Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Confessions of a Hurting Heart

I have been found out. The verdict: guilty. And I cannot plead my innocence, because it's true.
How often have I repeated to myself that my joy is only in God, only in His will, only in His presence, only in doing His work? And it is... or should be.
It's funny, so often I feel as though I am constantly re-learning things that I already know. A couple of years ago when I was in Mexico with my family I went through a time in my life when I wanted to be anywhere but where I was. I wasn't content. I felt like I wasn't serving any purpose where I was; what purpose could highschool serve anyway? God took me to task on this, and I came out of it much the better for having gone through it. Perhaps it's the very fact that I have already gone through this once which made me blind to the fact that I was going through it again.
But praise the Lord for friends who love me enough to speak the truth, even when it's not what I want to hear!

There have been many changes in my life in the past year. I look back on the things I did with my family in January and feel that it can't be real. Sometimes as I sit in my room with my eyes closed I almost feel that when I open my eyes I will find out that everything since then has been a dream; that I never really left Mexico. But I open my eyes and I see the carpeted floor and green walls and know that it's real.

I have come back to the place where I grew up. The people I left behind are the same, the scenery is the same, the church is the same... I even feel at times that I must be the same. I'm not. The person I am today is not the person I was 7 years ago... even aside from the fact that I was much younger then. I didn't realize how hard it would be to come back after so much time had passed. Mexico isn't Asia or Africa, but it isn't the US either. And my family isn't here.

Finding my identity without them has been the most difficult thing I have ever faced. What happens when the realization comes that no matter what you do things are never going to be the same? What do I do when I realize that the life that I left behind in Mexico was left behind forever? Regardless of what the future will be, it can never be the past.

I have avoided facing this up till now, but it's time that I stopped dodging the truth and acknowledged it for what it is, Lord give me strength. My heart aches for love and security that I had with my family. I have tried to fill up the gap with prayer, with reading my Bible, with keeping busy, with friends, with plans, with excuses... they didn't work. Everything that I have done here has been good, and I can say with certainty that my prayer life has never been better, but I have been prevented from sharing in the joy of the blessings of God because I have been too focused on the blessings I did not have.

It has been a harsh awakening for me. How is it that I could have missed something so vital, so important. It's true. I have been living without joy. Oh, there have been moments in which I have been joyful, but I haven't lived it, and more often than not my eyes are clouded by tears of sadness, not of thanksgiving.

But the fight is not over! The first step is taken. Time will heal the wound in my heart, and until then I will fight for God's peace and joy in my life!!

In my mind, my future is crowded with plans and hopes and dreams, but I don't live in the future, and I never will. I am HERE and I live NOW! Regardless of what may come, I will cling to the promises of the the Lord knowing that in His joy I can find strength!

Psalm 95:1-8a
O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD,
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God
And a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth,
The peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

La Di Dah and life in general

Good afternoon (or morning or evening, depending on when you're reading this ;) ) to you all! Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks for me. I suppose that when I first came here I really had to work to fill my time, now it seems like there isn't enough time to do everything that I want (and need) to do! Funny how that works.

My adult Spanish class has begun. I had a smaller turnout than I had expected, but I am satisfied in knowing that God brought exactly the people who needed to come. I truly enjoy being able to move at a little faster pace and to know that my students are studying at home. I suppose that this really is the greatest struggle I have faced with the younger class; I can't know that they will all study at home. I know that they do to some extent, but because they don't always, we have to spend a lot of class time reviewing. Granted, reviewing is good, so I can't complain too much. I do know they are learning, even if we're not moving as quickly as I would like!

I still don't have an actual job, but I have been offered a part-time babysitting job once a week at the church for Financial Peace University (a class that they are hosting at our church). I am not sure how long this will last, but I have something for at least a month! In addition to this I also have been doing yard-work and weeding for our neighbors. What with these things and my Spanish classes, I manage to keep my week rather full!

As to school, I am still hoping to enroll come Fall. I went to the college a few days ago and got some information regarding some different classes that I want to take this term. Unfortunately, when I took the placement test a few weeks ago it seems that I placed in a rather low math class. If I start in the class that I placed in, I will have to take two classes before it will actually count for college credit. I didn't like that idea at all, so I am burying myself in Algebra for the foreseeable future.... not a pleasant prospect, but it must be done! My plan to re-take the Algebra test so that I can place in a higher math class. I know that I can move up at least one class; I am hoping that I might even be able to make it two. We'll see.

Last Sunday was the graduation of the public and Christian high schools here in Roseburg. I didn't make it the the public high school's graduation, but I did attend the graduation of Umpqua Valley Christian School. A bunch of my friends graduated. It seems like such a short time from when we all started high school together... granted, I was homeschooled, but we were still all in the same grade technically. Anyway, it was great to see them starting off into new adventures. Most of them are going to be attending college come Fall. It's a little surreal. I will have you know that I didn't actually cry at the graduation. I was quite proud of myself! *gives herself a pat on the back*
Well, now that's over. The next thing you know I will be attending college graduations... or even weddings! I think that I am in denial... ;D

Alright, well I did take a bunch of pictures from the top of the mountain and down by the river, but I put them on my old desktop... and I forgot to take them off before I put it away. Now that it is completely taken apart I really don't feel like getting it all put back together and set up just to pull a few pictures off. So, until I get back up and over the mountain (shouldn't be too long :) ) you will have to be satisfied with these pictures that I took this past

Here's a picture of the front of the house from the yard. It's a little hard to really see the house because of the tent trailer out front... but I wasn't about to try to move it to take the picture ;) . Hopefully we will get it moved soon.

Okay, these are pictures from behind the house, looking up the hill.

Here are some pictures of my "garden". It isn't exactly one garden, more like several little pieces of garden...

Okay, if you look closely, you will be able to see the pea plants in two rows...

I love all the colors!!

This is my roomie ;) ! Meet Emily.

Okay, I am now going to make it a habit to carry my camera around with me so that I can get some pictures which actually contain people instead of just plants...

Now I must close and move on with all the other things that I need to accomplish today. Today these verses really stood out to me when I was reading. I am caught up in the moment. What would it have felt like to have been shut in your house, fearing that at any moment soldiers might come through the door to arrest you. Suddenly, you turn and see the One who you had thought dead standing right in front of you. Doubts are swept away.
We say, "Seeing is believing" Jesus says "Blessed are you if you believe without having to see"
John 20:26-29
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”