Saturday, July 16, 2011


There are a lot of things people find to be afraid of: pain, intruders, poverty, abandonment, dying. I know that I don’t quite think like most people when I don’t feel fear when I should, or at least when other people think I should. These things don’t frighten me. I’m told boarding a plane to the other side of the world—alone—where I have no previous relationship on foreign soil would be something most people fear. I forget to bat an eye.

So many times I look at the world I’m surrounded by and I see plastic. Pasted happiness, makeshift fortresses. A culture that spends its life making a name for itself without realizing it could all crack so easily. Or melt. Or blow to smithereens.

When fear makes me cringe, when it breathes down my neck and sends shivers down my spine, when it brings hot tears to my eyes until there is nothing left to cry—this is why:

I’m afraid of forgetting that the walls are plastic. I’m afraid of rhythms and normalcy messing with my vision, lulling me to sleep like a child in its cradle until I forget that I was made for something else outside the plastic. I’m afraid of being comfortable, afraid of wasting my time on trivialities when there is something more important to be done. I’m afraid of loving my life more than I love my God, afraid of reaching that point without even realizing it.

This would be my nightmare, my daymare, the horror film of my life. It keeps me praying for grace, pinching myself to make sure I’m awake, asking for vision to see beyond the plastic. God, don’t ever let me come close to normal.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Because God is bigger...

Sometimes you step into something and you don’t realize how much it’s going to cost you. But when that moment of exhaustion and overwhelmed and frustration, that moment when you wonder if it’s all worth it, that moment when you want to throw up your hands and run away to hide in a comfy couch with a good book in a place where no one else can reach you to ask you to do one more thing—that is the moment when you must remember that God knew how much this was going to cost in the moment when he brought you into it, even though you didn’t. That is the moment when you trust him, with every raw, aching muscle of your brain and heart. You trust that he has something beautiful to pull out of the middle of all this work, that there is some indelible reason why he’s moving in this way that pushes and prods and presses the clay of your soul. You cling to his vision with tenacity that comes from a grace bigger than yourself. You cling even though it’s a vision you can’t quite see. You surrender your own desires for what you would have wanted when you think of yourself, and you trust that the vision God is working is better than your own. So you get up morning after morning and you do what needs to be done. And you choose joy. Because joy is a choice. Just like obedience.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Window of Timing

God takes an incredible interest in the small details of our lives. Whoever thinks differently can argue with me till their blue in the face and I still won’t believe them. Today proves it.

I’m moving to Lincoln next month to begin working on my masters in writing fiction. Yesterday I drove down to go apartment shopping. I’d never done this before. I didn’t really know what I was doing or the best way to go about it. Plus I was devoid of any company to serve as a sounding board for what was there to see (or the absence thereof). I lined up appointments all afternoon and raced from address to address, peeking in so many closets and bathrooms until they all started whirling around in my head.

All that work, and at the end of the day I had only one fairly viable option, but I wasn’t sure. It wasn’t quite the neighborhood I wanted. So 9 o’clock at night I’m crashing at Melissa’s place and scouring craigslist for any new postings. But it was all just so God could prove that he knew what I needed, see if I would trust Him to provide.

“Here’s one on K Street,” I said.

K street?!

Melissa and I looked up at each other. Then out the window. Then back at each other.

“That’s across the street,” we said.

So this morning I got up and called and nervously tried to distract myself while I waited to meet the landlord. I pulled some company along with me for the visit, and we invaded a girl and several guys who were supposed to be moved out but weren’t, prancing into their kitchen discussing dishwashers and electricity as they groggily stared back from couches and a bed. The place didn’t smell like smoke; it was the first thing I noticed. The second was the size. So spacious compared to others. It was the quickest tour I made, due to the awkward male occupancy, so I still have closets to discover when I move in, but it was the also the quickest decision I made.

“I want it,” I said as we stepped back out on the front stoop. And now it’s mine. I paid a deposit that says so. So I have my own place in a neighborhood overflowing with community and Taylors where my mother won’t have to worry for my safety and I can bike to school in a few minutes.

The crazy thing is that this was the first vacancy this building has had in over a year. The landlord had another viewing scheduled just a few hours later with a guy that said he wanted it, so if my timing had been off by just a few hours it never would’ve happened. If I had chosen to go to Lincoln another week or even just another day, I never would’ve found this place. It was definitely a God moment. What's to conclude except He cares about apartments, and neighbors, and landlords. He cares about us, and He knows how to meet our needs.