Saturday, October 31, 2009

Arg... Brain Mush.

A sense of nostalgia washes over me as I sit here reading through blogs and browse facebook pages of friends. Sometimes it just feels like:
Here I am! Now how did I get here?!

It's not that I am in a bad place now. I generally enjoy where I am, but a sense of panic has overcome me as I think about the fact that life has changed and when I am done here, I'm not going back to what was before. I don't know if I really like that.  People grow up and change. Life happens.

I loved being at Bethel College, at least until last year right before I dropped out.  I am so glad that I did take the time to take that break, because I really needed it. When I left I didn't know if God would ever bring me back to Bethel and have me finish my degree, or if I would move on and do something else with my life. But now I want so much to go back.  I have been working hard to pay off my school bill so I can return. ((*highlight* I made a payment today that dropped my bill to below $2,000!)) I emailed Bethel to inquire about what I need to do to return in August, and I got a reply almost right away letting me know that they are glad that I am seeking to return and are forwarding my email to the person I need to talk to. I'm also trying to save as much money as I can to pay for school since I've reached my limit for loans and have lost $10,000 in Grants and Scholarships because I'm a 5th year student. I've also been on seeking and applying for scholarships.  I've yet to win a scholarship they've told me about, but there's a first time for everything, right?
I pray that if God is leading me to return to Bethel that He will open or close doors, that He would show me which ones to walk through and which ones to stop banging my head against, lol.

I logged on to my student account last week and did a degree audit and I found that Bethel is offering a new minor called Family Studies.  I've decided that I want that minor to compliment my degree in Youth Ministry and Adolescent Studies.

So anyway, that tangent brings me back to my original topic.  When I return, what do I expect? Most of the people I knew won't be there anymore. They've moved on with their lives... married... started careers... left the United States to do Ministry... I feel kind of like I've been left behind. I guess the only thing I can really do is move on with my life too. I don't think I've been sitting stationary. I know that I've been changing too, but perhaps my heart longs for what is familiar, especially since right now, nothing is familiar to me. It longs for the comfort of the way things were. What happened to the heart that longed for an exciting adventure?  I think the heart still wants that, but the heart is fickle. Boo.

But I still wonder... what was it that brought me to this place? How did I move so far away from where I was?  This is not a bad place to be. Infact, this is right where I need to be right now.

I don't know how to explain what I feel. It just feels like it happened so fast and here I am. I feel so blessed to be here, yet I long to go back to Bethel in August, even knowing it won't be the same. Maybe the question is simply 'why?'.  For what reason does God have me here?  For what reason did He have me leave Bethel for the time He did?  And the next question is 'what's next?'.

The plan is to return to Bethel.
For what? 
To complete a degree.
And then what?
I get a job.
And then what?
Maybe God blesses me with a husband and a family.
And then what?
Maybe I'll retire, have grandkids, and live out the rest of my life in peace and harmony.

Unlikely. I'm not sure I even desire that, really.

When I visited Imago Dei a few weeks ago, Rick McKinley spent some time talking about jobs and working and such.  We will never find fulfillment in a job, but we're not supposed to. Fulfillment doesn't come through work, it comes through God.  When we are in a job, we seek to be purposeful. There will always be days when we feel like we hate our job, or want to quit. That's why our job has to have purpose.
So let's ask the questions again?

I return to Bethel.
For what?
For vocational training that leads me to a place of purpose.
And then what?
I seek where God wants me.
And then what?
I go there and live life on purpose glorifying God and advancing His Kingdom until the day I die.
And then what?
"Well done good and faithful servant" It's all up to God.

Well, it's late and I'm not sure that I'm really making any sense anyway, so I'm going to finish up and go to bed.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Once again I saw a homeless person. I see them often, holding signs on the roads, sitting at rest heart cries out to them and i want to do something to help. Sometimes i find myself not knowing what to do when i cant give them anything that will help their present situation. Jesus says to take case of the poor, the needy... How can i sit here in this van and drive by them when they are crying out. How can i leave them so helpless when i am so blessed? even in my own poverty i have more than they do.God show of how i can be your hands and feet to those in need!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Visiting Imago Dei :-)

So, I am getting an awesome opportunity. Tomorrow my work partner, Michelle, and I are going to go to church at the Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon. This is the community that Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz, Searching for God Knows What, Through Painted Deserts, etc) wrote about and attends. And it is the same church that Rick McKinley (author of This Beautiful Mess and Jesus in the Margins,) is a pastor for.

I am really excited about this opportunity, especially after reading This Beautiful Mess where Rick McKinley talks about the church body and the Kingdom of God.

I don't want to visit this community for the sake of visiting it. I want it to be a learning process. I want to see how the Kingdom of God is lived out by the people who make up Imago Dei. I want to be challenged, and I want to be inspired.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Every now and then when I get the chance to slow down a bit, I stop and think about all the things I miss back home.

I miss seeing my family every day. I love my family. I miss my parents. I miss my brothers.I'm sad that I'm probably going to miss the birth of Eric's baby. I'm sad that I don't get to help Brandy plan her wedding or be there when it takes place. I'm sad that I won't get to go to Thanksgiving Dinner where half of my family get's together.

I miss going to Life Bridge every Sunday. I love my church family. I miss the Bridge Builders group and the student Ministries. I miss doing Project Valpo. I'm sad that I am missing out on what the church is doing, because I believe so much in the vision of Life Bridge. To empower one more to walk together with Christ.

I miss Bethel College. I miss taking classes and learning. I miss my old classmates. They were some of the most amazing people I knew. I'm sad that I don't have my degree. And it saddens me that God may not have it planned for me to finish my degree.

I don't know where God wants me in this life. I am absolutely clueless as to where He is leading me or what His plans for me are. I don't know if I will ever go back home to Valpo, or if I will ever finish college, or if I will move somewhere else or travel, or if I will marry, or if any of the plans I had before now will ever come to be.

Right now I have no plans. I have no agenda. I don't know where God is taking me. In some ways i'm bothered by the idea that I love and miss might not be a part of my future. I know that whatever God has planned for me, he is wiser than I am and His plans are greater than mine.

I just wish I could get a glimpse of what lies ahead of me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October. Wow. The new month brings thoughts of a new start, chances to better than i did last month, opportunities to grow as a person spiritually, emotionally, and vocationally. October brings cooler weather. It snowed for about half an hour last night. I don't remember when i last saw snow in October. I've started reading a book called Crazy Love written by Francis Chan and this book, though it's so simple is incredibly profound. He you've ever been a Christian who wanted to live radically for Christ but for what ever reason the ember burning within you got smothered and your life is nothing more than trying to survive from day to day, them this is a book that reignites passion and reminds you that you have a purpose. This book reminds you that God wasn't made for you, but rather you were made for God. It puts life back into perspective. It's not about me or my pleasures. I may never be written about as an example or living radically for Christ and i may never be written about as a hero of the holy life but i can live my life so profoundly for Christ that it is something worth writing about. I don't need to be remembered. i want to live my life in such a way and represent God in such a way that When people leave my presence the only thing they know or remember is that they met with God that day. I don't mean that in a pagan way. I just want it to be about God and not about this really radical girl they met. God is so much cooler than I am.