Friday, April 20, 2012

I got a vision!

This title is emphatic. This title is charismatic. This title is not me.

But then again, it so is. It feels unnatural for me to say, "I got a vision." However, there is truth in the statement because about one month ago, as I was writing, I received a very vivid picture-analogy for the tone of this season and the next in my life. In my blogger bio (insert right arrow), you'll see that I've found God speaks to me as I write. More than that, though, I recognize God's voice in my life through any sort of process. As I write, as I speak to others, and as I talk myself through something, his marvelous wisdom sometimes peaks through and I'll catch myself feeling astounded that "I" just made that connection or said that insightful thing. I struggle in communicating this notion because it sounds so special; it even sounds prideful. That is probably my own insecurity speaking, though. Nonetheless, I'd like to counter this discovery by listing all the ways I've not experienced the Holy Spirit speaking to me. He usually does not speak to me when I sit quietly with my Bible open, or when I close my eyes and wait for an answer to a specific question, or through signs or wonders or songs or poetry. Usually, that's not the case. It's process that my soul responds to so well and I've found comfort in this. I am humbled by this too because who am I (??) to be the vessel of God's voice in my own life? I know I am unworthy, holy God. You are too good.

With that said, if you buy it (because I'm still afraid that people won't for some reason), I'd like to share one of the beautiful things God revealed to me. I had an idea for a piece of writing actually. I was feeling sarcastic and fed up and just blurted out something like: "It's as if I'm on these starting blocks for a race and I'm the only one who can't handle running!" Moments later, I was in my journal, scribbling this analogy when something in my spirit was calmed and truth began to emerge. The shift proved heavenly and my tone for the coming seasons took shape. Join me, if you would:

March 19, 2012: "I've got to say this season, this last semester of college, is strange. I feel like I'm in perpetual pre-transition...and I guess I am, really. I feel like I'm positioned on the starting blocks for my life's race and when graduation day hits, the gun will go off and...
and I'll start my slow, steady walk. I'll be walking and I fear that people around me will be running, sprinting! I'll be looking over my shoulder, asking the coach, "Really? This is the plan? I'm doing everything right?" I'll look down at my hands; I'll touch my face just to make sure it's all real.
I just pray that I find other walkers. I want to find others who are waiting on careers, working for money, maybe living with their parents again too. And I hope that in my steady pace, you equip me with enough strength and joy to celebrate with those friends who will be running...
running because they have solid jobs, or cool internships, or marriage to jump into. May you use me in this coming season? May I meet interesting, worldly people at a fulfilling job; people who need to meet you? May you give me space in my walk to come in behind younger women and help them in their race?
...And maybe (literally) I'll finally take up regular walking again. And crocheting and book-writing.
And may I not get lost in today's season. May I remember that I'm not actually just sitting at starting blocks, waiting for something to happen. I'm actually jogging toward those blocks as I faithfully finish up school work. So please remind me of your presence and make it real to me, Jesus. Thank you for this picture. So much.

I'm still saying thank you. I'm even going to try to get some visual representation of this picture to put in my new home so that on the extra slow, confusing days, I'm reminded that there is purpose in the walk. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The One Day Testimony

Never in my history of blogging have I ever let this much time pass between posts! I guess this graduating senior gig is the real deal. I've already written 29 papers this semester. Just this semester; yikes.

So what to update? I could tell you about my niece and how amazing it is to watch a little one grow so quickly. Or I could tell you about the dating fast and how though I've been grateful for its place in my life, I don't feel that it coming to an end on April 30th is all that significant in any way. Or I could spill my insecurities about how sharing a less-than-thrilling post college plan with people on a daily basis has been. Or, I could tell you my testimony.

Because testimony, as defined by the dictionary, is "evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof." "Evidence of what, ma'am?", one may ask (because all inquirers who live in my mind are quaintly cordial). Well, evidence of the Christian life I live. As my dear Marianna once advised me, my testimony does not have to be the story of how I came to faith every time. Because believe it or not, I have trouble telling that story. Since so much of my story is wrapped around a sub-plot of battles in emotional turmoil that I've yet to come to complete terms with, I struggle to give a good ending. And Lord knows a good ending is so important in my stories. Marianna taught me that my testimony can be the story of my day. Hey! It's evidence in support of the fact that I am saved by a gracious Jesus; proof that when I lack the energy necessary for believing that God will give my overarching testimony a good ending, my testimony for today is quite enough.

So today, my testimony is this:

I've been drinking less coffee than usual over the past couple of days. For some reason this is encouraging to me. I laughed at work and got sassy with a friend who could take it. We expressed our mutual appreciation for one another and got real honest about the University's proposed code of conduct. As it turns out, we'd love to abide by about 95% of our contract, but when put in contract form, oh(!) does it push out buttons. Sass, you see. I had insightful things to say in each of my classes today. I'm six weeks away from freedom, yet I reached somewhere inward and found that there is a vigor for learning in me. Again, encouraging. I took advantage of a jet lagged friend and got slap happy over something totally neutral in humor. I cooked a delicious burrito with just a tad too much cayenne for dinner. I baked whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and had a spontaneous, yet much needed skype conversation. And you see, in this day, my Father was entirely present. He sent his Spirit to meet me in the art gallery when I needed a breather from theological conversation. He spoke through me as I helped students find lost items at work. He directed my evening away from study, as I had planned, and toward an appropriate respite.

It's my one day testimony, you see.