You know, I got to thinking tonight about friendship. I went to a young adult group with a couple of my girlfriends and had some REALLY loud but good worship time, and then a really great message on 1 John 2. It was about how we are different in our levels of maturity in our walk with God. How we can be like babies and be learning, or then we can more like a young man and be maturing, or we can finally get to where we are mature and are like adults or grandparents. The guy who gave the message said that we should seek out those “mature” Christians and attach ourselves to them and learn from them. I am going to have to go back and re-read the passage so that it can sink in even more and I can remember it better for the journey ahead. I got to talk to one of my girlfriends for a while afterward and am so thankful to have her as a friend. We haven’t gotten to spend as much time together lately, but we talked and asked how we could pray for each other in the things that we are going through. To me, friendship is taken so lightly in our culture. We have 800 bajillion “friends” on Facebook or Myspace, our phones are packed with the numbers of people who we met in class and don’t even really care if we see again, and we always tell people that “we should catch up sometime” but never really do. How can we say that these people are even our friends? Do we know them? Do we care? When somebody asks us how we are, don’t we always say “I’m good” even if we aren’t? I think the whole problem with our society today is that we care less about more people instead of caring more about fewer people. I know that there will always be people who I just ‘know’ as well as the ones who I get to know and am close to. I hope that whoever I know, however well, will see me as a someone who really cares. Speaking of friends, I think the best gift that I recieved this year for Christmas was a gift from an old childhood friend. He and his brother came to visit for a week and near the end of their trip, a box arrived in the mail. I opened it and found a smaller box wrapped in gift wrap. I tore through that to find a small box with a disclaimer: “THIS IS NOT JEWELRY!”. We all had a chuckle as I stood in the kitchen, opening the tiny package. As soon as I saw the little box I had known what was inside. It was an arrowhead that my friend and I had found when all of us were just kids goofing around down near the creek. It was out on the edge of a limestone cliff and we both saw it at the same time. I was so shocked I couldn’t say anything, and he was so scared of the edge of the cliff that he couldn’t move. So he claimed seeing it first, but I went to retrieve it. To the shock of the siblings with us, we started shouting at each other for whose it really was. Finally, after crying and yelling and having to have our moms muddle through what really happened, they told us what we should do. Share it. The arrowhead would stay at his house for a while, and then it could stay at mine. Well, this had happened probably 10 years ago and the arrowhead that we had warred over had never changed territories. So this Christmas, as I opened the box I realized that this was no ordinary gift. It was wonderful and funny to receive this gift with such a history of friendship behind it, and that it was really meaningful. Just thinking of these things makes me so thankful for the friendships that I have.
I feel like I am becoming me. This may not make sense to any of you, but I am feeling more confident in just being me. I am finding out who “me” is and what I can do and what I want to do. I have this urge to spend time with girls who are younger than me. I have no idea why, but it’s been on my heart for a while. I want to pay off my camera and then start actually being able to save money to do things that I could want to do later on down the road. I am more confident that people don’t just think I am a kid, and have found that people generally don’t mind hearing me out and listening. I think that I am starting to be able to get a handle on the fact that I don’t have to settle for less than what I deserve. I am finding out that I can handle more pressure and responsibility in my job than I thought I would be able to. I can do things without procrastinating, although I still do sometimes. I can survive being home alone and not die of loneliness. I am able to say what I want to say better than I have before, and let people know how I feel. I can feel pain and disappointment, but I can function without letting it ruin my day. I still get frustrated with bad drivers, and I hate walking past smokers and breathing in the crap they just exhaled, and I feel sorry for myself more often than I should. But I am learning that I can demand the respect of an adult and not get pushed around like a kid, and that I can be taken seriously.
I was having a battle before bedtime. It was my heart feeling hurt and mad, yet at the same time feeling loving and forgiving. I was feeling these feelings over something that happened not too long ago that created a hurt spot in my heart. I have had moments of feeling sad, mad, and wronged. I have moments were I feel like hugging the person and slapping the hell out of them at the same time. And tonight (or rather yesterday since it’s after midnight now), I was asking the Lord to help me to deal with these feelings. I am struggling with being truly forgiving. I wanted to make sure that I am not just saying that I forgive someone, I want it to be true deep in my heart.
- Forgiveness: is the freeing of a person from guilt and its consequences, including punishment; usually as an act or favor, compassion or love, with the aim of restoring a broken personal relationship.
I was crying out to God to help me with these feelings of anger. So I looked in the back of my Bible and found the word anger and I found a reference to 1 Corinthians 13:5 which says
“[Love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
It hit me that this is what it was all about. So I read the entire chapter. It begins with the most powerful sentence in 12:31; “And now I will show you the most excellent way…”
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I found that passage so comforting. It took all doubts of what I my actions and response should be to the wound in my heart. Love. The Bible tells me exactly what love is and that love is directly related to forgiveness! I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart. I have been asking the Lord to speak to me through the Holy Spirit and give me wisdom about the things in my life I am dealing with now and the things I will deal with at any time in my life. I am so glad that God is specific in His Word. And I am so happy to be able to hear Him speak in my heart!
Oh, it doesn’t look like a juvenile florophile got into my room with tacky accessories! I have a fun duvet cover that is wonderfully reversible and some quirky new knobs on this little chest of drawers I have. And I put up a semblance of actual “artwork” in the bathroom, and although it’s from Ikea, it still looks better than the purple “cat” clock that was previously there. My desk is clean, and there is lovely overcast light coming in through the windows. Overcast days are my favorite to photograph and create on. I just LOVE them. Oh, and speaking of l-o-v-e, Valentines Day is just around the corner. I don’t think I’ve really told anybody, but of all the holidays Valentines is my favorite. I just love getting to make romantic looking cards and sweet treats and having a reason to be super, gooshy nice to people just because. I want to be more like Valentines all of the time with me. Sort of like, I like to give the people in my family gifts throughout the year, because Christmas isn’t about that anyway and it’s so much nicer to be a little unpredictable. Keep and eye out for lots of pictures and Valentiney stuff…
What is it about letters that is so special? I’ve always loved getting them and sending them and making them beautiful so that they make even the mailman stop and look at them. So many letters are just about business, or end up being junk mail from your local retailers and politicians. I think I love handwritten letters the best, probably because they are the rarest. You can tell who the letter is from by the size and shape of the person’s handwriting. The first handwritten letter I have received in the mail in month’s came today. Every time I get a letter in the mail, it’s like a Christmas gift to me. Actually, I like it better than Christmas gifts. To me, it’s one of the nicest ways someone can say that they care.
Eww. I have a cold. Although I am not finding it terribly amusing, it has given me some time at home to clean up, sort, and do some researching. I got a nice hot shower and was thanking the Lord for it as it opened up my clogged nose and made me feel less germ-y. I am doing some more de-cluttering and since I am feeling a tad better today, I am going to do some more journaling. I felt bad about dropping it for the past couple of days, but I was feeling pretty lousy. I will not give up on persevering with this, and have been thinking of how I have looked forward to the end of each day to spend time with the Lord. I think I’ll wait to take my Nyquil after I journal tonight though… ;^)
Ok, I have a major creative bug just itching to get out and do some work on this room of mine. I think one of the loveliest things would be to paint my white walls grey. I am thinking of a nice, light grey with just enough substance to keep everything in the room from floating away. A sort of uncommon neutral. I also want to make new curtains. Nice long ones that actually go to the floor. I think I am going to remake the curtains that I have now into something else useful, and colorful maybe. I think it could be a very much more grown-up room with sophistication. But alas, right now my wardrobe is in the throes of being reorganized and taken stock of, all of my decorating treasures are on the table in the middle of the room, and my photographs are strewn here and there. And I dont want to spend a whole wad of money either. I think I could move everything around enought to paint… hmmm. More to come later as the ideas materilize.