Wednesday, January 22, 2014

the great unknown




Long time no update! Life has been rushed and busy lately. I guess I should be thankful for the time in the life when I have the freedom to be gone for over 12 hours day, but right now I am tired. 
Honestly, I am a bit sad because I feel like Christmas escaped me and I didn't really get to savor it. 

So much has been happening and I'm anticipating so much more to happen in the next couple of months. At work, there has been some tension and frustration that has built up and I believe it is to the point that action and change must be happen. Great, but that means my role may change a bit. And to be honest, I am honestly, ridiculously, steadily nervous. When I start to think it, fears and doubts begin to fill my mind.  Alongside that, inadequacy and comparison has been burdening me.


"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth", "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit - just as it has taught you, remain in him." 1 John 2:20,28

He fills all. I will be encountered by new situations or uncertainty, but the Holy Spirit will guide and teach.  All things. There is nothing He cannot guide me through. It is just scary because oftentimes teaching comes through experience and mistakes. Also, it means in this time of newness and fears, I need to remain and seek Him. 

I have songs that I fall in love, that articulate my season or my struggles and thoughts.
Over the last few months, one of these songs would be 'Oceans' by Owl City.
'Take me deeper then my feet have ever wandered, where my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior!'
'You called me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail.'



Monday, December 16, 2013

Denny's

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind. So much has been happening, and so quickly!

I look at the next couple of weeks and instead of excitement and eagerness, a sense of tiredness comes over me. One person to see, another party to attend, another opportunity to go and do. When is the time to be still?

On Tuesday, I got off of work and decided to go to Dennys. I've discovered no matter how many time I try to study at home, I always end up falling asleep. Dennys seemed the only business open late that I could study at instead! I sit down and Zach waits on me. He is a nice young kid and we talked a little bit about where he is from and his job. As I am writing down notes, the other waiter Benni stops to ask what I am studying. I find out two of his nieces are living with them and one of them is 16 and just started getting mail from different colleges. I tell him what I'd like to do with an international degree and then we discussed churches!

A few minutes later (after witnessing a pay-it-forward in the process), Benni nervously stops at my table.

"Just be obedient..." he whispers under his breath.
"Know that you are beautiful inside and out and that soon you will be faced with a big decision. Choose right and know that all will be well. God loves you," he says to me.

How do I respond to that??
"Thank you. Thank you for being obedient. I know that it can be hard to approach a stranger and to be obedient. I appreciate it."

A few minutes later, Benni offers a pumpkin coffee, on the house.

As I nearing the end of my studying time, I stop the waitress Sarah to tell her I love her hair. Sara is 19 and joining the Navy in February.

I am finishing my water and packing my books when two college students approach my table and ask to use it, for access to the outlet.

"Go right ahead, I'm about to leave!" I say.
"Oh don't worry, you can't join us," is Anthony's response.
"I really need to leave anyway."

We began talking and realizing that we know a lot of the same people, they are involved in this Christ ministry on the college and he goes to a nearby church. Anthony is a man who is not afraid to ask questions. He asks me if my church is spirit-lead. Knowing what he means, I try to explain that it isn't in the same way was Freedom. I also explain that I believe in gifts, but it has been a journey and I still struggle with not having experienced them in my life.

Thennnn, in walks Jordan and Sneed - two of my friends from LIT! We hug and begin talking.Apparently they all were at Denny's the day before, and God showed up! The Holy Spirit revealed things to Anthony and Jon Beadle and waitress broke down in tears.

Throughout our conversation, we talk about spiritual gifts because Anthony mentions my struggle and desire to see them in my life. Before he leaves, we all get together and pray. Sneed turns to me and after asking me if I like to talk, tells me that he saw me on stage, speaking to people - professionally. It was a group of women though!

Sneed finally heads out, and Jordan and I talk. We talk about so much, Valerie, bible study, travelling.

Jordan encourages me to try prophesying, so I close my eyes and try to paint a picture on this canvas. Nothing is happening. FInally it hits me, why am I trying to paint a picture instead of developing a photo? So she asks me to see if God wants to tell Sara anything. I try to focus and if I can see anything, it is a sandcastle - very faint and distant.

Sara approaches our table and so I asked her if she likes sandcastles.

"Yeah. Why, do you not?"
"No. I do...."
"THe last time I made a sandcastle was also one of the last times I saw my dad"
"Woah! Crazy! Do you know what? On Sunday we were talking about father figures and about how we all need healing from our relationship with our parents. Ultimately, we need to find our father authority from the true father."

After she walked away, Jordan looks at me with big eyes.

"Last night, at Denny's, she was the waitress who was crying. Anthony told her that God revealed to him that she was sexually abused by her father as a child."

Jordan later looks at me and says, "I see you with your hands behind your head, in a meadow with clouds around you. You find rest and peace in God's presence."

Instead of leaving at 10:15 as planned, I left at 3:00 in the morning.

I do desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophesy as Paul encourages. I used to feel wrong and selfish for wanting it, but they were encouraging.
They pushed me out of my comfort zone and I'm glad.

I want to and I know I ought to serve, so sometimes I go into situations (like volunteering at a camp or helping lead a bible study), and I'm scared, unsure of what to expect and I do not feel confident at all. But I know I just need to obey and God will honor that and use it. I need to go beyond my comfort zone and my will in those situations.

Why do I feel it is different with spiritual gifts? I was waiting for this strong spirit to take over and to speak with such power that I had no control. But that isn't God. I need to take chances, to be obedient with the gifts also and God will meet me there also.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

happenings

So sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time stalking other people and staying updated with the Facebook happenings of my acquaintences... instead of documenting MY OWN LIFE!

Silly, I know.

Outfit posts, thoughts, friends, events, God: where have all my posts gone?

I will briefly update you on my life for now!

Every Sunday evening, I attend a young adult gathering called LIT - love, inspire, teach. About 30 individuals eat and fellowship within someone's house. Soon though, the room echos with bold and beautiful voices as we all sit and worship through music. How is it possible that each message seems so 'real' and heartfelt?

As the group has grown, the leaders have sought ways to maintain community, hence little LIT! Everything Thursday evening, a small group gathers at my house for food, games and fellowship. It has been interesting to see what goes into hosting, as well as who shows up, what the group ends up doing. I love it though. I love being a part of people's lives, conversing and relating.

I absolutely LOVE my photography class. So time consuming... so much for that CLEP test I have been 'studying' for. I honestly would do film photography for the rest of my life is someone would pay me. Any takers?

I do wish I had more time in a week. The last week, I have gotten text messages 4 individuals about hanging out. A couple of them were very unexpected, and so I really want to follow-up and to make myself available!

I was running and doing pretty well with it. I ran a half-marathon distance in September, but the last two weeks have been terrible, between the time change, more commitments and unexpected events and school. Once again, more time please?

I love my family with a passion. Oh they keep me entertained. They have helped me in so many ways.

Also, I love my boyfriend. Brian, you are the best. Honestly, it has been the best 2,5 months ever. Thank you for being by my side and oh so patient.


December

It is already December and my favorite semester and class is coming to a close already. What?

I want to continue film photography. I love it so much - I wish I could do it for a living.

Last Saturday, Brian and I spent the day together. Brian took me to lunch at Eden Cafe, but afterward I took him to get his belated birthday dessert. We got lost on our way to Pie in the Sky, but it was so worth it. I think God orchestrated it. One of the waitresses was telling a coworker about how she was going to work at Wal-Mart after she got off. A few minutes later, I asked her more about it and we got to talking. She just moved from California 2 months earlier and is working at Pie in the Sky in the day, and Wal-Mart 9 P.M. to 6 A.M. I gave her my phone number and so it was neat to give her the opportunity to make some friends.

3 months - it doesn't feel like it has only been three months. So many firsts have happened. Time flies and each day I feel either challenged or closer and closer.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

running, emotion, need to breathe

Here I am, on my bed again. I am breathing audibly and emotionally, makeup smeared.
Today I went for a run. Let me take you back first, and give you some context. Since my class last fall, I have grown to enjoy running. I kept up with it during the spring, but it was pretty nonexistent during this summer. It was too hot, and I was too busy. This past week the weather has changed, and I've decided to get back on the ball after noticing the change in my body.
I ran a mile on Monday. Wednesday I ran 3 miles. Thursday I ran 1.
That brings us to today.
I have conversations with myself about exercising. (Maybe that is what i am lacking in the food arena?) Every run, I imagine scenarios where I pass out.
Go out and run at least a mile Bethany. You don't have anything else to do and it is a goal.
I go out and start running.
Not so bad yet. I can probably do 2.
Once that thought is in my head, I cannot turn back.
What if each mile was a pound of weight off? Think about all the junk food I have had in the past 48 hours. I have enough energy. I won't die.
That leads me to 3.
Not so bad for having only been a week of exercising.
I am nearing the end of mile three. I am hot, my face is the color of a raspberry, I am breathing loudly, sweat is dripping down my forehead and I cannot wipe it on anything.
Maybe I can walk a mile. Then run a mile?
So I begin walking. I start running at 1/4 of a mile. I run, but my legs are more stiff.
I try to calculate the distances/ways I can run a full mile, without having to go the full circle. I see a figure.
Maybe it is Julia? I see Khaki. No, she is running her hand through her hair like Mom. I hate running in front of people I know. Family.
I turn around and run.
I am finishing up the 4th mile when I think about my sister and her sadness. My wanting to help, but being rejected. I slow down to a walk and all of a sudden depression and sadness overwhelm me. 
No one really loves me, or shows it. They are self-centered friends. Family who I don't get the affection and encouragement I long for. Friends who I have grown distant with over the summer. I love to ask questions. I have no one who asks me questions.
The deep pity lasts about ten seconds and is gone. All of a sudden I get choked up and tears stream down my face. I start gasping, hyperventilating maybe. My throat felt swollen and I cannot get the air I long for.
It was so strange. The strange, unexpected sweep of pity.
The tears that started when I could not get the air I needed.
Here I am shivering, as the cold air contacts my hot body and the layer of sweat I have developed.

from 8/25/12