Saturday, October 30, 2010

Help

Is not found in me, or in you, or in any magical remedy or spell or concoction. It is found in God. I forgot that.

Why did I leave school? Why did I say God could send me anywhere? What on earth was the original point? Obviously it wasn't farming.

When I was first back from Africa, after I had realized I was not suited to love African's very well, I asked God who I was suited to love. Who did he make me to love? My purpose was not in another country as I first thought, nor was it in school. I asked God to send me to the people he created me to love. He has given me a unique set of traits and gifts and weaknesses in order to bring him glory and to love him and to love a unique part of his creation. If that is the case, if I was sent here to love people, than why am I fighting so hard for my own security and success? Why am I so worried about making my life how I want it when that isn't what this is about?

My life will never be what I desire it to be until I am in the arms of my Lord, and until then what better way to spend my life than helping other people know what it is to be in the arms of God?

Today it was the love of Deanna that filled me just enough to be able to see the bigger picture. I still need love in this place, I still need people to care about how I am doing aside from jobs and housing. With the little bit I received today I could breathe again and see that I am fighting way to hard for this. I am trying way to hard to make this about what I want and what I need. Those are things God didn't ask me to carry, yet I have ripped them from his hands and insisted he wasn't doing a good enough job.

So what if I don't get a job or a place to live in the next month? That isn't the point. The point is love. That is the whole point of life, big picture and small picture. If all I learn from this is how to let God freaking love me no matter what the road looks like (even if it looks like there isn't a road) then it was worth it. Right?

Yesterday and today I think I lost it because I felt left in the lurch and as if no one loved me, not in a way that I wanted at least. I guess love doesn't always look how I want it to look. Sometimes it looks much different. The point isn't to get the love I want, it is to be open enough to receive all the love that is given to me. I am here for the continued romance between my Lord and I. I am also here because there are people all over this city God has created me with the special ability to love in a special way.

So fuck job searching. Obviously I will have to do some of that still, but that should not be all I do right now. My purpose is not job searching and making money, my purpose is love.

What It Means To Survive

After my freak out last weekend I have been better. I kicked my butt into gear and applied to nearly 40 jobs in about 4 days. My brain hurts just thinking about that: so many applications and hope going out with each one. I held it together for a while. Tonight I lost it again.


I guess reality is that I will lose it often. I think I did a really brave thing. I do those often, it seems, and I always wonder what has made me so brave and what drives me to make such big decisions and moves.

Being brave is usually praised and admired and celebrated. I am learning that bravery is a terrifying thing, though, and it gets me into situations I am not crazy about. Like being in San Diego searching frantically for a job and hoping I will be able to come up with enough money to cover my bills.


How do I survive this? How do I make it through such a huge leap when I cannot see if there is a bottom to land on?


Tonight I got frustrated and angry again. Not as much as I was last weekend, at least not yet. I realized that I had worked my butt off this week trying to find a job. Something may work out soon, or maybe nothing will work out. I hate knowing that I put in a whole week of nothing but job hunting and I may not get anything back from it.


Tonight I had no energy or desire to be with God. Every night since I was 12 I have spent time with the Lord. Well, most nights. On a night when I skip it I know there is something wrong. Tonight I avoided Him by talking with mom for an hour and then watching Grey’s Anatomy. Why? He gives me peace beyond understanding, joy that doesn’t depend on circumstances, and confidence that doesn’t make sense. Why avoid that?


I want to understand, I want to see why I have peace and I want material and monetary comforts. I am tired of living on faith and prayer tonight. I realized tonight that nothing I do makes things happen. Last week I waited, this week I made finding a job my full-time job. There haven’t been results from either of those strategies. There is nothing I can do to make this process easier, or faster, or even purposeful. Everything rests on God. He’s the one who came up with this crazy idea anyways, right? Tonight I hate that. I hate that I have no control. My whole life has been put into God’s hands and I wish so much I could take it back. I wish I could stop being brave and full of faith and confidence in God. I wish I could have chosen any one of the safe options presented to me over the spring and summer. They look so tempting from this vantage point.


I think I am frustrated with God and feel that there isn’t anything I can do to change anything. When he pleases a job will come my way. I know he is caring for me so well and I do not fear what will happen before then, not too much at least. I am just tired and bored and lonely. I long for something to do and people to do it with. I long for my life down here to really begin.


I keep hoping there is a cheat sheet or a short cut to take in this season. Maybe if I learn whatever lesson really quickly we can move on to the next part even faster. So I try and come up with lessons I should be learning: don’t listen to anyone but God, work really hard and God will meet you halfway, trust God even when you are upset and scared and it looks like he has abandoned you… what more do I need to learn?

This isn’t a strategy game; this is life with God and with humans and I just have to live it. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned, maybe there are many, or maybe this is just how it works. I really have no idea anymore. I do not know what I can do to make anything happen, and I do not know what the heck God is doing with me on this adventure. I don’t know anything. I have no power. I am completely dependant on God for everything and there are no tricks I can play on him to manipulate him into giving it to me early. So I don’t want to talk to him tonight. I don’t want to be with the God of the Universe even when I know he wants to be with me. I can control that one thing, it seems, and I am choosing to avoid him.


Truth is I don’t know how to survive this. I don’t know what my part is or how to make the process happen.


Being brave. Celebrate it, but don’t be na├»ve about its consequences. There is nothing easy about it nor does it come without sacrifice. I just hope there are also beautiful things on the horizon and that it is not far off.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Now What?

After waiting for a while the farm got back to me and wanted me to come for a visit. I leapt at the opportunity and my hopes soared high as I though, “This could be it!” I quickly made arrangements to spend a day and a night with them and then off I went in Jose towards the mountains east of San Diego, my heart all a flutter with excitement and hope and amazement at the adventure I am on.


When I got there it was beautiful; a secluded little town in the cracks of huge hills, the air smelling crisp and clean and fresh. The farm was small, the people welcoming and easy to talk with. It really felt perfect, until it didn’t. While it was perfect it was also not a place I could see myself living. The farm would be great; the people would be not so great. They are nice and kind, but they are who I would be with all the time, working and living and sleeping in all the same places. I sort of wish I could be ok with it, but I can’t. They aren’t people I would want to be my whole community. My friend Deanna helped me see that I need to be able to tell people my heart and talk about what God is doing in me all the time, and I don’t think I could with these people.


Crash. Explosion. Smoke and flames and ruins all around me. That’s what my heart felt as I realized I couldn’t do it. So much hope and excitement very suddenly smashed. I feel stupid you guys. I feel like I should be more flexible, or I should be able to make it work, or I should never have hoped so much in something that wasn’t guaranteed. Yesterday I got so made at God that I said the F-word to him. What the Hell is he doing with me anyways? How much more does he expect from me? Have I not already given Him all I have and more?


I so wanted to live away in the mountains and dig in the dirt and watch food grow out of the ground from a seed I stuck in there with my thumb. I wanted to never have to worry about what time it was or if I was being successful. I wanted the dreams I had as a girl to come true. The dreams of farming and loving people and working hard and being at peace with that… I wanted so badly to see them come to pass now, while I am so young, before I get stuck in a 9-5 job I don’t care about.


I know I said so many months ago that this journey would not be easy. Could it be my heart missed that memo? I want it to be easy. I wanted to arrive in San Diego and find a great job and place to live right away. I wanted to skip all this worry and stress and frantic job-hunting. I thought God would have it figured out for me. Now I feel stupid for having thought that.


I feel stupid and I feel foolish. Even in this period of waiting I applied to so many jobs and did my best to listen for the voice of God, but either I am deaf or He is silent. I keep thinking there is just one move I have to make, like in chess or any other strategy game, and if I make that move just right at just the right time I will magically win the game and own the whole board! I guess life isn’t a game, well, it sort of is, but I am not playing life, I am living it and it is hard. Why should I have expected anything different? It has never been easy, only different forms of hard. I just wish I could yell, “Uncle!” and God would run to my rescue and show me the right moves to make. Or even just tell me what I am doing is all I need to do. Today I feel like I should be doing a hundred other things in order to make this work, yet I have no idea what those hundred things would be.


This is my heart today, friends: messy, angry, fearful, sad, lost and very confused.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Waiting... again

I think I am due for an update. I apologize that it has taken me this long.


I arrived in San Diego almost a week ago. I rolled into town on Tuesday after a week of journeying down the west coast. I saw many good friends, lots of fields and mountains and pavement, figured out I should be required to drive with a speedometer (mine has been broken since august), cried a lot, laughed a lot, and tried to take in every moment. Now I am here.


Here. The place I have been talking about moving to for months, or maybe years. I had plans in my head on the drive down of looking for jobs, churches, a community to join, a home to make my own etc. I had plans. What have learned thus far, however? God told me to stop planning. Over and over he tells me to stop planning, to let go of plans and surrender to his care. Over and over I make plans, though.


When I got to LA I found two paths I would love to take: a farm to work at and a camp to cook at. It isn’t possible to do both. It seemed like God said, “Take action!” So I did. One week later I have heard nothing back. When I got to San Diego I asked God, “What do I do now?” “Wait,” he said. Seriously?


Wait. Again. At this point I feel all I do is wait. I feel antsy and I long for something to come that will make me feel I succeeded. I long for people to think I am making good choices and doing my part to take care of myself. It seems this isn’t God’s desire. He said to wait. In my waiting he has provided for me so well. When I got to San Diego I had less than $50 to my name. This week the Lord gave me the opportunity to earn $40 and then he sent a friend to fill up my gas tank and make sure my car was still running well (which it is!). God has not forsaken me; he is caring so well for me.


I am waiting. I sort of look around for jobs, but I realize this is to please people. I am looking for jobs in order to please others and make them think I am doing my part. Today a good friend helped me understand the enormous amount of pressure I am under. All around me is a pressure to appear successful and wise to the world. I have well-meaning adults giving me advice left and right on what I should do and how I should do it and when I should do it. I know most of them do it out of love and concern and I so wish I could take their advice and do it. I hate having to appear foolish right now. My heart, however, knows what the Lord said: wait.


So in spite of the pressures and demands I feel I will keep waiting. This journey was not meant to take me from one pressure filled place and send me to another. This journey was meant to free me from pressures so I may love God and he may love me. What else matters? My Lord has given me one responsibility alone: keep me heart open to his love. It seems so simple, but it may be the hardest task I have ever been given. Whenever I am scared or frustrated I close it up and hide from God. I avoid him like the plague because I want to feel justified in my anger or sadness or fear. I know as soon as I open it up to him he will wipe those feelings away and replace them with joy. Why would I hide from that? Because I want to be in control. I want to call the shots for once and command God. This is foolishness, however, because God is joyfully taking me on an adventure and when I call the shots I get shot down. Of this I am certain: His plans are way better than mine.


Here’s to waiting in the love of God.