Friday, July 30, 2010

Dot. Dot. Dot.

Do you ever have a moment where suddenly you seem to come to the full realization of yourself?  A moment above the storm where you can see clearly for miles ahead?  A moment in which you feel defined, determined, and delineated from the crowd? A single drop in time where you actually know that you were created for something beyond human contemplation?

I hope you have those moments...

and that you let them change you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rain Down.

Ok, I can't wait to get my day started (and I slept in a bit later than I had planned on...) but before I jump into it I had to take a few moments to share the overflow of blessings in my life.

Brief background on the last 6-ish years: College was a crazy time in my life.  I had a difficult time deciding exactly what I wanted to do, or at least deciding to make that happen.  Once I finally settled on a school and a degree, I felt the entire experience was an up-hill challenge. Academically I didn't feel like always rising to the occasion and personally I was a huge wreck. My life was flanked with failed relationships and vain pursuits to fill voids, depression, medication, and countless tears and days hiding out in bed. I had some great things come out of those 5 years, mainly some incredible friendships and a whole lot of tough lessons learned. Right after graduation I took a corporate admin job and for the most part hated it...loved the people (most of them anyway) but did not fit into the environment whatsoever.  When the opportunity to potentially go to India showed its face, I dove in completely and, well, the rest is history.  In a nutshell, the several years leading up to my India adventure were hard and wrought with a lot of challenges, fighting within myself, and days of wandering in the desert. I often asked, "where are you, God?"

Low and behold the Promised Land.  Coming home from India started some incredible things happening for me.  Before I knew it, I had gone from having nothing to a having car to use and a house to stay in for almost no cost while I was looking for a new job. And then, with literally very little effort, I had a job a week after I moved back into Orange County. A WEEK!

Beyond having all my physical and logistical needs met and exceeded, a "garden" of friendships has begun to explode with new growth in my life.  Hardly a day goes by in which I don't receive a text, phone call, or email from someone reaching out or responding to me and wanting to get together.  I have this laundry list of amazing people to spend time with and not enough time to do it!  I suppose that's a pretty good "problem" to have...

I have encountered a couple of people who, upon hearing my story of blessing, chalked my life up to something as simple as, good people who do good things (referring to India) get rewarded, much like a sort of karma mentality.  With all due respect, that is SO not it.  I suppose for all intents and purposes you can state that I am a "good" other words, I haven't murdered anyone or tortured any cats (to be debated, heh heh...).  In the eyes of the God I serve, I'm just as sinful and screwed up as the people who do murder others.  That concept, understandably, is really difficult for people to understand, especially in the world of secular humanism.  In terms of what's fair in the eyes of the world, those who murder and act out evil should be considered not as inherently good as those who feed starving children in Africa.  I do not wish to debate theologically on any of this, I merely want to remind everyone reading that I have my fair share of crap inside and out and am only considered anything good and worthwhile because I am FORGIVEN.

Let's not preach, shall we?  I merely want to remember to be humble and to give the glory to the Big Guy upstairs for the outpouring of blessings in my life.  Even if it looks technically "good" that I moved over to India to help those "less fortunate," truth be told, I had a load of very ugly and selfish moments during my time there...ask one of my absolute best friends who witnessed it, Cory.

May my season of blessings serve to encourage others to see the goodness of God and that in the world we live in, we need to call on that far more often than we do.  God is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving...and wants to take each one of us into a life of incredible fulfillment.  And for those of you doubting that this is possible or true, get in touch with me and I will share with you the nuts and bolts of who I was when I was trying to do life on my own strength...and compare that with the way I am blessed and taken care of in this season (only through submitting my life to the Lord)...and tell me God isn't real.  Sure, not every season will bear such comfort and greatness (um, hello, the least six months in India were HARD and PAINFUL!) but the Lord is faithful to bring us to places of rest when we need to feel His covering and love the most.  So, after an indescribably challenging time in India, God has granted me incredible solace and has freed me up to share His blessings with those around me.

He gives and takes away.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Deep Breath.

Take a deep breath.



Today is a day in which I feel I am spinning outside my own universe, looking in on my life and desperately reaching out to grasp at it...but I'm too far away.  I am at a disconnect.  This is one of those moments in which I am paralyzed by the reality of who I am and where I am...and wondering what to make of all of it.  Truth: I usually do well at loving my character and the stuff I have inside me to offer the world.  Another truth: if I'm not using those traits and gifts for a purpose I find worthy, I immediately feel...disconnected.

I realize life is full of ebbs and flows, ups and downs, rights and wrongs...but what I want and what I've always wanted is consistency in doing the things I'm passionate about and doing them well.  I can't blame the rest of the world or the hand of cards I find myself staring at when I don't have that's not just the situation I was was dealt, it's ME.

Mediocrity pisses me off more than anything, especially when incredible people with incredible potential give into it...yet all too often I look in the mirror and see a person who settles exactly for that.  Settling.  Ugh.  I can see it so clearly in the lives of those around me and can even speak encouragement and love to the people I care most about who are bearing the weight of mediocrity...but when it comes to myself, I tend to ignore and allow the complacency to fester, all the while growing increasingly unsatisfied yet doing little about it.  What is wrong with me that I would allow my passion to fizzle so easily?

Tomorrow is NOT the day.  TODAY is the day.  Anything worth doing "tomorrow" is worth doing today, right now.  Otherwise, what the hell are we doing if we are living constantly for tomorrow?

I would say, not living at all.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Wave of the Sea.

The older I get the more I realize just how volatile and fickle the heart really is.  When I say "heart" I am referring to the part of us that allows us to feel, the part that often takes over and pushes the head/logical/thinking part out of the way. One of the most blaring ways in which I find myself adjusting to life as it is now, is in my sensitivity or barometer to the measure of depth around me. I feel I need to explain that better:  what I mean to say is that each day is filled with moments that are varying in depth; some moments are touching, sweet, difficult, contemplative, meaningful, and deep, and other moments are superficial, fun, filled with laughter and, ultimately, not as deep.  Though I enjoy the latter, I find that I am measuring the depth of each of my moments and feeling that I don't relate as easily to the moments that are supposed to be "fun" and easy to take in. Part of me feels exposed and even guilty in those moments, like I shouldn't be feeling them and I should instead be feeling something more imposing, something more substantial.

I fear I'm not making sense but I have to try and express what I mean. In layman's terms, I'm having a tough time easily having fun right now. There are certain triggers surrounding India and my experiences there that come up from time to time and leave me feeling paralyzed within them. The mere thought of India is filled with such emotion, happy and sad...and everything in between...that often I feel like I can't even think about it at all if I have any hope of reaching the place where I can let loose and have fun.

I have felt really blessed this last week as I have spent a lot of time with people I haven't seen in a while and that really makes me happy...and I have actually had a good deal of fun. But somewhere deep inside, I feel the emptiness that India has left in emptiness that is not filled by anything else right now. I know that's part of this process, letting myself come to terms with the emptiness in hopes of seeing it in a positive light eventually. For the time being, I sort of just feel this nondescript void that I'm not sure how to deal with. It's like the elephant in the room...I can't get around it and I can't get rid of it...but I don't know how to face it head on because it's bigger than me and heavier than anything I could ever lift on my own.

Slowly I progress through this mess that is me, realizing that there is plenty of goodness to revel in along the long as I'm looking for it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Joy In the Journey.

I've been back in the States for 3 weeks now, though it feels like a lot longer than that. The first week I was home felt nearly many ways. I was hit hard with my need for time for adjustment, patience, grace...things I wasn't easily granting myself. Week two was a bit easier. I found myself settling into just being and not always doing, something that was instantly a challenge for me upon my return. My feeling is that more than anything else I want to know I'm being used and have a specific purpose I'm working toward in life, something I knew was happening in India, but I wasn't so sure was happening here at home.

I have since come to feel extremely blessed and joyful in my life. I may not have everything figured out but I am surrounded by incredible people that love me for who I am. I have only been back in Orange County for five days and I have spent every day with different people that care about me. Even though I don't have a job just yet, I see that as a blessing. I have an abundance of free time and am filling it with things that are good for my soul, things I really need to do as I'm jumping back into real life.

Nothing really profound or super snazzy will come out of this blog post, but I want to write down how I feel each step of the way as I'm learning to process the past 6 months of insanity that was my life. I am beyond grateful for friends and family and more than ever really feel that they are what makes life sweet. Not every day is a complete walk in the park, as I still feel myself recoil a little in large groups and tend to keep certain things to myself as I'm processing, but I'm ok with that. I am learning to sort out a heaping pile of experiences, emotions, and lessons and I know it will take a lot of time so I'm unwilling to rush myself. In the meantime I am finding joy each and every day in the little things that make up my sunshine, sushi, library books, running in a beautiful area, and sharing laughs with people I really appreciate. Regardless of all the tough stuff I am facing internally, I am pleased that I've finally found the joy in my journey.