Three days, sleep deprivation, lots of laughs, the burning of many gallons of gasoline, and many hopeful thoughts later, I’m back home from visiting the Brock’s.
I’m so grateful that God gave me time and energy to visit them over break. It was odd having some of the family members missing, since some of them are place all over the country and countries outside of the U.S.A., but I still enjoyed being able to visit them nonetheless 🙂 God always blesses me while I’m there, whether it’s with a discussion or a bit of food for thought, whether it’s Hannah doing my hair or laughing with Leah, I always leave refreshed and spiritually replenished.
I spent the morning with Aunt Lori, folding laundry and putting the house back together after the weekend and talking. I then left, got lost because my directions had been misplaced, eventually arriving in Norwich. I was exhausted by this point; though I did feel refreshed, my body was still tired from sleeping so few hours every night. So I went to Dunkin’ Donuts to grab a coffee before racing home.
Now, I’ve never ordered a coffee, save French press at Brooklyn Commune, but that’s different because you put in your own milk and sugar. I figured a cappuccino was the same thing as a frappuccino, only a frappuccino was cold. Boy, was I wrong. I took a sip of my vanilla cappuccino only to discover a bitter taste of straight caffeine. I quickly remembered reading somewhere that a frappuccino has just about no coffee in it while a cappuccino is espresso with milky foam on the top. Hm.
I put gasoline in the car and then headed home. Once I walked in the door I went straight for the kitchen, grabbed the sugar dish, and poured half of it into the cappuccino. Yeah, I know it was stupid.
I sprinted from home and drove to Sherburne to have lunch, ice-cream, and a good, much-needed talk with a friend. It was the break in the ensuing madness of what was supposed to be a break from madness.
I went home after a couple hours of talking, then not an hour later I went to pick up my mother and my cousin from school. A few hours later, I went to my grandma’s house to begin house-sitting for her and my grandfather. They were taking a few days off to go away and celebrate their wedding anniversary. They had no Internet there, so I was unable to blog about my adventures (and, as you’ll soon find out, there were a few), but it was nice to be secluded. Their trailer is far away from civilization, at least compared to where I live in town. No Internet and no people except my Aunt Tracey, who was there with me.
Grandma and Pop left Tuesday morning while I was still asleep, so Aunt Tracey and I spent the day together. I wrote, fed Aunt Tracey and made sure she brushed her teeth and changed into clean clothes, and watched crime shows all day (while some of the content is disagreeable and rather gruesome, I do appreciate the complex and impressive means the detectives and officers take to come to a conclusion; it’s fascinating 🙂 ). I also let Helga, the block-headed (literally, her head is square) Rottweiler, outside and played tug-of-war with her.
Once nighttime came around, however, after I’d put Aunt Tracey to bed, things began to get a little creepy. Earlier that day, sitting in Grandma’s kitchen, writing in my journal, I was talking to God about how I was so glad I felt comfortable living with so little, how I’d be okay living by myself in a trailer like Grandma’s. When I went outside that night to let Helga out, she began growling into the hills covered in tall trees and thickened with woods, but I couldn’t see anything. She stood still and kept growling and I began to get very spooked, entertaining the irrational fear of there being a killer hiding in the sticks.
I took Helga back inside and began to hear noises that weren’t there. I became very aware of the movement of the trailer and the creaking of the pipes, all the while praying God would keep me safe. I knew in the back of my head that it was just my paranoia getting the better of me…of course I knew that, but at the time, as I shut off the lights one by one, my fear became bigger. I began to fear for my life.
I know, I know. There was no one actually there. But as I crawled into bed, surrounded by impenetrable darkness (the trailer, at night, lets in no light and you can’t even see your hand in front of you), I hid in Helga’s fur, trying to block paranoia and frightening thoughts, like some stranger walking in through the bedroom door with a crazed look in his eyes, or someone trying to beat down the door, or my death being totally unsolvable. I was also scolding myself for watching crime shows before bed…that was really idiotic.
The next morning, around nine-thirty, I woke up to Helga beating me in the face with her sharp-clawed paws, to the cats crying bloody murder because their food bowl was empty, and to stale sunlight pouring in through the cracks of the curtains covering the windows. I got up, seeing that Aunt Tracey was already awake and sitting in the living room, still in her pajamas and staring at the TV, which was turned off.
I let Helga outside, and while I was out there, I realized how silly I had acted the night before. What a coward I am. I had never stayed in my Grandma’s trailer by myself (I say by myself because I was the authority and therefore was responsible for protecting the animals and my Aunt Tracey…also, because my grandparents weren’t there with me) and I wasn’t used to being alone so far away from other people. I was also hyped up on coffee, skepticism, fear, and stress. I had pretty much set myself up for it.
I continued writing for the rest of the day, talking to God, drinking coffee, trying to plow through my ideas and keep my imagination rolling. I was exhausted, worn out, fatigued. But I needed to work and get things done.
Grandma and Pop came home and told me about their trip. I told them about my adventures as well. We had some laughs and then Pop drove me home. I stepped into my house, holding my bags and the two-dozen eggs my Grandma had given me before I left. My hair was in a messy ponytail, the skin beneath my eyes sagging and blue, my lips were chapped, and my knees were shaking. I was an absolute mess.
My mother was walking through the kitchen, on the phone with my brother. The news she told me after she hung up the phone made me shake my head. Sometimes you wonder how loved ones come up with the plans they do, as if those plans are intelligent at all. I guess it’s all part of supporting them, whatever decision they make.
This past weekend I learned something…well, a few things, but one thing specifically. I’ve been bothered by something for a while. For some time I’d been trying to shove some feelings into an envelope to dispose out of my ear, even though I knew they wouldn’t go away. I tried to rationalize them out of my life and deny them access to my hopes for the future, saying things like, “Oh that would never make sense,” and “That would take a miracle,” and “Oh I just don’t deserve it.” Finally I just told God exactly how I felt, what I wanted, and that, if it was in His will for me, it would be awesome if He could make it happen, but if He didn’t, then I would get over it.
While I was at the Brock’s, Hannah, Aunt Lori, and I were talking about relationships. Hannah said something along the lines of, if you leave a conversation with the other person feeling consumed by God, strengthened in Him, and pushed towards Him and His word, then something is right. And it got me thinking (dangerous, I know): have I ever experienced anyone like that? And it was during that conversation when I realized I had, which brought about a lot of deep-thinking and an eventual conclusion.
So I talked to God about it and told Him what I was feeling, and I found myself really confused but kind of excited, excited to see what God’s for this understanding would be, if any plan existed.
I’m not saying I’m going to go out and yell to the world, “I love so-and-so,” or “So-and-so is my soulmate!” Noooooooooooo way. I’m also not saying you should allow your feelings to govern you and your decisions. But I am saying this: God knows your heart and understands your feelings. He gets what bothers you and what things attract you. He sees your tears and hears your cries. He wants what’s best for you and cares about your desires. Be honest with Him about your heart, tell Him what’s going on and don’t try to be all mysterious about it.
Feelings are still tricky things, and they still emanate from the heart, which is deceitful above all things. But, not all feelings are bad, not all emotions are wrong. But it becomes a problem when emotions are our governing factor instead of the word of God. Emotions will always, in tough situations, bring you down or spin you around to have you going in the wrong direction. But God is always bigger than your emotions, and often puts things into perspective and points you back to pure intentions and zeal for His desire for your life, which is WAY better than anything you could come up with…believe me, I know 🙂
So right now I’m going to focus on college, on writing, on possibly being a camp counselor, and, as I will long after my youth has melted away, my relationship with the One who will always have my heart.
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O’ Lord, make me dwell in safety.” —Psalm 4:8
“Young women of Jerusalem, swear to me that you will not awaken love or arouse love before its proper time!” (Song of Songs 8:4 GW)