In three weeks, the fall semester will be over. In five weeks, the year 2013 will be over, and we will embark on another semester and another calendar year. Looking back, I can only pray that if this next year is filled with as much pain as this past month has had, it also comes with the abundance of joys.
You see, as suddenly as I fell deeply in love with a man ten months ago, I tumbled headlong out of it this month, lost and confused and really, really hurt from the fall. My sense of purpose was gone and with it, my motivation and my joy.
Continue reading On November.
Close your eyes and imagine something with me. (Actually, maybe don’t close your eyes, since you need to keep reading. Maybe try to do both. I don’t know, figure it out.) Imagine you woke up one day and you couldn’t remember anything about yourself, about your friends, or about the human race, but then you stumbled upon your social network accounts. You have to try to figure out what your friends are like based on their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Worse yet, you have to figure out who you are based on social networking. What would you decide about human nature?
Maybe you’d discover these things:
- Everyone spends the weekend in groups of people, having fun and partying.
- People typically look happy, put-together, and well.
- Everyone attends awesome, fun events constantly.
- Your friends who are dating have flawless, happy relationships; your married friends have well-behaved, cute kids.
But then, forgetful, confused you would wander outside into the “real” world and look around… and you wouldn’t see everyone sitting around, looking picture-perfect at coffee shops. Because that’s just not life.
Continue reading So much more.
The fact that man has constant encounters with the reflection of God every day is marvelous. Through the mental and spiritual faculties uniquely possessed by man, God’s characteristics are imperfectly yet clearly displayed. Due to the fall of man, no fallen person can perfectly reflect God’s nature; however, traces of it remain in each person because he was initially created in the Imago Dei, according to Genesis 1:26-27. Thus, when a person sees the men around him as image-bearers of the Almighty God instead of chance mammals that evolved from a lower life form, that person gains a unique appreciation for each individual. As an aspiring English teacher, I am training to be granted the privilege of shaping image-bearing minds and hearts. Knowing that each individual in the world is made in the image of God drives a teacher to value the opportunity to shape young reflections of God.
Continue reading On the image of God.
One lazy summer weekday morning as I lounged in my bedroom, scrolling through endless Facebook posts about the thrilling adventures of all my friends, I experienced a sudden burst of motivation.
I am wasting so much time on Facebook, I thought. I ought to fast from it for a while.
And just like that, I posted a status boldly proclaiming that for the rest of the month of June (about 2 weeks), I was going to stay logged off of Facebook so I could enjoy the valuable time I have in these precious, warm summer months – time to spend with family, read more, and grow with the Lord. If friends needed to get in contact with me, they could text, call, or email. But no more of this silly Facebook scrolling habit. I resolutely deleted the app and closed the window. Once I was logged off, it slowly dawned on me that I had little other reason to be on my computer, so I turned it off and read a book instead. I read my Bible before going to sleep that night (not a consistent occurrence, I must admit ashamedly), I slept wonderfully that night, and woke up feeling great about my life.
That afternoon, I slyly logged back on to see what I’d missed in the past 18 hours. I logged off before anyone could catch the little green dot beside my name and hold me accountable.
Continue reading Serving God and nothing.
Do you remember when you were younger and you fell and scraped your knees? If you had a caretaker similar to my mama, you were held down as hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol was poured or dabbed onto your wounds. I always preferred hydrogen peroxide because the bubbles that would erupt as they killed infections fascinated me. But oh, did it sting. I kicked and screamed, crying and fighting and trying to resist the bitter treatment. But as a result of that pain, my knees never got infected from the dirt and pebbles that had the chance to hurt my skin.
Recently, I made a mistake. My attitude poisoned those around me as I wrestled with the consequences of my choices. I was filled with excuses and prideful denial, and my only goal was to protect my own skin, when I should have been thinking about how to make the right, God-honoring decision.
Continue reading On times when the truth stings.
One night during spring break, at a very wee hour of the morning, I sat in the passenger’s seat of my boyfriend’s car with my mascara and tears seeping into the sleeve of his shirt. The weight of my sin and my emotional impurity were burdening my heart, I felt like the most rotten girlfriend in the world. Rotten for looking at pornography in the past, and for thinking impure thoughts, and for objectifying my boyfriend in a way that is not honoring to the Lord nor fair to him. As I leaned on his shoulder and held his hand tightly, feeling like I didn’t deserve him nor the love of God, he prayed for us, then I prayed too. I felt a little angry when his prayer was so calm and so at peace with God. Come on, I thought. You have a past too. Don’t you feel guilty? Don’t you feel convicted by all this junk? When I prayed after him, my insides caved in as I was wrecked with the guilt… not just of my sin, but the guilt of making the Lord forgive me again. I came before his throne, head hung, saying, “We’re back. You’ll never guess what I did wrong this time.”
Continue reading On amazing grace.
Have you ever felt the vibe that God is trying to tell you something? You know how it goes. Over the course of a weekend, you’ll hear a sermon, see several Facebook statuses, read a Bible verse, and have a conversation with a friend… all about one topic that has been on your heart lately. And it keeps happening until you get the picture! That’s how this week has been.
It all started when I was assigned to write about the importance and power of prayer for an extracurricular blog. I know this makes me sound like a pathetic Christian, but prayer has always been the topic with which I have wrestled nonstop since junior high, when I innocently and accidentally watched this Youtube video (disclaimer: it’s not worth 9 minutes of your time) by an atheist who drew a comparison between praying to God and praying to a milk jug for a million dollars. The video drew out and mocked the Christian-ese mantra, “Sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, and sometimes God says to wait.” Ultimately, what I took away from the video was the idea that prayer is as pointless as praying to a milk jug, because whatever is going to happen will happen anyway. Then, in a senior government class at my private high school, a class discussion on the power of prayer ended without a consensus on the question of whether or not praying even makes a difference.
Continue reading On praying.