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Struggles

So something I’ve been struggling with here in my city is a lack of friends. I just haven’t met with many people that I connect with.

God has answered so many of my prayers, but for some reason I have had a hard time believing that he could help me with this one. Isn’t this something I need to fix myself? I’ve been the one kind of standoff ish… I’m the one who doesn’t like to be in large groups and its hard to find people who prefer one on one time (which is what I love). I need to fix myself.

Yesterday my “social activity” for the week was supposed to meet with my bible study group to watch a movie in the park. I was actually really excited about going, but as the day wore on I was getting really tired and not really in the mood to go out. But still I was going to make myself go. But then when I looked it up it involved much public transit and a very long commute. Normally this wouldn’t stop me from going, but the day before I was stuck on public transit for 1.5 hours due to traffic and was a bit frustrated with it.. and I didn’t want to travel all the way back late at night by myself. I feel safe with where I live, but its A HUGE city and I’m not going to jinks myself. So I didn’t end up going. Which I felt bad about.

But I did decide to take my puppy on a nice long walk. I really wanted to go to a place I hadn’t gone to since before winter. I hadn’t gone sooner, because its a long walk and with my ankle… traveling that far on foot on a path that doesn’t have car access so I can’t call a taxi if I get stuck has scared me. But I finally got the courage to do it.

I had decided though since I was skipping out on a bible study thing that I would have my own bible study and time with God when I got out there. Unfortunately by the time I hobbled out there it was already getting dark so I didn’t get to spend too much time there, but the time that I did spend in God’s Word and my devotional was extremely uplifting. Once again I found God speaking to me through my daily devotional.

I want you to experience the riches of your salvation: the Joy of being loved constantly and perfectly. You make a practice of judging yourself, based on how you look or behave or feel. If you like what you see in the mirror, you feel a bit more worthy of My Love. When things are going smoothly and your performance seems adequate, you find it easier to believe you are My beloved child. When you feel discouraged, you tend to look inward so you can correct whatever is wrong.

Instead of trying to ‘fix’ yourself, fix your gaze on Me, the Lover of your soul. Rather than using your energy to judge yourself, redirect it to praising Me. Remember that I see you clothed in My righteousness, radiant in My perfect Love.

Ephesians 2:7-8; Psalm 34: 5; Hebrews 3:1

Is this not what I’m struggling with? The idea that I need to fix myself? I mean there is no doubt I have much to work on… my lack of confidence, my fear of being unwanted, my fear of being forgotten, my fear of never fitting in. But I can’t ‘fix’ these things on my own. I shouldn’t be focusing on fixing these things… but I should “fix” my gaze upon God. He has answered SOOOOO MANY  of my prayers lately. He has helped me overcome my OCD, He is the reason I made it through this academic year, He is the reason I got such an amazing job that I absolutely love, He is the one who has given me courage to stand up for me when no one else will. Why would I ever doubt that He wouldn’t answer my prayer of helping me find a place that I belong in this city? Nothing happens over night… things take time… and until then… I will always have my amazing puppy at my side and of course the Lover of my Soul, Jesus, at my side.

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UPDATE

So I just pulled my devotional out for today… and man oh man… wow…

 

Keep Walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you. Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart. I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you. Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain. The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak. Someday you will dance light- footed on the high peaks; but for now your walk is often plodding and heavy. All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction. Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling suppress just around the bend. Stay on the path I have selected for you. It is truly the path of Life.

Is that not what I was just talking about in terms of things taking time and the pathway being difficult??? ❤

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Epiphany(s)

Y’all I’ve had several epiphanies between yesterday and today… and I think I understand a lot more about myself and life than I ever have before.

(1) I’m stubborn.

(2) I need to completely let go and give EVERYTHING, including people, to God.

(3) I want to love someone not because they saved me from something but because of who they are.

I provide explanations for each below, but just to help you understand please note that all of them completely tie with my recent (extremely stupid but yet oddly extremely freeing) experience that I blogged about last time.

Point 1- I’m stubborn

Y’all… I have never considered myself stubborn… except in my refusal to quit academia… but that had a lot to do with fear… In fact, because of how I was raised I’m usually the one convincing stubborn people to not be stubborn and see the other sides of situations. But I guess maybe since I’ve always been the voice of reason to the stubborn people that are very much a large part of my life, I never looked at the ways in which I am stubborn.

but I realize now that I am seriously a really stubborn person… this isn’t a bad thing per se… actually it helps me figure things out.. and learn how to channel this stubbornness in more appropriate ways.

The problem is in a particular instance I’m stubborn at believing that some people just aren’t good for me, stubborn at believing that they deserve 100s of second chances, stubborn at refusing to realize how horrible a situation is, stubborn about realizing I can’t change people or control their actions or feelings… no matter how much I want to… which brings us to Point 2

Point 2- I need to completely let go and give everything, including people, to God

I met with my therapist this week and had a heart to heart about what I blogged about last time. She is actually the one who pointed out to me my stubbornness…

I was trying to explain to her everything and how stupid I felt and I told her what I felt like God has been speaking to me throughout this whole entire year about academia, Fred, failed relationships, family difficulties, etc:

Don’t run after what I am trying to protect you from.

I’m not sure if I have every ‘heard’ God’s voice… to be honest I’m not quite sure how that works… but I know in my heart that God has said that to me. And what do I do time and time again? I run after exactly that which God is trying to protect me from bc I think I know better… or I think I’m hearing God wrong… but God has time and time again tried to protect me from the Fred situation… I mean look at the timing of the Ex in my life… how could that not have been heaven-sent?

My therapist told me that I need to pray that God helps me let go of Fred. But then I was scared because I felt like that made me a bad person… if I no longer pray for Fred and pray that he gets on the right path does that make me a bad person? that I only think about myself? But my therapist pointed out to me that that is in fact what I should do… because I need to give Fred to God.

When I became a Christian… what did I do? I gave my whole life to God. I told him “here I don’t want to control my life, I want to live it worshipping you, please take the reins and have me live for you.”

If I am doing that (or attempting lol… but what Christian is ever more in the attempting phase? lol its something we all struggle with because we are human) then I need to give Fred over completely to God. I’m not responsible for Fred, I need to put myself and my relationship with God before Fred. I need to let Fred completely go so that he can be free to reach out to God (if he choose to of course). I can’t be steering Fred in the direction I think he should go (even if I think it is in the direction that God is in). Only God can do that. I need to completely let Fred go and trust my loving wonderful God that Fred will find him. Fred isn’t my responsibility.

While I don’t think the situation I created this past week was “meant to be”… I do think God was able to spin something good off of it… which gets us to Point #3

Point 3- I want to love someone not because they saved me from something but because of who they are.

[From here on out ‘the Ex’ will be referred to as ‘Brad’ (which of course is not his real name). The reason for this change is because I have hopes that one day… and I hope not too far in the future that I can refer to him and think of him more as a true and real “friend” and have that define our relationship than as the romantic relationship we once had.]

One of the reasons I had such strong feelings for Brad was because, as we all know, he was heaven sent. His timing was perfect. He saved me when I could not save myself from Fred. If it was not for Brad, I honestly have no idea where I would be right now.

But the thing is… I should want to love (not romantic love but the love you have for your friends and family) Brad for who he is, not for what he has done for me. I should love Brad for his sense of humor (including the dirty jokes), his intellect, his kindness, his goodness, etc.

Just like I wish to view Brad (hopefully in the near future) as a friend compared to as “the Ex”, I wish to view Brad as completely and utterly separated from Fred. I don’t want to associate Brad as “saving me” from Fred.

I want to associate Brad with being Brad and absolutely nothing more.

Which is how we get to the point that I think God has made a positive spin-off from my stupidity….

this time… I was able to save my self from Fred.

Yes, things didn’t go exactly how I wished in terms of us having this huge heart to heart and finally getting a simple “I’m sorry” from him… but I finally feel like I can let go of him.

I mean I had definitly let go of him since Brad came into my life… but I always had the horrible feelings that led me to contacting Fred this time “I’ve ruined his life. I need to know that he is ok. I can’t have anyone hating me or have any relationship (no matter what kind) end the way that one did” within me. I want to spread love and goodness everywhere… and with the knowledge that I had “ruined his life” (as he told me), it made it difficult to sleep at night… And then when Brad and I broke up these ideas just flared within me b/c maybe something was wrong with me (since Brad was the one who broke up with me) and not Fred. Maybe it was my fault

Having met up with him one more time just reinforced all my realizations that he isn’t good for me and there is absolutely nothing I can do to help him… except let him go. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that he can’t be in my life even just as a friend. I’ve come to realize I should have never been treated the way he treated me. I’ve come to realize it wasn’t my fault. I realize that no matter from what angle you look at it he was horrible to me and there is absolutely no excuse for it. I realize I am worth soooooooo much more.

I realize that I am enough.

I am enough.

Wow… I really can’t say that enough.. I don’t even think I’ve said that before…

I, Brooke Carter, am enough.

I don’t need to be Brooke Carter: attempting savior of Fred, Brooke Carter: indebted to Brad, Brooke Carter: the girl who will do anything for anyone, Brooke Carter: so easily walked on, Brooke Carter: the glue to her family, Brooke Carter: the girl with OCD, Brooke Carter a mess from all the heartache, Brooke Carter: an academic failure… no. I am just Brooke Carter…me…

and yea… I’m still trying to find out exactly who “Brooke” is… but even while trying to do that… I’m enough.

I’m enough to save myself. I don’t have to associate anyone with saving me except for God and me.

Therefore when another situation arises that I need to be saved from, I don’t have to look to Brad or someone else in my life. They can just be who they are… and I can love them for that and nothing more… and I can be my own savior (well of course God is that but you know what i mean).

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Free Time

So now that I’m a real person (you know someone with a real paying job… even if it isn’t that much money lol)… I find that beyond 9 to 5pm Monday through Friday… I have absolutely NOTHING to do… I’m not sure what to do with myself…

I love reading and watching movies… but I find that they don’t have the same allure as they did when I was procrastinating.. when I was in school reading or watching a movie was like a tiny rebellion in me… “No! I refuse to do school work!! So I’m gonna sit on the couch and watch this movie/read this book… and feel guilty but also rebellious about my life!!!! I’m my own person! I can choose not to do school work!” ….but now that that isn’t a part of me… yea I still want to read/watch movies… but it seems to have lost a tiny bit of its spark… is that weird? lol

And when it comes to video games… man I could never feel ok about doing that in academia… I felt like an absolutely horrible person for even thinking about playing a video game… because one can get so engrossed in the story line/ need to beat the bad guy in Donkey Kong that you forget what time it is and what you are supposed to be doing… and a WHOLE DAY goes by when you realize you’ve done no school work… I know I can play now… but a part of me still feels really really guilty doing so… and it actually isn’t a rebellious feeling… but a “I’m wasting my life feeling” that I forced myself to have so that I wouldn’t play during the school year… and I can’t get that feeling to go away! Its so annoying!!

So at the end of the day… I don’t want to read/watch movies/ play video games… so what does that leave me open for? Having friends…

I have a serious lack of friends in Chicago… I don’t lack friends in the emotional sense at all… in fact I’m pretty sure I have too many lol… but geographically the only friend I have is my roommate and a girl from bible study who I will call Marisa.

As I think I mentioned elsewhere… I blame most of this on Fred… he kept me away from having friends, and I always had to be free for him if he all of a sudden decided he had time for me in his life… Once I finally got rid of Fred, I was finally able to make closer friends with the individuals in my cohort… but now that it is summer they are all off doing their fieldwork or visiting family/friends… so they’ve basically left me a lone in Chicago… and then I made fantastic friends with the Ex… but of course talking is at a bare minimum with him right now.

I was hoping now that I had more time I would be able to get more fully involved with bible study… but guess what? yes they seem to have decided to go on a summer break… 😦

But the moment I think “Whoa is me I lack friends…” I have a friend from the past remind me how awesome they are and what a great relationship we have. For example over the past two weeks I have had friends from WAY out of town come visit. One of those friends was the friend I call Courtney (who I’ve mentioned in a past post) who was my undergraduate roommate and the other was a fantastic friend (who we will call Rose)  that I met during the worst summer of my life (yea… the OCD going severe summer 2011).

I can’t express to you how much I needed to see my Courtney. She has been going through such a tough time and it has been weighing heavily on my heart. She is just as how I remembered her. There is no one in this world who could ever come close to the amazingness that is Courtney. She is such a strong woman and still yet her vivacious, bubbly, optimistic self. She stayed with me for several days and it was so easy to fall back into our usual talking routine… which is basically talking nonstop lol.

And then Rose came to visit, for a very brief day… but I was so happy to see her. I wouldn’t have survived that summer in Mexico if it wasn’t for her. She is the one who listened to all my freaking-outs and gave me all the reassurance that I needed (although I KNOW I annoyed the crap out of her… I can never mention batteries or cement to her again… two things I was deathly afraid of hahahahahha). Since she was a part of my academic life… it did make me rethink my life choice that I made… but yet it also oddly reaffirmed my decision… Rose is a very down to earth, tells it like it is, normal person, so it was great to know that I could still hang out with her and have fun beyond all my obsessive worries that took over summer 2011.

But still… here I am… geographically alone… with no one to hang out with.

Yesterday after writing my last post though I made a decision. I was going to once again put God at the center of my life, for He is the one I should be relying on to help me through this geographically friendless time. I also realized that my relationship with him seems to have slipped from where it was at. At the climax of the whole Fred thing, I was closer to God than I have ever been. He answered my prayers by sending the Ex and Marissa into my life. I got comfortable though… because I wasn’t having a major crisis in my life anymore… I stopped focusing on that relationship… things didn’t exactly fall apart because of that… but they didn’t go as amazingly as I know they could have gone (except the whole getting a job so quickly) if I had continued to focus on God.

So I made this decision yesterday… and guess what… a prayer has already been answered… guess whose small bible group decided to no longer take a summer break? I know! I’m super excited and its obviously an answered prayer.

But with all this free time… I need to focus on not becoming comfortable and continue striving in my relationship with God. Because if I have learned anything about relationships from the past year its that one person (in this case God) can’t pursue the other individual… they have to pursue each other… my role isn’t idle but very much active.

So I am hopping once I get my relationship with God back on track He will provide me with other avenues to make more relationships (of the friend variety for now… I need a break from guys lol).

Well at least I have a game plan for this Free Time… and I can only see good things coming from it if I keep at it! 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Pursuing God…

So…. I just finished the second chapter of Captivating… and I’m already pretty speechless about how amazing this book is.

From a cross cultural global perspective… I’m not sure if I agree with some of their “universal” claims about women… but those claims that they have made completely and 100% define me….

They say women have 3 longings within their hearts:

  • to be romanced,
  • to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure,
  • and to unveil beauty.

Seriously… I can’t say for all women… but I can more than definitely say that for me… that truly is the core of who I am and what I want out of life. Those are truly my three greatest longings that I’ve had all my life.

I kind of feel less unique now that I know others feel that way too lol… I kinda thought it was just me… especially the second one… but I guess now that I think about all those adventure books I read with female leaders it makes sense now… lol. But they did note that:

“The desire of a woman’s heart and the realities of a woman’s life seem an ocean apart. Oh, we long for romance and an irreplaceable role in a great story; we long for beauty. But that’s not the life we have. The result is a sense of shame.” (Eldridge and Eldridge 2005: 30)

This quote particularly struck me as truth… b/c often I am “ashamed” of my fantasies that I have of being rescued by my knight and shining armor, of changing the world for the better, and to bring beauty to the world. But I shouldn’t be ashamed of that because that is the core of who I am.

All women are meant for beauty. The world was not deemed to be “good” by God until He created Woman. Women are in fact the pinnacle of perfection in the creation, we are the finale of all creation.

But anyway… there is something more in-depth I wish to discuss from this book thus far… and it is something I really don’t think I could have realized without everything that happened this past semester. Showing once again that EVERYTHING happens for a reason… The idea that I need to pursue God.

In Isaiah 49: 14-15, 18, Jeremiah 24:7, and Matthew 23:37, we see how much God wants us to pursue Him. Eldridge and Eldridge (2005: 25) note:

“not only does God long for us, but He longs to be loved by us. Oh, how we’ve missed this. How many of you see God as longing to be loved by you? We see Him as strong and powerful, but not as needing us, vulnerable to us, yearning to be desired. But as I wrote in Wild at heart, ‘after years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority in someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God’s heart is, “why won’t you choose me?” It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. “You will find me,” says the Lord, “when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29: 13). In other words, ‘Look for me, pursue me- I want you to pursue me,” Amazing, As Tazer says, God waits to be wanted.”

And then to add this quote, later Eldridge and Eldridge (2005: 45) tell us:

“God yearns to be known. But he wants to be sought after by those who would know him. He says, ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ (Jer 29: 13). There is dignity here; God does not throw himself at any passerby. He is no harlot. If you would know Him you must love Him; you must seek Him with your whole heart. This is crucial to any woman’s soul, not to mention her sexuality. “you cannot simply have me. You must seek me, pursue me. I won’t let you in unless I know you love me.'”

At the beginning of the semester… you can look back in my posts to see this… I prayed that “God would show me what love was like on earth so that I could begin to comprehend what it was like for Him to love me.”

God had revealed Himself in this manner to me before in terms of my OCD… How I was able to learn again how to trust Him again by first trusting my earthly friends with knowing about my OCD.

I realize now… even though the ends aren’t what I wanted… I have indeed seen what love is like on earth and I can now slightly comprehend what it is like for Him to love me. I only say slightly b/c I don’t pretend I can comprehend God to His fullest… but He is revealing various pieces to me.

Just like I longed for romance and love in my relationship that is what God LONGS for… when things were going bad whether it was my fault or his (I’m over the blame game lol) I sat crying longing just to feel loved and wanted… now after reading the passages above from Captivating… I realize that God feels EXACTLY the same way about us when we don’t come to Him. Just like I wanted to be pursued and loved… God wants to be pursued and loved… God is crying for us to reach out to Him… He does everything in His power to show us how much He loves us… but yet often, like how I felt in the relationship, the other individual just turns away… oblivious to how much I was hurting and longing for him… or how much God is hurting and longing for me…

I now have a good idea how much it hurts Him for us to ignore Him… to turn away from Him… to not return His call to us… and the fact that I have hurt God like that? Wow… I have no words to express how remorseful I am…

I now have a slight understanding about how much God wants me. LOVES ME. And Cherishes me… and just wants me to want Him.

And then as the second passage says… God isn’t a harlot with His love… just b/c I know God is automatically going to forgive me for something doesn’t mean I should just go out and do it… it hurts Him deeply… we have to show God how much we love him through following His lead, His commandments, and His path.

This also shows me that I shouldn’t be a harlot with my love either… my heart is precious and I should only give it to that individual who is worthy of it. I need someone to pursue me so that I know that he loves me and is worthy of my love.

But really the only love I should be focusing on right now is God’s… I need to show God how much I love Him… I need to become more than 2%…. I need to make the romance between God and I more tangible… I need to pursue Him with all my heart. I need to stop hurting Him and answer His call. I need to recognize God’s love for me.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Ruminations….

There are several topics on my mind tonight…topics that I would love responses too.

(1) What exactly is forgiveness? I watched the Courages tonight with my mother. It was a good Christian movie with many good story lines. A difficulty though I was having with the movie was how often the word “forgive” was thrown out there. “I forgive you.” Three such powerful words… that people just seem to throw out there without really knowing what the meaning is… thinking about it… I don’t think I really know what the meaning is either.

According to my dictionary on my computer: to forgive means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.

So if I say “I forgive my mother for not caring for me in a way a mother should when I was younger.”

Ok… so I’m not angry… It is the past… I’ve let it go… I’m not resentful… this is the way life is now, so I must move on. But does this mean I have to trust my mother? Is trust tied to forgiveness? I love my mother… but does forgiveness mean I have to like her?

If I have truly forgiven someone (like my mother)… what does it all entail? I’m not angry or resentful.. but does that mean that I have to try to forge a meaningful relationship with my mother (which I actually have but sometimes its harder to forge it than others)? Am I not allowed to give up?

If a husband and wife divorce one another… and it was for pretty mutual reasons… and they forgive one another for it not working out…. are they allowed to just step out of each other’s lives? Are they allowed to stop caring? Or does forgiveness entail continuous work and continuously caring for that person you have forgiven? Is perhaps forgiveness a climax of a story? and the resolution and conclusion still have to come after it? Or is forgiveness the end? Or more so… perhaps forgiveness is the beginning of a story… such as when one is “born again” in Christian terms… you are forgiven and your life starts anew from then.

Does that make sense? I’m just confused… I guess I really just don’t understand the concept of forgiveness.

God has forgiven us of our sins because His Son died for us. He continues on a relationship with us. But does he trust us again in terms of not making the same mistake twice? What all does forgiveness entail? Does He care for us in the exact same way He cared for us before the sin?

Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness.

I’ve not delved at all into the literature of the Bible in terms of this question… so I really don’t know… which brings me to my second point tonight…

(2) I honesty don’t know when the last time I prayed was.

This is bad… it has gotten to the point… that to be honest… I ask someone else to pray for our meals, so that I don’t have too…

I’m not completely sure why…

I guess it has to do with “Why God are you putting me through this (in terms of my OCD)?”

I realize I’m being like a spoiled little kid “You haven’t answered my prayers, so I’m going to give you the silent treatment.” –really though this only hurts me.

I mean… don’t get me wrong… I’m doing TONS better OCD wise… but what if that is just a mask? What if “having OCD” is a mask? What if the moment that I open up the Bible I’m struck down with what a horrible person I am. As I mentioned elsewhere… it really isn’t an obsessional thought… but more of an underlying haunting idea… or perhaps that is just a different type of obsessional thought?

So really… I think it’s an OCD compulsion of avoidance…

or maybe I’m just making excuses…

I don’t know.

My worst obsessional thought is that I’m not a good person. That I am in fact evil. By avoiding reading my Bible and praying… I don’t really have to think about good vs evil… I just have to think about getting through each day… being responsible for my actions… and only doing things that are morally right.

Whether it is an OCD compulsion or not… it would be a lie to say that I’m not avoiding God. B/c I am. There is no doubt. I don’t want too. I just don’t know how to stop…

And now I’m freaking out that I’ve said something blasphemous and that God will never forgive me. Urg.

How I wish God would speak to me in a way that I could truly without a doubt understand.

I need His comfort.

But if He has forgiven me (for my stupid OCD thoughts)… exactly what does that mean?

I really just need to open up my Bible and read…

my Bible is sitting right next to me… but I have yet to do so…

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Power of Prayer

I know! Three posts in one day! Obviously you can see that I am doing some serious thinking. Writing it out helps me think. Sorry if I am boring you.

But anyway… I have a for reals question to all the Christian/spiritual people out there. I really need an answer to this:

How do you know when God is answering a prayer?

….

I’ve always been envious of the people in the Bible who God ACTUALLY TALKS to. I mean in this day of time if you told someone God spoke to you they would think that you were schizophrenic, but what I would give for God to actually take me by the shoulders shake me and speak directly to me!

My friends and family keep telling me to “pray” about my current life crisis. I HONESTLY believe in the power of prayer… but how do you know what an answer is?

I’ve had prayers answered before. There was this one time when my OCD was really bad (prior to me knowing I had OCD) and I was TERRIFIED of driving. Where I had to drive to my sister normally drove me, because we worked at the same place. She though was out-of-town and I was going to have to make the 45 minute commute on my own for the first time. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. I prayed all day the day before that God would give me the peace of mind, so that I could actually do it (at this point in my OCD I would get panic attacks at the wheel… because I was terrified that I would either accidentally kill myself or someone else with the car…apparently its actually a common OCD fear). My honest ardent eager prayer was “Should I go to work tomorrow? If so will you give me the ability to make it to work tomorrow? If not should I pretend to be sick and just call in to my boss that I am sick?” About thirty minutes before going to bed that night, my boss called me to tell me that he was sick and so neither of us should go into work.

I’m not saying that God answered my prayers by making my boss sick (knowing my boss he was actually probably making it up and just wanted that Friday off). But he did find me an out, because even if my boss was sick he could have still come into work or expected me too.

I’ve also had other prayers answered. Otherwise there are just too many coincidences in my life.

I also have friends who have had true prayers answered. My best friend’s mom had thyroid cancer (about 20 years ago now) and was given two months to live. After praying vigorously and having people pray for her and over her, she went back for a check up 2 weeks later and there was no trace of the cancer.

I can also give many other examples. But the problem is… all these answers are more in forms of miracles.

My prayer is more simple in terms of a grand gesture being done: “Lord, please show me what path you want me to take, for whatever I choose will affect the rest of my life. This is one of the largest decisions I will ever have to make. Should I continue on this path towards a PhD or should I take a different path.”

I originally thought this prayer would be answered in terms of what schools I got into and what funding I received. I got rejected from both of my top schools, accepted to another with no funding, and then accepted to another with full funding (through a TA position). Obviously the choice was simple go to the last school. Who my advisor will be is not my top choice. But the resources there are AMAZING and the consortium of scholars in the general area is unparalleled to anywhere else.

Therefore this one university is my choice. BUT I’ve been miserable in school. I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m terrified that staying in school will keep my OCD extremely active… and it will also be a constant reminder of my OCD.

I keep seeing quotes though about how it’s never too late to change the path you are on, I find a connection with characters in movies I never have before, I listen to songs that totally speak to me in a way that I can’t describe about letting go of one’s dreams in order to follow what God wants me to do, my friends think I am crazy for wanting a PhD, and I can think of more pros to changing my career path than cons. I want an adventure in life and my current path is actually extremely adventurous, but every time I go into the field it doesn’t feel like the adventure I should be on. I hate field work. I hate writing. I like lab and doing research on specific topics. But I am SO TIRED. I want a new life.

BUT how do I tell the difference between “signs,” or  “God whispering to my heart,” with what my mind is just telling me because it is completely and utterly burnt out?

I feel as though I got accepted into a PhD program with funding, because well if I didn’t I am pretty sure that would have sent me into A HUGE DEPRESSION since I spent so many years going after something and not receiving the “prize.” But is getting into this ONE program the DOOR that God opened for me? Or was it just to show me that I am good enough, but he wants me to do something else??

I guess I am just kind of confused at how this whole prayer thing works. I believe in God. I believe he hears my prayers…. but how do I hear him back?

If anyone has any suggestions… please let me know… I really need to know…

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Faith like That

I won’t lie. In the past few years with my OCD, my faith in God has been tested. I will always believe in God and that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. That WILL  NEVER be questioned. But…there is always the question of “why do bad things happen to good people?” “Why did He let this happen to me?” “What was the purpose?”

As you’ve probably seen in other posts, I always thought growing up that I was destined for greatness for the greater good of the World. Pretentious I know.

My best friend recently described me as “pale pink” in color… and not in terms of skin color, but in terms of MY color. I’m not sure how to take this. She told me that in a painting one may not see the pale pink, but without the pale pink being added the magnificent painting would not be what it was. Even though one may question of whether that pale pink is there or not… the painting NEEDS it to be there or the painting wouldn’t be what it was. I have actually always considered myself a dark purple, one that can easily be mistaken for a dark blue or black, but still beautiful. A color of quiet mystery and sorrow.

I’m not going to pretend to be an artist… b/c well I am not. But Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night” is pretty famous. And I honestly don’t know, but I bet there is a pale pink utilized somewhere in that painting. But is it a colored featured? No. Pretty much blues, blacks, and yellows are in that particular picture. But without the pale pink the sky wouldn’t move the viewer the same way or the town beneath it. The pale pink is NEEDED. So I can’t see my purpose. But there is one. The world can’t do without me, even if no one will ever know that I existed.

But anyway there is a point that I am trying to get at. I was recently watching the movie The Prince of Egypt. One of my favorite movies actually and a beautiful adaptation to the actual story in the Bible. The following scene always moves me:

….For the God of all the Earth, Life, the Universe to speak to me… like that…. what I would give… my heart yearns for it with all the fiber of my being.

I think the most moving part of that clip is when God enfolds Moses into the mist as if hugging him… telling Moses that He will always be with him.

I think it moves me so much, because of the following passage from 1 Kings 19:

The LORD Appears to Elijah

    And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

….

God was in the quiet whisper.

God is love, hugging us, whispering to us, loving us.

To hear God whisper my name… oh what I would give!

Maybe I just haven’t been listening. My mind has been roaring so loudly that I can no long hear Him. I so ardently don’t want that to be so. But I have no other explanation at the moment. My God would not and will never abandon me. I just need to listen. Maybe its possible that my pale pink may make a difference. I just need to find the place in which my Pale Pink needs to be.

I want to be used. To make a difference. But I don’t know if I can anymore. I just don’t know…

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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