Friday, January 15, 2010

A reason to celebrate

I've always felt like that one weird kid on the outside edges of everything. That person always looking in the window. At school, church, dance, everything. I've never been at the heart of a group. Turns out I'm not the only one.

On Wednesday I got together with Justin, Jessica, and Steven to talk about starting a Bible study for college and post-college people looking for peers with whom they can grow in Christ and fellowship while we're at it. Some of us have felt like we're not part of the central group at our church and are looking for a group not only to call our own, but to open wide to any and all who wish to join. It's so exciting to know that while all four of us have come to this situation through very different walks, we're all in the same place and we're all willing to do something about it.

I'm looking forward to getting this started. I pray that this will be a great opportunity for those of us who began the Bible study as well as the post-college community around Yukon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I love a good story

Yesterday my Mom and I went to my Great-Uncle Jerry's funeral. As I said in my last blog, we had been praying for him for many years, as had Oliver, Dorothy, Darlene, and many other family members. The minister at the funeral was Jerry's step-son, Michael, who let us all know that Jerry had given his life to the Lord in 2008. Michael would go to Jerry's nursing home every Friday to preach, and one Friday he found Jerry very lucid and knew it was his chance. He was able to lead Jerry in becoming a Christian, and two minutes later, clear-thinking Jerry was gone. Michael said he never saw Jerry like that again. God rolled back the confusion Jerry felt from Alzheimer's long enough for him to do the most important thing he would ever do. I am so grateful that our prayers were answered, and I am so grateful that when I get to Heaven I will see Jerry's radiant smile.

While I was in Arkansas I also got to see my cousin Erin for the first time in nearly 20 years! She's my only cousin that's the same age as me and I wish she lived closer. It'd be nice if I could see her and Trystan every now and then, or if they both lived closer!

Cousins in sunglasses!

The farmhouse my great-grandparents lived in. I thought it was gone!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another year gone by

It's 2010 and everyone is talking about new starts, leaving the past behind, all that jazz. Some of us realize a new year really isn't any different. You just buy a new calendar.

So far this year I've sat by my dog, Emma, while she died. I've heard that my Great-Uncle Jerry died. The first 10 days of 2010 have been more of an end than a beginning in many respects.

I loved Emma like crazy. She was a Pets and People rescue and she was the most thankful dog ever. She loved unconditionally, like we humans should but never do. I think Emma had her priorities set straighter than I do. She wanted to spend every waking moment with loved ones. Even when I came into the garage that last morning and she was in so much pain that she yelped constantly, her tail started wagging when she saw me. Her pain didn't keep her from showing her undying affection. I hope that someday I can be that selfless.

My Uncle Jerry was 74. I think he was the youngest out of all my Grandpa's brothers, and definitely the funniest. His goals in life were to tease you endlessly and make you laugh as much as possible. Every time he smiled or laughed, so did you. That's just how infectious his joy was. Mom told me once that at Will's funeral she and Scott talked to Jerry about becoming a Christian and he told them that he had done too much bad to be forgiven. When I was little he would chill outside St. Joe's Freewill Baptist Church while the rest of us were inside on "Decoration Day." He never went in. The last time I went though, Mom and I had wandered outside for some fresh air during the afternoon and ran into him. He insisted we go inside with him to hear his sister Sybil sing. I was dumbfounded at the time, but now I think it has a lot to do with Darlene, the woman he married a few years ago. She's pretty boisterous, and just the type he needed to keep him in line. I prayed so hard for him, hoping God would push him to his knees. I don't know if it happened, but hope when I go to heaven he'll be there to greet me.

During all this junk, I've been searching diligently for a job. I've been the bum in the family for so long. I know I'm a drag on our finances, but no one wants a fresh-out-of-college 22 year old who looks 17. It's painful being rejected since I felt so sure I should succeed. I graduated with honors, my former employers have always been very pleased with me...I should be a shoe-in, right?

I applied for a receptionist/assistant job at my church and got to be one of the final two in contention for the part. Out of all the jobs I've applied for in the past months, it's the one that I desperately wanted. It was right for me, and I was right for it. I was the most qualified for the position, since I have a wider computer knowledge and a lot of communication know-how, but I lost out to someone who had more "experience" than me. My whole job search has been one blow after another, but that one knocked me to the ground. I prayed so hard and felt so confident. I never had that nagging doubt I get so often that says "God's got something different in mind." It never happened.

So far, 2010 isn't working out so well. My comfort is that Jesus never had it easy. Neither did Paul. He spent years in chains, years being dumped on. His response was to use those years to win thousands, including members of Caesar's own family, to Christ. I hope I can be diligent like he was.