Monday, January 31, 2005

So I went to church yesterday with my mom. The sermon was geared toward our sins and how we nailed Jesus to the cross. They showed the clip from The Passion of Christ where Jesus is beaten. I don't know, everyone was crying but me. I just sat there as my frustrations rose. I wanted to stand up and scream that Jesus did not want for us to dwell on the pain and the lashings and the sin, but instead put our minds on the grace. How meaningless His death is if we sit around and still continue to focus on the sin. Yes, somedays we need to be brought to reality, but yesterday wasn't one of those for me.

After the feeling of rejection and of pain and the tears I cried, I needed something uplifting, not rejecting. I walked out of church feeling worse than when I went into church. My mom and I sat at a local restaurant and talked about everything. She just listened as I poured my heart out about the church and how frustrated I am as a Christian. Finally I said, I think I just need to try something different. I'm so tired of sitting in sanctuaries where people lift their hands and worship and sing songs and hear sermons, but then feeling the rejection of these same groups of people. I told my mom that I was thinking of attending an episcopal church for awhile. They have high opinions of social justice, but their services are very very traditional. This isn't somewhere I'd stay for a long period of time, but it may be refreshing, a change of pace if you will. My mom told me to try what I felt I needed. I love the church, I love the picture of the church that is painted in the Bible, but I'm having trouble here on earth...I'm having trouble finding my fit.

So you wonder how this relates to stories of my growing up. Well because growing up it was different. I was always looking for my place to fit in society, in my school...but never really in my church. As a child, my faith was so simple. I didn't know this stuff, I didn't know these battles, I didn't know church would be so hard. Church for me was like a trip to the swimming pool, skating on a Saturday, going to the library. It was easy, enjoyable, it made me smile. I'm beginning to understand the child like faith and why it's so important. But how do you get back to there...I was told that I grew up beyond my time. It was related to a child that was raped, they lose their innocence...a lady said...Lynn the church raped you, you lost your innocence before it was your time, and now you're going to have to learn how to function within that. The church did not literally rape me, it's an expression, they took away something and replaced it with something else. They took away my freedom and dreams and ideals that church was a place of acceptance for everyone and replaced it with rejection. This is not a concept most 23 year olds face in church or ministry...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

God in A Box...

So it's Sunday, a day that I rarely look forward to anymore. The older I get the more in tuned I get that faith is built upon the box that they shove God into. But this isn't how I always was. When I was little, I was the member of a church going family. When I say church going, I don't mean occasional or anything like that. The church was our religion, we went to church every chance we could get. Unlike most kids, my sisters and I spent next to no time in the nursery. We did not go to Sunday school. Church was a must, but for a young child involved in no activities, it never really made sense to us. I remember laying in the pew with my head on my mom's lap, counting the pieces of wood that formed the ceiling in the sanctuary. I remember walking out of the sanctuary and seeing a big man with one leg missing, sitting on the table. Beside him sat his fake leg. This would scare most kids, but for me I never remember being scared of him...it was like he understood things that I never did. In church, we had to be good, we had to be perfect, we had to pretend we had it all put together, but this man never pretended like he had it put together. Somedays he'd preach sitting down, without his leg. For awhile, I believed that God reigned outside the box that other ministers shoved Him into.

In fifth grade, this man ceased to exist in pure life. There have been days that I believe if I just search hard enough, I will find him again. With age, faith becomes less and less real for me, but if I could just grab onto someone like that, I could live this amazing faith built life. But I realize that even in that my faith is still what humanity views of me.

There has to be a God out there that isn't boxed in by humanity. How do you serve a God when you've been rejected by His people...not once, not twice, and not even three times. Sure if I could change myself and become something or someone else, if I could confine myself to the box, then surely God would love me. But everytime I try to confine myself to the box, it's not long and I'm "bad" again. Somedays I really wonder if grace exists...or if we're all plundering through this vast maze of judgment in hopes to find the God in the box at the end. My fear is that we will crank the bar and God will never pop out. Is it possible that God isn't really in the box that society and church put Him in....

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Change of Direction

In the blogs to follow I'm going to be retracing some steps in my life. So things will be a little different on here. I love to write...and my life has a lot of interesting stories, so I've decided that this may be a good place to record them...so for all the changes that are gathered around me...I'll record some of them in this never read journal...

Friday, January 28, 2005

Help my Unwant...

Have you ever doubted? Right now, I'm doubting a lot of things...I kinda remind myself of doubting Thomas. Have you ever felt like you know in your head and heart that what you're about to do is right and it's what God is leading you to do...but other people think it's satan working in you.

"If God is for you, who can be against you." As I sat up all night long last night, praying, crying, hoping...I know I'm following God today. You'll hear people say that following God isn't easy...this is the hardest thing I've ever been through.

When you start a ministry, this isn't the way you imagine leaving. It breaks my heart that it happened this way, but I think God was leading me out months and months ago. I just wasn't listening, I knew in my heart...but I kept listening to people in the church who didn't want me to leave. Why is it so hard for me to follow God? Why is it so hard to do what's hard?

God's church....it's His chosen vessel. I talked to a pastor yesterday and I also spent several hours sitting in a bookstore reading a book about loving the church. I used to love the church without reading a book to convince me of it. But this book was great and talking to Liz's dad was great. I'm thinking about going to a house church in a month. Mason suggested this to me months ago, when he and I talked about things. Last night Liz said she wished there were some in Champaign, and there are two...so when Liz gets moved here and we get settled we're going to try it out.

So my prayer is...God lead me...David faced a Giant..not on his own but with God. The Bible is full of people who make a difference...but with God..not alone. God go with me...go before me...lead me...

To be honest I don't want to do what God is leading me to do....I don't want to do it all...so I pray that God keep helping me.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Get Over It

When talking to a friend this morning and saying how I didn't like that people won't talk to me, how I feel like they view me as the devil. He said these words, "Get over it." Now these aren't the most heart warming words to hear when you're really sad about something. But he went onto say that a friend doesn't trade a friend in so easily and that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of me because if God is leading me, then He knows the truth. Then their are the words of Bob Savely, "The only person you have to wake up to in the morning is the face in the mirrow and the God that indwells in that face."

Both of these people are right, I have to get over it, I have to move forward, I have to understand that God loves me and walks with me no matter what the rest of the world thinks. So in this entry I'm going to get over it...I'm going to say everything my heart holds and then I'm going to get over it.

This is written to my friend who won't talk to me. I was never angry with you, never mad at you, only hurt. You were right, I had a lot of hurt in me. This was true. After talking to some people and hearing further truth into this situation that I was not aware of, the hurt began to hide away, and my prayers took over. Please know that I am a servant of God, I pray deeply, and I love Him so much. Please don't discredit my walk with God. Please don't discredit me. I once told a friend that I would open my home to you, feed you, do whatever I could to help you and expect nothing in return...I never realized how hard that last part would be. You see I wanted to do this because this is the Love of Jesus, but I don't measure up, so my humanity wants to scream at you...look at everything I did for you and this church, don't turn a deaf ear towards me, but then I am quickly reminded that the work I do for the people of this world, I really did it for God. I miss you beyond words, things just don't feel the same anymore. I don't care if we never talk about this church again...i just liked having you as a friend. I liked that we had common interests, that we could laugh about similar things, that we had passion for the same people. I miss that. I miss you. A part of me sits in complete disbelief that this is really happening. I question God so often if actions like this are really of Him. I still have no clue. Because I look at you and see such a strong person of God, I know your heart and your Godly character, but I can't see Jesus in a deaf ear. I'm so confused. I wish I knew why you wouldn't talk to me anymore. If I knew why, maybe I could 'get over it.' But there has been no explanations, only the sight of your back as you walk away. I want to scream at you, not out of anger but because I don't want to lose your friendship, but I fear it's already gone. So now what's left...do I appologize for something that I have no idea of...that doesn't seem right. Do I cry? well that goes unspoken... Do I pretend like the hurt inside me, just isn't there? That seems dumb, especially when I feel it. Nothing makes sense. I've lost several friends in my life...when each one walks away it always hurts and makes me wonder if I'm a horrible person. You would think eventually it would stop hurting...but it just doesn't. Some people are blessed to find good friends, I have a handful of people that I'm blessed to know...but I wonder everyday if I wake up if my friends will still be there...what if they walk away? what if God takes them away? what it... I'm tired of living in what if...All I can do is say you were my friend and I loved you and cared about you...maybe I wasn't perfect, maybe not even right all the time...but you were my friend and I treated you the best way I could, I would have laid down my life for you...in fact I kinda feel like I did in a way...because it sure feels like I lost my life. But I can go on without you...I can face tomorrow...I can wake up in the morning and see hope. I can because I have a Savior who leads me and every morning I get out of bed and wonder if I can do it...and every morning...He says that I can.

That's my heart...open and bare....now Lord...help me get over it...help me get over that my friend won't talk to me...help me get over that maybe he can't talk to me and it isn't his choice...help me get over the thought that everything is a choice. Help me get over the doubts, the fears, the hurts. Help me trust you, hold my hand...never let go....help me walk faithfully into Your Will.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

IT ISN'T FAIR!!!

Have you ever opened your Bible and found a verse that seemed like it was written just for you?

Hebrews 6:9-11 "Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case - things that accompany salvation. God is not unjust: he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show the same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure."

The past month I haven't been very honest on here. I've typed some things but very few of the things I've typed really dug into my heart. This past month I've lost everything I knew here in this life I live. I've lost my church, but more than that I've lost my trust and faith in the church as a whole. I've gone to church every Sunday but my heart just isn't there anymore...which makes me sad because my whole life growing up, my church was my family. It's just not anymore. I've lost my youth group...these kids were more than something to do Sunday night, these kids were my gifts from God. These were the clay God set in front of me and I tried so hard to love them and care for them in a way that would allow God to mold them into strong servant leaders. I've lost my friend, this is a big hurt for me. Seeing someone dear to you turn a deaf ear towards you causes a jagged break in your heart. I've lost my church family, sure the people at church love me, but they can't talk to me without causing issues.

Loss...the void in my heart is so big. But don't tell me that God isn't faithful, because He is. Don't tell me that I'm less of a Christian...because I'm not. Often when I can't find a way to express myself...I look to Psalms...

Psalm 41
"Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble.
The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not sureender him to the desire of his foes. The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. I said, 'Oh Lord, have mrecy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.'


My enemies say to me in malice, 'When will he die and his name perish?' Whenever one comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it abroad. All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, 'A vile disease has beset him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.' Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

But you, O Lord, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them. I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presense forever. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen."

Monday, January 24, 2005

Lately I've been pondering what it means to be a Christian. Truth be told that if anyone would have a just reason to leave the church and never return...I think these past few weeks would bring that conclusion to many people. I won't lie and say that I haven't thought about it. But I wonder what I would do on Sunday mornings if I did such a thing.

So then I began to wonder...do I go to church because I have nothing better to do? As I started delving into this question I began to also get into my personality and gifts. Truth is I'm gifted in areas that profit the church and profit the Kingdom. Church is a place where I can use my gifts and enjoy other peoples gifts. So I decided that I could leave the church if I decided that there was indeed no God and that my gifts were really only abilities that I learned and anyone else could learn them too.

So after a few weeks of thought, I've come to the conclusion that the God who reigns in heaven is the same God that my heart is sold out too. When I came to that conclusion I did something very hard. I'm not going to go into details about what it was and why it was hard, because that doesn't matter. What matters is that I know that God is God because I drew from His strength.

So as I think about Christianity, in the past few weeks I've seen people in my life who are leaders of the leaders. These are people who gathered around me, sheltered me in prayer, held my arms up per say when I couldn't hold them on my own. People took me out for meals, fed me in their homes and even gave me places to sleep when I couldn't be alone. Christianity...

A friends blog was talking about the heroes of faith...they aren't the people in high paying position, they aren't the people who have huge congregation or maybe any congregation at all. The heroes of faith are the people who wash your feet, the people who give their last two pennies for your service...the Bible is clear on the heroes. It's these people that opened the eyes of Jesus, who gained His compassion, who touched His heart to the very depth. These are the same people who touch mine...the people who crawled beside me, who cried with me, who did my laundry for me, the people who served me...not because they had to, but because they understand what Christianity is.

Christianity for me will never be about impressing people, it will never be about making everyone happy. Sometimes you have to tell the truth and sometimes you have to do whats hard and sometimes you have to stand up for what you know is right and risk being persecuted. Christianity is not all happiness, but God is faithful to remind us the truth of Christianity even when it's hard and painful to live.

Hope floats is not a movie that I necessarily think to be the greatest, it's sappy, and a chic flick...but this line is something I believe to be true. "Beginnings are scary, endings are sad, but it's the middle that counts. You just have to give hope a chance to float back up again."

Friday, January 21, 2005

what do you do when your heart doesn't smile?

It's a Friday night and Friday nights are supposed to be fun nights...but really I just want to bear my heart right now. To be honest time hasn't been fun lately...it's been really burdened. I have a lot of change approaching me and to be honest I'm scared out of my mind. My life has been completely changed and I didn't ask for it to be. I liked my life the way that it was...but it's not that anymore. It's different, unknown, scary, and even sometimes alone.

Tonight I was driving home and I was thinking about a lot of things. Thinking how if I could only reach out and hold onto God's hands, I would feel safe. Thinking how I know there's a God but how many times I reach the point where I'm shaking in my boots to follow Him. Faith is a scary thing. Right now I feel like God is pulling my life from me and I'm on my knees crying and saying..okay God..it's yours.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about meekness. Meekness doesn't mean weakness. Meekness is when you sacrifice what you want and say God, not what I want, but what You want. Meekness is when you do something differently than the way you would have initially planned it. It's when you take a lifechanging event and walk by faith. To be honest, I don't like meekness...it's been moved to my list following Patience.

Right now I'm learning to lay so much down. Tonight I got an e-mail from Dr. Zorn. I wish I could describe to you how much his e-mail meant. This is a man who is encouraging me to walk when I can't find the path. This is a man who continues to teach me Gen 3:2. This is a man whose life speaks louder than his words in the classroom...yet his lectures I still remember. What it all comes down to...sometimes I forget what being a Christian really is, but it's not long and I remember...Dr. Zorn cares for people, he cares about me, he cares about my church...he just cares.

You know it's hard when no one believes your heart. It's hard when you love some people so much and they see you as a path of distruction. It's hard. But when you see the people gather around you that love you despite who you are...those are the people that scream the Gospel of Christ.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

So why haven't I written in a week or so? Because I don't need anymore reasons to hurt. You think that doesn't make sense.... it does to me. Until you've felt my pain...you wouldn't understand.

I miss the shades of laughter that my sanctuary is formed of.
I miss the love and hugs that stand at the door given from above.
I miss the conversations that were seasoned with salt.
I miss the feeling that the destruction wasn't my fault.

But most of all I miss seeing God in the faces of the saints.
I miss the words of love, but hate the word that taints.
The smiles on the faces the pain in their eyes,
I wiped my last tear from the brokenhearted's eyes.

It's my tears that fall, my heart that's broke.
It's my nights that are long and my pillow that's soaked.
The hands that wipe my tears, I do not know.
But the tears just continue to flow.

But if I sit in purgatory and earn my acceptance and love,
I'm afraid I'll begin to see that in God above.
If I listen to the words that accuse me of "detrimental" being.
I'll begin to forget that to God my sins aren't worth seeing.

So as each tear escapes my eyes,
I turn around and cry.
They won't see the tears or my painful sighs,
I've got to be strong, I've got to try.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Police

The police have been called....I hope I'm alive come morning....

Why I'm Offically Voted as Dumb...

So it's settled, I am dumb. I took a vote and voted myself in when I drove to Decatur in a snowstorm to go to IHOP. It took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get home. Crazy. So I'm going to be writing the IHOP people and telling them my story and maybe I'll be the next idiot on a commercial.

As for my night. Trouble is coming. The people above me are drinking and singing loudly to music, and beating on the women. I now have a voice. I can't take it anymore. I hate sitting in my apt. and feeling like crying because of what's going on above me. The worse part is they are playing James Taylor, who is an amazing musician and they are ruining it for me. That really makes me cry.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Why I Scrapbook...

I've been scrapbooking all morning. I started at 11...ended at 2 and had 3 pages done. Scrapbooking is something where all noise is shut off...I sit in utter quiet and I cut and glue and think and design. I think about the people in the pictures, I think about life...I just think. I relax. I was thinking today...and this was my thought. Some peoples goods just outweigh their bads. Everyone has bad qualities, but some peoples good qualities just outweigh their bads, and that's why you accept people. I thought about my week, and this thought seemed to fit in place...yeah words were spoken...that doesn't make the speaker of the words bad.

I Don't Have the Words Today....To Get You To Understand...

Have you ever wanted to write about something, but can't find the words to say? I sit here now, struggling for words. Words that drive reality home, words that bring the clearest expressions, words that open and not close.

The last week for me has been one of just "much." You may think Lynn use the word overwhelming or use the word confusing...but these two words don't fit, much is the only word that fits. Overwhelming brings to mind that I am slumped shoulders and just awestruck, confusing bring to mind that I am lost and wandering aimlessly. These are not true...the "much" is neither good or bad...it's just "much."

I wish I could allow you to understand the hurt, the joy, the sorrow, the grief, the love, the silence of the last week. The hurt was one step away from unbearable. And you wonder...what is unbearable. Well that's the hard part, what is unbearable for me may not be unbearable for you. Each of us have different levels of life that are unbearable, I may be stronger than some people and weaker than others. So to describe to you what that sentence really means, it seems impossible.

The love that I felt was like a hungry person who receives food. Some of us never understand hunger, sure our stomachs tell us it's time to eat, so we do. But for those of us who were hungry and couldn't find food...that's a different story. I've been in that place before. You're sitting down, so hungry...and you look everywhere around you...there's no food to be found. But if you've never felt that, then you will never understand what I mean when I say, love for me is like that. I've been hungry for so long...and I finally found it. A person who hasn't eaten in days doesn't unfold their napkin and nibble...they dive in, make a mess, eat fast...eat as much as they can. That's how love is for me right now...but if you've never sat in front of someone and ate like you've never been raised with manners, you will never understand what I mean when I say that's how I've reacted to love.

Don't feel bad that you don't understand these words...you should feel blessed. This means that someone has always loved you, this means that no one has ever drove you to the point of finding out what is unbearable for you. This means overall, many of your needs are being met.

Words. They are so important, you must have the right words. Over the last week, I heard words that have left my heart still bleeding. See the words I've heard, well I heard them before...but they came from the person or persons who withheld love from the starving for so long. In these words I find judgement and withholding...in these words there is no room for grace on my life. Then from the person or persons that withheld love so long, I found grace and peace. Life changes, the table turned. It feels like losing a best friend. If you've ever had a friend that you confide everything in and then one day they begin to backstab you, they tell lies about you, and they in time turn and walk away and you just feel empty. You want to share things, but the person you want to tell isn't there anymore. That's how this feels. I all of the sudden don't know what to say or who to say it to, because if I say it to the previous withholders of love, what's to say they won't turn and walk away and use it against me...if I tell it to the newest servant of the words, then what's to say they will hear? This may sound confusing if you've never lost a best friend. I've lost many best friends...the thing about me is I move on and make more friends...I always have. But after awhile you begin to wonder if the words are true and everyone you meet will eventually dispise you. If you've never been hated by a person that you've loved more than life itself, then you will never understand the word dispise.

I wish I could make this clear. I wish I could describe the bleeding in my heart. In my scenario, in my life, in my story, the latest attacker backed down...or did they? Words spoken are often words that are broken. What does that mean you wonder? It means that when you speak words that hit someone...they sometimes hit hard and they break when they hit that person. I've thought a lot and I've heard a lot.

Appolgies...aren't they beautiful...or are they catastrophy? Their beauty lies in forgiveness, catastrophy lies in fear. You think, how can it be both, they are opposite spectrums? You see, for the person who is less trampled they are beauty, they think no further, they examine themselves little and continue on...but for the person who carries stab wounds, they ponder over they words, they listen to them over and over again. They think back over a period of time, replaying situations, lives, words, and even laughter. They look at every tear and examine it's maker. If you've never had a knife pulled on you wouldn't understand the fear the fills your body...especially when you've been stabbed once. You think...Lynn...what are you talking about? I was stabbed by my sister when I was little, and a year ago, a teen I was working with pulled a knife on me...that's how I know what I'm talking about. You know the end result of many moves, and you want to find the right move. So you go through play by play, you think hard to make the right decision. Truth be told, you fear being stabbed again. Now with my sister, it was an act of frustration and I was okay and it just a crazy moment...with the girl, genuine fear rose because as I grew older I realized that being stabbed can bring death. Sometimes with age we begin to understand reality.

So here I sit today...I know that I've had a week of "much." I don't know what to do. I haven't talked to many people this week. Why? Because I can't find the right words to say. It's not that I'm unforgiving...it's that I carry the fear of dying for another person who would never die for me. It's not that I'm dramatic, it's that my life is full of ups and downs that are different than your ups and downs and to you mine seem extreme. To me...it's reality. The words of the judge fall so smoothly onto the ears of the judged. But the ears of the judged with each word begin to hear less and less, their hearing dissapates.

You can't run and you can't hide.... When I was young, probably sophomore year in high school...so 14. I came home one day after school and went to get some crackers out, I was really hungry and my mom called me a fat pig and told me to put the crackers up. I didn't eat supper that night, or breakfast the next morning...I sat and cried. Now my mom appologized, but I've never forgotten those words or the pain of them. I've allowed other moments and times of love to move ahead of those words...but her appology never made them dissappear because the cut from them was deep. Now there is a scar there and I can remember the pain, but I don't feel it anymore. Sometimes words can't be forgotten, then can just be healed...the remembrance of them lingers and everytime you look at the scar you remember the words. If you've never had words like that said to you by someone who loves you unconditionally like a parent should...then you will never understand what I'm speaking.

Once again...don't be sad that you don't understand....you weren't meant to or you would have endured these things. It's okay to not understand, just be careful not to judge what you don't understand. Don't accuse me of using poor words, because these are the I could find. They tell my story as clearly as I possibly can. I sometimes think a painting would be more clear, but I have no canvas. Don't talk about me when I'm not listening...don't tell others your opinions of me...because they don't know me...all they know is you...and when you speak judgement on my words...your friends begin to wonder if you do the same to their words. The life of a judge is lonely...don't be critical of the hearts that bow before you.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Hmm...I really love journaling..always have. Writing for me is a way to say things in a way that I couldn't if I didn't write them. I can be blunt, sarcastic, rude, funny, dumb, intelligent, or just plain mean. I can even be wrong if I like. No one can do anything about it..because no one can come in and change what I wrote. Well the bad part of blogging is I'm not sure I like everyone reading my thoughts. You know there are some things I'd love to say, but their personal. I could keep my own private journal...but that's not as much fun, because then no one can read my funny moments and make fun of me. But then I could be as open as I wanted and know that it was safe. Hmm...to Blog or Not to Blog...that's the daggum eternal question...

Maybe I'll start writing messages and putting them in bottles and throwing them in the Vermillion River...hmm...I like that...it could be fun....

Winter...

So while I was driving today, I was in awe. The ice is so beautiful. But even in beauty there is pain, the trees down, power lines down, barns down. But it made me feel good. That's kinda how I feel inside. I'm a person who has a lot to offer, but in the midst of that is pain.

So you know that the world is definitely changing when you get a thank-you card from Family Video. what's with that? There was a weirdo there who told me that he's attracted to women with raspy voices...ewe...scary. That makes me sick just saying it.

It took me thirty minutes to get into my car this morning...my doors were iced shut. Crazy! All in all...I love winter...I'm not fond of coldness, but winter is pretty. Ice, snow...it's refreshing.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I'm Forgiven Because You Were Forsaken

Forgiveness...

I wish I could sum up in a few words what forgiveness is. But I just can't. I know what it feels like though.

Many of my friends know the battles that my family has gone through...and even the hurt that's build up in my heart. Many of you know that I've prayed and prayed for my family and many of you knew, I prayed with a heart that had little expectancy for change.

Yesterday I experienced the deepest hurt I ever had, and I ran home...to my family. Something I never imagined I would ever do. But I ran home. I walked in the door of my house and tears were running down my cheeks and I fell on my knees at my front door. I lost control of everything in me. My mom kneeled with me, wrapped her arms around me and held me as I cried and cried. Then my mom said this..."Lynn God's not dropped you, He won't. He's too busy with you. I can't wait to see where God is taking you because He's just too busy trying to keep satan from you." I looked up and my mom was crying. That moment, every ounce of anger, every bit of hurt fell from my heart. I sat there with my mom and a new found love and respect for her. I melted away.

Forgiveness doesn't happen because it has too, forgiveness happens because love is present in this world. There are days where it doesn't feel like it...but it's there. After I found love for my mom...I found love for my church. I found what it feels like to have everything melt away. For fear to take the place of hurt...fear that no one will take you back...but that fear dissolves when my mom's arms wrapped around me...if my mom can take me back...then anyone can...but most of all...when we forgive...God takes our hearts back.

I'm scared...the future is hard...but I know without a shadow of doubt in my mind that I am loved...that just melts some things away.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Why My Mom is My Mom

Last night I sent my mom this:


Mom,

I could use some prayer. Tim and I got into it and I'm leaving the church. He criticized my personality and my ministry in the church. I know I have to leave...but I'm so hurt right now that I don't even want to go to church anymore. I'm not sure social work is where I need to be...I don't know what's going on. I'm 23 years old and more lost than I've ever been. Just once I'd like to open my eyes and see that things are working in my life... I haven't slept in two days and I can't do anything right in church and I hate school...I'm just tired. So if there's a time for God to step up and make something happen....that would be now.

Lynn



This morning she sent me this:

I have been praying about these very needs for you for a long time. I know you're confused and frustrated with the church, but don't give up on it - at least not on church, in general. The church in Rantoul, you may have to walk away from. I will continue praying for God's guidance for you. If you can get some rest and get well, you will feel better all over! Just make it your mission now to get put together physically before classes resume - then focus on that. If you get through this Master's program and still feel like social work isn't right, well - at least you'll have completed something. You could always teach, if nothing else - until the puzzle pieces fall into place for you.I don't have any answers. I was reading about Solomon yesterday and wishing I had a teaspoon of his wisdom!! But then I remembered that any wisdom he had at all came from God - and how wise He is!! So let His wisdom sort of slide into this situation and guide you. Feel free to come up here and sleep for a few days/nights if you want to get away from that area and the noisy apt. for awhile. Church is so important. I realize that more over time. Last Sunday, I was sitting in church and really felt God's presence - that's not something I always experience, even though I know He is always there. It was such a blessing. I worry about things like that that Carrie is missing out on by not finding a church. But maybe she will one day - and I pray that you will find the right one.Please e-mail or call to let us know when you're going to be gone for any length of time and when you expect to get home. This might seem a nuisance to you, but lastnight, your dad was ready to get in the truck and drive to Rantoul when he couldn't get hold of you. You are there alone, sick, and dealing with emotional issues -- we just want to know you're okay each day.Get some sleep while you can before classes start back up.
m.

and this:

Well, I had an afterthought of "wisdom" for you!! I was just thinking about your schedule of the last year and you seem to always have other kids around, everywhere you go, everyday. Maybe it would help clear your mind if you just had some you-time. I know you have the kids with your job, but I'm just thinking about your personal time. Sometimes, a day to yourself without any other intrusions will revive a person. It sounds selfish maybe, but I don't think God expects us to give, give, give of ourselves without some refreshment.Just a thought. m.

I'm heading out of town for awhile...I won't be checking e-mail...phone...nothing....I need some time to clear my head...and I need to cry and have someone who cares hold me...I need to forget for awhile...everything will have to move forward here without me for a bit. I need gentle words and a soft tongue spoken...

Monday, January 03, 2005

I am His Beloved...

"I have called you by name, from the very geninning. You are mine and I am yours. You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests. I have molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother's womb. I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace. I look at you with infinite tenderness and care for you with a care more intimate than that of a mother for her child. I have counted every hari on your head and guided you at every step. Wherever you go, I go with you, and wherever you rest, I keep watch. I will give you food that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will quench all your thirst. I will not hide my face from you. You know me as your own as I know you as my own. You belong to me. I am your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your lover, and your spouse...yes, even your child...wherever you are I will be. Nothing will ever separte us. We are one."

Right now I hold this close to my heart as I walk into the unknown...more scared than ever..more fearful of life than death...

walking through fire...

It's now 3 a.m. and the people above me don't cease their noise -- i'm beginning to lose my cool. It's been a long night. But the rain falling outside somehow makes me feel better. I wish this entry could be funny, but I'm just not in the mood.

I've been reading a book these past few hours...it's a good book, by one of my favorite authors Henri Nouwen.

Tonight I had a conversation that really brought me to the inner circle of my brokeness. I lost it, but I don't regret losing it. Have you ever gotten to the point where nothing seems right? I think that sometimes when we get to that point, that's when everything is right. I say that because His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways. So therefore, if nothing seems right, those are the times when it is right.

I'm giving up...it takes a lot for a fighter to say those words. There are very few things that I've ever given up at. I didn't learn to swim till I was in 5th grade...and I finally learned in a class full of 4 yr olds..but I did it. I wanted to learn how to play flute, so I practiced and practiced and when I couldn't do it on my own, I took lessons...I eventually learned. I wanted a guitar...I begged, pleaded, got the guitar, suffered the pain of learning...I'm still not great...but I can play.

Giving up...well it isn't in my nature. But more than anything God wants it to be. Because when I finally get to the point that I can't do it on my own, that's when He's there to catch me when I fall. That's when He's there to hold me. That's when He's there to tell me I'm His Beloved. His hands, His words, His concern...that's all that matters to the broken. And as we discussed in an earlier blog...I'm broken.

So tonight I've given up...it's official...it's been announced...the world knows. I honestly don't care if I ever get my voice back...maybe it's best if I never talk. Maybe it's best if my words are kept in my head and pressed onto paper.

I can't describe the last three weeks of my life. I really can't. I wish I could put them into words. I wish I knew what the next three weeks were going to bring. But I just don't. I know I was served a big plate of "shut the f*** up." So I'm gonna sit down with my plate and eat...

Three weeks ago, I wouldn't be content...but today I am. Today I'm content with silence. Today I'm content with nothing. Today I'm content with emptiness. Saying goodbye is never easy. Tonight I said goodbye...goodbye to myself...and goodbye to my efforts...and just plainly goodbye. Sometimes friendship results in brokeness...but ultimately...if we face brokeness...that's where healing is found. I'm not gonna lie...I'm hurting right now...but I'm not afraid of the hurt...I'm embracing it because under the light of God, hurt actually shines bright and it actually can take you further through darkness than other things.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Why 'The Duplex' is no longer funny to me!

The Duplex is a funny movie until it becomes your reality. I really want to kill the people who live above me. It's bad enough that I've been sick for almost three weeks now...but I haven't slept in two days. And just as I thought peace and quiet would come...the fighting begins again. So I'm in for another long night. It's 10:15 and I was just awoken by stomping and yelling. How am I supposed to get better, if I can't sleep. If I only had my voice...I'd serve these people a nice plate of "shut the f*** up" ...of course I'd probably end up killed...but you know... it's a small price to pay to get some rest!

The Fifth Grade Mentality

Remember when you were little and how anybody would be your friend. Well unless they were of the opposite gender...then they just at cooties. I remember that though. I remember how many friends I had, how I would go sledding in a cowpasture, rode cows, slept in a camper full of girls, went to slumber parties where boys were present and dancing took place. Yeah I really thought I was cool. I was on my way to stardom, paving the path to snobbish personality. I sat at the cool table, Jeremy threw grass and rocks and stuff at me...which duh..is a simple sign that yeah...he liked me...and I mean who wouldn't...I was on my way to stardom.

I mean what is it with dating in fifth grade anyway? You don't see the kid outside of school, you don't talk on the phone...I mean...how embarassing. You don't go anywhere in public with him...afterall he has cooties. But he's definitely your boyfriend!

This is friendship in the mind of a child....

Friendship is definitely different now. I as I grew up, I also grew into a personality. Things aren't like they used to be. I'm not as confident as I used to be. I've often looked around and found myself lost in the crowds. I'm actually a lot more shy than I used to be. I know people who know me, are like what? But it's true...I cover my shyness by talking a lot. But I'm shy with my personality. Very few people actually know who I am. Friendship...in my mind I've always had an image of what it's supposed to be. The last few weeks, I've thought about that image and realize that I have lots of friends...I just never see them. Life isn't like it was in 5th grade anymore. You don't see your friends everyday, you don't hang out with them as often, but they are still your friends. I think my mind is stuck in fifth grade still. I think my mind says, if they don't want to hang out with me, fine...I'll find a new group of friends. I mean come-on. When you're 23 that's a whole interviewing process. I don't have time for that.

So I guess I've decided that I have lots of friends, and these are people that care...but I have to grow up sometime...I can't spend everyday hanging out with my friends and having a good time...there is a time and a place for that...it's in 5th grade. I guess I just never got enough of it then. I'm like my Grandma Griffith...I'll always be a child at heart. I'll always want to do crazy things, laugh and have fun any day over working, school, life...you know..the boring stuff...

So I've reevaluted my thoughts of friendship and realized that I really don't want to grow up. Because growing up brings different perspectives. I'm not sure if I'd ride a bull now...but I did when I was little. Those garage parties and the dancing...unless it was swing dancing and jazz was played...and poker was present...I probably wouldn't have much of a taste for it. Camper parties with girls, forget that...I'd kill them. If a boy threw a rock at me now, he'd lose his hand. And Jeremy...well life does take it's course and a year ago today, I was attending his visitation. The boy who threw grass and rocks at me on the playground, the boy who had his locker next to mine all through school...yeah him...well he decided that life was more than he bargained for, decided that he didn't want to grow up either...and with a rope, ended his life.

Friendship...I've buried two friends at the age of 23. It's not what it used to be...people hurt and people need people...but people aren't constant and people let people down. Friendship is another word for "grace" ...this isn't necessarily true, but I'm convinced that it must be true. In friendship, grace must be plentiful.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Series of Unfortuate Events Tops the Charts

Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events gets 10 thumbs up..except I don't have 10 thumbs...but it's definitely the best movie I've seen in awhile. It topped Oceans Twelve...this movie has comedy, drama, action, and a message. This movie made me think, laugh and be empathetic. I loved this movie! Amazing!

Also purchased Napoleon Dynamite today. Money well spent. "you flippin retard" Not you...I wouldn't call any of my reader a "flippin retard" ...retard maybe...but never "flippin retard" I love my readers...or at least tolerate you..or you wouldn't be allowed to read such amazing thoughts.

So onto other news. Last night at 4:30 a.m. I was woken to Tiffany screaming...LYNN! I thought she saw a mouse...turns out she has nightmares. So it was interesting. This new years wasn't showy. Nothing spectacular...I didn't even feel that great...but I spent time with a girl who needed that. Today it broke my heart to take her home...she didn't want to go, got teary eyed...but I've learned something...I can't save the world...I can love this girl..but at the end of the day...she has to go home.

So next Sunday, I'm going to spend my afternoon playing poker with some friends. I'm so freakin excited. It's been so long. You know, I've really missed friends lately. When I was a freshman in college, I had such a big group of friends...we'd all hang out and do stuff. Since then, it's been friends in small numbers. Which is fun too...but I miss my friends. I'm excited because Andrew, his girlfriend - (I'm not sure what her name is), Jade, and I are going to play poker.

I've been thinking a lot about church lately. If you're reading this and you believe in a higher power...talk to that power for me...unless it's satan...i don't want anymore of his crap. But the road of indecisivness is coming to an end. I don't really feel like getting into everything...but you know that thing called peace...yeah i could use a dose of that.

--Meanwhile...man upstairs is beating the shit out of his woman...i gotta go...someones about to die...could end up being me--