Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
ps. i know this is COMPLETELY random. for some reason i had to get it out.
Dreams, can you be normal please?!?! none of this friend going behind your back and getting you tattooed or dying your hair crap anymore. ew.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Something that I have found myself doing and desiring to do lately is finding Christ and knowing who He is. Not like "where's Waldo?" or "Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?" But finding who the Christ- like are. Now I know many Christians but they aren't being Christ. It kind of reminds me of that song by Casting Crowns. "If we are the Body, why aren't his feet going, why is his love not showing…?" it seems to me like Christians have left the body to form separate little ones. I mean you have these little denominations and types of Christians who get all into the details but never into the BIG PICTURE that is God and his glory and the Gospel. Its like some competition. We aren't loving, we are begging the community to come to us when we have been called to "go into all the world". I don't get it. But people hear the name "Jesus" or "Christ" and they think of these little bodies running around saying that that is who they are when in fact, they are nothing like him. The other day, I was talking to a church planter on a college campus. As a college student, I am wanting to help plant it and be effective and do church RIGHT. to me, church has become just as the church was in Jesus' day and age. It was all about the rules and technicalities and logistics and not about GOD. We've lost him somewhere. He's whispering from the back row, with tears running down his face, asking us to return to HIM. Today, Church does not equal Christ. Where did we go wrong?
But anyways, back to my talk with this college church planter. We were talking about the different church organizations on the campus. I proposed that we joined with them all in creating this church. He pointed out to me that some of the organizations were afraid to get lost in the shuffle and the crowd. Why should it be about a little body getting lost in the forming of the big body? Now we aren't trying to make a bigger body but create Christ.
I went back to public school while being in the private Christian system for 7 years. Its almost culture shock. Nearly every day, my faith is mentioned and often shot down. But its not necessarily Christ or Jesus but what we have made "Christ" and "Jesus" to be. We've tried to piece the body of Christ back together with these little bodies and made it look nothing like Christ. We've simply made a caricature of Christ when people need to see the real deal.
Here's another thing. I wonder how the Holy Spirit is doing right now. Its like we've all gotten together and voted him off the island or something saying, "oh its ok, people want to see what's going on. We can take it from here." Now the Holy Spirit still works and moves and has remained but its like He's sitting next to God on the back row longing for us to call on him to get Christ moving again.
I was watching a podcast the other day and the pastor was talking about the Love of Christ and how he is incomprehensible yet loves us so much. He showed a picture from the Passion of the Christ when Jesus was hanging there. And I was so moved. Not by what the pastor said but just the love that my Savior showed me. I had an "awe" moment. Do you ever get those? Where you can't say anything because words can't describe it? God has given me a lot of those moments in the past year or so. I wasn’t drawn to the Pastor, I was drawn to my SAVIOR. I was drawn to CHRIST.
What would happen if we made CHRIST the center again? What would happen if we WERE His body, not some caricature of him? What if we actually let God and the Holy Spirit actually be the center of our leadership and the way we do things?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The other day, my dad told me that I was a mystery to him and my mom. In a way, I understood what he was saying, because, to myself, I am a mystery. But I think I always thought I was this open book, you know? Like everyone could see what I tried to hide or that everything that was bothering was written all over my face but somehow, people were too oblivious to notice. Honestly, I don't know what to make of this realization. This fact that I am a mystery. I have friends who think they "know me" and mindfully I shake my head and think of how little they truly do know me. Why is this? Well I don't know for sure. Its kind of like violence, (I'm taking a culture and violence class, bear with my weird analogies). There are biological, social and learned aspects that contribute to the cause of violence as a whole. Same it is with me. Why don't people know me? Why don't I LET people know me? Is it because I find it hard to trust people? Possibly. Am I scared of people's opinions of me? Possibly. Will I or anyone else really know me? Possibly. Does my mask work that well, that people don't really know me? Possibly. If you ask me, I say that all of these play roles in the mystery of me. Along the way, some of my friends have given me nicknames like "Continuous Delight" and "Sunshine". I have often been thrown off guard by these names. I know sides of me most people don't, and I will be the first to admit that. And I've let them only see those sides. I've stated before that there must be a problem when our inner feelings come out, betraying us in sorts. In ways, I sort of still believe this. But at the same time, I wish my feelings betrayed me more. It would mean my mask wasn't working and that I could TRULY be myself. Not this made up presented person that I want people to know and like. I want to be ME, not some masked person pretending to "me". I want to live a life of integrity and honesty and love. That’s all I know. I don't know how I will get from who I am now, to who I want to be. I don't have all the answers. I feel like I'm fooling so many people. As I have said before, I am my own pet peeve. I want to be true. And maybe in time, I may find answers, I hope and pray to God that I do. Until then, please pray and hope with me that we become people of integrity and love.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Can I be honest with you? To be honest, I don't care how you respond, I mean I care how you respond but I'm going to tell you anyways :) You know, I find it strangely ironic. I talk all the time about being honest. About being real. About unmasking and being true. But wah la! I am guilty of hypocrisy.
You know what bothers me?
When people who pretend to be ok and hunky dory.
When people take so much but give so little.
When people judge/smite people that they don't even know. Or only know from an biased standpoint.
When people just stop talking to you.
When people go to Disneyland with dirty hands and touch railing that I touch. ACH!
(ok that last one, don't know where that came from… OCD… definitely…)
I have been my own pet peeves at times. It's worse when I am my own pet peeve; I find myself peeved that I'm my peeve. ;)
All Joking aside, for a moment at least, I need to be seriously honest.
About two weeks ago, I sat in my doctor's office. Luckily my mom was there to kind of say what I was too sheepish to say. Somehow the conversation got onto the topic of depression. If you had asked me a year before, I'd have been completely confident in my denying any chance of my having depression. But as I sat there, I thought past the last few months, the last year even. There would be no denying this time.
No I wasn't about to commit suicide, an experience with a friend who had considered it during the past year confirmed that never being an option for me. I'd been on the opposite side, I knew how much it could hurt those in my life. It just goes to show that experiencing something horrible like that can help you make the right decisions.
But I was depressed. It was painstakingly obvious but I could see it. I hid it well. Partially because I was still in denial of my having it in the beginning. It started while I was at school. Off-set by homesickness or just a wave of discontent or rejection or loneliness. Sometimes it wasn't as bad as others. It wasn't a day-long kind of thing. It was something I just dealt with; mainly at night, by myself, maybe with a friend nearby if any. It wasn't like I had really any reason to be depressed. I mean, sure, there were things that could get me down, but not like this.
I was better when I was around people. I didn't always have to fake it. Things seemed to get better when I was around friends and people I cared about. Got my mind off of it. God used them as encouragement and joy.
There were some nights that were painstakingly harder. They were few but hard. I grew from them, trying to find some beauty out of the horrible experiences. Good thing, God teaches in the broad daylight and even more in the deep darkness.
I eventually decided to go to counseling, just to sort some things out that I had come to realize had affected me far more than they should have. I was there for a month and it seemed to help.
Soon my time at CBU came to a close. I got home and was sad for a while, knowing that my chances of returning to CBU, where I had received such growth and community and God focused time, were very slim. I didn't want to register for classes at the community college. After a while though, I finally did, and got a job. I was pretty good for a while.
But then I was fired the day before vacation. I knew I couldn't get a job at this rate. The rejection I guess you could say, threw me for a loop. I didn't want to go looking for a job. Maybe I did but I lacked the motivation. I was sleeping all the time, doing nothing with my day. I still do that.( I think I'm just lazy) But I was snapping at my family. Over the stupidest stuff. I was like a bomb or something. Like an on/off switch. Fine one minute, moody the next. I hated it. I began to feel out of my skin and mind. Like I didn't know myself anymore. I mean, people confuse me; but this was ridiculous. My mind was always going it seemed, like there was so much to go after but no time to pursue it. (maybe that’s why they say a woman's mind is like spaghetti. We just don't have the time to stay on the same noodle.) I was distant and disconnected; keeping to myself.
So when the doctor asked me about depression, I 'fessed up. My mom asked me later how I felt about it. When I answered my doctor, I wasn't looking for more medication, or really giving myself time to react emotionally; I simply wanted to do what I could to make sure I was ok and that I wouldn't hurt my family in the long or short run. I mean, I don't like the idea of being on "happy pills", as my sister calls them, but if it makes things a little bit better. My thinking in this case, "The end justifies the means".
There is one thing I must address though. I have found the most peace, the most comfort in Christ. When I actually come before him. (see my last entry) My new medication isn't a cure-all. In fact, I've had one of my worst nights after beginning to take it. I pulled out my bible and began to read. God gives me doses of the best cures to emotional and inner pain.
I've been emotionally hurt at the cost of others' selfishness and humor and pride and pain. I've been emotionally hurt by being judged and being told that that is how I must judge myself as well. Learning to overcome these hurts are all in the process of healing. But first I had to admit they were there. Now I am slowly moving on.
Some of you may be bothered that I was faking it. How could I, of all people, the person who, just 6 months ago told everyone to be honest, fake it? Well, to be honest, its because I don't know who really cares. Half the time, if I told the truth, people wouldn't care and the other half would think I was emo or something. (did you know that "emo" stands for "emotional"?) and half of the emo half would probably actually care. These are rough estimates here but I want to be honest when it counts. Plus sometimes, it allows me to put that reason why I'm not doing good, and see why I AM doing good.
It still bothers me that people pretend. A lot actually. But I've seen it in a new light. I see myself in a way that most people don't, I've come to realize. I don't always see the best in me. But I try to put the best me forward. I allow others to see it and they in return, can show me the best in me when all I see is the worst. Though pretending still bothers me, I just see it in a different way sometimes.
Well, this was probably the one main thing I wanted to be honest about. I am supposed to be sleeping right now. I couldn't sleep an hour ago so I came out to write this. Yes, I can't believe it took me an hour to write this. I am leaving in 6 hours to go back home. I am now tired enough to get some sleep. Oh Darn you late night Epiphanies that keep me from sleep! Good night! Thanks for reading and letting me be honest!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Pedro the Lion is loud in the speakers, and the city waits just outside our open windows. She sits and sings, legs crossed in the passenger seat, her pretty voice hiding in the volume. Music is a safe place and Pedro is her favorite. It hits me that she won't see this skyline for several weeks, and we will be without her. I lean forward, knowing this will be written, and I ask what she'd say if her story had an audience. She smiles. "Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars."
I would rather write her a song, because songs don't wait to resolve, and because songs mean so much to her. Stories wait for endings, but songs are brave things bold enough to sing when all they know is darkness. These words, like most words, will be written next to midnight, between hurricane and harbor, as both claim to save her.
Renee is 19. When I meet her, cocaine is fresh in her system. She hasn't slept in 36 hours and she won't for another 24. It is a familiar blur of coke, pot, pills and alcohol. She has agreed to meet us, to listen and to let us pray. We ask Renee to come with us, to leave this broken night. She says she'll go to rehab tomorrow, but she isn't ready now. It is too great a change. We pray and say goodbye and it is hard to leave without her.
She has known such great pain; haunted dreams as a child, the near-constant presence of evil ever since. She has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide. Her arms remember razor blades, fifty scars that speak of self-inflicted wounds. Six hours after I meet her, she is feeling trapped, two groups of "friends" offering opposite ideas. Everyone is asleep. The sun is rising. She drinks long from a bottle of liquor, takes a razor blade from the table and locks herself in the bathroom. She cuts herself, using the blade to write "F*** UP" large across her left forearm.
The nurse at the treatment center finds the wound several hours later. The center has no detox, names her too great a risk, and does not accept her. For the next five days, she is ours to love. We become her hospital and the possibility of healing fills our living room with life. It is unspoken and there are only a few of us, but we will be her church, the body of Christ coming alive to meet her needs, to write love on her arms.
She is full of contrast, more alive and closer to death than anyone I've known, like a Johnny Cash song or some theatre star. She owns attitude and humor beyond her 19 years, and when she tells me her story, she is humble and quiet and kind, shaped by the pain of a hundred lifetimes. I sit privileged but breaking as she shares. Her life has been so dark yet there is some soft hope in her words, and on consecutive evenings, I watch the prettiest girls in the room tell her that she's beautiful. I think its God reminding her.
I've never walked this road, but I decide that if we're going to run a five-day rehab, it is going to be the coolest in the country. It is going to be rock and roll. We start with the basics; lots of fun, too much Starbucks and way too many cigarettes.
Thursday night she is in the balcony for Band Marino, Orlando's finest. They are indie-folk-fabulous, a movement disguised as a circus. She loves them and she smiles when I point out the A&R man from Atlantic Europe, in town from London just to catch this show.
"the world is too big to never ask why
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
"As a musician, I have a natural aversion to politicians. In fact, I believe in democracy simply because I distrust all politicians equally.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009
I leave CBU by 2pm tomorrow...
When I return, if I do, is unknown.
I've said "Goodbye".
I hate "goodbyes".
I've said "See You Later" in hopes that maybe, just maybe it will be true.
I hate "see you laters".
I don't know what to say anymore to those that I leave and are left by.
It hasn't hit yet.
But when it does, it will be painful.
Today I met someone and turned around and said Goodbye.
I keep meeting people; still.
I met a dear friend just a couple of weeks ago.
I said goodbye to her too.
I hate meeting people knowing that you have to say goodbye.
I hate it when people that are dear to me are shocked that I may not be coming back.
Even as I said goodbye to some people,
they didn't know up until then that I wasn't going to be able (at this point) to return.
I hate that.
I hate it when they seem to take it hard after I have somehow come to terms with it in some way.
I hate not knowing.
I told a friend of mine:
"I wish I could just take a peek at his plans"
It would make things easier; I think.
But here I type.
With most of my things packed away.
I can't wait to see my family and friends again.
But this year has changed my life.
I really hope that I will get to see these people and experience this again...
Thanks for reading...
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Have you ever wanted something and didn't realize that you were handed it till later, when you really didn't know if you wanted it anymore? You can say I'm there. Last semester I so wanted to get out of here, here as in CBU. I felt confined, like I couldn't do anything significant with my life, staying where I was. I longed for the day that I walked down the palm tree-lined drive (appropriately named Palm Drive) and going on with my life. I longed to something big; not something that I did from the confines of my extremely nice campus. I longed to go. But I felt bound; bound by the need for money and the need for education and bound by the demands of society.
Don't get me wrong. I really like my classes here at CBU. I absolutely love the people that God has allowed me to meet while I was here. But inside a war rages. Through my classes and studies, my eyes have been opened to the world beyond these shores. A broken world. But I have lived in my bubble; my bubble where I want to live comfortably but yet I ache for the broken world. I have lived in my "Christian" bubble for so long that I can't wait to get out. I have had days where I am so disappointed in Christians who claim to be "not of this world" yet live so similar to those in the world that there is hardly a difference except for the label "Christian." We are supposed to be hated, supposed to stand out in such a way that people can't help but ask what is it that we have that they don't. we are supposed to love. There have been times this semester where I don't see it. People care more about what they wear to attract someone and to look good without realizing that someone was beaten because they didn't make their shirt fast enough. We are numb. My blinders are off and it tears me up inside to see how numb my fellow Christians are. I don't put myself on a pedestal. If it seems that way, then somehow I have said this wrong. I have my numb moments. I fear that when I have the opportunity to go out, that I will be afraid of being uncomfortable and become numb. I don't want to stay numb because numb hasn't changed the world.
So I was thinking today. At this point, I will be unable to return to CBU in the fall due to money. I hate it. I love the people I have met and I finally decided on what I was going to study (my studies aren't offered at other schools either…). To this day, I am still forming friendships. I have 16 days left till I arrive back in Colorado. I wish I could come back. I love this community that has come with Christ followers. But I realized something today… this is my opportunity. I wanted to get away from my Christian bubble and here's my chance. My heart's desire for the past few months has been to change lives in a big way and I feel like I can't do it here. I don't know, maybe its just the way I am. I feel that if I'm going to do something, its going to be in a big way. Big impact to the extreme. Call me extreme or radical. Either I let God mess up my life that has been numb, or I stay numb. I can't be both. This is the door that has been opened to me. I don't know what is through that door but this is how I will take my walk down Palm Drive so to speak. I don’t want to leave my friends behind. I am going to miss them terribly and fear that it will fall through the cracks. But my plans have never worked. If God has set these desires in me and has provided a way for me to leave (In a shoving sort of way) then I can't turn back. If there is anything I have learned in the past year is that God works and he works better than me. This past year has been the toughest yet the best year of my life because of what God has done through the "ugly packages." My friend Cesar told me once, "God wraps the most beautiful things in the ugliest of packages." He's right. I would never ask God to send me ugly packages but those ugly packages have been the best things in my life. Same it is with this. I don't want this ugly package of leaving some of the most wonderful people in my life because of money. I would never ask for that. But I'm leaving and God is doing something amazing. Inside this package is something beautiful. It’s the opportunity (I hope) to do something big and the freedom to get out there. Maybe one day, I will return to CBU. I hope so. But God is going to do something big through this.
Some of you may be excited for me leaving (mainly my CO people ;)) and some of you may be sad that I am leaving (mainly my CBU/CA people ). If you are excited, thanks I guess :) haha But understand that I will miss this place. I'm sure I will fight MANY urges to just hop a plane and come and visit. :) For those of you who are saddened, I am sad as well but in me, there is a peace. God's ways are perfect and I know that he has a perfect reason for this. You have all blessed my life here and I thank God for you. I may come back, I kind of hope so but we will have to see. In fact, if God still wants me here next year, (it could happen) he will provide a way :)
I love you all and I thank you for reading, once again :)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Well first off, its Day Without Shoes day by TOMS shoes. I'm not wearing shoes today. Because I'm not wearing shoes, I can't eat. I know what you are thinking- "Barefoot... Eating... Foot... Mouth...HUH?!" According to California Health regulations, we can't go into the Cafeteria barefoot. Don't ask me why. Somehow i got to get breakfast without them noticing my feet were naked. But to me, my grumbling tummy is the small price I can pay. You see, people die from being barefoot. Yes, DIE. Disease is common and fatal. Many have to walk miles to get food or water. Children can't go to school because they don't have shoes. And if they were here on the CBU campus, they couldn't eat here either. If they can't eat here, i won't. I could easily put on flip-flops for a couple of minutes so I can get some food. But in my heart, I just can't. I can give up a few meals because I'm barefoot today. I'm not dying like they are. Their life is far more important to me than my empty stomach.
Another reason why I feel weird today? I found out that the clothes that I am wearing today, my whole outfit actually, was made in sweatshops. If you don't know what sweatshops are, find out. Sweatshops are overseas factories run by store companies (mainly clothing companies) that abuse their workers. I first heard about them when I read Irresistible Revolution. The author told of a story of a little boy who worked in such a factory. He wasn't working hard enough. His overseer hit him on his face and he began to bleed. To keep the blood from getting everywhere and to get him back to work, the overseer puts a lighter to the bleeding wound to make it close up. The boy now has a scar across his face- the price he paid for the shirt on my back. I paid probably 6 dollars or so for my shirt ( I get most of my clothes on clearance). It was probably originally about 15. That child got 13 cents in a DAY. a DAY, not for my shirt, a DAY. My shirt caused him pain. I feel like my clothes are splattered with proverbial blood. Why have we let clothing become more important than a life? More important than a child who barely gets by and is considered lucky to make my shirt? I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to keep my clothes. part of me wants to get rid of them, because I played a role in allowing people to be abused for my shirt.
And then there's another thing. (well there could be a lot more things but this is it.) Since when did our safety take priority? I was talking to a girl from back home about how we really wanted to go back to Mexico. She informed me that our church, who frequently goes down to Juarez twice a year, may not go anymore indefinitely because IT'S NOT SAFE. I don't remember anywhere that Jesus said "Go when it is safe for you to go, your freed life is worth more than their lives bound by the chains of Satan." You tell me where that verse is, and i will shut up. Can't tell me, can you? Sure, Christ can tell us when it is safe to go and if not, not to, but Safety shouldn't be the deciding factor. Jesus Christ, the one who DIED for us, said "GO all the nations." he didn't say only the safe ones or when its easy. he says GO, Go regardless. Christ didn't promise life to be easy. He promised us to give us life to the full but not a life full according to the worlds standard. He didn't promise safety but he promised to protect us and be with us always, as we don the full armor of God because it's war. No, it's not easy, it's not safe. The sooner we realize that and live accordingly, the more we can be used by God.
This is Who I am
- HI! My Name is Amy. Christ is my life. I don't know who I would be without Him. People are very important to me, especially my family and friends. I don't know what the future holds but I know that God has a plan for my life that is perfect and so is His timing. I am a speck created by Him and am grateful that He cares so much about me and is with me through everything.
Wait! There's More!
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