You know your day is going to be interesting when the first thing you say when you wake up is “My towel smelled like Fritos yesterday, and my other towel smelled like Cheese Doodles this morning; I feel like I’m wearing perfume made by a malfunctioning chip factory.”
Lately I’ve been having days that I honestly believe will go in one direction and one direction only, but the exact opposite happens, I’m thrown for a loop, and I feel like a complete doofus in the end. But I guess that’s what happens when I try to take control of things, when I act like I know human beings so much better than God does, when I pretend that I am the all powerful teenage Christian girl who knows absolutely everything on the face of the planet….
This morning I woke up feeling kind of gross, nervous about something I felt I had to do today. I took a shower, got dressed (able to look springy again) and went to meet up with one of my friends, Carly, for breakfast. First, however, I went and joined Bree at the registrar’s office to set up my classes for next semester. Ironically, I’ll be taking yoga as a class (don’t ask, I don’t know how it’s a class either). I’ll also be taking Intermediate French, Travel Writing, and my required classes. I’m excited about the French and the Travel Writing, because one is familiar and fun to me while the other is brand new and attractive. I should learn a lot 🙂
After getting our schedules together, Bree and I went to the cafeteria. We sat and talked for a while, munching on grapes and pancakes, talking about everything. She’s a real blessing to me. She listens to a lot of my nonsense and watches me pace back and forth in the dorm room without thinking it’s weird. God knew what He was doing, as He always does, when He worked our rooming situation out. Even in small areas, like a roommate, God was involved.
Bree left and I began doing my Bible Study as I waited for Carly. My emotions were insane this morning, going on a roller coaster through the dark, the seat belt broken, and it was really difficult for me to focus and not feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Before I could even do my Bible Study, I opened my journal and just wrote everything out to God, just asking Him for help, for guidance, for anything. I don’t normally get this way, I don’t think, where emotions are so big that I can’t see over, around, or under them. But they were there, and I needed to know that God was bigger.
He was 🙂
But I didn’t learn this until later in the afternoon…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The study this week continues to be on thought life, on setting yourself up for victory by not compromising with the enemy, by “taking every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).” This is really difficult. The thought life is the easiest to hide, but the only ones who know the thoughts in your head, good or bad, are you and God, which, when you really think about it, there’s no “only” when it comes to God.
Sometimes we think “only God knows.” But I think we feel like it’s more intimidating when the people we’re around know our most intimate thoughts because we can see and touch them. I think we feel that God is less intimidating because we don’t think He really sees everything we think, hears everything we listen to, understands and perceives everything we feel. But He does.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4)
Knowing that God knows everything in my head and in my heart is intimidating, but it’s also reassuring. I love the fact that God knows everything about me, that He’s in ma business, because it just further shows how much He loves me. It means I don’t have to catch Him up to speed when I come to Him with a problem, a praise, a conversation, anything. And when I know things in my brain are out of whack, when my thoughts are a whirlwind of nonsense, I can count on Him to make them settle, I can trust Him to sweep them into order.
Carly and I finished breakfast together and then the two of us went to look at an apartment. DON’T FREAK OUT. She asked me last night if I would go with her to look at this apartment because she didn’t want to go by herself, in case the neighborhood was sketchy or the conditions were bad and she needed a second opinion. I agreed with great enthusiasm.
As we walked to the apartment, I talked to Carly while talking to God. He was silent and my heart was still, which made me kind of frustrated. Some decision was going to be made today and I needed Him to be there for it (I know, what a silly thought), even though I knew in my heart He was always with me. I was getting angry with God.
Before we even walked into the building, a man walked in front of us, telling us, as we considered the apartment, that this part of the borough had one of the highest homicide rates in Brooklyn. We thanked him and then went inside.
The apartment was newly renovated, beautiful, chic, stylish, spacious. I even liked it, and I was really happy to see that Carly liked it. Afterwards, once she’d confirmed she would be taking one of the rooms, we walked back and stopped at this place called Dough, which happens to sell the most massively awesome cinnamon-sugar donuts on the face of the planet.
I ran some more errands when I returned to campus. During this time I realized how absolutely arrogant I was being by exerting my anger on God. I remembered Jonah’s end, when God was like, “What right do you have to be angry?” I kept trying to figure out why I was suddenly so emotional, and I felt really embarrassed for having the audacity to be angry over small things. That was a constant battle throughout the day. Around two-thirty, I headed out to meet up with Edward for tea and a walk. I really enjoy talking to Edward…he’s kind of awesome in a lot of ways. God has really blessed me with him, and I don’t deserve any moment of our friendship, but I’m so grateful for it.
Anyway, we met up at Church Ave. and headed towards Prospect Park, grabbing iced teas from Steeple Chase, a small but very picturesque cafe. We sipped our teas and talked about the air traffic (there were three helicopters ahead of us), we talked about Sherlock Holmes, we talked about tea, we talked about my clumsiness. When we arrived at Prospect Park, we sat next to the water and discussed feminism and homosexuality and human nature. After a while (and after some more conversation involving other things) we went and walked through the entire park.
While we talked, God used Edward to further vanquish my anger, to defeat my frustration, and to remind me that He is in control and that I don’t have to know everything that’s going to happen every moment of every day. God reminded me that He cares about me, and that even though He’s more concentrated on the things I need and the things He needs me to be able to do, He’s also concentrated on showing how He can love me through little moments of what I really want.
It was really beautiful today. It was supposed to rain, but God had other plans. I like to say, sometimes, that God is the ultimate weather man, not to be contained by the fantastic hair and pressed suits of our camera-friendly broadcast meteorologists. It’s similar to how we think God is limited by our circumstances, trying to imagine Him small enough to fit into the box of our brains. But it says in Ephesians that God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (3:20). It’s hard to imagine something you’ve never imagined, but whatever good we can’t imagine, that’s what God is capable of, and more. My head hurts just thinking about that.
We walked up from Church Ave. through Prospect Park until we were close to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and I walked home from there. By the end of our talk and our walk I felt much better than I did this morning, and I smiled and talked to God and listened to music as I walked home. The day had turned out to be one of the most amazing but also one of the most humiliating days of my life. I felt blessed and undeserving but idiotic and silly all at once.
When I returned to my dorm, Bree had a pint of ice-cream waiting for me and we had a good talk about our day. The rest of the evening consisted of talking to my father, who was tender and wonderful, doing homework, and feeling really…happy. Happiness is a weird thing. For a while it’s been joyful, I’ve had enduring joy, even if my circumstances aren’t what I’d like them to be, but right now I’m very happy, and it’s an odd feeling.
Tomorrow is soccer, and I’m uber excited. I’ll also be spending the night at Jenny and Rebecca’s for some much needed girl time. Did I mention that my heavenly father spoils me? Did I mention that life is kind of awesome right now especially? Did I mention that I don’t deserve any of what God has given me, and yet He’s given it to me anyway?
Well now I did 🙂
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” —Psalm 37:4, ESV