“It’s times like these we learn to live again.” – foo fighters
Ever wonder what it would be like to have been in a flood? Like on Noah’s Ark? Where the rain came and flooded the land for 40 days and nights, wiping everything away except for the few souls that occupied this large, massive boat like structure? I do.
I was sitting on the picnic table last night while the thunder roared and the lightning speared through the hovering darkness that consumed the skies above the valley. The rain pounded down…first single drop by single drop before the clouds exploded and it felt like I was sitting beneath a waterfall. So quickly, unexpected it came and washed all the dirt away.
So, ever the thinker I am, I have decided this is the metaphor to our lives. There is so much that we need, and desire to wash away. I know that it is true for me. I wonder sometimes if the things I wish could leave me will ever go away; if the things I am working on about myself will ever, finally, be fixed. Sometimes, I wish that my past would quit haunting me the way the thunder seems to haunt the crevasses of the hills and trees. It always feels as if there is a storm brewing because of what was, what used to be, what previously compiled, the soul of who I am. I have become an advocate for change but I am confused why when things change, it is so difficult to explain (and ultimately prove) this change to other people. It is so easy to hide from the rain when I am alone in my room or a cubicle in the library or on my own. In other words, there is nothing to prove when it’s just me and God. Spreading his fulfillment of my life into anothers is difficult. People are full of questions…about the validity of your change or the truth behind your voice. Mainly because they know who you were. Who I was.
When you weren’t proud of the person you were, but are proud of the person you are and have become…and keep striving to be, I’ve heard that that is enough. But what when you can’t seem to escape who you used to be… then that hostility from the past dampens your efforts sometimes. I am just about decided that I am going to Victoria in September and I am terrified. Not for school or moving or leaving things behind, that I am used to. It’s what I am returning to. Save for two of my best friends, all the girls I grew up knowing and loving and being friends with all live in Victoria. All of them. And although I don’t plan to live with them, I am scared for who I was when I knew them and was consistently around them. So much has changed, my heart, my mind, my ambitions and drives… what I think is fun. I wish that the rain could come in such a volume that the old me would be completely wiped away in their minds, aside from the distant memories of our lives together, so that if and when I come, I can stand before them… and say “Here it is, here I am, I am new. I love you in a different, deeper way. I feel for you and wonder for you and support you… just as I may have before. But I left a long time ago. I want you to accept that it may not make sense or that I have shortcomings I am now willing to admit. But I am still me, a little more sure of herself and a lot more focuses. And all the more vulnerable. The things I’ve done, I did, but they don’t define me now. I can’t drink that much or stumble too far or think that’s as funny or hide when you hurt me. ‘I am who I am. No excuses.'”… But I don’t think the rain could take it all away… but the creator who made it can.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be in a flood? I think it is a testament to our lives that the rain and thunder and lightning hold a far deeper purpose than nourishment for the world. It serves as a reminder that even in the darkest storms and the fiercest winds, the stars will find a way to peek through and the horizon will have a sun, rising from the darkness. All in a promise of hope. A promise of change. And a promise that after every storm there is a lesson to be learned and a foundation stripped of all that dirtied it before. I want it all to be washed away. Do you?
“And once you lose yourself, you have two choices: find the person you used to be… or lose that person completely. Because, sometimes, you have to step outside of the person you’ve been. And remember the person you were meant to be. The person you wanted to be. The person you are.” – One Tree Hill
I’ve had a rough go of it lately. But my rough go is not really rough, considering. Necause technically I am not the one having a rough time.
I hate cancer more than anything in my entire life and I don’t think I will ever hate anything more than cancer. My grandpa died of cancer when I was 10. One of my best friends, his mom had cancer for years and years. A friend of mine’s sister had her leg amputated due to cancer when she was really young. A friend of a friend lost his mom to cancer. My boss’ mother in law and my boss’ dog died from cancer last month. My mom’s friend had breast cancer. The list could go on and on and on. And, sorry for the harsh-ness, even when people and God overcome cancer, they live in fear for its return! I absolutely, positively hate cancer.
Recently, I returned to my summer job I had last year. One of the men that worked there last summer had retired in January. 5 months ago. I started work about 6 weeks ago. This retired man, with a heart of gold and the very first to make me feel at home, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. 2 weeks ago. He ran a marathon. 10 days before his diagnosis. The doctors say there is a massive tumor growing in his stomach. They say the reason they noticed is because it hurts for him to eat. They say it hurts for him to eat because the tumor has covered up almost all of his esophagus so nothing can pass through. They also say it is aggressive, and within 4 days, it had spread into his lymph nodes. They say it’s a matter of months for him. I just don’t understand.
We had a fundraiser/benefit lunch for him on the weekend. The outpouring of communities was insurmountable. We raised 10+ thousand dollars. We shared a lot of laughs. We shed a lot of tears. I think what I hate the most about cancer is the term itself is so absolutely terminal. People walk around saying “He was such a kind man.” No, he wasn’t, he IS a kind man. I just want to understand. I didn’t get it when it was my grandpa… 12 years later I don’t get it with my retired coworker. I just don’t get it. And I hate it. Have you ever had an opinion that is based on no fact? That is my opinion on cancer. I have facts relating to pain and fear and regrets and life when it comes to cancer, but I have never hated anything in my life as much as a disease I know no scientific facts about.
I will gladly plead ignorance. I don’t want to know. I am just scared. Why is it seemingly so easy for some to trust God with the big things and yet this is where I struggle (obviously). What I need help with is the clarification of why? Why him? Why grandpa; or Scott’s mom? Why is it when people plan their whole lives for retirement, hoping for time with their children and freedom, that a few months later they are facing the end?
A friend of mine told me she believes they have a cure for cancer, they just probably cannot release it because of environmental and ethical concerns with it. I sometimes believe this too…but then it makes me angry all over again. Really really mad.
Maybe I will go read a book about it. Maybe it will help me understand, if even a little bit. But nothing will ever make me hate cancer any less… unless there is a reason for it I just don’t know about, which I am open to enlightenment.
So yea, I am just not that into it.
See that one of me winking? Yea, some guy in my grad class told me I should never wink at people because it looks like my face is having a seizure. And the one of me upside down? Basically just a metaphor for how not-upright I feel about my lack of controlled facial expressions I feel. The very first expression there, that one I was making at the computer at work today… until I noticed my boss, supervisor, and the receptionist staring at me blankly and then asking “uhh is everything ok?” Should I lie and say yes?
Then there’s the “I am curious (also interpreted as the ‘I am up to no good’)” and “You’re not at all funny, I can’t even pretend to laugh but this smirk might satisfy you” expressions. See that’s the problem, I can’t fak my faces, they just happen. It sucks. If I eat bad food and the cook asks me if it’s ok… I can nod and say “yes I love it” but my expression reads “I need to find a bathroom RIGHT NOW.” I just want to apologize, I think there is a short circuit from my brain to my face. I just can’t control it, ya know?
It just sucks sometimes — having a weird face.
I GOT ACCEPTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA!!! I have still yet to hear from Lethbridge but I got my package for UVic a few days ago. Now is the hard part, making a decision. But YAY ME… I am still fired up about the acceptance, I am very excited… yet sad at the same time so I will get into the whole pros-cons when it comes down to the actuality decision. For now, I am thrilled.
Have you read anything by Rob Bell? If you haven’t, do. If you have, do it again. I was Google-ing today and I stumbled across some musings on Bell’s book “Velvet Elvis” and I want to share part of what I read. I believe this is an excerpt from the book, but I am sorry if Rob Bell ever reads my blog and states that my facts are, indeed, fallacies. I think it’s interesting. It made me restless enough not to suntan all day!
“Paul affirms the truth wherever he finds it.
But he takes it further in the book of Acts. He is speaking at a place called Mars Hill (which would be a great name for a church) and trying to explain to a group of people who believe in hundreds of thousands of gods that there is really only one God who made everything and everybody. At one point he’s talking about how God made us all, and he says to them, “As some of your own poets have said, `We are his offspring.'” He quotes their own poets. And their poets don’t even believe in the God he’s talking about. They were talking about some other god and how we are all the offspring of that god, and Paul takes their statement and makes it about his God. Amazing.
Paul doesn’t just affirm the truth here; he claims it for himself. He doesn’t care who said it or who they were even saying it about. What they said was true, and so he claims it as his own.
This affirming and claiming of truth wherever you find it is all through the writings of Paul. In 1 Corinthians, he tells his readers, “All things are yours,… and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” He essentially says to them, “It all belongs to God, and Christ is of God, and you are of Christ, so…it’s all yours.”
If it is true, if it is beautiful, if it is honorable, if it is right, then claim it. Because it is from God. And you belong to God.
The philosopher Arthur Holmes is known for saying, “All truth is God’s truth.” It is such a great statement, because what other kind of truth could there be?
So as a Christian, I am free to claim the good, the true, the holy, wherever and whenever I find it. I live with the understanding that truth is bigger than any religion and the world is God’s and everything in it…
I don’t follow Jesus because I think Christianity is the best religion. I follow Jesus because he leads me into ultimate reality. He teaches me to live in tune with how reality is. When Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me,” he was saying that his way, his words, his life is our connection to how things truly are at the deepest levels of existence. For Jesus then, the point of religion is to help us connect with ultimate reality, God. I love the way Paul puts it in the book of Colossians: These religious acts and rituals are shadows of the reality. “The reality…is found in Christ.” “
I’d like to meet Him. And no, I don’t just mean Rob Bell.