Saturday, April 16, 2016

To the Lady who Inspires Me

Last night I finished my work in the call center and picked up my phone. I scrolled through my contacts until I found the one I was looking for and made a call. She answered after a few rings, and within moments we were lost in deep conversation, as we are prone to do. We talked for two and a half hours, and by the time I was forced to say goodbye due to my phones battery life, we had cried together and laughed together.

Right before I moved to Minnesota, this friend and I got together for a "one last," before we both went our separate ways. She was actually moving to another state a couple of days before I would be, and we were both excited. We were ready to follow our dreams and start this new phase in life. There was fire in our hearts and hope in our eyes and we were ready to take on the world. Until last night, this was the last time that I had a true conversation with her. We've sent a couple of texts, commented back and fourth on Facebook, the usual for long distance friends, but hadn't yet picked up the phone to really talk. I value and cherish this woman incredibly, and she continually inspires me to keep pressing forward through the hardship and trials. She's amazing.

The fun part is, we used to hate each other. When she first started at the job where we met, for some reason, I honestly have no idea why, we just couldn't stand each other. For the first couple months I would groan every time I realized I would have to work a shift with her. We really just couldn't stand each other. That all changed when a mutual friend of ours and I decided to go out for the night and she randomly invited this friend. I told myself to get over it and enjoy myself anyway and I did. Now I consider her to be one of my best friends.

Where am I going with this post? I honestly have no idea, which is probably one of the worst mistakes I can make as a writer, to start a project and not know what the end game is. Let me stop and evaluate my thoughts here, let me try and figure out what it is I want to share with you other then the fact that my friend is important to me.

Okay, here we go. I guess, the reason I wanted to write to you, what's been on my heart since last night when I said goodbye, would be the value of true friendship. I have people in my life that I know will always be there for me and God has sent into my life to help me walk through hardships and struggles. He has given me the kind of friends that I don't really talk to for months, but when I finally do connect with them, we are able to talk for hours.

Be genuine with the people in your life. Almost everyone in this day and age has trust issues, but lay your heart on the line every now and then. Take a step back and stop thinking about yourself, give the other person a chance. Get over yourself for just a second and be upfront and real. Show them who you really are. There's a small chance, just a small one, they'll become a lifelong friend who bless you in more ways then you are able to count. 

With Love,

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Goodbye to Arthur

Here I am again, returned from Spring Break awhile ago, and into the full swing of life here at BGU. This last weekend we had our Campus Preview Weekend. We have a great host of prospective students come and stay with us so they can get a feel for what life on campus is all about. It's fun and exciting because you get to meet so many new people who have the same calling to missions as yourself. However, for introverts such as myself, it can also be exhausting. After two days of life back to usual, I'm just now starting to feel like myself again.

If you received my newsletter, you may have read about what happened with my car over Spring Break. If you did not receive my newsletter and would like to, you can add yourself to the mailing list  right here, right now.

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If you did not hear about what happened to my car, let me sum it up for you rather quickly. There was an unfortunate accident, and, well, you can see for yourself. My poor baby didn't fare so well. 

After several calls and discussions with insurance, they announced that it was a total loss. I cried. I cried a lot. I don't cry very often, but when I heard they couldn't fix my car I really, really cried. I loved my car. It wasn't just a set of wheels and a gas tank, his name was Arthur, and he was my partner in crime. We had some great adventures. 

I cried even more when I found out I would not be seeing any of the insurance money. While it was fully covered, I still owed money on the vehicle. This now meant I would no longer have my Ol' Faithful, but I would be completely without a car. 

If you are somewhat familiar with me, and who I am, in general, as a person, you may have noticed that I have a fairly strong independent streak that runs right through the center of my heart. I'm what some people might call a free-spirit, an adventurer, and I don't really need you to do my exploring. In fact, I really like doing it on my own. It's not that I don't like you, but going on adventures by myself is how I destress. It's a huge part of how I refocus my brain and keep myself moving in the right direction. 

Here's the thing though, when I decided to follow God and come to Minnesota, I gave Him one condition. "As long as I have a car. As long as I'll be able to keep my freedom." He didn't really have much to say in return, but I was able to get my car and happily headed off to the freezing tundra. 

God saw things I wasn't willing to recognize though. He saw a wall I'd placed around my heart, and He saw pride. Pride in a hunk of metal and four tires. He saw a girl who was willing to give it all... except for her "freedom." He saw this, and He knew that she would never be able to live the life He'd called her too if it wasn't addressed. Sometimes God speaks in a gentle whisper, reminding you of who He is, and what He would like to see from you. Sometimes, a car comes from nowhere and smacks your pride and joy, leaving it useless and forcing you take a step back and reexamine yourself.

I realized I needed to stop holding the idea of who I am in my car. My freedom and independence, my free-spirit, my solitary expeditious ways, that wasn't what mattered. What mattered was that I was holding all of that one level above the call I have in my life. I had conditions that needed to be filled in order for me to obey.

So, now I'm trusting Him to provide transportation. It has been a struggle for me, to ask other people for a ride, when I'm the one who is generally able to offer the rides. It's been a struggle to not be able to grab my keys and just go. It's been a struggle when I feel trapped in one spot. I'm struggling guys, but at the same time, I'm learning that my identity isn't within what car I drive, or where that car can take me. It's in what Jesus Christ did for me on calvary and how far this story of true love can take me. 

With Love,