So, I had this dream last night that I got engaged to C.

He got me a beautiful ring, actually. It was gold, with a deep red stone set in the middle, and three arching starbursts of diamonds gracing the left side. Oh, and there were these delicate loops and swirls of metal on the top of the ring. It was just beautiful... even though I dislike gold, and don't really care for red stones OR diamonds!

It didn't happen just slap-dash, mind you. We started spending time together, and then more time, and I wasn't even really aware that we were in a relationship, but when he gave me the ring, I said yes.

After I said yes, some friends drifted over, and we were all chatting, when suddenly I had this horrible sinking feeling crash over me. I remembered D, and the fact that we are sort of in a relationship! It makes it awkward and difficult to date someone when you're engaged to another person, don't you think?

Anyway, my happy feelings dissipated, and the magnitude of what I'd done began to press into me. I thought about D, and then I looked at C, and my choice was made. I jerked the ring off of my finger and interrupted the conversations flowing around me.

"I can't! I just can't! I'm sorry, but I can't do this. I promised myself I wasn't going to get into a relationship with you. Then I went to see you once, and then I saw you again, and it just kind of happened..."

He was, needless to say, very hurt. This would be the second time I'd broken off an engagement with him. But I knew I was doing the right thing. Just because I still have feelings for him doesn't mean that it's the right path.

And it's funny... it's almost like that dream represented the reality of the situation I find myself in.
C gave me a ring, and though it was beautiful, it was everything that I don't want. The same with the life we would live. It might be made pretty by the emotions and devotion, but it would be made up of everything that I don't want.

My choosing D over C shows me that I am ready to move on- I see the value in choosing what God has placed before me, rather than what I childishly insist on for myself. Yeah. He's different than C, that's for sure. But it's better, too, because we have the common foundation of wanting God's will to be supreme, even if it doesn't end up at the altar.

And with all that going on in my head, it's no wonder I was still tired when my alarm went off this morning!
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. Thy vows are binding upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?" {Ps. 56:3, 12, 13}

I couldn't have said it better if I tried.

I spent quite a bit of time praying yesterday, trying to process through this fear. Blogging helped. I spent more time praying after my post yesterday, and I realized that my fears are, in fact, rooted in my insecurity in God's love. I'm so terrified to make a mistake because I'm afraid that God will love me less.

Nuh-uh. No way, dude. God pointed me right back to Calvary.

"I died for you, because you make mistakes. 'While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us', remember? I don't love you less because of them- I love you through them."

Wow. What kind of God is this, anyway? Who are you? Like, seriously. I'm so used to the mindset of the wrathful, vengeful God who has his eagle eye out for any mistakes that I have a hard time believing that this is the truth.

But, like the Psalmist said, you've already delivered my soul from death- you've given me salvation. How can I not expect you to deliver my feet from falling, so that I can truly live before you?
Dear God, 
I don’t understand what is going on with me right now.
I’m so frightened, and I’m not sure why.
Last night, after my conversation with D, I was ecstatic! Yes, the emotions were great, and I was enjoying them. The fear was there then, too... I was nervous, but happy.
Then came today, and this crashing tidal wave of panic. I’m having second thoughts, and toying with the idea of calling it off... of forgetting the whole thing.
It seems like the more people I told (trusted friends only, at this point, of course), the more frightened I became. I’ve only shared it with the family, my mom, the J’s, H, K (not exactly personally, but she knows), and E. That’s it. But I feel... trapped. Panicky.
Why? What am I so afraid of? Is this legitimate fear, or is it an unhealthy response? I know myself well enough at this point to try to process through this before I make any rash decisions.
These are the fears I can identify right now:
-I’m afraid that I mis-read your leading, and that you don’t actually want me to be getting to know D better.
-I’m afraid that I’m a hypocrite, because I had said not too long ago that I was pretty sure that to enter a relationship with D would be settling.
-I’m afraid that other people will disapprove of my decision.
-I’m afraid that once he gets to know me, he won’t actually like me anymore.
-I’m afraid it’s all ONE BIG MISTAKE!
-I’m afraid of getting hurt again.
-I’m afraid of myself in a relationship- what will I do to gain and keep his acceptance and approval?
-I’m afraid because I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t know how to handle myself or approach this.
-I’m afraid that all our talk about “putting God first” will be nothing more than talk.
-I’m afraid that we’ll move too fast, and become more emotionally involved than we ought to.
-I’m afraid that I’ll be fake to try to make him like me.
-I’m afraid that I’ll end up wanting the relationship to go farther than it will.
-I’m afraid that I’ll fall in love with him.
-I’m afraid that You will ask me to leave the relationship, but that I won’t want to, or that it will hurt really bad.
-I’m afraid that the relationship will turn into an idol.
-I’m afraid to enjoy it, because it might be ripped away from me at any moment.
It’s so much safer to want and not have. I’m familiar with that. I’m comfortable with longing. But now, to have actually received... I’m terrified!
I haven’t had a relationship in 2 years. The last one didn’t go well- at all. I was severely depressed during and because of it. I felt that I had to be so fake to get him to like me, so “spiritual” and good all the time... because if he knew that I don’t actually prefer to use my spare time to study the prophecies of Revelation, or that I secretly loathe door-to-door work, then he wouldn’t want me anymore. And, oh, it felt so good to be wanted... though I realize now it was not me he really wanted.
I have been myself in Idaho. The me D has seen has been the real me. I haven’t been playing it spiritual. I am who and what I am.
I guess, God, what I’m afraid of most of all is that I’m making a mistake. I’m afraid that I’m walking outside of your will. You know how terrified I am of making “the wrong choice”, and I didn’t hear an audible voice telling me to date D, so... I’m just scared. Scared that I’m turning away from you without even realizing it.
And yet, everything I’ve been through with D has brought me so much closer to you! It helped teach me to truly surrender to you. It helped me be patient. :) It helped me learn to interact with a guy I’m attracted to as a brother in Christ, not as a prize to be won or seduced.
But, you know, I’m just not sure that he wants to help people like I do. Like, I’m not sure he’s into ministry, and you know I couldn’t live a life without ministry. Then again, as E pointed out... I don’t know him well enough yet to say that one way or the other. I can’t just write him off.
I think I ought to share with him the fact that I’m scared. He deserves to know... at least I think he does. What do you think? Should I say something?
Hey, you know what? I just realized- you gave me peace about the letter! And the letter was what led him to finally take that step of asking me if I was interested! So if you didn’t want this thing to happen, well, then, you would have told me not to give him the letter, right? Because I sure was asking...
God, I just want this to be different from my past relationships. So far, it already is. But I’m so scared that I’m going to ruin it... scared to make a mistake... scared to fail...
Maybe you’re using this thing to get me to face my fear?
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment...”
What does that even mean right now? I’ve got so much fear twisting through my gut... are you saying that I wouldn’t be afraid if I were secure in your love?
And maybe that’s it. Maybe I’m so terrified of making a mistake because I’m afraid you won’t love me anymore, that you’ll punish me. If I don’t do it “right”, then you love me less. I really, really want you to love me. And I know that you do, but sometimes my heart forgets it...
You’re not the one that gives us the spirit of fear. The Bible says so. You’ve given us the spirit of love, and of power, and of a sound mind. Oh, how I want my mind to be sound... and not given over to these dumb dysfunctional thought patterns.
I think D ought to know what he’s up against... what issues this brings up for me. I don’t need to go into super depth, because I want to make sure that we’re not getting all emotionally bonded inappropriately... but I do think he should know, because it’s a part of who I am.
Oh, my! What busy, busy days I’ve had.
Monday:
Try to visit museums, only to find that everything is closed, due to a long Easter weekend. Instead, play guitar in the park, meet friends for supper, and then visit the horse stables to meet their new addition, Willy.
Tuesday:
Go visit museums, think about how the Territorial Prison museum is a giant monument to sin and the futility of humanity's efforts to curb it.

Prayer over my talk that night. I’m nervous, sorta, in a weird way, but... I’ve prayed about this while I was piecing it together, so I know it’s the Lord’s words... so re-surrender it, practice guitar, and put the nervousness out of your mind!
The talk itself was good. The women (victims of sexual assault) seemed to get into it, and the feedback afterward was great! I felt as though God wanted me to sing “You Are More” (by Tenth Avenue North) at the very end, so I asked if they were okay with it, got a resounding yes, and proceeded to sing to them. I could tell it touched many hearts there. The message to that song is so powerful, especially for those of us who feel we have been tainted or soiled by our past and the sins against us... and our resulting choices.
I leave the support group and meet up with C, his brother, and their friend. We go out to Olive Garden, where they proceed to insist that I order something, and view it as a special challenge to find something I can eat. When I settle on a salad, they give a cheer of victory... despite the fact that I wasn’t really hungry, and I had brought food with me to eat. (I ended up eating most of salad as leftovers on Thursday. Apparently, none of them are salad eaters, so they wouldn’t help me out.) After Olive Garden, we went back to C’s place. I had every intention of leaving then, but he popped in a movie, and it looked good, so I stayed. It was good, as far as movies go, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone I know, and I won’t be watching it again. There wasn’t anything uplifting in it, really, so I don’t need to stuff my brain full of it. I’ve got enough problems without a junk-food fest for the intellect. Afterward, C walked me to my car, and we parted with a few words and a hug. I’m really proud of him, and I respect him even more, because he totally respected my boundaries. The hug was a good one, but not inappropriately long. In my tired, havingjustwatchedaromanticmovie state, I actually had wished it were longer at the time. Now I’m glad it wasn’t. I’m actively in the process of surrendering those feelings that I still have for C. I don’t know if I’m doing it right, but I want to be free of them.
I also had a talk with K that morning. It was nice, if slightly awkward at times, due to the presence of others around her that we were trying to talk about. How dare they? (I jest, I jest...) Actually, it was really nice. I love that girl. It’s neat how we can do the light and happy talk of who’s doing what and what’s going on and so forth, but we can also get right down to the nitty gritty of how we’re actually doing, what we’re questioning at the moment, etc. I just wish that I could be more uplifting. It seems to me that I have nothing but questions when I talk with her, and no answers for either one of us.
Ahh, yes, and that night, as I went to sleep, I was talking to God about love and relationships. You see, I love C. The society I was raised in tells me that love prevails over all, and to follow my heart, and it will all work out. But where would that take me? Right back to my old life. I’d be losing all that I’ve gained, and for what? For a relationship with my old flame? I think not. So, anyway, I was talking to God about relationships, and how it’s been 2 years and I’ve learned so much, and how I think that I’d really like to give it a try... and what kind of guy I’d like. Just talking, you know. But I also did come to a point of surrender on this issue, too... because, truly, I want what God wants for my life, even my love life. If I didn’t care, then I’d just waltz right back into C’s arms. But I DO care. My love for God prevails over any of my earthly relationships. So I asked for the very best love story. I actually asked God to bring me a relationship. Have I done that before? I can’t recall. But I think it’s a milestone, because now I know that I can trust him enough to actually ask him to bring me that right relationship (instead of just kind of hoping it will happen), and not be afraid that I’ll get a clunker.
Wednesday:
Had lunch with E, and she made the most amazingly delicious chicken!! She shared some of the feedback from the night before, and it was good- really good! It was neat, because she’s such a strong Christian that we can have these great talks about faith and God and the reality of our depression spells but God’s goodness in the midst of it, and... I always come away from time with her encouraged. And she strongly encourages my ministry with the victims. She is sure that this is the ministry God has for me- this is why he’s given me the gifts of music, enthusiasm, eloquence, etc. It all wraps up into one package that is effective at reaching those particular people. I tend to agree with her. Working with victims and youth both light a fire in my heart that no other ministry or need can compare with. I’m a soft touch. I feel bad for every need I come across. But there is a passion that spontaneously ignites when I’m working with victims that just doesn’t happen when I’m, say, going door to door.
So, afterward, D and I met up for tea and a smoothie and just talked. I’m strangely drawn to her, even though she has so many issues... I think it’s ‘cause she reminds me so much of Mom. We talked about schizophrenia, which she has, and she explained the world of the schizo. Imagine you’ve just been told that you don’t actually have a sister. Every memory of fun times shared, every place you’ve visited, every conversation, every tickle fight, every honest to goodness fight... it never happened. Ever. Oh, and you don’t have a dog, either. They don’t exist. They’re not real.
Can you imagine that? Because to schizophrenics, that’s what it’s like. Have you ever watched A Beautiful Mind? You should. It’s very well done.
D and I talked about other stuff, too. E is really happy about our friendship, because I’m not afraid to tell D the truth, and she needs that. (I’m pleasant and tactful about it... most of the time. We are friends, after all!) She’s drawn to me, too. She says she misses me, which is rather unusual for her. It’s cool. I’m just glad God brought us together. We can learn a lot from each other, I hope.
Then, I went home and packed. D called. (Not D I just had tea with, but Alaska D.) I didn’t get to the phone in time, so he left a message, saying that he just wanted to catch up and see how I was doing, that he had gotten the letter through K and “really enjoyed it.” (What does THAT mean?!) He said that he’d called B to get my number (which I thought was a deliciously ironic twist), he hoped I didn’t mind, and that he’d try again soon. Oh, and that I was in his prayers.
So I called him back later, and got his answering machine, and I left a happy little message about how it was nice to get his message, and it’d be nice to talk to him, so sure, go ahead and try again. I’ll just be packing, anyway, or if you call tomorrow, I’ll be driving.
That was that.
Thursday:
I did my last talk at Champion church for a women’s group, where the pastor interviewed me about what I had talked about at the group on Tuesday, my personal story, and how a friend could help a victimized friend heal. I sang “You Are More” for them again, and I saw some people crying. And they gave me $50 for coming to speak! (A love offering.) That was nice. What with gas prices, I’ll need it. Then E gave me $40. I think I’m going to send that to Crystal Peaks.
I went back home, had lunch, packed up the car, and headed out for Cali. 5 hours later, I was at my destination, and I got to settle in with H for some chat time, which was great. Then, whilst checking my fb, my phone rang.
It was D.
That was fast.
Well, we chatted for about 45 minutes total. At first it was catch up, how are you, what are you doing, etc. He had just gotten back from racquetball, which I MISS DESPERATELY! (Just for the record.)
After a bit, he brought up the letter again. Hmm... He said that there were also some things he wanted to say to me before he left, but he chickened out. I told him it happens to the best of us... since I did the same thing! LOL. I mentioned that, if he preferred, he could write them in an email and send it to me, but that launched us into a discussion of how his email service has some sort of bug, and it will shut down the program as you’re typing the email... without saving it. Turns out he actually tried to write me about a half-dozen times, then gave up in frustration, called B, and got my phone number.
And here I was, prepping myself to never, ever receive an email from him. He’s not gonna write. Don’t get your hopes up. Just don’t think about it. You surrendered it, remember? It doesn’t matter whether he writes or not. You’re okay, either way.
So later on, he comes out with this: “I actually do have a question I’d like to ask you.”
Me: Oh, sure. What is it?
D: Are you interested in being more than friends?
WHAT?!

Me: Well, that’s blunt!
D: I know, but if I didn’t say it that way, I wouldn’t have said it at all.

(LOL. Just as a side note.)
He then went on to say that he had wanted to ask me, but he didn’t want to risk damaging the friendship. And even if I said no, which was perfectly fine, he wanted to maintain a friendship. And even if I said no, that I’ve already given him a good gift, which is that, in the future, he would know what type of woman he was looking for.
Can we say, “Awwwwwww”?
I replied, albeit less bluntly than the posed question.
You’ll hear about that in tomorrow’s installment of this dramatic series.
......
Just kidding. I can’t hold it in.
I replied, albeit less bluntly than the posed question, something to the effect of, “I struggled with the same problem of not wanting to hurt the friendship, so that’s why I wrote the letter, but that I had prayed about it like crazy, and that I had perfect peace about it. I went on to explain that he, too, had given me a good gift already- the surrender and growth of my relationship with God over this issue are priceless to me, and that, even if nothing ever comes of this, I treasure this experience. So... yes, I was interested in getting to know him better.”
So... I guess... I’ve got me that relationship that I asked about two nights ago. Well, it’s not an official relationship, I guess... We’re just getting to know each other better. I don’t know if that counts. But, I do know that... he likes me! :) Yes, and I like him, too.
The REALLY COOL THING was that when I out and asked, “How is this going to work? You’re moving to Alaska!”, he basically said that God had opened the doors for him to be there, but that he was not “locked in” to any one place except the place where God wanted him. We ended our conversation on the note of, “if God makes it clear that this isn’t to be, then we’re done, because we both want His will to be done, not our own.”
Actually, D mentioned how God had opened this door in a way that was unusual to him, because, in past “courting relationships”, either he had come on too strong, or she had, and they were both basically about themselves, not about what God wanted. They didn’t let God in. This time, he feels that we both allowed God to lead, and he’s happy about that.
I am, too.
The reason I was even okay to acknowledge to him that I like him is because I did my homework first, and got the thumbs up from the important people in my life. So I’ve got a few wise people to back up my decision and support me in this. I’m not alone! :)
So... yeah. What a day! I’m so tired. Time for sleep.
(Is it silly that I keep smiling to myself? It’s just that... well.. he likes me! And this is exciting. I like it. I’m a little scared, though... to be honest. Relationships involve risk- one thing I don’t necessarily leap for joy over.)

Flattered

The guys think that the dutchess from The Illusionist looks like me. Not that I look like her, but that she looks like me. I'm flattered. Why? Because this is her:







It's just nice to know that you're found attractive. :)

Last night I dreamt that C died. I had 2 dreams about it, actually, back to back.

In the first dream, I found out he died. I was, needless to say, totally devastated and heartbroken. I spent the rest of the dream at his place, sorting through his stuff and taking back what was mine. That was hard. I broke down crying at one point, but I only let myself sob once or twice, because there were people around. I'll cry later, when I'm by myself.

Then, in the second dream, I was volunteering somewhere, picking up trash in some fenced-in place. Random other people I knew were there, so I was trying desperately to keep my composure, but the loss got to me, and I started crying. Lo and behold, Breezy was there and asked what was wrong, so I was able to tell her. I knew she would understand. And she did. She cried with me, hugged me, and I felt so much better.

What a ridiculous way to spend the night.
It's midnight.

Why am I awake?

I saw some friends, didn't leave until 10. Then I went to the store. I got home at 11 precisely.
Then I did fb and email check.

Now I'm here.

I'm wondering about my future.

What is this summer going to be like? Who will I meet? What photos will I take?

What kind of person will I be after this summer?

It is going to be a building block of my personhood. New experiences always are. What alterations will I have undergone (slight or otherwise) by the time August rolls around?

It's funny how I just assume that I'll still be alive.

And I also wonder... will I have met "that special someone"?

This summer is strictly for ministry purposes, mind you. Even if anything were to develop, it would go on hold until the summer's over. (And I'm going back to Idaho, so it wouldn't develop anyway... guess I've developed a sure-fire plan for emotional security.)

"And the future seems so bright, I can barely open my eyes..."

I'm standing on the brink- a yawning chasm of the next thing. I guess I'm just feeling it.

Life doesn't always continue on as it has in the past, and I'm grateful for that. If it were so, I would never heal.

I leave Thursday for this new job. I'm sort of excited, rather unsure of myself, and eagerly hopeful. I just.. really want to do a good job.

I'm afraid- afraid I'll be overwhelmed with responsibility and expectations as I was with Bible work. I can't shut down- I just can't. I can't fail two jobs in a row. (I've learned to think less of my experience with BW as failure, but still... it has that bitter aftertaste sometimes.)

But, God, you're the one that opened this door, right? You told me yourself that you always give me the power to do what you've asked me to do. I gotta believe that.

Here we go with this trust thing again...

I'm just afraid of my own weakness, is all.
What do you say to a friend that is destroying themselves? (Themself?)

Seeing so many old and familiar faces and places, continually confronted with new and strange situations, I find myself at a loss for words.

What do you say? Especially when they are running themselves into the ground with good things?

Stop it. I love you. You're hurting yourself. I know you can't stop, but... just stop. Okay?

What do you say?

I'll help you. Even though I'm a million miles away, I'll help you.

What can I do? What do I say?

I hate being so helpless!!!

I pray for you.

What else can I do?
I didn't realize that I had so much scheduled for my "time off"... but that's kind of who I am as a person, anyway. I do this to myself all the time. Annnnnnnnd... I still feel twinges of guilt for not doing enough. Like, seriously, you're stressed out over that? Get a grip, woman! You're hardly doing anything!

Yeah, but I'm on vacation. Chew on that word for a while. That means I don't have to do anything. Right?

Most of it is just prep work for the speaking engagements I have. I finally got my sermon done. I was pretty miserable this last week, not having it done.

Shame! Guilt! How dare you watch the Waltons instead of finishing your sermon?! Priorities! Prioritieeeeeeees!

Sigh. (Somehow, I don't think that this is legitimate... but I don't know how to get rid of it.)

So, anyway, I had to get out of the house yesterday. I went down to town and hung out in a park for a while (working on my sermon), but it was wayyy too windy. I don't like wind much. So I went down to the river park and finished it there... sitting in my car. With the windows down. (After I had wandered around for a while.)

Then, while waiting for the friend with whom I was supposed to go rollerblading to call me back, I hopped over the main road and wandered around the historic downtown district. C and I used to spend a good chunk of time there. It was interesting. Good and necessary, but hard. Kind of bittersweet. It was like a "goodbye".

Now that it has finally and officially hit me that there is no hope and future for our relationship together ever again, I'm grieving the loss all over again. It's not as overwhelming as it was when we had actually broken up, because this loss is cushioned by an extensive span of time. However, it is a loss. I'm sad. And being in Y doesn't make it any easier. Everywhere I turn, a memory rises up and confronts me. I am continually acknowledging and releasing. It's slightly painful. I feel lonely much of the time.

So I wandered by myself at twilight. Like I said, it was a goodbye. A burial of sorts. The death of an old hope that had secretly clung to me with shadowy fingers.

By the time I made it to the old man's shop (where C and I consistently bought our swords, and where I bought my wedding dress), my stomach hurt and I thought I was going to throw up. That passed, and so did I... past dusty storefronts and museums...

It's good, Lord. It's good. I am willing to say goodbye to this. It hurts, but... it's good.
Just a little under the weather today. I should have expected it, but I didn't. I think Aunt Flo might be coming to pay me a visit soon, anyway.

H pointed out that I'm stressed. Why can't I see that for myself? Why do I need others to point out the obvious to me? In any event, she's right. So I can see why emotions are a little wacky right now.

I kinda feel like I've regressed a little... because I overate again today. A couple of times. To try and fill the jittery emptiness within.

I was antsy... restless. So I went to Goodwill and bought some necessary things that I had been planning on buying anyway. Then I went to the store to try and find some ice cream. No go. So I got Taro chips instead, and a green tea.

I've finally got most of my sermon put together. Oh, and I have the kid's story, too. That's what's really been getting my goat- I have the sermon, and I feel like I'm failing because I don't have it done yet. So it feels good to have most of it done. I want a short one this week- I'm thinking 15-20 minutes, because they'll have the school kids out there doing songs and stuff, too. So it'll be less of me preaching and more of me giving them something to chew on for the rest of the week (hopefully). I've entitled it, "The Broken Bride". I'll share more when I've actually got it done. Anything could change at this point.

So, setbacks and fatigue and doldrums and all, I think it was an okay day. I still know in my head that my emotions do not dictate my reality, and that's growth in and of itself.

I'm going to go take a bath now. Maybe that will wind me down enough to sleep. I'm still restless.
I can't get over how tired I am lately. Since I've been in Y, it seems that I just can't seem to wake up in the mornings. No matter how early or late I go to bed, it seems that 11 hours of sleep is the number for me. Oh, well. I guess I'll just deal with it, even though it makes me feel like a big fat failure to be rolling out of bed so late.

Maybe my body just knows that I have no real schedule, so it's making up for all the sleep deprivation I endured to get down here in the first place.

And my emotions have taken a hit, from all the excitement and hype of yesterday. I'm just feeling... blah. Kinda down. Kinda lonely. Very definitely fighting longings to be with C. That stirred up all kinds of stuff.

I need to work on my sermon, but I don't really feel like it. But I will anyway. At least I have a title now, and an idea of where I'm going.

I still can't figure out how to get internet on my laptop. I only have one entry on my comp to transfer over, though. I've managed to get ahold of my grandparent's computer anytime I want to write. Maybe I'll find some coffee shop with wi-fi.

So I laid in the sun for a while today, and felt a little better. Then I made some tea. I feel better now, but still tired.

Just... wiped out. From what? Can't say. Just... wiped out.

Oh, and I miss my cat. A lot.

And my family.

And my friends.

*sigh*
Well, there really is none.

I saw C today, and it illuminated some truths to me.

First of all... I still love him. Yes, I do. And that's okay. Because the life that I walked away from, the life he still leads... is not the life I want. I want something better.

(He is still living in denial. He doesn't believe that his home was abusive growing up. I've talked to his mom. I've heard the stories of what happened to him... and he thinks his home was fine.)

So anyway, it wasn't awkward, as I had feared. I was exceedingly nervous, but this morning God basically wrapped me in his love, and I knew it would be okay. I went to his apartment (C's, not God's) and he was there, hair all awry because he had just rolled out of bed. We sat down, him in an armchair and me on the sofa, and we talked a bit. Then one of his roommates came wandering out, followed shortly by her girlfriend. We hung out and chatted for a while as they had their coffee, then they took off to buy cigarettes, and I seized my opportunity to say what I had come to say.

I told him that I had been doing some intense therapy and counseling the past 6 months, and that I'd had to face some hard truths about myself. I said that he didn't have to forgive me, but I needed to apologize to him for my deceitfulness, selfishness, and manipulativeness during our relationship. So I said I was sorry. He said that he had either seen what I was doing and was okay with it, or he could see it coming- essentially, he let my apology just bounce off of him and roll onto the floor. That's fine. It's his deal. But I made amends.

As a matter of fact, I think that we could even maintain a superficial friendship from here on out. The roommates came back, and we all hopped in C's rig and went to WalMart. I bought some sunglasses. Then we went to a sushi place, picked up another friend who needed a ride, and back to C's place we went. The roommates left to go shopping for shoes, and I only hung out for a few minutes more before taking off myself.

Still... it was good. I actually had fun. But I see things now that I didn't before. We don't fit together anymore, as much as I do still care for him. Our lives are so totally different... I was not comfortable in his environment anymore. Every other word from the roommate's mouths were swear words, and even C had them peppered throughout his conversation far more than he used to. Their conversation was laced with sexual innuendos, or shot straight through with crude sexual jokes a good deal of the time. It made up the bulk of the words spoken. (Not mine, though!)

I just realized... I'm meant for something better than this. So are they, but they either don't realize it, or don't want it. But I do want it. I want something good and pure and sweet. That's not what I saw today.

Will I always love him? I'm not sure. He has a special place in my heart. But it's kind of like cigarettes... The urge comes sometimes, and I could, but... why? What's the point? I would lose far more than I would gain, just for a temporary enjoyment that leaves me feeling sick to my stomach.

I didn't used to be this strong. It's pretty awesome to see the progress.

I did have to watch myself, though, that I didn't fall back into established habits... like taking his hand as I rode shotgun in his truck. I almost did at one point, without thinking.

I can't spend much time around him, or I'll just be feeding the dragon.

So, like I say, perhaps a superficial friendship can be achieved. I wouldn't dare dabble with anything more than that.
Halp! Am seeing C in morning.

Don't freak out. Don't freak out. Remember the promises God gave you JUST THIS MORNING.

Yes. That's right. In everything, with prayer and supplications, and thanksgiving... the peace that passes understanding will guard my heart and mind.

Yes.

Okay.

Don't freak out.
I'm not able to hook up to my grandparent's internet from my comp yet. So I'll just blog on Pages, then transfer it over later. If you don't hear from me... that's why.

(Yeah, I'm using their comp. But I don't want to sit here and blog- I want the freedom of a laptop!)
It's hitting me- the first pangs of true loneliness.

It was fine when I was with B and J. Their lifestyle is so different than mine, my brain knew that I was just visiting.

Then SOULS. That was so refreshing and wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and spending lots and lots of time with J kept the loneliness at bay. I felt at home.

Now, I truly am at home- my grandparent's house in Y. And it's just me and them. And just me. By myself. In my room. Alone.

J, where are you? Come giggle with me!! *Sigh*

I'm going to bed.

Alone.
I like to plan things. Especially my future. As I'm endeavoring to live each day at a time, that can sometimes be a liability. Especially when I tend to live in the future instead of the present- eternally planning and scheming, trying to make things go "just right", and ignoring the beauty and joy of the day that is unfolding around me.

So, it would be easy to swing in the opposite direction and not plan anything... at all. Except that it goes completely against my grain, and I just can't do that.

So I've been praying a lot about the future- what comes after summer camp? People keep asking me, "What are you doing next year?"

I just smile and tell them, "God hasn't revealed that step yet."

And that's okay. I trust him. But I still need something to aim for, else I'm casting about, well... aimlessly.

I talked to Dr. S from Weimar College yesterday. What he shared for worship really intrigued me, and it turns out that Weimar has a one year Massage and Natural Remedies course (something that's always intrigued me).

As of late, I've been feeling the pressure of time. Having studied at least superficially the prophecies of the Bible concerning Jesus' second coming, it's becoming more and more apparent to me that the world is, to put it simply, unraveling.

Seriously. Jesus is coming back soon, and I don't feel that I have the time to spend doing 4 years of college. I need to be doing something now! I don't want to be caught unprepared when it all goes to pot right beforehand.

And recently, it's been coming to my attention again just how important agriculture is. I know I struggle with Ellen White, but I do believe that God was speaking through her, and she has a lot to say on the necessity of agricultural work. I've seen with my own two eyes how it opens doors.

So, the three lights as one that guide us in God's will? 1. God in his word. 2. God in circumstance. 3. God in our hearts, urging us forward.

Yesterday, in my devotions, this phrase popped out at me- "When I give you no special guidance, stay where you are."

Whoa, God... for serious? Could you be asking me to stay with the S's and learn gardening? I mean... the circumstances are right. The Bible speaks very favorably about agriculture and farming, and I know you have a lot of lessons to teach from that occupation. I want to in my heart... so... I guess that I'll just plan to go back home and live for a year, unless you show me different.


Huh. That was easy.

As Dr. S told me, "God can't change your plans if you don't have any."

Seriously, it's not like I'm making plans so that I can be like, "Okay, God, here are my plans. Approve them, k? 'Cause I'm gonna do this, no matter what."

No way! I want to do what God wants me to do!

Also, I found out that my debt from SOULS is less than I thought it was, so I'll actually have more money saved from this summer than I thought. I can live on that for a time. One thing's for sure- I'm not working for B anymore.

And as far as the year after goes... I think I'll go to Weimar and take their massage course. I've been massaging for years. I love it. And I've discovered that I looooove A&P from talking to my chiropractor.

Funny story: When I was a kid, I used to pretend that I was an apothecary. I know, some girls dream about being princesses or ballerinas, but I dreamt of being an herbalist. I had this little wooden cabinet and some teeny jelly jars that I had saved and washed out. I would take the herbs out of old tea bags, stock my little jars with "cures", label them, and keep them in my cabinet.

So, here are  some of the courses I'd be taking:
-Basic & Advanced Massage
-Health Evangelism
-Anatomy & Physiology
-Hydrotherapy & Natural Remedies
-Pathology
-Kinesiology

Oh, buddy... I'm excited, already!!

So, as usual, nothing's set in concrete, but next year I'll be hangin' out in Idaho again. Being away for only a week and a half has temporarily cured me of my impatience to do something else and desire for change. I MISS HOME! But, on the other hand... I'm really enjoying myself. I've been giving massages to the girls, and I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. So I'm not just wasting time and goofing off- I'm being productive!

Oh, yeah, and next year... I'm taking piano lessons.
So, gardening, racquetball and monthly activities, piano lessons, farmer's market, and Daughters of Summer Hill. That's my year. Those are my boundaries. I'm sticking to it.

Depression

It occurs to me... I haven't had a bout with depression in a while.

This is not a bad thing.

I had been expecting/fearing a turn for the downward, what with all the stress from travel, and hanging out with Bible college friends.

Why should I fear my friends from school? I suppose for the same reason I was afraid to quit Bible work... because I'm afraid they'll see who I really am, and hate me for it.

I'm not faking it anymore. I am who I am, I am where I am with You, and I'm not succumbing to the urge to "photoshop" myself to fit their expectations.

And that's scary. Because, in some ways, I'm not the girl they knew. What if they don't like the real me?

What if I get Bible bashed? What if I'm not a good Christian compared to them?

But I didn't have to worry about that. They just loved me and accepted me... turkey slices and all.

And my salvation is not swayed by what others think of me anymore.

(Well, it never was, but it sure affected me adversely to think that someone thought I wasn't doing the right thing...)

Anyway, I guess I'm just learning how to deal with stress better, and learning to deal with emotions.

That's good.
Good morning, Yah.
How are you today? I hope your night was good. I know you’re busy, especially because you don’t sleep.
That’s kind of a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around -- I depend on sleep so much!
So what, I wonder, does today hold?
Whatever it does, I want you to be by my side for it. I want you to live in me for it. I want to be yours for it.
You said that you will give a new heart for the old, stony one. You said that you’re knocking, and if anyone opens the door, you’ll come in and eat with them. You said that you have sent the Holy Spirit to teach us all things, and to guide us into all truth.
So... I’m saying, “Yes.” Yes. Please, abide with and in me today.
I have this horrible feeling that I’m going to mess up the plans you have laid today. Can I be sorry in advance? I don’t want to mess up your plans- I want to fit perfectly into them, like a puzzle piece.
Can I ask you something? Can you please get me back my Bible case? I really miss my devotional book, and my Bible.
So the question remains- what would you have me to do today?
Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service; abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.
I plan to wash my car and go to the store. Then I’ll work on my survival talk throughout the day, practice some guitar, and this evening I plan to go around to the different rooms and give a back rub or two. (It helps that half of the people I knew have graduated, so there are less girls to vie for my massages!)
That’s my plan for the day. Feel free to change anything. But please- let me know it’s you!! If I know you’re the one moving stuff around or editing, then I won’t be frustrated... I hope.
And I need help controlling my heart again. It’s perked up, because there are godly men here. I want it to shush up already. God, I really don’t want to be desperate. And you understand my predicament- I want a boyfriend, but I’m so scared of what that entails and leads to! Platonic relationships are my forte, not romantic ones.
Plus, I’m still bugging out about the future. Why do I want to know so badly? Why do I need to know? I don’t.
I’m going to say it here, so that I can affirm this basic truth that I hold near and dear now.
I trust you, Yah. I trust that you will provide for me. I trust that you have a plan for me. I put myself at your mercy. I’m all yours.
Help me to trust you fully... to trust you more.
I trust you.
I love you.