to shout from the rooftops, "How GREAT is my God!!!"
 
It all started October 22nd...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I'm Still Here...

...and I'm still waiting...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Mondays

Everyday it gets harder and harder to hold it together. That sounds so depressing and melodramatic…I don’t mean it to be. I’m just trying to be honest with my feelings. My mom has recently started asking me the question, “what set you off this time?” I wish there was some way I could explain to her that there is nothing in particular that “sets me off.” There is no trigger. It’s just the mere fact that I have woken up to a new day still living in my parents’ house, still jobless, still having no prospects. It’s the mere fact that I have woken up to a new day having to hit the pavement searching for a job…again. It’s the mere fact that I have woken up to a new day still drowning in God’s silence. I think she thinks that at some point, I will just get over this down time and just be ok. Unfortunately, the more days that go by, the worse it gets.
 
I hate even voicing these feelings. They don’t sound like me at all. I’ve lost so much of who I thought I was. Or at least it seems as though I have. I had never really considered myself an extremely prideful person…but any sort of pride I did have has been stripped away. I fear that my discouragement is now eating away at any ounce of confidence I thought I had. I doubt everything about myself now. Am I really good at something? Was I ever really good at anything or was I just lucky? Does hard work really count for anything except a good grade and a few extra ulcers? Am I really going to succeed? Is there really a good plan for my life? Do I really have what it takes? Because everything around me is screaming NO!
 
I pray. I pray a lot. I pray hard. I pray alone. I pray with others. I pray quietly. I pray loudly. I ask God questions. I ask Him for certain things. I offer Him my heart. I give Him a piece of my mind. I scream at Him a lot. I sit silently before His throne. I strain to hear even the faintest whisper. I cry. I plead. I try to have faith. I desperately look for ways to increase my faith. I desperately look for things to encourage, inspire, and provide hope. And there is still deafening silence in return. I’ve lost my pride. I’ve lost my confidence. I’ve lost my drive to achieve. Oh, I know I will get those things back eventually. I just fear how long it will be until those things return to a healthy level, and I fear the irreparable damage it is doing to my heart along the way.
 
Nobody likes Mondays. But this summer has forced me to look at Mondays in a new way. Most people dread Mondays (as did I) because it means the start of another week. It means going back to work/class after a nice restful and work/class-free weekend. It means responsibility and effort. It means facing deadlines, meetings, and craziness. Mondays are generally hated the world-over. But I hate Mondays now for a different reason. I hate Mondays because it is the start of another week, yes, but another week without a job. In a very sick way, I have to admit that I envy everyone getting up and going to work. I wish I was facing responsibility and effort again. I long for deadlines, meetings, and craziness again.
 
People (and the Bible too) say you are supposed to be content where you are. You are supposed to praise Him despite your circumstances. I agree with that. Even if I don't like it, I have to agree with it because that's what God's Word says. But what does that really look like, in real life? Does that mean that you just get over down times and be ok? Does that mean that you walk around with a smile on your face all the time? Does that mean that you sing praise and happy songs to Him when what you really feel like doing is crying your eyes out and screaming at Him? And what happens if you don't do those things? Are you sinning? Are you missing the point? Are you getting it all wrong? It might seem like it. But what do you do when you ask for wisdom and you don't get it? What do you do when you ask God to guide you and He doesn't? What do you do when you want to do God's will, you just aren't getting any indication of what that might be? What do you do when you feel unsettled where you are, but have surrendered to Him nonetheless, and He still doesn't answer you? What happens when you have your hands wide open, ready to go and do whatever wherever, but He doesn't tell you where to go or what to do? What do you do when you seek Him with all of your heart and He still remains hidden and silent?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Tears Flow

All I can seem to do at this point is cry...
 
Lamentations 3:22-32
 
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.  Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust-- there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Deafening Silence

Life is dark and heaven is silent. I keep going to God, telling him that this is hardly the time to play hide-and-seek with me. The silence is palpable. The silence is defeaning.
 
I keep looking to Scripture...where do I go for something like this? Who in the Bible felt abandoned by God? On more than one occasion, King David felt it. And yet he knew, despite what he was feeling, that he was never out of God's sight (Psalm 139:7, 9-12). I am not alone. God is relentlessly faithful. So how do I convince my panicked heart of that? I read something that said I need to enter the silence with Him. What does that look like?
 
My first step is to be so comfortable with God that intimacy comes without the necessity of words. And so I spend part of my day sitting before the throne of the God of the universe. I'm scared. I beg to feel His presence. I sit. I cry...a lot. I continue to do this until I am flooded with enough peace to make it through another day. I wait for God to fill every molecule of space around me.
 
Obviously God is testing me. How much will I trust Him...even when He is silent? It's really easy when He is "holding on to the back of my bike as I peddle." But what happens when He lets go and I have to ride alone? Will I remember all that I have learned? Throughout the summer, some things have come to light about what I was trusting in more that I was trusting in Him. Now that those have been exposed, laid bare, and confessed, I am attempting the hard task of building commitment and perseverance.
 
Jesus told His disciples to be unwavering: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me" (John 14:11). Every day, I am called to continue trusting- spend another 24 hours job searching, chasing a puppy, reading again...believing that He has everything under control. Even when He is silent.
 
Finances are getting really tight. I say that as though I have money at all. I really don't. I am so in debt to my parents it's unreal. I really ned a job so I can pay the bills. And it's looking pretty scary. So I cling to the verse in Matthew 6: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear...look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (25, 26) I have to trust that God is still working even though I cannot hear His voice. I have to trust that He is building my character and working to make me more effective for His Kingdom.
 
One thing I have learned through this summer is that it's ok to be honest with God...no matter how brutal that honesty is. I always thought it was disrespectful, like it is unheard of to say such things to God. But really...He knows what I am thinking anyway, so why not go ahead and open up the conversation and tell Him? It's better than the alternative: stopping talking to Him altogether.
 
I have also learned how much I need other people. I have always tried to be so strong for other people. I thought it was some sort of spiritual weakness on my part to do otherwise. It's weird because I don't view it that way when other people come to me broken and weary. That's part of me always being that much harder on myself. I have definitely reached a point where I have asked others to trust God enough for me. I have asked others to have hope until I get mine back. And I cling to Psalm 119:50: "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."
 
I know that sometime in the future I will look back at this time and think how stupid I was to have missed "it." There will come a day when it will all click and I will recognize in retrospect how much God was working, shaping me even when He seemed far away. There will be a day when I come out the other side knowing with FULL confidence that I am not alone, that God longs for deeper intimacy with me, and that He is worth trusting for the journey. I am praying for that day to come soon.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Praise You in the Storm

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
 
 
Currently Listening: Praise You in the Storm, by Casting Crowns (Lifesong)


Thursday, August 9, 2007

At the Breaking Point...and in Need of a "Thomas" Moment

89 days. I liked it so much better when I was counting down to something (i.e. graduation). A countdown has an end. You can see the end. I am in the midst of a countup, if you will. You can't see an end to this count. And as each day goes by, I find myself more frustrated, more discouraged. 89 days since I graduated. 89 days on the job hunt. 89 days with no more prospects than when I started. I thought I had reached my breaking point about a week ago. A job that looked to be like an answer to prayer turned out to be a scam. I was confused at all the "signs" that I thought pointed to God's plan. Everything seemed to be pointing in that direction and falling into place. I realize now, that that one was just a test. A test to see if I was going to trust His plan and not just jump at the first thing that came along. I passed that one pretty well, if I do say so myself. But I was still broken, because I still had no job.
 
So when the email came for a job interview in Dallas a few days later...I thought God was finally reaching down. I went to Dallas and interviewed. I prayed that I would know in the interview if this is where I was supposed to be, based on how I felt about the company. I had to pray that specifically to protect me from myself. I went to the interview and absolutely fell in love with the company. They offered decent pay...they offered training...and they offered benefits! (All 3 are hard to come by in the field I want to be in) Based on all of my prayers and what I felt God was doing, where He was leading...I really thought this was it. Everyone who has been surrounding me with prayer thought this was finally it. The interview went well. I left Dallas, trusting that God really did have something good for me.
 
The letter came yesterday. It was like all the others. "You have excellent qualifications and are someone we would normally look for in a candidate. Unfortunately..." You are great (even perfect!), BUT... your qualifications are impressive, BUT... And that's how I arrived at 89 days. This one hurt more than all of the others because of all the prayer and circumstances that surrounded it. I truly stepped out in faith on this one...and I feel as though I have been slapped in the face. I feel empty and am filled with this nagging feeling: there really isn't something that good planned for you. I never dreamed that I could ever reach a place like this- where I felt this empty, this discouraged. I am really struggling right now to face the reality of my circumstances despite what I have always known to be true. I feel like I am in a dark and scary place, because I am really struggling to see God's hand, to keep believing that He has something good planned for me. I am desperately seeking His face, His plan, His will. And I am only met with silence and confusion. My faith is wavering, and I am scared. I am scared about the spiritual implications my reactions have to my walk. I am scared about what this might actually mean for my career. I am scared that I might not have any grand plans for my life. I am scared I am going to end up in a random job, a job that I go to every day just to pay the bills. I am scared that I poured out my blood, tears, and sweat for 4 years for no reason. I am scared that all of my hard work means nothing. I am scared that there is no practical calling on my life like I have always believed and pursued. I am scared that I will still be here in another 89 days. It's not that I believe that God can't do this; it's that I am starting to believe that He won't for whatever reason. And somehow that almost seems worse. I am scared that I am doubting God's goodness. Like, "just kidding! all those good things I can do for my children aren't for you."
 
I don't like the way I am dealing with all of this...I would have liked to think I would have faced this with more faith. But my spirit is pretty broken right now; so I am desperately praying for a "Thomas moment"- I lack the faith right now to take Him at His word without something tangible. I am ashamed to admit that I have to see proof. I just don't know what else to do...
 
My mom told me today that she had enough faith to make up for the lack of mine...I really hope so :(

Friday, July 27, 2007

The War Rages On

I try not to get into conversations over political issues. It's not that I am afraid of them; it just seems too much of a hot button with people and it is usually not an issue that has a great weight of eternal value. And I tend to be on the opposite side of issues than most people who are looking to debate. That's not always the case, but my experiences with it just keeps me from really getting into it with people. Of course, the major political issue right now is this war that contines to rage in Iraq. We all want our troops to come home; but I can't even begin to think I know when is best for peace and safety, both overseas and at home. Regardless of your feelings about the war, the fact remains that we have men and women putting their lives on the line for what they believe in, protecting our American way of life. They fight bravely so that I can have the freedoms I enjoy. And I will continue to pray for and support these brave men and women, and their families, until they do come home.
 
The war hit closer to home this week. My cousin just got deployed. He joined the army reserves earlier this year, but has been called to active duty. We are still unsure of where he will be sent. He left this morning for training stateside. Then he will be sent overseas. We are really praying for Kuwait. But he got pulled from his unit, and there is still a possibility he could end up in Iraq. He is infantry and is being sent as a mechanic. So we are also praying that he gets stationed at a base, that he doesn't get assigned to be a driver (which is something that has been mentioned), and that he doesn't get assigned to convoys. He is in God's hands, but it is still scary. He is so young; he is only 19, and is scared. And at this point, he does not know Christ. So please pray for him. My family is taking it pretty hard. My aunt is a mess. Understandably so. He has 3 brothers- the youngest is struggling the most. And my grandpa is really struggling too. He just recently started receiving counseling for his war experiences with special forces in Vietnam, so has been dealing with all of those issues, and now one of his grandsons is going to war.
 
Last night I witnessed God do the seemingly impossible. My non-believing, non-praying family asked for prayer. My non-praying family held hands and prayed. Not like we do at Thanksgiving and Christmas because that is what the few Christians in the family like to do. But full out prayer. I never thought I would see the day. It is one thing to take prayer when it is offered, especially considering the circumstances. To be polite when others are praying. It's something else entirely to really ask for prayer. In this scary time, my non-believing family is looking to God for answers. I don't know how to begin to describe my family...but this just doesn't happen. Ever. I just want this to finally be the time my family turns to Christ. I am desperately asking God to display His power and glory...because my family doesn't need another thing to blame God for. I am praying that God works a miracle, that He brings my cousin home safely, and that my family recognizes that it was only by God's hand. If you could join me in this prayer, I would appreciate it. My family needs Jesus. And if you could join me in prayer for my cousin, that God would protect him wherever he goes, and that God would return him home safely.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

It Has Been Awhile...Be Prepared for a Long One

So I have officially been a Baylor alum for 52 days now. That sentence sounds a lot more exciting than it really has been. Being Baylor alumni is great. I have finished the academic era of my life, and that is no small feat. I am proud to say that I am finished with school, and I really like the fact that I will more than likely never study a textbook or write a term paper again in my life. And that’s a really nice feeling.      
 
But with 52 days of being an alum, that means 52 days (and counting) without a job.  
 
The last 52 days have been some of the most frustrating I have faced. We’re never happy are we? I couldn’t wait for school to end because I was so frustrated with it. And now that it is done, this new place is even worse. I have never been so out of my element, so lost or confused in my entire life. I can say with no reservation that I am completely miserable. I have nothing to be excited about, nothing to look forward to. Nothing to work toward, no goal to achieve. Nothing to do, no appointments to keep. I know God has a plan. I know He will provide a job. I have to believe it. I have to hold on to that, because that’s all I have right now. It’s the only thing that wakes me up in the morning. But what happens until then? What do I do with myself in the mean time? What is my role in God’s preparation? How much do I do? And how long will He keep me here? I am begging Him not to keep me here long. I feel like I am losing my mind.
 
I count the days, which go by so slowly because of my lack of things to do. The days turn into weeks, and, oh my God, they are now starting to turn into months. All of my job options have run out (yet again), and so I am starting over (yet again). I can’t even begin to describe the emptiness and the panic that are beginning to fill my heart. I can do nothing else but cling to the cliché verse that He has plans to prosper me, and not to harm me, that He has plans for a hope and a future. This place of emptiness and defeat is a scary place to be. To be brutally honest, it is hard to praise Him in this dark place. I have found myself forcing the words of praise songs, in hopes that if I say them enough times, I might begin to believe the words again. I just keep saying His promises out loud, hoping I will really be encouraged by them sometime soon.
 
It’s hard to accept that God’s answers are a mystery to me right now. Other people seem so sure about their prayers for me…like they receive answers from God that I don’t. That seems strange to me, but at the same time it is encouraging, because I do have people interceding for me. I guess it's better than nothing to have other people receiving answers they are confident of, even if I am not. I just have to continue practicing obedience and wait. I loathe every minute of the waiting, but I am waiting nonetheless. I don’t doubt that God has something perfect waiting for me at the end of all of this. I just don’t understand the waiting; I don't understand what I am supposed to be doing in the mean time. I wasn’t built to sit and do nothing. So as far as my finite and sinful brain can comprehend, it feels like a cruel joke to create me a certain way only to make me “suffer” in this very way. I know that sounds stupid and overdramatic. Reading it out loud, I can’t help but think how ridiculous it is. But that’s how lost and confused I am, I guess.
 
And so I keep praying and seeking God. It may not sound like it, but I really am trying to find and trust God in all of this. I am just not ok right now, no matter how much I want to be...no matter how much other people want me to be. And I don’t know how to get back to that point of being "ok" right now. I am ashamed to admit how much I am struggling with faith so much in this storm. Not my Faith (the core of who I am, who God has created me to be), but faith- trusting God outside of what I am experiencing. But God says He can work with faith as small as a mustard seed. I am desperately asking Him to use what tiny bit of faith I have right now. I am asking Him to grow and multiply it.
 
God knows where I am. He knows how I feel. He knows what I am going through; He knows what is really going on. I know He hears my heart’s cries. I know that He is even crying and hurting with me. He is working right now to bring me where He wants me. He is working to mold my heart to be more like Him. He has a purpose and a plan. I just pray that He delivers me from this dark place soon. I pray that He gives me the strength to hold on, the power to trust Him. I pray that He doesn’t forget me in this place. I am praying that He can still use me as broken as I am. I am praying that I can learn how to thank Him even where I am. God has given me another song to speak to my heart, as He is always faithful to do:
 
It's a fear that keeps me wide awake
In the middle of the night
When the expectations are too great
And the bar gets raised too high
So I do the best with what I've got
And hope that no one knows
That I strain to see how high I can
Try to stand on these toes
Until I'm measured, but You know better
 
So, thank You, Jesus
Even when you see us just as we are
Fragile and frail and so far from who we want to be
So, thank You, Jesus
Even when the pieces are broken and small
Dreams shatter and scatter like the wind
Thank You, even then
 
So I put aside the masquerade
And admit that I am not okay
Which may not be the thing to say
But I'm not ashamed to need You more each day
So, thank You, Jesus
Even when you see us just as we are
Fragile and frail and so far from who we want to be
So, thank You, Jesus
Even when the pieces are broken and small
Dreams shatter and scatter like the wind
Thank You, even then
We raise the standard and try to reach You
But we'll never make it, and we don't need to
 
My dad said something to me yesterday that really hit me. It’s embarrassing how I seem to miss simple things like this all the time. He said that while I have to wait and it’s hard and it hurts, it is a blessing in disguise to even have the opportunity to wait and really search for the “perfect” job. He is so right. I hadn’t really thought of it that way. How self-absorbed can I be? And so I thank my Heavenly Father for the generous and amazing blessing that I get to wait. Only my God and Savior would be that good to me.
 
 
Currently Listening: Even Then, by Nichole Nordeman (Woven & Spun)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Baylor Alumna

Well, I can finally say it. I am an official Baylor alum! All the blood, sweat, tears, and stress finally paid off, and I was able to walk across the stage with a heart full of thanksgiving for my amazingly faithful God! I cannot even express in words His goodness to me in pulling me through this last semester. I never thought graduation day would come; and here now it is already 5 days past. I can't express my relief in being done with school. People keep asking me about grad school...it takes everything in me to be polite and say "not at this time" because inside I am screaming "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeell no!" LOL. It's just not what God has for me. He was faithful to pull me through 4 years of undergrad. And now, He has other plans for me that do not require studying in an academic setting ever again.
 
And then that brings me to the question I have been dreading for a good 2 years now: "What now?" You know, that's a very good question. The only thing I have to offer at this point is that I have no idea what's next. That's a scary place to be in. I have a feeling this is going to be another long, hard summer. I have come a long way and can say with confidence and peace that God has it all planned and will reveal His perfect plan in His perfect timing. But I have to say...it's still hard. And I am broken, on my knees before His throne, because I have no clue where to go from here. The things I thought would pan out, didn't. I just got some really disappointing news and am having to start all over. Which is hard. I am not falling apart like I normally would be. But I am still struggling with this. With these plans falling through, I am now facing the harsh reality of a summer at home. I love my family and have missed them. But being at home, with no job, and no other prospects at this point...I'm struggling. All I can do is cry out to my Father for peace and comfort, guidance and wisdom. Because right now, I am at a loss again.
 
I have to ask myself if this is what life is going to be like for me. I tend to be at this place a lot. Like I said before, I have come a long way. I have surrendered SO much to Him, everything to Him at this point. And I stand before His throne waiting...still. I have to cry out to Him wondering how long I have to wait. How long before He hears my cries? How long before He shows me? If you think about it, please pray for me. Because I want so desperately to learn from all of this what He wants me to. I need prayer to guard against disappointment and frustration. I need wisdom, guidance, and patience. I need to be content with where He has me. If you have any encouraging words...I could really use some right now....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Receiving Some Much Needed Oxygen

So. The whole hyperventilation thing is still a concern. My life is still crazy and doesn't seem to want to slow down anytime soon. But God is my life support and He is pulling me through. Ok. So maybe it is more like He is dragging me at this point. Not because I don't want to do something. But because I don't have enough energy on my own. Haha. It's actually quite a comical mental picture if you think about it...

God is doing amazing things. I can feel it in my soul. I have seen the manifestation of His blessings in my life in countless ways in the last few weeks. And I also feel as though He has more planned for me. More than I could have ever asked for, more than I could have ever dreamed of. I am reaching the end of a chapter in my life. I was given the amazing opportunity to spend 4 amazing years at Baylor University. In my last few days here, I walk across campus praising God for all He has done. I look at the beautiful buildings that make up what I have called home for the last 4 years and I can't help but be filled with sadness over leaving this place. So I try to savor every last moment that I have to walk across campus. And yet, I have an extreme sense of excitement about the new chapter in my life. A sense of excitement of the impending plans God has for me. I still am not sure what those plans are; and I am ok with that. I feel as though in not revealing the details to me as of yet, God is giving me a sweet gift. The gift of enjoying the last drops of this season. The gift of knowing the joy of seeking His face. The gift of feeling the peace He gives to His children.

I am beginning to see His hand move. Don't misunderstand me; God's hand has been moving all along. It's just that in my sinful state, I am just now able to see the forest through the trees, if you will. God is revealing more and more of Himself to me, and I feel as though my soul is awakening again. Maybe it's the fact that in one month, the stress of school will be over. Maybe it's the fact that in one month, I start a new phase of life. Maybe it's the fact that God has been doing a lot of shaping, molding, disciplining, teaching in the last few months. Who knows. What I do know, is that my God is good and there is nothing else that compares to Him. There is nothing in this world that even come close to comparing to knowing Him. I am His and He is mine.

COUNTDOWN TO GRADUATION: 30 days!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Trying Not to Hyperventilate

So basically I am busy from here until May 6th when I take MY LAST FINAL EVER. When I look at all I have to do in the next few weeks, I have to work really hard not to have a panic attack. Generally, that could be viewed as a bad thing. (a panic attack, that is). So I am working on it. I feel so overwhelmed...I really don't know what to do with myself. I feel as though I am drowning, and every time I come up for air, a professor adds another group project and pushes me back under, or my boss asks me to go in to work some extra hours, etc. Once I am done with one thing, I have to make a quick turnaround to finish up the next thing that is due. I have been busy all semester...so I am tired from an entire semester's worth of work. But crunch time began last week. I got 3 hours of sleep each night leading up to my BEST exam (which, p.s. was just as hard and just as ridiculous as last semester's test). My mom naively commented that I could breathe after that exam. Poor mom. If she only knew...a quick gasp was more like it and I am now studying for 2 more exams on Tuesday and 1 on Wednesday. And of course, studying is not the only thing on my agenda for the next few days. And on and on it will continue until May 6th. People think I am being overdramatic, that I am exaggerating. To those people, I say, "please leave me alone." You don't know the half of it. To those people, I invite you to take a look at my calendar and then try to tell me what my life is like. Ok. Sorry. I needed to vent that...

I think most of all, I am literally grieving the fact that I have been unable to actually enjoy my senior year. I think that is part of what is bothering me the most. That, coupled with the fact that I have been unable to devote my time and energies to things I wanted to...simply because I have been required to devote my time and energies on what other people have told me I had to. And, since I have been stretched in so many different directions, I have not been able to give 110% in every area like I normally want to. For me, that is discouraging and disappointing.

So please pray for me. Because without God's help...I will drown. I won't make it. The thought of 3-4 hours of sleep every night for the rest of the semester makes me want to cry and hide in a hole. And yet, that is the reality I face, simply because there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. So please pray for strength. Please pray for endurance. Please pray for patience. Please pray for love toward others who make things more challenging, difficult, and frankly...more miserable. Please pray for focus. Please pray for rest. Please pray for some form of relief. Please pray for the expansion of time. Please pray for joy.
COUNTDOWN TO GRADUATION: 48 days!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

More of Him, Less of Me

Holy Fire burn away
my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me
I want more of you and less of me

Holy Fire burn away
my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me
I want more of you and less of me, yeah
Empty me
Empty me, yeah
Fill, won't you fill me
with you, with you, yeah

Holy Fire, burn away
my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me
I want more of you and less of me, yeah
Empty me
Empty me, yeah
Fill, won't you fill me, with you, with you, empty me now

Well won't you empty me, well won't you empty me now
I want more, I want more, I want more of you, Jesus
I want more, I want more, oh
Thank you, Jesus
Thank you, Jesus, oh yeah
Thank you, Jesus, yeah
Holy Fire, Holy Fire, Holy Fire, Holy Fire

Countdown to graduation: 50 days!!!

Currently Reading: Comparative Economic Systems, by H. Stephen Gardner