Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Because eventually we all have to come out of hiding. . .

It's funny how our first instinct when we mess up or do something wrong is to hide (or maybe it's only me. . .).  Secrets have a funny way of revealing themselves, so I don't know what makes us think there is a sane answer in hiding with our shame. We can't just stay hidden forever, burrowing in a dark corner and hoping that no one ever figures out how we messed it all up.
Basically, I screwed up. And I'm ready to come out of my dark little corner of hiding and admit that. 

I'm kind of human. Okay, maybe more than kind of. . . I'm INCREDIBLY human. Preparing yourself for a situation and actually being in a situation are two totally different things, and I sadly wasn't as prepared as I thought I was to handle temptation when it looked me in the face. Being at school and handling my work load and making new friends and experiencing new adventures all made church and God and everything I value seem so unimportant. They slowly but surely began to fall down on my priority list, and of course other things all only seem so much more appealing when the prospects of reputation and relations get thrown in. 
Don't get me wrong, I haven't done anything ridiculously wrong. I haven't compromised my morals or fried my brain out on drugs or dropped out of school to answer a call to the pole. I'm not going to lie to you though, I've been living very apathetically in my spiritual life and very much in the moment, going on what feels good instead of what I know I should be doing. Keeping with this honesty, it felt good for awhile. Actually, it was awesome. I was starting to see how I could be happy being like that forever. But every high has to end, and it comes in a crash, and that was when I realized how very much I lacked peace. 
By the time I realized this though, I was out a friendship, recovering from a two hour accountability talk with one of my dearest friends, and trying to hold together the remains of friendships damaged during my little escapade. I felt unworthy and disgusting, and I was this close to dropping out of the Thailand trip because of it. I thought that I had definitely and completely screwed up, and everything I had worked so hard for was gone. But that is the beauty of redemption. As my friend recommended (or more like strongly demanded) during our accountability talk, I sat down with my iPod and Bible and for the first time in awhile I had a serious, intimate moment with Jesus. As I sat down and prepared to be completely destroyed (in the most loving way possible, because He is pretty good at doing that), these words played on through my headphones,

My God is making new the wreckage of my heart
Your hand is reaching down to pull me from the dark
Your mercy reigns 
Your mercy covers me
Your grace sustains
Your grace is all I need. . .

I am worthy. I am loved. I am redeemed. I am washed in his blood and made new. 
I'm going to wrap this up by sharing with you something that my Romania teammate said the other day as we were talking about how we've both been struggling. I don't think I could have worded it better than he did. . 

"To think of all the times I've been ensnared and trapped by just crap in my life, but yet he doesn't lash out in anger or condemnation like I deserve. He washed me in His blood and welcomes me back like a prodigal son who just lost his way. Man, I'll never understand that kind of crazy, unmerited love,

Me either, friend. Me either. But thank God we have it, regardless of our understanding.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wrapping up the break.

I'm currently sitting in my bedroom floor, surrounded by boxes, piles of sheets, and sleeping kittens. Tomorrow my 3 and a half week winter break is over and I'm headed back to Greensboro to start my second semester of college. I'm a lot more optimistic about this coming semester, and I'm excited to get back to schedules and projects. I'm also incredibly excited to be back with my friends and into the usual shenanigans of laundry parties, onesie adventures, and Teen Mom nights.  
Until I have time to write an actual blog though, which is coming soon with a big update on my support raising for Thailand, I leave you with some pictures from break. 
 (^ Baby brother. We've spent the majority of break playing a lot of Xbox (I'm getting alright at FIFA and Halo 3.) and watching Lost and Arrested Development. I miss him when I'm not here.)
 (^ Good influence. I went as Ke$Ha to the youth group Christmas party [We were supposed to dress as celebrities or fictional characters])

(^ Oovoo party with Jenelle and Jess.)