I have no idea how to write about the past days, from last Friday night all the way up until now. I’d like to say that all of it was jovial and perfect and sunshine and rainbows, but a lot of it has just been my talking to God, memorizing scripture and using it to fight the lies of the enemy, and trying to sift out the truth from discussion in class and being aware of lies in assignments and homework. It sounds paranoid and intense, and maybe even a little crazy, but hey, He never said it would be easy, or that I would look like the most sane person on the face of the planet 😛 Another part of it has been talking to Jacob and being blessed by him and learning more of who he is and how he sees the world, and it’s wonderful 🙂 He constantly surprises me and challenges me and all I can see is his running after God full speed, and that inspires me :).
Already there’s a pile of homework that’s equivalent to a pile of laundry sitting in front of the washer. No matter how much of it you do, the pile just never goes away. But it’s okay 🙂 Busyness, I’ve found, especially when you have a lot to think about, is good medicine, though it still falls under the guidelines of good things, and too much of it is no longer good. Then there are times when God wants you to sit down and just let Him put your mind at ease, not because you deserve it, not because you’ve just done so much for Him that He’s giving you a well-earned break, but because of who He is, and how He loves you.
“Hello, other crazy people who are awake at this hour of the morning.”
This was one many-layered woman’s greeting to me and Jenny last Saturday morning, before the sun came up over the Brooklyn borough, as we made our way to Sam and Maria’s house. Jenny and I had spent the night before talking about politics and discussing the rapture. We’d sipped on hot tea, since it was insanely cold outside, and talked about weddings and families and all of the things that women talk about when they get together 🙂 We fell asleep some time after one in the morning, only to wake up four hours later to commence a day of babysitting.
A couple of hours after we arrived at Sam and Maria’s house, after Sam left to take all of the people skiing, I stood in the kitchen, writing to God and talking to Him about everything. As I listened to Julie and Abby, talking about matching princess games and Candy Land, I wondered, both in the morning and throughout the day, if this was what parenting would be like, if it shed any sort of light on what it would be like if I were to be a mother. I can’t imagine being a mom or having children, but at the same time it seems like one of the most natural things in the world.
The average child asks 437 questions a day. I was asked well over a thousand in the span of the first five hours. And yet, even though I couldn’t mentally function by the time Jenny and I went back to her house, it was still a great day 🙂
Yesterday I was reminded of how encouraging scripture is and how important it is in this battle of the mind. When I say “scriptural arsenal,” I’m referring to the verses or passages of the Bible that I have memorized in order to be able to fight off temptation and remind myself of God’s truth so that I can stay focused on who He is. But I realized today, after getting through World Civ. and then folding laundry in my dorm, memorizing scripture as I walked around, that none of the verses in my arsenal had to do with fear, which is what I struggle with the most. For me to be wielding a weapon that fights one kind of difficulty when I need the weapon that defeats another is a dangerous and ignorant move.
Needless to say, when I took the time to focus on memorizing scripture that targeted fear as a whole suddenly Satan didn’t seem so intimidating, the future wasn’t so terrifying, the prospect of being vulnerable was still uncomfortable and uncertain but not as overwhelming. Lesson of the day: Never underestimate the power of scripture.
During Studio, we discussed a novel that’s written more like an anthology would be. At one point we spurred onto the tangent of cat-calling, and since there were only two guys in the room, they listened as the girls talked about their experiences and how awful it is to walk out onto the streets, even in perfectly modest dress, and being paranoid or afraid any time a man would walk by them. They weren’t berating the guys in the classroom, but it was more of a discussion.
Lately, because of the last time I became frustrated with this, and was challenged by Aunt Lori to pray for the men who treated me like a piece of meat instead of the daughter of the King that I am, I have been praying for them, smiling as I walk on the streets regardless of what happens or who whistles. Meanwhile, every time a guy opens the door for me, I make sure I say “thank you” with a smile, so they’ll keep doing it for other girls, and hopefully that will encourage them to rise to the challenge, though it’s a small gesture, of being gentlemen in a world where they’re emasculated.
During the discussion, when I brought up this perspective, particularly of encouraging guys and praising them when they do treat women as women and act like gentlemen, I’d forgotten how far into the minority I was. Of course, the opposing perspective was more “women should be considerate of men just as men are considerate of women,” and not so much that women should be small and incapable. But there’s a line. There’s a line between a nice boy and good man. There’s a line between a guy and a gentleman. And there’s a line between a sweet girl and a tender woman, between a gal and a lady. I have yet to completely define these lines, but I’ll get back to you on that 😛
Though I was in the minority, the conversation remained civil and the discussion continued for a few more minutes before class ended.
On Sunday, my classmate Alex showed up to church and I was talking to him about his relationship with Christ, and the conversation ended with my suggesting Bree and I meet up with him some day in the week to talk about the Bible and maybe study it out a bit. Then, on my way home that afternoon, I ran into Kat and Amanda, started talking to them, and our conversation ended with their being excited to meet up and talk about the Bible. THEN, when Bree got home later that night, I talked to her about it and now she’s coming as well. So, a group of my writing people and I are getting together on Friday to have a sort of religious talk, looking at the Bible and checking it out and just talking, just like we would any other day. I guess what makes it different is that it’s a set time and a date. Of course I’m absolutely terrified, but at the same time I’m really excited to see what they think and talk to them about things.
The major thing will be for me not to depend on my own smarts to power through this. I can’t do this by myself. I need His word and His determination and His focus. I need His compassion and His patience and a whole lot of humility. We shall see 🙂
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9, ESV