When am I going to learn that listening to, reading, and eating certain things directly effects my attitude along with my relationship with God? Also, when in the world am I going to figure out that the world is not falling down simply because I have a bad day? And also, when will I get it into my head that God has got everything under control, even if the outcome isn’t necessarily what I was expecting or hoping for, but rather ten million times better and more fulfilling?
Needless to say, today reminded me that I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF MY BODY. Last weekend I stayed up until two in the morning and then got up at eight in the morning, and I did that Sunday night and Monday night. On top of all that, I’ve been eating sweets and drinking sugary tea and I DRANK COFFEE…French press, to be specific, which was a really stupid, stupid, stupid idea. Also, I haven’t been able to workout since last week, which has really driven me crazy. I’m such a doofus…but at least God has given me the perspective to realize what the problem is instead of thinking there was something very seriously wrong with my brain and my outlook on life. God is good 🙂
When I woke up this morning, my brain was clouded by discomfort and frustration, even though the day hadn’t even really started. I was upset that classes hadn’t been cancelled (which was really immature and rather idiotic of me, since, when I’m myself, I love being a nerd and learning new things and having class). I was also upset that I had finished this week’s Bible study homework…I was actually annoyed with this….wow. Instead of being absolutely excited about having church tonight and about waking up to life, I was annoyed that I hadn’t finished my Bible study homework…
All morning, I was the exact opposite of myself. I couldn’t focus and I was whiny in my head, which, even though no one could hear my thoughts, was embarrassing and rather pathetic. After my first period class, I decided to go and run and then take a long shower.
I went and ran for almost two miles. Unfortunately, while I was running, planning on running until my legs decided I should stop (so about four or five miles), a show on one of the many television screens in front of me displayed a homosexual couple being affectionate. It’s not because I’m homophobic that I left, but rather because I don’t want to see that…it’s wrong, just like lying, murdering, or stealing. And while the people are loved, the homosexuality is not.
After getting back into my dorm, I had a small meltdown, asking God how on earth I’m supposed to keep my thought life clean if there’s stuff everywhere to trip me up, about how all I’d wanted to do was run. It was pretty bad.
Once I took a shower and changed into fresh clothes, I felt much better. While I was very tired and incredibly hungry, I was at least comfortable, trying to eliminate each hindrance until I felt like myself again. The worst part about all of this is that I seriously thought something was wrong with my heart or with my attitude or something deep like that, but it was actually just my body freaking out on me!
My Studio professor, without my asking, wondered if he might read some of one of my novels that I’m working on currently. I was pleasantly surprised, but incredibly nervous. I wasn’t sure what he’d think of either of the novels I’m working on at present…then of course there was the decision of which one to present to him: fantasy (spiritual allegory) or realistic fiction. I decided I would choose later, because at the moment I was starving and about ready to fall over.
In the cafeteria, I continued my interviewing of people for the Creation v. Evolution article….it’s really difficult. Why? Because every time I ask someone what they think and why, I feel the urge to burst forth in discussion about Creationism and why it makes so much sense and about the misconceptions and misunderstandings that tag along with this discussion of Creation v. Evolution. Why can’t Creationists be considered scientists? Aren’t we always taught in elementary school that anyone can be a scientist through observation and experimentation? Science is all about interpreting the world around you, observing what you can see. But tack God and faith and the Bible onto science and it’s no longer science, but rather some crazy concept of human origin. Unfortunately, I am not a scientist, at least not by study, and my knowledge of the specifics of how different aspects of evolution and even those of creation work and fit into everything is very limited. I will, however, say this: when I ask people what they believe, they more often than not, while somewhat choosing evolution for its wrongly assumed practically and reality, desire to believe that the world is not here by accident, that things around us are so perfectly and specifically designed that there’s no way it all could happen by chance. Humans crave purpose, hope, and love. Evolution can’t account for these.
I ate food, and then returned to my dorm for a very long, much-needed nap. I’ve been experiencing headaches lately (which is weird because I never get headaches…except of course when I don’t get enough sleep, drink coffee, and eat a lot of junk food), so after I woke up from my nap I gave in and took some medicine (I hate taking medicine) because the pain had continued for about three days. I then grabbed my things and headed to church.
Church was very refreshing. It wasn’t a normal night; the men and the women were divided into two sections and the Pastor’s wife, Melinda, spoke to the women, while the men had a conference in a separate room. Melinda talked about the six basic needs of women, which are, according to Tony Robbins:
1. Certainty, or assurance of avoidance of pain and gain of pleasure
2. Uncertainty or variety; the need for the unknown, change, and new stimuli
3. Significance, or feeling special and important
4. Love; a strong feeling of union with someone or something
5. Growth; becoming more knowledgeable
6. Contribution, or having a sense of focus on helping, giving to, and supporting others
This is the actual outline of the program, and as I look it over again I can’t help but see how true it is. Some of these I realize are also experienced by men, but because women are so much more emotionally aware, these needs are blown up to intimidating proportions. Melinda then went on to explain two ways to fulfill these needs: fear or faith. Fear is obviously trying to fulfill the needs on your own, attaching yourself to a person who will only let you down, attaching yourself to your children until they’re no longer living with you and you no longer feel needed, or attaching yourself to church and being reminded of the fickleness of human nature, despite it being in God’s house. “Fear is trying to control everything around you.” Mmmmmmhm.
But then there’s faith. Now, it’s easy to say, “You can fulfill all your needs if you just have more faith,” but it’s a completely different story when you’re sitting in the middle of a big problem, a very real struggle, and you have to exercise faith or else your world might just fall to pieces. I realized, while also seeing my poor maintenance of my own body, that I had fallen into the habit of idolizing a person again, the same person as last time, as I went through this study with Melinda and all the other ladies. Thank God for showing us when we’re idolizing someone. “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs he returns to the earth, on that very day his plans perish” (Psalm 146:3,4, ESV). Wow. So, recap: people can’t save you. No one, regardless of how fabulously awesome or inhumanly kind or seemingly flawless they may be, can fulfill you the way God can. People will ALWAYS let you down. Does that mean you should never put faith in anyone? To quote Paul, “by no means!” It just means that, when it comes to people, you can’t bank on their saving you, on their being there for you every time, on their loving you the way God loves you. God needs to come first; His love is what has to fill your heart; otherwise you can’t experience the beauty of loving someone through the lens of the One who created love, who is love itself. Man will pass away; man is fragile and temporary. God is eternal, and never changes, never leaves, never lets you down.
But the other thing about faith is, and I loved how Melinda pointed this out, we often say “let go and let God…have it happen exactly the way I wanted it to happen.” But this is rarely the case. God usually does something we never saw coming when we just get out of His way and let Him be the One, true, awesome God that He is. “Let go and let God” means letting God do with a situation whatever He has planned and not banking on what you want to happen.
This was exactly what I needed to here. Lately I’ve been wondering what will happen if God’s plans aren’t the same as my plans. It’s like I have this set timeline…actually, no, it’s more like I really have no idea how I want things to go, but I know that I want them to go my way, which is really stupid. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38, ESV). While I know this passage doesn’t appear to have much to do with the future, it’s the first passage I thought of when thinking about God’s plans not being like mine.
The thing is, I don’t know what God knows…I don’t know what the future holds, which I think is what scares a lot of people, knowing that plans can change in the blink of an eye. But the one constant thing in my life is God’s life. I can’t be separated from it, and it would be a sad thing to see myself think that I can be.
Another thing I realized today is that there’s one area of my life that I’m being particularly mistrusting and stubborn in, and I realized that one area of my life was effecting every other. Because I’d been holding bitter control over this one area, refusing to let myself hope for a particular result while it’s in the hands of God, I had begun to want to control every other area. Fear: trying to control everything. So, I’m letting myself hope for God to do what God does best, and that is proving me wrong, showing me that I had absolutely no clue, while simultaneously reminding me that He is ultimate 🙂
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.” —Psalm 147:4,5, ESV