Axiomatic truths that I never really understood until just today:
1. It’s easier to pack things than it is to unpack them.
2. The Sticks is quieter than The City.
3. The only way for me to really be able to love other people is by learning to love God first, and the only way I can do that is by knowing who He is.
This morning I woke up and Jimmy, who shared my bed in our hotel room, had wrapped himself up like a burrito in “our” blanket. My hair was in an Afro-mood, but it was all good, because my mom was calling my name and God gave me breath to say to her, “good morning.”
It’s an odd thing, to hear your mother calling your name and waking up to her face after waking up to a sleeping roommate and a white ceiling every morning. It’s one of those things I didn’t know I missed.
The three of us walked about the room, getting changed and preparing to go get breakfast. I decided to wear a spring dress and heels today and my brother was so shocked that I had “dressed up.” Little did he know this was a relatively normal outfit for me…it was then I realized how long of a day it would be.
We got breakfast, and I broke the display that held bagels and whole wheat toast, stuck my elbow in yogurt, and fought the peel of an orange and lost. I know, you’re shocked.
When we returned to the room, before checking out, I sat down and talked to God. I prayed for Edward and Rebecca and Grace and Jenny and all of my New York City family, I prayed for my family, I prayed for the Brocks, and I prayed for me. I was struggling this morning with feeling incompetent and incapable and just a big mess up. But when we left, even though my heart was still wounded and my brain still fuzzy, and I was experiencing difficulty in being as enthusiastic as my family members about leaving The City and heading home, God reminded me that I’m nineteen…
Oh, right, I’m nineteen. I am NOT a thirty-year-old woman, or the president of the United States, or God. I’m a nineteen-year-old girl who’s trying to do the right things based on her relationship with the God of the universe and facing the fact that she messes up and that wonderful people happen to, unfortunately, get caught up in her mistakes.
The majority of the ride home was spent telling myself these facts, talking to God, going over the past few days in my head, ignoring the growing distance between me and Brooklyn, and talking to my mother and Jimmy. There was also a few stationary dance parties thrown in there along with some corny jokes about music 🙂
We stopped at the Roscoe Diner for lunch and then drove until we hit home. When we pulled into the driveway, it still didn’t hit me that I was home for the summer. We unloaded everything and I walked across the gravel driveway, the soft grass, and the stepping stones and dirt that led up to our front porch in my bare feet, and it felt wonderful.
Once everything was in I ran next door to see my Aunt Joan. I sat in the sun and talked to her for a while, and I realized then that I would be able to see her every day if I wanted to, and didn’t have to wait until the next time I came home.
When I went back home, Gracie showed me her new bike and I rode it up and down the street, wearing a dress and sporting bare feet pushing the pedals. It was then I really felt like I was at home.
Then it was time to unpack.
I brought most of everything out of bins and such, but then, when I looked at the mess that was my room, I just walked out and decided to take a nap downstairs instead, which, it turns out, was probably a smart move, considering how tired I was.
When I woke up about an hour or so later, I was ready to really unpack. Gracie helped me put most things away, which gave us some time to spend together, catching up and talking about what she was experiencing in her life. She told me about *cringe and shudder* boy problems (how on earth could my baby sister possibly be into boys? Don’t they still have cooties?) and, while I wanted to maturely instruct her in what kind of man God wants for her, I realized that she was too young to be thinking of that anyway…she needed to be thinking about what kind of God has her heart, and how much He loves her.
The conversation then transitioned into talk of her spiritual growth, and ended with my giving her a book and a challenge. I try not to look at my siblings and think “what’s wrong with you? What in the world were you thinking?” because I used to be in their position, and I remember being ridiculously confused about who I was and how I saw the world (but of course I didn’t have God and I was totally consumed by my emotions and myself and oh my goodness). God is teaching me to be more understanding towards them instead of so condescending. It’s difficult, but He’s patient and diligent and gentle.
Dinner was ready in a while…REAL food from home, not cafeteria food…and we set ourselves up in the living room with bowls of cream of chicken soup poured over buttery biscuits, watching Pride and Prejudice. Of course Mom, Gracie, and I were all swooning and laughing and enjoying ourselves…Jimmy, not so much. He’s not really into the whole unrealistic-fancy-speaking-Jane-Austen thang, but that’s okay 🙂
My father came home from work, my siblings and mother went to bed, and I did the dishes. Afterwards, as I was headed to bed, I hung out with God for a while longer.
It’s weird how I sometimes feel like I shouldn’t pray about the things that I want, because I feel like they’re not in God’s plan for my life. And then it’s like, “how in the world do I know what God’s plan for my life is?” If I have a pure desire in my heart I should talk to God about it. After all I am in a relationship with Him, and even though He knows my heart inside and out and understands me perfectly, He still enjoys it when I come to Him with these things, when I ask Him permission, when I spend time with Him and trust Him with the small things.
I read some more of Jesus > Religion and I ended the study time with asking God to teach me to love more recklessly. I too often get caught up in keeping my emotions so under wraps that I sometimes appear cold and removed, I almost overcompensate. That’s what my professors tell me is wrong with a lot of my writing: not enough emotion.
This, I believe, stems from the fact that I don’t fully trust God with my heart. What I mean by this is that I haven’t fully and completely trusted God to take my heart forward and mold it into the shape He wants it, to instill in it a love for the world that is unhindered by appearances, choices, speech, and mannerisms, to help me love recklessly as He does. Half of my heart is not enough for Him. He wants all of it.
So I asked Him to take it from me, to teach me how to love and to remind me of why my relationship with Him is so important. Without pursuing God, and being aware of God’s pursuit of me, the world looks terrible, frightening, and broken. While the world is this way, it’s through my relationship with Him and through His love and its influence on me that I can see the world the way He sees it, without the Curse, without the sin, without the flaws, and loving it accordingly.
Do not mistake me: God hates sin, despises it, but He loves, adores, treasures the sinner.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” —Luke 19:10 ESV