i’m up later than i should with the amount of studying that awaits me tomorrow. but my mind is full and my thoughts are swimming and i need to put something down, for some one other than myself to stew and stir over. this past weekend has been one of my all time favorites this semester, and this year. the situations and adventures i have found myself in with the quirkiest group of people are endless. this past weekend was one of those. from a big italian dinner, to the crashing of riverboat party, saturday night was a laugh. ending with a few of us up until 5:30 deliriously cracking jokes and sitting on a big palette on the floor, it was a much needed collaboration of old and new friends on a night to remember. i had really incredible intentional moments with roomz as well, for which i will safe for later for fear of a lot of tears and a lot of lovin’. it’ funny how quickly i can fall from spirits as high and nourished as these to a discombobulation that is frightening and confusing. i can’t quite put my finger on it, but i know it comes from a dark tendency to hold on tightly to the things i believe i’ve already surrendered. i started feeling disconnected at a banquet i had for the seniors of adpi. leaving early to catch the end of an ruf cookout, i landed in the thick of my insecurities. all at once. just like that. we find pockets of divine connect and community where we find comfort and encouragement. but the minute i begin let myself feel small for a moment, satan takes over and i’m his for the evening. i wondered why i felt the way i did at a place i put a medium amount of effort in, only leaving to seek security in a place i put a lot of effort in. that’s where i tripped up. as literal as that, i expect immediate results and immediate medication.
as if that was not enough for one night, i met up with a friend who i’ve had to put up a little space with recently because of his feelings for me. after an hour or so in the park, with the perfect breeze and easy conversation, it was time to be tested for what felt like the third time in one night. he wanted more answers that i thought i had given him, over and over again, in the most communicative methods i thought possible. but the lord wanted to have his way with me. he wanted to push me into saturated honestly with some one who was more deserving than most in the way he has handled and answered to his feelings and affections. it was a tough conversation, and i left feeling mean and awkward all at the same time, ending the semester with a poor reflection on what our friendship had really meant and become to me. flustered and selfish i dragged my feet up to my apartment to find my roommate in a moment of weakness as well. (funny how the lord works.) in a matter of minutes, the phone rang, and the boy who has the short end of the stick already was apologizing to me for his unresponsiveness. how humble and caring he is for my heart and emotions, and here i was thinking of no one but myself. it was in that moment that i realized how manipulative i have been: holding onto the flattery, security and sweetness of what i’ve received, without giving him the awareness he deserved in leaving for the summer. i finally swallowed the pride i take in my precision and carefulness with for communicating, and let the lord speak. he did a much better job than me. are you surprised?
looking forward to finally skyping with you today. i am sorry for being selfish. it’s about time i open the windows and let the wind in- not on my own time or energy, but on his. love you infinitely. xx. m.
I suppose on Easter Sunday a lot of people hear the gospels’ story of the resurrection. It is one that from time to time loses it’s power to me—sadly. Spending this Easter away from home, out of a church, and amongst a Catholic population, I missed the teachings of the resurrection and the reminder of what it proves to me, to my faith. I loved what you wrote about because the sermon I listened to was very, very similar. We read from the gospel of Luke and in ways our two sermons intertwined complement each other quite well!
Luke 24:1-8 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes gleamed like lightening stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” Then they remembered his words.
He began the sermon talking about how we as humans long from something bigger than right now. If only we had [blank] my life would be fulfilled. However, there is something wrong with everything because we are broken, crippled people trying to make a broken world work. We are looking for all the answers in all the wrong places. To find Jesus’ body in the tomb would be incompatible with the resurrection. Jesus told his disciples more times than once what was going to happen and that he could not be found among the dead on the third day, yet Peter and the others went searching for him amongst the dead. We seek the wrong answers because our world worships the dead. We seek from hollow and empty places that will always, without fail, crumble beneath us.
So, the resurrection has to be true. The resurrection is the centrality of Christianity, and without it, Christianity does not exist. If we turn God into a domesticated god, then we are missing who he is. He gave up his one and only son so that we may know who He is. There are no records of the disciples returning to the tomb because there is absolutely no reason too. They are empty, hollow. Similar to your sermon, why do we yearn for perfect justice in a world where we come up short? Because the resurrection proves to us that there is perfected justice to come. Everything he has told us is true, and lies in the truth of the resurrection. Apart for the resurrection, Christianity does not exist.
“He is risen! He is not here.” So why do I keep going back to the dead to find the answers? Why do I search among the people of this word to be fulfilled? Jesus won’t be there! He’ll be amongst the living, the rejoicing, breathing life back into our broken hearts. We know he is alive because of his promises to us that he has and will fail to break—He is triumphant and perfected. He reigns over death and has broken the chains that held us to it—so why do we continually act like we are slaves to it? I too ask you the question, what are our missions that we are spurred on to do through the resurrection? It is not to sit and be among death in this world, I can already tell you that.
the cross was enough—-let there be no higher name.
happy easter my dear friend. it was such a joy to see your face over skype yesterday. oh how i long to sit with you and be right beside ya again soon. we are reaching the finish line. i feel so rested after a long week at the beach with fresh and fond faces. today, i woke up and walked over to holly’s house where we made tea and prayed over this holy sunday before early church. we heard such a splendid sermon at our little church across the street. although i miss knowing the congregation more intimately in nashville, having a few friends on the pew was simply enough.
paul haan read from mark 16, verses 1-8. “when the sabbath was over, mary magdalene, mary the mother of james, and salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint jesus’ body. very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” but when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. as they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “don’t be alarmed,” he said. “you are looking for Jesus the nazarene, who was crucified. he has risen! he is not here. see the place where they laid him. but go, tell his disciples and peter, ‘he is going ahead of you into galilee. there you will see him, just as he told you.’” trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
many fear the question of reality in the resurrection. paul haan reminded us that each account of the lord’s people was honest and free, for there was no fear of conflicting truth because it was real and present and true. the lord had risen indeed. in the middle of our life there is death, just as there is life that intercedes our death. may we be moved from fear to confidence. how stirring that the first account of the resurrection is one in which the women flee? it’s because it is true. we are creatures of doubt and even though we remain to be on this side of heave, the lord has no difficulty transforming that fear into a driven mission for him. thank goodness it is not about me! why do we yearn for perfect justice in a world where we come up short? because the resurrection proves to us that there is perfected justice to come. everything he has told us is true, and lies in the truth of the resurrection.
even so, there is something deep inside of us that convinces us that easter does not apply to us individually. that we have fallen to far…yet it is impossible to stray too far from the power and love of christ in this hopeful story we call easter.
“i know that god is not forgotten, in all that is lost and broken.” taken from one of my favorite songs is the reminder that there is more. the old has passed away, and the new is here and fresh and hopeful. everything the enemy has stolen is taken back. so, carolina, what does this mean for you? your fear has been made into a mission. how are you called to use this mission? let’s figure that out in this last month or so of school. because there is not a shadow of doubt that he is not writing our stories from the preface of easter…in each of our lives.
Gosh, I just can’t believe you have entered into the world of tattoos…just after your twentieth birthday, sending me pictures across the ocean as I piece together your thoughts behind those two words forever printed on your hands. I love their significance and how you finally settled on a truth that is constant and unwavering. I know your prayer for a long time has been for contentment and to be known. I love how the Lord revealed the significance of those two desires through His word and now forever reminding you that you are known and Jesus offers pure satisfaction. I think the Lord often yearns for us to just “be”. We are much easier to reach when we allow ourselves to be of the moment. That’s the only way we can truly taste the abounding joy offered every new morning.
You have a strong sense of the people around you and the ability to gain their trust. What a gift! Your humanly nature turns that into a job rather than a joy. Your passion gets lost and it becomes somewhat of a burden as you take on other people’s emotions. I can resonate with you as I have similar characteristics to some extent. Like you, I try to “fix” emotions. I suppose it comes from a habit of trying to fix my own, justifying the ones that feel dramatic, and dramatizing the ones that gain an outward response. Actually, one of the greatest lessons I learned this past semester at TCU is that I cannot take on other people’s emotions. Honestly, they probably do a much better job of taking care of themselves than I could ever do. Being sensitive is one thing, but putting their reactions on myself does absolutely nothing. Quite freeing actually when the Lord liberates you from that obligation.
I may be sounding selfish when I say that my emotions are mine and no one else’s. Everyone has a right to their emotions and no one can really change the way you feel about something. Of course there is comfort, empathy, joys and sorrow, but me, only me, will be the one in the end to deal with what I’m feeling believing that the Lord is teaching me how to sift through my confused, sinful heart. He has been faithful to both of us slowly revealing some of the deepest, darkest parts.
I am so eager to sit in your presence and finally listen to the changes the Lord has placed in front of you this semester. Every time we talk, I feel as though we are getting older and wiser. Real life hits us hard every day with new triumphs and trials, yet somehow it morphs into the most beautiful story.
I dearly love you sweet friend.
Yep. I finally did it. And I didn’t even faint…can you believe it?! I’ve entered the world of tat status. I went last night with my dear friend Emmie whose story is real and raw and beautiful. The process was not new to her which was helpful in calming my nerves. She remains to be the most humble and deserving person in my life and I am so happy I got to share the experience with her, especially in the significance of what this week has been for her.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations and earth.” Psalm 46:10 was the first verse to ever really have meaning to me. I will never forget the moment it settled in a spot inside of me, where, in that instance, I simply understood. There is a card that sits in a frame above my bed in my first home that really belongs to me. While I’m leaving the apartment in the Fall, it has been such a significant haven of safety for me in a lot of ways this year. I have faced a handful of demons in my life while aboding here with sweet roommate and loyal friend Courtney. I have a long way to go, but I am learning to submit and look expectantly ahead. Because not everyone can.
The card reads, “There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart”. It is not difficult to know that I am a person of feeling and emotion, and often times I forget to rest equally in the truth of knowing, as believing. I am excited to have these words “be” and “know” mirroring each other on my wrists, reminding me of the beauty in the balance of emotion and feeling, and that of the simplicity of truth. :)