Sunday, May 6, 2012

'Fixing' Things

It has been quite a crazy weekend!! I graduated from college and was overwhelmed by the kindness and gifts and support from my friends and family! There is some news that makes me very sad that was released this weekend. Lots of emotions and craziness. But I want to focus on something that is just eating me up, I just want to set the record straight for myself.

Today, I was taking some pictures on campus with some friends and I saw my ex-boyfriend. Now, when we broke up a couple years ago, I was very upset and I wanted to fix it. I wanted to change my ways and I wanted him to change his ways. I wanted do something or say something to fix it. I tried all sorts of tactics and nothing worked. It took me awhile (and a few Bible studies full of growth) to realize that God had a different plan for me and that he just wasn't the boy for me and that our relationship did not need to be fixed.

The only reason I bring this up is because it has happened again to me (not a boyfriend, just a friend) and today there was a comment said and thoughts just flooded my head and I really truly realized that I don't need or want to fix it. I have changed a lot this past year. Student teaching has changed me. Epilepsy has changed me. Africa changed me. My relationship with God continues to change. I have formed some wonderful relationship with my Accountability group at church, with my old friend Cassie (who has also changed), and with my boyfriend, Tripp. My changes and their changes have worked together. We have changed each other, we have supported each other. This is good.

My relationship with another friend has not changed in a positive way. And that is ok. I have been trying for so long now just to fix it. For awhile, I just tried to ignore it thinking it would be ok. But these past year, it has become very not okay and impossible to ignore. So I've tried new tactics, just like with my ex. I've tried being mean, being nice, ignoring it, providing space, etc. Nothing has worked and I think this is why: It is not something that can be fixed, just like my relationship with my ex-boyfriend. We can never go back to the way things were. We can look back fondly on memories, we can pray for each other, and we can support each other to a certain point. But you can't force a relationship. Relationships need some commonality. Sometimes people change to a point where they don't like to do the same things, they don't have many of the same friends, they don't like to talk about the same things. And that's ok. Diversity is a good thing but it doesn't mean we have to be best friends with everyone.

It was just too ironic, no too much a sign from God to see my ex today and to think about how silly I was to continually try to fix our relationship and then to hear a comment about fixing this current broken relationship. I like to fix things, it's just who I am. But there comes a point where things, like some relationships, can't just be mended. There is no clear cut line, there is no easy solution. But I know God has a reason for everything and I know that I have been tested and have learned from all that has happened in this situation.

This blog is not meant to offend, it is just my thoughts for the night. I continue to pray for all those in my life, especially those who may cause offense or pain for me.

Thanks to all for the support and prayer in this situation.

--Nothing Without Him--

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lent, Week 1

This year for Lent, I am taking part in something that I actually did last year. It is a part of ACT:S, The World Vision Activism Network. Last year, I participated in the activities they had for celebrating and growing during Lent. It was called Lent 2011: Relentless Acts of Justice. Each week of Lent, you are told a story about a family or people from another country who experience in justice in different areas. Then, you are challenged to make sacrifices that emulate these injustices around the world. I learned a lot during this time and felt very challenged in my day to day life.

This year, I wanted to participate again. I signed up and so did Cassie and Tripp (which I am very excited about them joining me)! The challenges and experience is set up a little differently this year, asking for more creativity and less actual sacrifices. So, we decided to do the same activities as last year. There is a lot of variation and flexibility in the activities so I am able to do this without feeling like it's all something I've already done.

The first week, February 26-March3, was about Worthlessness. We learned of a mother who is in a situation where she is unable to help her children go to school or get proper nutrition. There is just extreme poverty where she is and she is stuck. It seems that in her culture, her children and her life are of little worth to others in the community. We were challenged to think of things that are of worth to us, like the food we eat and the luxuries we have access to every day. We were asked to either fast a meal a day or give up some luxuries or some variation of this. I decided to stop wearing contacts, to dress plainly (not jewelry or headbands), to not listen to music other than the radio, and to not eat snacks or buy extra food.

During this week, I was really appalled at the amount of luxuries we have. The list of things I could give up for a week was astounding. There are so may material things we take for granted each day!

We were challenged to think about how we value others and how we value the things we have in our life. We were challenged to think about what it means for someone or something to have worth. We were reminded how much God values us:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are

you than the birds!” --Luke 12:22-24

We were asked to pray for those around the world who are treated as worthless, those who don't know there is a God who values them so much, who is constantly seeking us and loving us. We were asked if we were valuing other people as much as God values them.

This was a great week and I am excited for what I will learn and see as we learn about Helplessness this week :)

Have a great week!!

--nothing without HIM--