Achievement Unlocked

Tonight, I think I have successfully completed my education. Everything in my life has built up to this moment. Every moment of study. Every moment of practice. Every mistake.

It lead to here.

So I sit here, holding the object of my achievement in my hands. Proud. Humble. Awed. Even excited. Dumbstruck. I can barely comprehend that this small token symbolizes so much work.

In my hands?

A tied cherry stem.

I figured out how to tie a cherry stem with my tongue.

 

And it is good to be alive.

Love/Hate Relationship

Have you ever been so lonely that you deeply desired the company of a cantankerous hedgie who hates you? Even though you know your presence probably drives him wildly insane and he hisses at your for roughly half an hour.

But he’s there and although he’s obstreperous, it’s almost as if he’s reluctantly pleased you’re there.

 

I miss my Plump.

A Little Too Needy

I’m a little too needy. A bit too desirous of attention and affection. Preoccupied with being petted and attended to and cherished.

I’m looking for an obsession. A place to pour my soul. A receptacle for my devotion. An idol to flatter and indulge.

I want conversation and flattery and flirtation and company.

I want it when I’m tired. When I’m bored. When I’m stressed. When I’m lonely.

And it’s all about me.

It’s not truly caring because it’s a driving fire within myself. A craving that needs satisfaction. Even if that thirst to make someone else happy.

It’s all about me.

 

I am so tired of me.

But isn’t that selfishness too?

Dudley Love

Dudley needed more hugs, so he stopped sitting with Unicorn and is now sitting on my lap instead. Lest any of you be concerned for the sanctity of my lap, realize that Dudley is one of Unicorn’s stuffed unicorns. He’s a sweet pillow buddy is a particular favorite of mine. Dudley understands me. He is by far the most empathetic and endearing of the hoard that lives above. He also likes me more than any of her other unicorns, which is understandable, considering their first loyalty is to her.

I am writing a blog because no one will talk to me and because I have the worst writer’s block known to man. This paper is a simple paper for a simple class with an extremely basic premise and I’m just sitting here twiddling my thumbs like an idiot.

So I decided to type for a blog like an idiot instead. Because productivity has to gain some points back from what I’m losing by being an idiot…

Maybe hugging the magnificent Dudley will help me. Unicorns are generally full of blessings.

Dragon Skin

Clawing. Digging. Tearing. Punctures.

Sweet relief.

But only temporary. There is still more that must be ripped away and even that isn’t deep enough.

 

My skin itches and burns and peels and I’m left looking like a molting reptile. I moisturize and exfoliate and the tingling insanity never ceases.

It calls to mind Eustace as a dragon in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He had to have his dragony outsides ripped off by Aslan. No one else’s tearing and trying would do.

 

I deeply desire to remove my outer layers of flesh.

But possibly more importantly, I desire to lose all the layers of my flesh. I need God to remove from me the selfish, shallow, restrictive and beastly carapace I reside within. I want him to free the person who will look like His Son. I don’t want to be a dragon.

I want to be like Him.

 

And sometimes, I forget that as I try not to itch.

Lyrics I Love: Fragments

What God Ordains is Always Right

Praise Ye Jehovah

Praise ye Jehovah, Who from the beginning
What He established in mercy maintains.
Founding, providing, protecting, abiding,
Praise to the Saviour Who constant remains.

Praise ye Jehovah, Who like as a father
Comforts our sorrows and quiets our fears.
Chast’ning, restraining, forgiving, sustaining,
From the beginning to fullness of years.

 

There is a Higher Throne

All glory, wisdom, pow’r,
Strength, thanks, and honor are
To God our King, who reigns on high
Forevermore.

 

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

 

Fulfill your role in the kingdom.

 

Let God’s promises for the future influence how you live your life now.

Many Things about Tomorrow

Since day one, I’ve been told that I am smart, talented, and beautiful. With regards to at least the first two traits, I have tried to prove that my supporters are right. I was precocious. Then I was bright. And finally, I became a hard worker.

The older I get, the more I’m taught that hard work and dedication do not always pay off. You may study for hours for a quiz to still get a D. You also might completely forget you have a test and still ace it. Apparently, I haven’t learned that lesson yet, because I still expect to reap what I sow. Therefore, if I show myself to act with integrity, try to follow God in my pursuits, pray for His will, and work myself senseless, the right results should appear.

Even here, at BJU, I’ve been…encouraged to think of myself as special. My friends and teachers expect more from me, because I tend to give more to begin with. I am a quick study, I problem solve well, and I take initiative. And, I’m even trying to learn how to take correction gracefully. Now, before any of you start to think, “Wow, she really is a cocky little thing” let me make this caveat: I never believed them. I thought that yes, hard work pays off, but I also thought that, in a way, I was just lucky. I’m just good at taking tests, I’m not actually smart. Or that everyone else would get the exact same results if they put in the exact same actions. I honestly never thought I had a very high opinion of myself.

And then this school year happened. I got grades I’ve never gotten before. I struggled academically in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. There were personal events that I couldn’t have foreseen and never would have chosen. I was working harder than ever and succeeding less than I could ever remember. This semester seemed a bit easier than last, and I was thankful for the respite.

Then God burdened me to start looking at graduate assistant positions. For those of you outside the bubble, the GA program allows a student to take a full course load of graduate studies and work full time for the college, so that you pay off your entire degree by the time you finish that degree. I was firmly convinced that after I got my undgrad diploma, I would waltz back home and pursue further schooling there. And then one day, I became not firmly convinced. In fact, I was so very unsure that I should come home that I prayed for very long portions of the day for an entire week over whether or not I should I apply for some grad positions.

So I applied. I got accepted to return as a student. I submitted five applications and waited. A month later, I had my first interview. I prayed and debated over a few other positions, talked with other departments, made some decisions. I didn’t get the job from that first interview. Instead, I was pointed to a brand new position, one that looked tailor-made for me: fitting all my qualifications, would give me room to grow, and plenty of flexibility. I would be able to help frame out what the position would look like for following GAs. I had the interview, both with the dean of the school and the head of the department. A week later, when I was asking for a deadline that I would know the answer by, I was told that I should have gotten an email, but the position had been filled.

I was devastated. I am devastated. As much as I have wanted to go home for three years, I desperately wanted to stay here. Most of my reasons are rather carnal and craven. In fact, I don’t want to go home, because I’m doubting God. Throughout this whole process I kept praying that His will, not mine, would be done. That He would show me what to do. And I thought that meant staying here, since that would be the harder thing. Instead, it looks like it’ll be going home.

I want my family. But I want them here.

My church is here. I no longer have a church back home.

My school is here. The education I’d be scraping together back home will be rough to say the least.

My chances for med school are better here. I don’t even know that PSC has any chance of sending students to med school.

My chances of getting married are pretty much only here. There is no one back home.

My best friend is getting married. My sister is leaving for four years. I do not have a job. I do not have a boyfriend. I will be leaving all the relationships I tried to cultivate for three years here.

And I feel like a failure. Because I have worked and worked and thought I was growing and apparently, I haven’t. Because I don’t believe that going home is God’s will, even though He is so clearly showing me that it is. And I don’t believe He can provide an education or a job or a spouse, even though He is the only One who will ever provide those things for me. And I do not think He is good, even though that is the only thing He has ever been to me. The lesson I should have been learning is not that if I work hard enough, good things will happen. The lesson I should have been learning is that I try, I work, but I rest in God alone, because He will do whatever He wills in spite of what I do, not because of it.

God is not my personal, spiritual vending machine. I do not punch in a formula and put in the right things and get exactly what I want from Him. I am His clay. And I try to fight Him instead of allowing myself to be molded into His image.

So I apologize, formally, here, in print to God. I’m sorry and I am so very wrong for my disbelief, for my anger, for my hurt and assumed rejection. Please forgive me for doubting that You ever had anything less than best for me. And I cry like the father in Mark, “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.”

And to the rest of you here in Greenville, I’ll miss you terribly. I’m not sorry I made friendships here and I refuse to regret giving of my life and time and heart to you. It will hurt not seeing you, or hanging out with you, or sharing my feelings, thoughts, and dreams with you. But I won’t forget you. You taught me a great deal, like the importance of meal plans and how a real church feels and acts and worships together.

To my faithful few in Florida, I’m sorry I didn’t want to come back. Please believe me that it was not because I didn’t miss you, but because I feel like I no longer belong. I worry that I won’t make sense there and that I will not be needed. So thank you for wanting me back anyway.

I am very uncertain about what this next chapter holds, and what on earth I should do. So I’m going to try and live a little less by the rules of Martha, and a little more by the mantra that, “I know Who holds tomorrow, and I know He holds my hand.”

The Strands of Time Are Stringing

Yarn.

Yarn everywhere.

Long, free, promising strands pooling in beautiful loops at my feet.

Clogs. Hopeless snarls. Knots and rifts.

Frustration mixed with patience and tempered with stubbornness known only to the females of my heritage. I knew that this ball of yarn used to be a neat ball and could be again and gosh darn it I nearly have a college degree, I can handle this!

The problem came about because I bought a yarn that was too light weight. Moral of the story, children: buy a heft and width suitable to your needle size AND the density of project you’re making. I knew, however, that by using two strands of this thinner stuff instead of one, it would work up just fine. Most yarn comes with two ends (you know, physics), both readily accessible for those who are inner or outer yarners (there is a debate about which way is correct, kind of like which way toilet paper should unfurl, but that is a discussion for another time). My yarn did not have a readily apparent inner end.

No problem, I thought to myself. I’ll root inside, find the end and just work from there. It shouldn’t tangle.

 

I find that statement equal to Napoleon thinking, “Eh, Waterloo is pretty small. No biggie.”

 

Three hours later, with a hopeless snarl in my hands, I unwork everything I’ve done and slowly start isolating the ends in two, carefully but loosely coiled, pools. That process had to be restarted at least three times. For literally three class periods and then three hours outside of class I toiled.

But I vanquished the Gordian knot.

The ball now lies in my bag, neatly bound into a ball, from the center of the strand. I have two ends free and have worked about 16 rows thus far.

I am knitter! Hear me roar!

It’s Time

Scenic Route:

When unused to traversing back campus, be sure to take the longest way possible to your destination, particularly in spring time. Not only will you get your daily dose of exercise you will also benefit from the serene floral vistas. There are more shrubs, trees, and personal flower gardens, the road is smaller and less frequented, and the little brick houses with family cars offer a subtle, reassuringly nostalgia over home. On your walk, you will have time to think about how much you miss home, and not the home of your youth, but the home of your soul. The place that feels right, that smells of crushed pine needles, and gleams of exuberant azaleas and delicate dogwoods.

Picnic:

Finally arriving at your destination, you will be greeted by a smiling professor who still remembers you and has kept you as a friend on Facebook, which is a sign of favor that you take in the most flattering light. As you choose your hot dog, you (on a whim) ask if that same professor (arming the grill) will possibly burn a hot dog for you. You have a particular preference for burnt hot dogs. He assents, laughingly, but with much horror, because it goes against his chef-like spirit. Upon gathering the rest of your food, while awaiting your charred prize, you try to decide upon a table. Although you know many of these religion majors, you do not know everyone, and are uncertain as to where you fit in. Sighting some fellow Greek students and your teacher, you make your way to them only to realize there’s no more room at the table. You take recourse at the table to counseling students that continues to fill and have a very pleasant time there. You continue to hob nob with faculty and students and even partake in a conversation that causes your inner intellectual to swoon with a Greek lecturer. Then your grill meister calls your name and you go to fetch your food. You also get homemade cake (two slices) which you savor.

Delivery:

The football jerseys you designed for society have finally arrived and you are extremely excited over them. They are a lovely weight and texture and the blue is exactly what you wanted. You rush to look up the girls’ room numbers and then pop over as quickly as you can. They’re surprised to see you but very pleased at the jerseys, which further excites you (and also affords you relief). It’s really rather ridiculous how much you wish to please people and hate to see them disappointed, especially when you’re worried they see you as too frivolous. Really, you just care a little too much and tend to come off as obnoxious and excitable. You’re working on it. At any rate, the jerseys are beautiful and paid for and fit absolutely perfectly so you race back to your room to preen in one for a moment. You are disappointed that it will be too hot to wear them for a while.

The Burn:

You decide to work out, even though you really hate sweating and taking the time to go to the gym. But it’s a perfectly nice gym and very accessible and free because you’re a student, so you know you need to go. You bike, fervently and fast, for twenty minutes and are inordinately pleased when you manage to make 4.8 miles. At a decent resistance too! You grant that maybe this whole exercise thing isn’t too horrible after all, even if you are bright red and melting. You then do a few arm exercises and are appalled by how slender your arms are and how little weight you can manage. You know you aren’t the Hulk, but you are a little put off.

New Growth:

A fellow gardening novice, heretofore known as Fun Size, comes to your room for some dirt. She hast two marigold sprouts that are quite happy and perky, but need to be transplanted into a bigger container. You have potting soil and she has the pot, so gently, you show her how to free the roots and dirt from their current spot and sit them in the dirt-filled pot. Then you both finish filling the pot with dirt and press the soil firmly into place. You reach to push one stem a little further to one side and hear a little snap. You freeze in horror. You both have been doing so well at not killing things and all of sudden, you have just killed a friend’s plant. She dissolves in laughter as you dissolve into near hysterics and fountaining apologies. You are so very sorry. Finally, you both resolve to gently stick the split stem back into the dirt to hopefully take root and keep growing. Fun Size says she forgives you and you genuinely hope the plant will be okay because it is not nice to hurt other people’s plants.

Time:

It’s time for you to begin writing again. There are no more time excuses (there will never be time), or worries about content (there is always something and nothing to write about), or just sheer apathy (that never builds character). You miss it and you know you need it and fear of being trite and ordinary and unimportant is not the point. Writing is the point. And you know it. So you open the tab. And you write.