I’m pretty sure I”m the most awkward person on the face of the planet.
No, really. Yesterday I set my record for the largest number of embarrassing and awkward moments in a period of twenty-four hours. I don’t think that’s the best part though. The best part was first thing in the morning.
When I woke up, I was still tired, but I felt really good, and I mean REALLY good. I had that I’m-totally-comfortable-and-at-peace-about-everything-and-I’m-not-worried-about-anything good feeling. But it wasn’t from getting enough sleep or eating the right food or having all of my work done, even though these things were present…it was because I talked to God 🙂
I spent a good hour and a half writing to Him about everything and anything. I knew He knew about it all, but I wanted to tell Him anyway 🙂 It was really nice and that good feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day.
I had lunch with Charlene after renewing my use of Return of the King at the library. It’s taking me forever to get through it, but I shall prevail! I had sushi for lunch and Charlene had tomato basil soup. I told her about how, when I’d left the library, I’d held the door open for a middle-age man with an Arabic accent, and he’d stopped and looked at me and said “You’re a beautiful lady.” That was really nice of him, I thought.
After lunch I went back to my dorm, but to get there, because it was so cold outside, I decided to cut through the Photography building. When I went to open the door, I saw a man coming out, so I held it open for him. He said “thank you” and then offered to hold the door open for me. He reached across me to get the door, so I ducked under his arm, hitting it with my backpack. Then, when I thought I’d gotten through the door, I stepped on my own foot and fell forward, but thankfully regained my balance. I awkwardly said “thank you” and walked away, sanguine and smiling out of embarrassment…Maybe God is telling me to let men hold the door open for me instead of vice versa…hm.
The door on the opposite side of the building opened before a set of concrete steps that led up to the entrance of my dorm building. I opened the door without a problem, eager to get to my dorm, but then, when I went to run up the stairs, I tripped on the second step, my center of gravity being yanked to the side by my backpack and my hands and knees meeting the jagged concrete. In the same moment that I fell, I stood up and looked around, relieved that nobody had seen me. But then of course I reminded myself that God had seen, and I laughed, wondering if He was laughing too.
FINALLY, I got to my dorm and relaxed, trying not to think about how pathetically clumsy and awkward I am, but then laughing when I did.
God provided financially (again) as I was working on homework. I don’t know why it comes as such a surprise when He provides, when He rescues, when He protects, when He guides. He said He’d do all these things, and that means He’ll do them.
After Critical Thinking & Writing (during which my iPod went off twice as someone texted me), I grabbed dinner and walked back to my dorm, bypassing the tripping and the ducking and the falling. Bree and I talked and did our homework. She was packing to go home for the weekend and I was eating a roasted vegetable and mozzarella focaccia sandwich, seriously considering the possibility of becoming a vegetarian…but again I remembered meat and convinced myself otherwise.
I did homework for a handful of hours. Feeling tired still, I took a shower and changed into pajamas. But, then when I slid into bed at 9:00pm for an hour nap, I didn’t wake up until eight the next morning.
I had slept for eleven hours.
Bree had turned off my desk lamp and done her homework in the lounge so as to not disturb me, which I thought was really sweet of her. When I got out of bed, I had more energy than I was to having and I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with all of it.
I pulled out my journal and my Bible Study after finishing the homework I had half-completed the night before. Today was about the obstacle of legalism.
It is so easy to get caught up in “being a good Christian” and forget that God pursued you by sending His son in order to build a RELATIONSHIP with you instead of a legalistic system of give and take. Sometimes we can get into the awful habit of saying, “well, I’ve prayed every day for a week, so I’ll just take a break today,” or “I’ve been going to church every week for a month, I’ll just take a break this week.” It’s kind of like working out: “I’ve been working out consistently for the past few days, so I’ll treat myself to a bacon double-cheeseburger with an extra side of fries and a milkshake: I deserve it.”
Sound familiar? It does to me.
Word, Usage, and Style passed by quickly, and then I was able to have lunch with Priscilla. It was really refreshing to have lunch with another Christian, especially when I’ve been eating lunch by myself for the last couple of weeks. I don’t mind eating by myself, but sometimes when you spend a lot of time alone, it becomes easier for you to think about things too much, which happens a lot with me. So lunch with Priscilla was really nice 🙂
After lunch, I headed back to my dorm and did more of my Bible Study, getting ready for Studio. Studio rolled around and we had a great class dissecting dialogue and its structure along with how it works in a sentence and where it belongs and to whom it belongs. I was totally nerding out. I just want to say how absolutely grateful I am that I get to learn about writing and how to write every single day. It’s amazingly awesome and fun, once I get past the content.
When Studio ended, my professor talked to me about my separate assignment on describing the Bible. He said I was close, but that I needed to push myself further. He wanted me to just let myself write about the Bible, ignoring structure and proper grammar and whatever else was holding me back. So I have to write three pages on the physical descriptions of an old, worn-out Bible and a brand-new, never opened Bible. This is so cool.
I left Studio and headed to grab dinner before doing more homework and then eventually heading to Bible Study. I met up with Priscilla on the way to the dorms. On the street running parallel to the campus, right outside the cafeteria entrance, there were a bunch of trailers and costume trucks and different filming equipment. Priscilla and I got up close to one of the trucks with costumes and looked at the attire. We decided, based on the plain clothing and the odd colors, they were costumes made for extras. That’s one of the many things I like about The City. Things are always happening, whether it be the filming of a movie or a TV show, or a race, there’s always something going on.
As I was in my dorm, getting ready for church, I was just thinking about what a great past couple of days I’d been having, and then, out of nowhere, Satan hit me hard with my past and I actually fell backwards from the memory. It hit me square in the gut and, while I didn’t question my faith for a second, I was reminded that I’m in a war. But I was also reminded that Satan wasn’t going to win.
I left for the subway around six, getting on the ‘G’ train and heading to church. I began reading This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti, and I’m already in love with it. It’s intense, but it’s a good intense 🙂
When I got off the subway, I ran into Anita and we walked to church together. When I arrived at church, I just felt so…free. I don’t know how or why, but I felt liberated. Little did I know I was about to be liberated further.
Bible Study began, and when we began watching the video, I was really excited. As the study went on, however, I became, not so much excited, but shocked because I began to realize how much I’d been playing the victim in my bondage, how much I’d let myself “be at peace with” my bondage. What my bondage is specifically isn’t important; I had been entering into an agreement with the enemy and I was paying way more than I had expected.
Satan is the father of lies. He often says things like, “Considering your history, do you really think you’ll be delivered?” and “You don’t deserve (insert hope here) because of what you’ve done and who you’ve been.” Oh, and it’s so easy to believe, especially in moments of weakness.
In Isaiah 36, we meet Hezekiah being talked down to by Sennacherib, King of Assyria. Beth Moore had Sennacherib represent the enemy for us, and Hezekiah as the covenant child of God (us). So, Senn basically says “Don’t believe anything that Hezekiah says about God. Make peace with me and everything will be fine.” He then goes onto diss God in epic proportions, saying that He can’t deliver Judah and comparing the threatened destruction of the city to the other cities overtaken and destroyed by Assyria.
In Isaiah 37, Hezekiah basically says to God, “Lord, this guy is threatening me and my city. He is dissing You and Your greatness and I am not okay with it. Some of what he says is true. So now, save us, so that everyone can know that You are the one true God.”
Beth Moore then pointed us to something I’ve never caught before, though I’ve read this story many times. In Isaiah 37:23, God says, “Whom have you (Senn) mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against the Holy One of Israel!” She then skipped over to v. 28, where He says “I know where you (Senn) stay.” In other words “I know where you sleep.”
God knows where our enemy sleeps, and He is coming for him. I am God’s girl, and He will do nothing less than kill and destroy my enemy in his sleep. I am protected and hidden and loved and treasured by the King and Creator of the Universe. It’s my right, as a child of God, to be set free, to see my enemy’s destruction.
“But Christians are supposed to be peaceful.”
Oh I’m at peace all right…I’m at peace about my enemy being destroyed. I am so sick of cooperating with him, of making peace with bondage, of playing the victim when I should be reigning as a warrior of God. The way I’m fighting? Prayer. The result? War.
After Bible Study, I didn’t know what to say. I was so shocked at how I’d been living, so confused as to how I’d let myself be caged by Satan and by my past when I was standing within the bars, holding the Key in my hand. Why had I been letting Satan ruin my days, when I could’ve been ruining his? I’m on the winning side for crying out loud! I’m a soldier for Pete’s sake! I am not a victim!
By the end of the night, all I could think about was how fiercely God loves, protects, defends, and strengthens me, how I am a rescued and protected damsel, and He is my White Rider.
“By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake and for the sake of My servant David.”
—Isaiah 37:34,35, ESV