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Archive for the ‘My relationship with God’ Category

Playing Catch Up

It’s been 21 days since I posted something and for me that seems like a long time. In that time my younger sister has gotten married. I helped out with VBS, finished a baby blanket, and come to the realization that if I don’t think about Celiac and gluten it always comes to bite me in the ass. 🙂

Rebecca’s Wedding was Great! It was a lot of fun. She was super stressed and disappointed about things before the wedding but the day of she took things in stride and had a blast. She wiggled her tush when dad pronounced them husband and wife and that’s the kind of attitude she brought to the whole day. It was great!

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The daddy daughter dance at the reception was one of my favorite parts. Dad has this way of dancing to make fun of himself (which other men seemed to share as the night went on) so they incorporated that into the dance. They started with “Soul Man” and finished with a sweet “My Girl.” It was great. Rebecca also danced with Grandpa.

The couple finished the night by walking out to the car through sparklers. It was a great night.

sparklers

My cousin Jj Long was the photographer for the event. Be sure to check out his page: Long Photography

you had me at hello

VBS last week wore me out. I cannot believe how exhausting it was to help out with crafts. I came home at about 1:30 each day and took at least a 2 hour nap. How do parents survive? I guess they don’t have 100+ children running around and they probably don’t work with 20 kids at a time trying to get them excited about a craft.

Ever since I went gluten free I’ve had a sort of blasé attitude. I mean as long as I don’t eat gluten I’m good right? Not really. The makeup was annoying but so are a lot of other things. We got manicures and pedicures before the wedding and my manicure was basically a polish change. No massage because I couldn’t allow them to use their lotion or oil because I couldn’t read the ingredients.  I got my hair cut recently (the day of the wedding, risky I know but it worked out great) and I went to style my hair and realized I didn’t have any gluten free styling products on hand. You might be thinking, “who cares if your styling products are gluten free?” Let me ask you this question: how many times a day do you touch your hair? Do you then eat something with your hands, like a sandwich? Imagine that the stuff in your hair is covered with poison….do you really want to style your hair with poison? I didn’t think so.

The other day I was thinking about how awesome it would be to get a facial but I bet I can’t do that anymore either. They don’t exactly advertise gluten free facials. And getting a massage…what’s that going to be like? I’m sorry sir, ma’am but you can’t touch me with that lotion or oil unless I can read the ingredients first.

I ate some salsa this week that made me sick. When I went back to the jar I realized that it just said “spices” as one of the ingredients. How the hell am I supposed to know what your “spices” have in them?  I’m of course asking this question because I got very sick that night and the next day.

I miss the days of getting a haircut, going out to eat, or really doing anything without thinking about gluten. I know that Celiac is one of the easier diseases to have but sometimes it really gets me down. I mean I love the weight I’ve lost and how much better I feel when I actually manage to avoid it but I would really love to get a massage without having to bring my own lotion. 😦

In my time away from blogging I’ve also gotten some more rejection letters and these ones hurt a bit more. My first rejection letter was received several weeks ago for a job I don’t even remember applying for, it was one from when I was just applying for anything. Now that I’ve narrowed my focus and only apply for jobs I actually want the rejection letters sting a bit more. They are written nicely and say nice things but they still sting a bit.

I also just this past Sunday was approached by someone with encouraging words from God. It was a great moment but it really deserves it’s own blog.

Alright, that’s all the catch up I’ve got for now. Ta-ta for now, hopefully my next blog won’t take 21 days to be posted 🙂

God’s Time

This blog started out as a Facebook status update but when it got to be a paragraph long I realized it needed to be a blog.

My reward for 5 cover letters, resumes, and applications written/filled out this evening: reading a good book. I know God has his plan, and I know in that plan is my job.

I know this in the absence of a job because he continues to care for me. I continue to receive money and I continue to be energized instead of depressed. I continue to feel the drive to write. I also feel the drive to apply for the job I want.

In the beginning of my job search I applied for any and all jobs. I applied for jobs in and out of my field and I felt the drain. Day in and out I was drained by applying to jobs I was hoping I would never get. Once I stopped doing that, once I narrowed in on the jobs I wanted, once I only applied for the jobs I was driven to get, I stopped feeling drained.

I started to fall in love with positions and I started seeing similar positions everywhere.

I’ve started some traveling journals with close friends in my life, people that I hope continue to be close with as lives get more complicated. One of these friends has already sent it back to me. She asked me what kind of positions I’m applying for. I’m applying for positions in nonprofits that work with domestic and sexual violence victims. I apply for jobs that have me interacting with the women and allow for an aspect of teaching.

I love all the jobs I apply for but I’m not depressed. You might ask yourself, “how is this possible? She’s not getting interviews or call backs. It’s been 5 months how can she not be depressed? Especially when she falls in love with all the jobs.”

To be honest I’m surprised myself but the truth of the matter is that I’m at peace. Weird I know but also the truth. Each new job I read about sounds more awesome than the last. I want all the jobs I apply for. I don’t know how many places I’ve applied to, because I’m not keeping track. If I went back in my sent email box I’m sure I could tell you but I like my peace so I don’t think I will.

God is in control and this process has taught me that. I’m just waiting for My Job and I know I won’t get a job until My Job comes. So I’m at peace knowing that its out there. Don’t get me wrong I do ask God when that job will come and if he could speed things up a bit. But I’m at peace actively waiting for his job for me.

So I continue to apply. Tonight I applied for jobs in Washington state, in Maryland, in Kansas and Missouri. Most are for Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocate and Prevention Specialist.

Doesn’t that sound awesome! I’m energized just thinking about it! And that feeling is why I continue my search, that feeling is why I’m not depressed. That feeling is why I’m at peace.

God is in control and I’m excited to find My Job!

Now I’m gonna read my book and have a good night’s sleep because I’m in God’s hands waiting in his time for the right job for me.

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The Third Day

My church recently finished a study by John Ortberg, Who is this Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus. The last week of the study was to talk about Saturday of Holy Week. We often talk a lot about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday but we often spend little time considering Silent Saturday.

We are so excited about the awesome news of Sunday that we bypass the sadness and anguish of Saturday. I thought this was really poignant in my own life right now. I’m in my Saturday and have been for quite a few months, 4 I think. I got a rejection letter this past week that literally excited me. They let me know how great my experience is and how awesome my resume was but they went with someone else. I was excited to recieve news even though the answer was a resounding, “no.” I’ve had silence and no news for 4 long months, so long that sometimes it feels like 5. I’ve read 47 books in that amount of time and watched too many TV series and knitted the beginnings of a lot of blankets. My Saturday is filled with moments of silence and moments of crying out and moments of fear. My Saturday is the Silent Saturday and all the anguish that goes a long with that.

Being fired was my Friday. My Saturday has been all this time of trying to find something and I am on my knees praying that my Sunday will come, that I will be lifted from the pain and be welcomed back into the work force.

We all have these times in our lives where something happens or the absence of something is our Friday-Sunday. Don’t dismiss the importance of your Saturday because Silent Saturday makes us even more excited for Resurrection Sunday.

What are you third day stories? Did your Sunday come quick or will it be a long hard battle to see your Sunday?

Comment below if you would like to share your third day stories with me.

Jesus’ Healing Culture

I googled “Jesus’ Healing Culture” this morning and found an article which was truly interesting: 37 New Testament Miracles of Jesus Christ.

It lists in a chart all the healing that Jesus did in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. What is most interesting is what stories are repeated in the top three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). The number is pretty interesting as well. 37 stories of healing in the New Testament.

Two or three and you might think it is fluke but 37, that’s a substantial number. Substantial enough to make me believe that Jesus’ healing culture continues today.

I’ve seen this healing first hand.

In my ministry with women who have been sexually abused, I’ve seen women believe in themselves. I’ve seen strength come from nowhere. I’ve seen courage to continue blossom in women. I’ve seen women come out of their shells and begin to live anew.

During my CPE internship I saw a lot of death. I saw death in the ER when the EMTs had worked on the person on the scene and then they had worked on them all the way to the hospital and then the ER staff had worked on them and the person was declared dead in the ER. I brought several family members to visit a dead loved one over several hours.

I saw death in the ICU when a young man had flipped his car and was declared dead in the ER but then someone heard a heartbeat. I’ve seen the ICU crew bring this man back 3 times and I’ve been praying with the family and praying that God’s will be done and let this young man go when the family was still fighting for him to live.

I saw death on other floors as well.

I also saw unbelievable miracles. A man rear-ended by a SEMI walked a way from the accident. A woman whose car was under a SEMI walked away with minor injuries. A man who had a stroke was talking with me and praying with me later that evening. I’ve seen people walk away from horrible accidents and people die for no reason.

I have always believed that healing comes in many forms including death. Death is not the miracle that we are all hoping for but sometimes it is the answer that we receive.

Sometimes the answer that we really don’t want to hear is “No.” All of our prayers are answered. Sometimes, albeit infrequent times, we receive the answer that we want to hear, “Yes.” But we have to realize that the answer of a no is still an answer.

This has been a rough year/Christmas season for me and mine. My Grandma Summers died this summer. She was battling cancer and decided that she’d rather be with Jesus. I don’t blame her but I miss her. I miss her laugh and sarcasm and whit. I miss her cookies, even though this year I would not have been able to eat them ;). I asked for healing and got an answer. I asked for more time and got an answer. God healed her but I did not have any more time with her.

My Grandma Shirley went into a home this year. Her body and mannerisms are still here but her mind is gone. I asked God for healing and for a miracle. I asked God for more time. I received answers but did not get the ones I wanted.

This Christmas is really sad. My two Grandmothers, whom I loved dearly and they loved me, will not call this Christmas morning to see how my Christmas was. Grandma Shirley did send a check but it made it a little sadder. She would have done that if she was with it and the fact that my aunt sent it in her stead reminded me that all is not as it was a few years ago.

Jesus heals. I’ve seen him heal in ways that I like and I’ve seen him heal in ways that I do not like.

With the ministry that I do, I must believe that God heals and that God does the work, otherwise my ministry would be pointless. I’ve seen it first hand and so I continue to do the work. And I continue to pray for the outcomes I want, at the same time knowing that sometimes the answer is not one I was hoping for.

Antioch Park at Sunset

I never thought to see God differently

Yesterday at my cpe (chaplaincy) I gave the morning prayer. Each Monday and Thursday we hear the morning report and then the person who is to carry the pager for the day/night prays. Yesterday 8am-today 8am it was my turn. I took prayer requests and then prayed that God would bring comfort, protection, peace, and strength. I prayed that God would wrap his loving arms around each of us and show us that he is with us and that he cared.

In my group I have 3 unity people, 2 Catholics, 2 Lutherans, 1 Methodist, 1 Jew, 1 Presbyterian, 1 baptist, and 1 Muslim. So when I prayed I tried to keep all their different views in mind but I prayed like I usually would: to an active, caring, loving God.

Afterwards my supervisor couldn’t believe the way that I saw God. He told me repeatedly that he thought my view of God was pretty cool.

If you don’t see God as an active being/presence in your life how do you view God? How do you talk to God?

When I’m at home in my room I talk to God like a friend. Even now as I “sleep” in the on call room at the hospital, I have thanked God for the restful night sleep that I had no right to. I thanked him for the steady night. But I didn’t bow my head. I looked up and said thank you! When I’m chatting with God I do so with my eyes open. When I’m seeking guidance from God my eyes are closed but my head is up. When i’m asking something of God my head is bowed and my eyes are closed.

I’m not saying this is the right way to pray, I’m just saying that this is the way I have prayed since I was a kid. I’ve always thought that God loves when we talk with him and he cannot wait to hear our words aloud. God is an active presence in my life and I don’t know how you could view him differently.

If you do, I’m not saying that I’m right and you’re wrong, I’m just saying that I think you’re missing out. I can’t imagine a better relationship with God.

Life with a head injury

Since my accident last week I have been in almost constant pain. When I sleep my body wakes me up when the pain is too much. Apparently 3 hours is my threshold for pain. Sometimes the pain is so much I’m nauseated and in pain. I squint and scrunch my face hoping the pain will go away and sometimes it works for a second but not for more than that.
My neck still hurts but the pain from my neck is nothing compared to the pain in my head. My car has been totaled and my head is killing me and the guy who hit me has probably already put this accident in his rearview mirror. He’s moving on and my eyes are tearing up from the pain.
There’s nothing more to really say accept that I’m annoyed by how this accident has interfered with my life. I’m glad and thankful that the accident wasn’t worse and that I can still function, even if it is with almost constant, excruciating pain.
I better try to get more sleep, I have to be up soon for work.

Nonexistent Plan B

About 2 months ago I moved home, it feels like so much longer than that but alas it has only been 2 months. I moved home because I had to, I was poor and my parents were paying my bills and I couldn’t get a job so I had to move home and back in with the folks.

I had conflicting feelings about it and I continue to have conflicting feelings about it. I like living rent free but I know I cannot live here forever.

Plan A when I moved home was to live here while working part time and doing CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education, Chaplaincy in a hospital). I’ve only interviewed with 2 CPE sites. One was St. Joe and the other was St. Luke’s. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get St. Joe because they told me to look elsewhere. I received confirmation of this just a few days ago. I still haven’t heard from St. Luke’s.

I did get a job, that might conflict with these two CPE sites because they have classes on Mondays and I have been told that for this job I would have to work a Monday but I have also been told that you can trade shifts with people so I’m sure I could make it work if St. Luke’s takes me.

The thing is I never thought I wouldn’t get a placement. I never thought it might not happen so I have no Plan B.

St Joe has provided a Plan B. They have asked me if I would like to be considered for their year-long extended CPE that would start in January 2013 and end December 2013. I have asked for more information because I might need a Plan B.

Have you ever heard of “leap of faith?” A leap of faith is when you jump into something with faith and hopefully God will catch you. Hopefully what you hope for will happen. I jumped without a net and it turns out that God isn’t in the pool. 🙂

I know, no matter what happens (CPE in the fall or not) that God is there but maybe he isn’t in my pool, he’s in the pool next to it. Maybe I’ve made a leap into the deep end and God wanted me in the shallow end. I don’t know (I know I’m stretching the metaphor but just go with me).

God has plans for all of us. I believe that when we get off track God can just maneuver us back onto the plan. It’s like we have taken an unnecessary detour but God will get us back to where we are supposed to be. In the end we still get to the same place but it may have taken us longer to get there, than originally planned.

If I don’t get a CPE does that mean I’m on an unnecessary detour? Probably not. I’m sure God will have some reason for me not getting a CPE, even if I have no idea what that is.

I don’t have a Plan B but as I wait for St Luke’s to tell me, yay or nay, I will begin to think about what that Plan might be.

My Plan A included possibly volunteering at one of the non-profits in the area so maybe Plan B will just include a more active role in volunteering than I originally thought. Maybe Plan B will include searching out churches in the area that would welcome a healing group like the one I have developed. Maybe Plan B will include joining a group or two at Knox.

Plan B’s options are endless. Isn’t there some quote that says when we make plans God laughs. Apparently what Woody Allen said was, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” 

I’m not really laughing but when your plan fails, when God is in the shallow end, you swim to the surface and move on. You make new plans and swim to the shallow end to meet God.

Time to find a Plan B.

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