A movie came out this year with the title “Mom’s Night Out.” In the movie, the main character, Allyson, a mother of three toddlers and the wife of Sean Astin (also known as, Samwise The Brave), begins her story with a description of her life via blog post. In that post, she brings up an event that she apparently experiences on a semi-regular basis called “a moment.” “A moment,” is when she so absolutely stressed out and overwhelmed by her duties as a mother and a wife that she either crawls into a corner and eats an entire bag of Lindor truffles or she explodes in an emotional breakdown.
This is just about how I feel right now.
Yeah, it most likely has absolutely everything to do with the fact that I haven’t gotten more than four hours of sleep a night for the past five nights, the fact that I’ve drank iced-coffee every day for the same amount of nights, and that the big thing happened and I’m all thrown off by it. Sure.
I know that God is faithful. I know that He’s strong. I know that I’m human. I know that He loves me….
I’m just having a bit of a moment, so please excuse me.
Today was a battle with loneliness and the temptation to be like everyone else in how I act and speak and even think. It was difficult. For some reason, the thought of how much of a minority Christians are on this campus kicked me right in the teeth as the day came to a close. Does this mean God is any less sovereign? Definitely not. Does this mean that I’m human and I worry and I freak out about things that God totally has covered? Bingo.
But something wonderful did come out of today, even though my brain was yelling at me in absolute frustration with what my emotions were doing.
Travel Writing went by quickly, and the workshop I went through for my first Travel Writing piece was constructive and helpful in many ways. I wrote about the time I went to Washington D.C. with Beth, Hannah, and Grandpa Gene. I remember it very clearly because it was the first trip I’d really taken with the Brock sisters and the three of us realized how little we actually knew about each other. Last night I was hit with how much of a blessing they’ve been, the entire Brock family, to me. God is amazing 🙂
Lunch passed by and through it I read The Magicians by Lev Grossman. John Green compared this trilogy of books to the Harry Potter series, so I naively picked it up and began reading it (not just for recreation, but because he’s coming to Writer’s Forum and it’s imperative that I know as much of his work as I can). Well, I was exceptionally disappointed. The world itself, within the first couple of chapters, is interesting and the characters are written very vividly, but not only does the writing lack the classiness of J.K. Rowling, but it also lacks the pithiness and the far away-ness of the wizard-world of Harry Potter.
But I’m not a book critic, so you don’t have to listen to me.
Studio came. I have extreme difficulty in this class. My professor has a strong sense of dry and crude humor and he has absolutely no problem with expressing his opinion and he plays a game of instigation with his students. While I admire his confidence and his quick-thinking and even his occasional cleverness, it’s very easy for me to be standoffish towards him. I have this problem, especially with men, where when they do things specifically to gain a reaction or if they’re expressing a view without reservations, to the former I give no response except a sarcastic expression, and to the latter I play the contrarian to stop the flow of ‘humor’ and to make them argue their point or to see if they react. I never do this in love, however, but rather always in pride and out of a desire to be right. This is very bad and I’m really trying to work on it, and the fact that he is provocative on purpose makes this much more difficult.
Anyway, today was exceptionally hard. I don’t know why, but it was. I took things the wrong way and perceived something that wasn’t actually there, but thankfully God was gracious enough to keep me from saying anything too terrifyingly sarcastic. But that’s a war in itself.
Afterwards (almost directly afterwards) I had German class. Now, my German professor is an atheist, and she’s very kind and funny and generally a nice person 🙂 Today, my classmates and my professor asked me how yoga was going. I explained to them that I’d dropped the class. They asked why, and I stopped.
The reason, of course, is that I was personally convicted about taking the class about participating in the spiritual aspect tied to the postures of yoga. Does this mean Christians can’t do yoga? Not necessarily. It just means I’m choosing not to.
Anyway, I realized and contemplated in a matter of seconds the consequences of telling them the truth. Last year this was not a problem for me, being honest about why I do certain things….actually, that’s a lie, it was extremely difficult last year for me to be honest about why I do certain things. I remember in my first semester studio class when I voiced my opinion (quite hesitantly, I might add, after being instigated to do so) about how I didn’t feel anything we read really benefited us as people, especially considering the themes of vice and the staggering lack of virtue in the content of the books. That was hard to do, especially considering the consequences, which, in retrospect, where not as severe as I’d imagined. But in this moment in German class, I experienced a paralyzing fear that I’d never encountered before.
Regardless of how I felt, I said verbatum that I was a Christian and I didn’t think it was a good idea. My German teacher, quietly, said, “Oh, really, that got in the way?” Hm. I didn’t respond, and we continued on with class.
After German, I went to my dorm and changed for church. At this point I was already being overwhelmed by several factors of the day as well as the past couple of weeks and even the past couple of hours. My head felt so heavy and my chest hurt.
It’s amazing, I think, how God makes things work out and how He orchestrates the events and happenings of our lives without us being aware of it until after the fact. Sunday, I’d left my wallet in Rebecca’s purse (it’s sort of a not really long story), so Jenny was waiting to give it to me at church tonight. In a way, I had no choice but to go to church.
I went to church and vented to God in my head the entire train ride there, exhausted. When I walked into the sanctuary, twenty minutes late, and sat in the pew, I began to silently cry because of the emotional craziness that overwhelmed my head. Nothing really horrible had happened, no death or disease had afflicted me or anyone around me. I was just tired and emotional and I felt alone.
After church I met with Maria in the foyer. This is where the amazingness of God comes in. I knew the moment she hugged me that I would be crying, telling her my struggles, voicing my feelings to her. Of course, everything in me wanted to bottle up everything I was feeling and just be like “I’m an adult, I can do this by myself, I don’t need anyone’s help.” But God reminded me of how much He loved me and of how much Maria loved me. She asked me how I was. I said I was okay.
Then I stopped lying and said that I wasn’t.
She and Sam drove me home and I sat in the back of the car with Samuel while we talked. They ministered to me and encouraged me and I sat there like a four-year-old, trying to not cry and produce some kind of sensible answer to why I was being so ridiculous. But when they dropped me off, I was okay with the fact that I’d left my wallet in Rebecca’s purse, okay with the fact that I’d been honest with Maria, and okay with the fact that I was having a moment.
Christians have moments. We’re human. Saying that I’m human, however, doesn’t give me an excuse to sin. No. That is NOT what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that it’s during the times when I’m stressed or tired or frustrated that God works the most, opens me up the most, and grows me the most. Is it painful and uncomfortable? Oh yes. But it reminds me that I don’t have any control over my circumstances and that even if I try to plan and prepare for every possible outcome of every single situation God is still sovereign and He will purposely show me that I can’t do this on my own, that I need Him, and that I’m so human it’s not even funny.
So things are hard. I’m still tired and on the tail end of ‘the moment’, but God is still good. He still loves me. I’m still a daughter of the High King. He still has control of the future and still has good plans for me, plans to prosper and not to harm me, plans to give me hope. He’s still with me, even though I feel alone. And knowing that, the loneliness leaves, and I suddenly remember that my feelings are producing a weight I was never meant to carry, not as a daughter of God.
God, please stabilize me and remind me that my feelings are heavy and overwhelming at times and that You’re the only One who can help me truly feel free. Lord, give me wisdom in my everyday life and help me just depend on You to answer for me when I don’t know what to say. Help me not worry about planning or preparing, but rather depending on Your Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me what to say. Help me be diligent in the study of Your word and in prayer and in the application of all of this to my life, so that others can see Your glory, and not mine.
In Jesus’ name, amen.