i've been absent but not absent-minded: faith

6.10.2013 |

sharing some quiet time with
my sweet friend aubrey
at 929
there is a new coffee shop in town.  it's called 929 coffee bar.  it's a mix between urban young professions and rural barn life.  not that i would define myself as a hipster in any sense of the word, but if that's your cup of tea, this is "hipster paradise."  where has the time gone? it's no secret that i have not blogged in, oh, a few days.  ok, weeks.  no no, it has most definitely been several months since i have sat down at a computer and spilled what i've been learning.  do you want an excuse for my absence? i don't really have one, unless being a collegiate athlete who teaches biology labs and finds time to finish class work in the mean time is an excuse.  but i didn't think that really counted.

where did i leave off?  oh it was something controversial about girls and guys not being able to be close friends without some underlying emotion.  we can discuss that more on that blog post. and i am still in the process of writing a reverse post, the affect of men on women, don't think i am some woman-hater. i realize it can work both ways.

where have i been since then?  well, let's see.  i went through serious caffeine withdraws (similar to what i imagine a cocaine addict in rehab would feel) as i entered into a state of zombiedom during the lenten season. i finished my collegiate running career.  i started discipling a sweet high school girl.  i finished my first year of graduate school. i lost a march madness bracket steak dinner bet. i made homemade spaghetti and meatballs for mark and i's 6 month anniversary (i know, right).  i cleaned out the back of my closet–that section of clothes we never, ever wear yet we convince ourselves that maybe possibly one day we will really wear it–well, i finally got rid of that. i have dog sitted? sat? 3 different dogs. read a few books like "love does" and "follow me". and my hair has grown nearly an inch. (insert pat on the back here)

taylor, my mentee (2012-2013)
entering her sophomore yr @ MSU
summer missionary in vancouver, ca
so where am i now?  that's a really great question.  sometimes i have a difficult time answering that myself.  maybe you are (or have been) in that situation.  you see, i am at a crossroads in my life.  somewhere between wanting to do what i want to do and giving complete control to jesus.  i think we too often idealize giving control to jesus and making him the lord, boss, master of our lives.  it's something you say and fail to put into action.  and when i say "you" i don't mean to point the finger at you, dear reader.  it's just a general term, mostly directed square at me.  so i've been focusing on the joy that comes when you surrender to Christ daily.  it's not a one time deal, it's an every day and every breath decision.

i have at most one more year until i complete my master's degree.  i have to do a one year internship in order to graduate.  the internship can be paid or unpaid, obviously, a paid internship is more appealing and my first option.  however, anxiety started flooding, i'm talking grade 6 anxiety rapids coursing through my mind.  i failed to let Christ be my guide and i set out to figure this whole internship out myself.  sure, i found a job, but for a first-year, my expertise is being taken advantage of.  no one likes being taken advantage of.  i'd rather work for 6 months unpaid than go through that misery. there are potentially other jobs, i am just waiting to hear back.  that's when i just begrudgingly said, "God, i don't know what you even want from me, but fine i'll do it." yeah, i got an attitude with God.  i don't recommend this, ever.  through prayer and conversations with people i highly respect and know they are concerned with my sanctification process, i am going to do an unpaid internship.  there is such a peace about it.  sure, i won't be getting paid and i may be living off of ramen noodles for the next 6 months, but i'm eager for this growing opportunity not only professionally, but for the growth spiritually. i was reminded by a friend that often times the happiest people are poor because they are not controlled by the things they have or do not have.

i wish i could write down all the ways in which God has prepared me for this upcoming season of financial stress.  like, i got offered multiple free meals, i found tons of coupons, the church gave me left over food, and the list goes on.  it's seriously weird.  i am looking for God to show up in every situation.  when you expect him to provide and to show up, man, he really does.  it's evident.  now, this may sound idealistic because there have certainly been times where i have cried out to God and all i am left with is crickets and tears.  but through looking in the rearview mirror, it wasn't that God didn't reach out to comfort me or lead it, it was just that i wasn't sensitive to how he was moving at that time.  those empty times when it seems like God couldn't be further away, he does some of the greatest work in our lives.  

vbs summer 2013
colossal coaster
pre-k boys
i'm reading through the gospels.  i am baffled at the faith the people display in matthew and mark's account of jesus.  let's take the women who was hemorrhaging for 12 years.  as a woman who struggles to endure 5 days of this torture, i can not imagine the physical depletion and isolation she must have experienced.  she believes that if she could just touch his robe!!! that she would be healed.  his robe!!!  are you serious? jesus asks in mark 5:30, "who touched me?"  the disciples reply how i would have replied, "uh, jesus, you're in a crowd, and there are people everywhere!"  have you ever been in a crowded subway? have you ever been at a standing-room-only concert? yeah, super jammed packed you can hardly breathe. this is the kind of crowd i imagine jesus is in.  people bumping up against every inch of your body and it's uncomfortable.  so jesus says, "who touched me? i felt my healing power go out from me!"  wow, what faith from this woman.  jesus tells the unclean, outcast of a woman that her faith has made her well.  jesus heals her because she believed that he could heal her.  this woman's faith is not the only display of faith that completely convicts me.  in matthew 8, a servant is paralyzed and his master, a highly regarded roman official, tells jesus that if he would just speak the words that his servant would be healed.  and boom, the dude is healed because of the faith of the guy he worked for.  jesus is amazed by this type of faith.

i wonder if jesus marvels at the faith i have in him.  if i'm honest, i bet not.  too many times i put my prerogative above his.  too many times my focus is on what makes me happy, how i can live a better life, how i can make tomorrow less stressful.  let me be clear, i'm not trying to impress jesus with my faith. my righteousness is but filthy rags in the first place (isaiah 64:6).  but i'm learning what it means to empty myself and trust that jesus knows best. that's growing my faith. we can fool ourselves and say that we got it down, that our faith is perfected, and that we know how to go through the imaginary steps  of outwardly looking the part, but truly growing our faith is a lifelong process.  i want to move mountains, i want to touch jesus' robe, i want jesus to just speak.  that is the faith i am hungry for.  

4 comments

  1. we hardly know each other but you are such a great influence. through your post and words of wisdom i have gotten through some tough times. thank you. i hope some day i can tell about my faith as bravely as you do.

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    1. hey anonomyos, i am so humbled by your comment. i am so glad i could be some sort of aid in getting you through some difficult times but i can't take that kind of credit. it's amazing what Jesus does through other people's lives that allow us to see him for who he is. he got you through those times. i hate that you had to experience any sort of pain, but i know that you are stronger because of it! id love to talk more about what's been going on in your life! if you're comfortable with that you can email me! :)

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  3. there are people in my life who challenge and inspire me. they remind me that i'm human and that doing life my way, by myself, isn't what i was created for. you are one of those people, sweet friend. thank you for sharing your heart! you are such a blessing to me!

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