Five Minute Friday: Lost

Getting lost doesn’t normally scare me. I’m the type of person who likes to get lost in the woods or city in order to better explore it; I like to loose track of time as I wander. However, when it comes to planing out my future, I don’t like the “lost” feeling that coming with it. I don’t like feeling helpless as I stare into the unknown. I am vulnerable and exposed when I don’t have a set plan for my future, and I don’t like it. I hate not knowing things, it makes me feel useless and ignorant.
Lately, I’ve been dealing with all of those emotions as I try and plan out my life. But the more I do that the more I realize I can’t because I don’t know what’s coming, I don’t know what exactly the future holds. It’s easy to let the feeling of being lost overwhelm me to the point where all I can do is sit in my house and stare listlessly at the walls, unsure of where to go, unsure of what I’m supposed to do, unsure if I am waiting on someone or if I need to make the first move.
It’s easy to get stuck there, it’s another thing to stand up and take back control of my emotions and feelings and thoughts and fears about the future. I don’t have to let the feeling of being lost control me anymore.

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Linking up with Lisa-Jo and the FMF writers again! We “free write” for five minutes about one topic without editing the post when we’re done. It’s a chance to let it out and learn from each other. šŸ™‚ You can check out her blog, and other FMF posts, here. Enjoy!

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Asbury Musings part 1: Finding Strength in His Spirit

Two weeks ago I walked across a temporary stage in the gymnasium, received my diploma, and got my picture taken with Dr. Gray as a college graduate. I said goodbye to my friends, packed up my car, and left Kentucky. CollegeĀ has been a crazy ride, full of good times and not so great ones, but through it all I learned a lot about myself. Over the past two weeks I have been processing what exactly I learned over the years and how I have changed. So, I thought I’d share my “Asbury Musings” with you.

I first thought about the drastic difference between my underclassmen and upperclassmen years. My freshman and sophomore years were a lot of fun and not that challenging. I hung out with my friends and we made a lot of crazy memories together (Sophomore Musical anyone?). But everything changed when junior year came around. My classes got harder, I was easily overwhelmed, and had to stop hanging out with most of my friends just to get my work done. I knew over half the people on campus but I couldn’t focus on all those friendships and pass my classes (example:Ā I had DFP and Screenwriting that semester). But the worst part was that I started having back problems that forced me to sit on the sidelines more often than I wanted to and watch my friends have fun.

It continued the same way in the following three semesters; less interaction with my friends outside of the classroom while my life gradually spun out of control. Then in the middle of my final semester at Asbury, I realizedĀ that I was so run down, physically and emotionally, out that I couldn’t continue, even if I had one month until graduation. I was in the midst of a horrible back spasm and was angrily questioning God why I was in so much pain. I thought He healed me but I hadn’t had any improvement in a long time. I never knew what could trigger a back spasm and so I was scared to do anything that might set it off. Everything I tried to do to heal myself wouldn’t last, a back spasm would always come again and the pain would leave me almost paralyzed for several days. Nothing worked and I began to think there wasn’t any cure for me.

While I was desperately begging God to make the pain stop, He gave me a choice: I could continue living the way I was (stubbornly on my own) and quickly end up with a bad case of depression and anxiety, or I could choose to live in the strength of God’s spirit and trust that He would renew my worn out body, and then give me strength to finish out the semester strong.

Then it hit me: I had been trying to get better by using my strength, not God’s. I did my best to find my own cure, and then push through my semester so it looked like I was fine. I wasn’t “fine,” but I thought I had to be. I realized that if I wanted to live I couldn’t continue in my own strength because I had nothing left and no way of healing my back. But if I chose to live in the strength of His spirit I had a chance to live life to the fullest again.

I chose to trust that He would provide the healing I needed to finish the semester strong; and He did exactly what He promised. He gave me the strength and rest I needed to finish all my projects and finals, and to walk across that stage and jump off the stairs in celebration as an Asbury University graduate with minimal to nonexistent pain. Praise the Lord!

Now that college is over, my back is not 100% (it has yet to happen) and I’m still recovering from college itself. However, I will continue to live in the strength of His spirit everyday because, even though college is over, a new chapter in my life has already begun and I’m not going to miss one bit of it!

Confession: An Overwhelming Week

The other day I was at Wal-Mart when I happened to grab THE CART. You know that one I’m talking about, the one with the gimpy wheel that forces the cart to constantly turn to the right. Never had I experience driving such a stubborn cart. But did I switch it out for an easier one? No, because I am more stubborn than that cart, and by golly I was going to prove it! So I grabbed that sucker and forced it to go in the direction I wanted to. I proudly grinned to myself when I finished my trip, knowing I had won. However, victory came at a cost. I was frustrated the entire time I was at the store and the carpel tunnel in my wrist started to hurt badly by the end. By the time I made it to my car I was proud I made that cart obey me, but deep down inside me I knew the frustration and the pain in my wrist wasn’t worth it.

There are days when I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I feel like I am behind on my homework, staying in touch with people, and life in general. This past week I have realized that I am an indecisive perfectionist. I want things to be perfect, but I never know when they are (Advanced Screenwriting homework, I’m lookin’ at you). So what do I do? Take charge and make a decision? Heck no! That’d be too easy! I wait around until I absolutely have to make a decision, and usually that ends up stressing me out even more.

Why do I do that? Because I don’t like the easy route because, well…. itā€™s easy. I like to challenge myself and will often purposefully pick that harder route so I can feel awesome when I accomplish it (hence my shopping cart adventure). But usually I don’t feel awesome. Instead I feel worn out because I spend the entire journey stressing out over how hard it was, and then beating myself up for picking the harder homework assignment (or the stubborn shopping cart). Why? So I could prove I’m awesome. To who? I guess just me; but if other people notice that’s fine too.

When will I learn better? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I still have a lot to learn, but living in God’s grace helps me to forgive myself. So I’m going to keep trying my best, telling myself I don’t have to be perfect and then give myself grace when I don’t listen to my own advice. That’s part of what growing up is, right? Learning to give yourself grace? At least I hope so, because I’m going to need a lot of it becauseĀ that’s not the last stubborn shopping cart I will encounter.