Monday, October 29, 2012

The Past

I started thinking about my past a couple weeks ago, and I was going to write down some thoughts about it. Today, one of my coworkers and I were talking about the past, and I couldn't help but think that I have come so far in just a year. The girl I was when I graduated from high school is not the young woman I have grown into. 

I remember someone telling me that I was immature the year I turned 19. I can remember my disgust and dislike for that person because how dare they tell me I was immature?! I didn't play stupid twelve year old girl's games. I didn't flirt and giggle and do things immature girls did. I was furious with the person for making me feel stupid, and not good enough to be their friend.

Looking back at that girl, she was immature. That person was right, and their view of me encouraged me to get more serious. Yes, I still giggle and fool around, but that keeps me young. What made me wake up was looking at how I handled my relationships and how I handled myself. I realized I didn't like how I threw around my friends like they were nothing, and how I constantly put myself down. I'm not saying I don't have my moments where I put myself down now, but those moments are few and far between.

I think what the person was getting at was I didn't know where I was going in life, and they did. Why would anyone want to hang around a person who had no idea where her place was in the world, and what her purpose was. Their not-so-nicely-put view of me changed me. I started to take myself more seriously. I cleaned myself up. I found myself in the Word more and more. I sought God's direction. I didn't stop looking  and seeking and asking. 

But then I fell back into the same spot I was in the year I graduated from high school. I got desperate and ran after people who wanted a silly girl in their life. I ran after people who I thought were exactly like me. Directionless, immature, purposeless. They didn't know where they were going, and neither did I. I floundered for almost a year.

I found myself again a year ago. Maybe "found" isn't the right word. But I did lose sight of me for awhile. I lost sight of God. I would never claim to be perfect. In the almost year that I tread water, I made mistakes. I wouldn't say I have regrets about that time anymore, but it might turn out to be a lie. I learned a lot, I took two steps forward and three steps back. I dog paddled and almost drowned in the world and its lies.

I started separating myself from those childish people. I had a moment of clarity and knew I wasn't with the people I needed to be with. I didn't need to be around them. I remembered the words of my friend not that long ago and realized I was sinking back into the girl they knew. 

I won't say it hasn't been a two steps forward, three steps back kind of journey. I haven't completely grown up and lost who I was back in 2009. I try to make awkward conversations with people I knew back then. Sometimes when I talk to them, I think "wow, this person has really changed." But later on, I realize it isn't just them, but me too. There have been different life experiences for both of us, and we won't be who we were when we were seniors in high school. 

I might not be the same way I was in high school, and for that I'm thankful. But sometimes, I close my eyes and think of when I was in high school. Focused on school and not on silly boys or stupid drama. Focused on getting through the school day and not when I could get a break. Focused on excelling in schoolwork and not excelling at getting dozens of friends.

I am thankful, however, that I know that I've come so far since then. I don't want to be that silly girl, the one who felt like one person's rejection was the end of the world. Yes, that person meant a lot to me then, but I've grown because of their criticism. I've learned not to jump at every person's critique of me. I've learned to accept constructive criticism. They may never know that what they said sparked a change in me. But that's okay. They don't need to know. 

I may not know the exact direction in life I'm going, like they did when they were 18, but that's life. Different people, different timing. I never saw myself in customer service when I was 17, but now I can't imagine being anywhere else. I love it. I have a purpose, and that's all I need to know at this point. I have God, and He's the only One who will change my course. I have my close friends, I have my family, I have my boyfriend. And if my purpose and direction changes, God will be directing that change.

We all possess the thunder of pure fury and the calm breeze of tranquility.  If it wasn't for tomorrow, how much would we get done today?  Whatever your purpose... embrace it completely.  Get lost in the clouds every now and then so you never lose sight of God's wonder.  ~Paul Vitale

Monday, October 22, 2012

Failure and Friends

I have a confession to make. A couple confessions, actually.

I have a very difficult time giving up on my friends. No matter what they've done to me or no matter how they are, I refuse to give up on them. I choose to be their friend, even if they don't want to acknowledge me. 

I wish I could pretend that that doesn't hurt. I struggle with being ignored by my friends, family or anyone close to me. It makes me feel like a huge failure. I feel like I've failed to make a difference in someone's life when I can't get through to a friend. 

I have a hard time with failure as well. In my jobs, in my relationships, in anything I do. I try so hard to not fail. And yet, every time I don't ask questions, or ask for help, someone else sees that as a failure. A failure to reach out. A failure to be right the first time. A failure to do something in a better way.

Sometimes for me, I focus so much on what others see of me. I choose to ignore what I see of myself. I hide behind a pretense of confidence. I hide between a smile that only I know may not be real. I hide behind a cloak of self-control. I have a hard time remembering who I am in God's eyes. 

I sometimes find my worth in my friendships. And when I get hurt or ignored by my friends, I feel like a failure. I feel like an idiot because I failed. Time and time again, whenever this happens, I still continue to try to seek my worth in an unstable relationship.

My friends might mean the world to me, but I honestly have five close friends that I would talk to about things, and only two of those five are even closer. I feel I can confide in those two and not get looked down upon. One of those friends, I've known for several years. I met them at a camp. And I adore them. :) I have my moments where I wonder why we're friends and then there's the aha! moments where I think, "This is why God has placed this person in my life."

I was reminded recently, due to this dear friend of mine, that I am not alone in my feelings. Everyone has their moments of darkness. Everyone has their moments of failures. Everyone has their minutes of success. But in those moments, who do you praise? Who do you run to? Who do you open up to? Who do you laugh with? Who do you cry with?

I was also reminded whose daughter I am. How often I forget! I am the daughter of the greatest Dad out there, the King of the universe. I am a precious jewel in His sight. And whenever I need Him, whether it be 3 am or 6 pm, He is there. Every moment of the day, in my failures, in my successes. In times of joy or sadness. And He has bestowed on me the blessings of some great and wonderful friends. I can only hope and pray that everyone is blessed with a great friend like mine.

Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.  ~Author Unknown

Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer.  ~Author Unknown

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Frozen in Time...

No movement, no sounds of your own. You can hear those around you, the sound they make, their movements, but they are faint, as if in the distance. Yet you seem stuck, unmoving. No breath passes through your nose, or your mouth. Is your heart even beating?

You stare into a mirror, gazing, looking. What do you see? Do you see yourself, or do you just stare blankly? The reflection never wavers, never changes. But do you even see what others see in that mirror?

Quietly, a voice speaks to you. You're still frozen, no movement, no sounds, no breath. A warm hand touches you. Can you feel it, or are you simply too frozen?

"My child," the whisper shoots a fire through you, straight to your soul. Do you hear your heart begin to race?

Still staring into the mirror, you begin to blink as life courses through you. The small voice continues to speak to you, opening your eyes to see beyond all you've ever seen. A warmth you've never known before race, pours through your veins like a river. You begin to feel real, alive again.

Slowly, you realize there's life around you. You hear all the sounds as if they were right beside you. You shift your sore body, as if you'd been dead for weeks and now can move again. What woke you from your dreamlike state? What moved you from your cold, hard world?

"My child, you are more. More than you can ever imagine. More than the world lets you believe. More than the mirror shows you. More than you will ever know."

I have my moments where I feel "frozen in time." I feel as if the world is passing me by and I just simply exist as a placeholder. I can gaze and gaze and lose who I am in the mirror, and yet I suddenly wake to who I am in God.

Don't you ever feel worthless. I'm not going to tell you to not feel like you're not really existing. But I will tell you to open your eyes and see what God sees. Never forget that you ARE more.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Excuses, Glory, GOD

Sometimes its hard to want to write a post. Maybe I feel like I'm too tired, or maybe I just don't feel inspired. Maybe I struggle just like everyone else when it comes to writing. Maybe I just got into a fight with a family member or a friend. Maybe I just feel drained because of a friend or family member. Maybe this, maybe that. 

But in the end, all of those are just a bunch of excuses. Just a cop out. I might feel lazy, I might be tired (I've been out of my bed since 5:30 this morning since I had compliance training for my bank job.) I might be sick, I might be lonely. 

Then I look at my reasons to not write until the next day. And I realize, in a small way I'm reaching out to anyone who reads this blog. Maybe you live in Mexico. Maybe you live in Germany. Maybe you live in good ole Minnesota. But wherever you are, I hope I lead to you to think. I hope I inspire you and maybe make you smile. I hope I show you the good side of writing.

I'm not saying I'm perfect. Far from that. I'm not saying I might never complain. I am saying that deep down, I can only picture the outcome of anyone reading this blog. I can only imagine what work God is doing in someone's heart and life through my simple little blog. Maybe I use too many "but's" or "maybe's" or whatever else. Maybe I focus too much on "I." 

I can only close my eyes and pray that God uses silly little me to accomplish big things. I sometimes laugh at how I view life, how I do everything I do. Sometimes, in the midst of my running around in circles, accomplishing everything yet doing nothing, I have random, big thoughts. Most of the time I wish I wrote them down to come back to them and look later, maybe expand on those thoughts, see what God's Word says about them. 

Then I realize, God's thoughts, ways, and everything about Him, are nothing close to my ways or thoughts or anything about me. I might be made in His image, but I struggle to see what He sees. He sees Christ, I see a big mess. He sees beauty, I see ugliness. And I thank Him daily for His constant, unchanging love. 

May we all focus on the positive, and not the negative. Focus on the small miracles every day, not the huge mess this person is making, or that person is making. May we open our eyes and see His glory in everything around us. The changing leaves, the changing seasons, even the chilliness of the days and nights, the heat of the days and nights if you live somewhere warm. May we bless His name, and not view the darkness of the world no matter how much it is thrown in His face. Because in the end, the war is already won, and let me clue you in a little secret. God wins it all.

Have a great week, guys. See you next week with some crazy and random post!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:8-11

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Surrender: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand; to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another. 

Submission: a bending to the authority or control of another.

Obedience: a bending to the authority or control of another; a readiness or willingness to yield to the wishes of others

My hands hold safely to my dreams 
Clutching tightly not one has fallen
So many years I've shaped each one
Reflecting my heart showing who I am
Now you're asking me to show 
What I'm holding oh so tightly
Can't open my hands can't let go
Does it matter?
Should I show you?
Can't you let me go?

Surrender, surrender you whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can't you see?
My dreams are me. My dreams are me.

You say you have a plan for me
And that you want the best for my life
Told me the world had yet to see
What you can do with one
That's committed to Your calling
I know of course what I should do
That I can't hold these dreams forever
If I give them now to You
Will You take them away forever?
Or can I dream again?

Just think about this. What are your thoughts? What do you need to surrender to God? What do you need to obey God about? 

I know this post is different. I wasn't sure what to write about, but I was listening to "Surrender" by Barlowgirl so I decided to just go posting the lyrics and definitions... May God lead you in your thoughts!