2011- an odyssey in time…

This is a blog about my Christmas break. This is a blog about an encounter with a treadmill that did not change my life, some thoughts I’ve had, some other things I want to do, and about my crazy life… but most importantly, this is a blog about seeking God, who has been pursuing me all my life.

Let’s do this by organized, bolded sections, eh? That way, you can skip around if you think I’m boring, or generally know what the topic is in a paragraph that may otherwise have been swallowed by my preoccupation with my thoughts. Here we are, folks:

My Christmas Break was more expensive than any other break I’ve had, including the trip to China last year since I did a lot of fundraising and God provided. He still is and does, but this year was known as “Things Fall Apart” (not to be confused with the book). My brother rear-ended an off-duty cop on an icy day at a green light and damaged his car… entertainingly enough, the cop was texting so my bro didn’t get a ticket, but he did get a crumpled hood, a few things underneath pushed back, the insurance payment, and our insurance company figuring out my bro got his license last year and adding him to our plan, understandably jacking the rates. The week after we found out our van was leaking steering fluid which would cost over $700. Then I took my car in for an oil change two days before I went back to school and found out a ball joint was loose and had to be replaced and the car given an alignment, and I got a new air filter… and all that cost around $700 too. This was not only God’s way of looking out for me as a roommate pointed out (i.e. if I hadn’t taken it in, the steering could have gone out when I didn’t have the time to get it fixed, or I could have been stranded somewhere, or in an accident etc.), but He showed me yet another lesson about money. Over break, I read this book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It was a good booster shot of things I knew about God, but seem to forget time and again. One concept was how God calls us not to live comfortably, but to live in dependence and trust in His power and love. God gave me the employment that created the savings that allowed me to not only help out a bit at home, but also repair my car. What an amazing thing to be able fix my car. I know it sounds simple, but it was a nice opportunity to trust, and it wasn’t even during the school year when I might be too stressed to see it. lol it was a nice reminder not to get too attached to things like savings. It’s not my money anyway.

The encounter with a treadmill that did not change my life happened this evening. I have been stir crazy at home, and it was nice to get a run in. Apparently, I’m someone who can and will run for longer when challenged with my own time, and I amused myself by running at 4.9 mph with a 3.5 incline. Whatever that means. But I had ample time to think because I ran for 36 minutes and walked for four minutes. At first I was bored. I started thinking idly about the room, what improvements might be made to the room, if a fan could be installed, the probability of creepers late at night, if the tv over there could be turned on, how long the asian girls on the bikes in front of me had been at school (one had an ISU shirt, the other was wearing jeans and a sweater to work out, so I’m still not sure), but all these thoughts passed. I started reciting verses and Psalms that I knew. They weren’t boring. They were real, if that makes sense at all. I found myself delighting in finding them in my memory, and searching them for new depth. I realized I’m not where I want to be as far as memorization goes, and if I’m ever away from a Bible, I still want God’s words close to my heart and my lips. I have been so blessed by a family that set such a strong example for me in truth.

Some thoughts I’ve had lately are reflections on this past year. It has been an insane ride. This time last year I was 3 days away from being shattered. Again. It was God’s way of saving me from myself, and teaching me more about Himself, which was necessary, because He is our greatest good… and He wouldn’t be if He didn’t give us opportunity to know Him. Anyway, that breaking of my spirit was really difficult. It set the tone for the hardest semester of my college career. It was the first time I really understood trauma, and as crazy as that sounds, you can’t know it ’til it happens. And the choices I made weren’t even as difficult or out of my hands as others have had, but it made me a lot more compassionate to others who have had difficult things happen to them in their life. For that alone, I would say my brokenness was completely worth it. Would I say that God caused me to go my own way in order to break me more toward His Will? Absolutely not. I chose. But I would say that God, being outside of time, knowing that I would choose what I did, in His mercy chose to make my failures into something beautiful for His glory, and drew me so much closer to Himself. I remember thinking early in the Summer, “God, why do I feel like I need You now more than ever? I need you!” and He told me quite simply, “There is not a day in your life, from the day you were born, that you needed Me more or less; you’ve always needed Me a lot; you’re just choosing to acknowledge it now more than you have before.” It wasn’t even as complicated as that sentence, it was just there, like sunlight. Like the truth it was.

Yet even after that, I still forgot from time to time. And there will be that constant temptation of amnesia in this imperfect world. Thankfully, God forgives and draws me on. Sometimes like being whipped behind a boat while tubing (when you’re exhausted and gritting your teeth to hang on and it isn’t very fun anymore), and other times it’s like taking a walk in the morning when the day is new and you’re going to something unknown and wonderful. The seasons pass, and seem to fly these days, but God persists. I am thankful.

I am also thankful for the numerous amazing friends I have, my family for loving me unconditionally even though I’m often too outspoken and at times abrasive, East Iowa Bible Camp for giving me a wonderful farewell Summer to my college years, and one of my best friends who just generally grounds me and helps me to love God with my life. I am so blessed!

I miss those opportunities I had but busted instead of acting in love towards others. This includes careless words, broken promises, unfaithfulness in all forms, and being inconsiderate because I was preoccupied with me. This happens way more than I would like. I also miss a dear friend… and oddly enough almost sense they’re thinking of me so I just pray and try to love them in Christ the best I can. Unfortunately, this means letting them go. *sigh* I’m trying to learn. I just keep writing when I feel like I have to say something, and put it away for everyone’s sake.

Sidenote: I wonder if I could publish anything I have saved. Probably not. I was rejected from the campus magazine. At least I got a rejection notice this time. They just ignored it last time. Good thing I don’t want to be a professional writer, right? Right.

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