Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We Took A Walk

I thought this evening would be a bit more productive than it was, but then again when I got home from work I realized there wasn't a whole heck of a lot to be productive about.  I did get some laundry done and cooked dinner, but beyond that I didn't have a lot of good ideas on world peace or solutions to fighting world hunger, so I decided to spend some time processing recent life developments and listening to worship tunes.  God is so good, He missed me, so he tugged on my heart and I followed.  I started processing through some upcoming changes and the fact that graduation (with my masters in counseling) is but a wee 8 weeks away.  An answer from D.C. on a potential internship is only 4 weeks away and I honestly have no clue what's next.  It's exciting, but mostly a little nerve wracking.  I also "should" be following up with some people about possible job leads, but it's hard to predict when you'll be "hirable" when you're dependent upon a board exam and a whole state to approve your license... no stress there!

But as I sat and let God sing over me, as the tears began to fall at the thought of all we've been through over the last 10 years and most specifically the last 2 1/2 years, I thought it would be fun to dig out some old journals.  And when I say old... I mean OLD!  These are a bit from high school, a lot from college, and a few years from my early recovery days.  I wanted to share something a bit deeper, but decided that if I was going to share it with anyone, it really should be my family first... they're the ones that deserve it the most especially after the hell I put them through for 6 years.  But I did run across something a little more light-hearted and fun...

Date: 12/13/04

Things to do in Life (in no particular order)

  • Learn to snow ski
  • Ride a jet ski
  • Finally get up on water skis
  • Dance in the falling snow
  • Go to New York in the winter
  • Spend a night looking at stars, telling stories, and laughing
  • Learn to cook a gourmet meal
  • Spend a summer in Europe (Paris, London, Italy, Rome, Venice)
  • Ride a vespa somewhere, anywhere in Europe 
  • Write a book (both children's & testimonial)
  • Go to a world series game (no matter where, who, or when... preferably the Rangers)
  • Remodel & decorate my dream house
Needless to say I had completely forgotten about this list and I can readily admit that not one of these things can be crossed off.  I could probably add a few things, but I can say not much has changed... I would love to do all the above sometime in my life.  

It's been a good season, a heart-breaking, life altering season... but good nonetheless.  I must close as I long to journal tonight about things that I'll probably not share, but at least I know God knows it all.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Out of Fear?

"Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.'" ~ Genesis 15:1

""I am God, the God of your father,' the voice said.  'Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation.'" ~ Genesis 46:3

"The Lord is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?" ~ Psalm 27:1

Oh if only I could rest in these verses... and maybe I still can, the key is finding rest in anything these days.  My mind races miles ahead of my body and I quickly find myself worn out and exhausted from trying to keep up with the never ending "to-do" list in my head.  Sometimes I can't even catch everything fast enough to write it all down.  This is how life has been recently (and by recently, I mean this last week).  It's as if I hit warp speed and I can only see a short amount of time to get all the things done that I need to get done.  For instance, I need to pack... but not just pack like I'm moving somewhere else, but pack for 2 different locations.  Oh and remember not to pack anything for storage that I might need should I end up going to Washington D.C. come January.  Speaking of D.C. that's the primary reason I'm writing.  If only I could tell you how many times my head and heart have wrestled with this choice.  It's a little ridiculous how quickly I change my mind on this, and the funny thing is that when I first heard about it, I had no questions or reservations, it seemed like the right thing to do and a wonderful opportunity.  And it still does, but it hit me tonight (or maybe I just finally admitted it) that fear has been a strong driving force in NOT going.  I haven't even been offered the position and I'm thinking of a million non-rational reasons why I shouldn't go.  I'd give you my list, but I truly believe you have better things to do than read my PRO/CON list for D.C.  And besides, it's all in my head (along with my forever long "to-do" list) anyway.

So here's the thing... if fear is the only reason why I wouldn't go, then I probably should... right?  And again I haven't received an answer yet, but maybe that's what I'm afraid of the most... getting my heart set on this adventure and then finding out that I'm not chosen.  It's not like I've walked out shattered hopes and dreams before, but then again is that any reason to stop believing?

I'm a little quieter these days, but now you know why.... so if you wonder or desire to ask why, maybe just say a little prayer.  Pray that I'll find my way far from fear and forever in the arms of hope!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Season of Redemption

As this season draws to an end (we're 12 weeks from graduation people), I have to admit I think I'm more terrified of what's next. Of course, I have no clue what's next, and I think that's what makes it so terrifying. But at the same time, it's been such a joy to walk this season of life... blood, sweat, tears, and all! Two weeks into this season and I was ready to throw it all away, I had never felt such pain and walked out something so hard in my life. Honestly, I often think overcoming anorexia was simpler than learning to live life here on earth without watching my nephew, Billy grow up. No aunt (or parent) should outlive their nephew (child). But we're doing it... my family and I. I often go back to a quote from Mary Beth Chapman, "Until I die or Jesus comes back we can do hard!" I...Can...Do...Hard!! I may not always want to, but with God on my side, I can do it.

I've done a lot of reflecting lately, especially during my excursion to Colorado Springs last weekend (Aug. 27-29, 2010). How redeeming it is to watch as my sister and her family have returned to the city where they gave their son back to the Lord when he was only 5 months old.

The picture above was taken on the trip when I first met Billy. Avery was 21 months old and B was only 3 weeks old. It was a sweet and wonderful trip. Now when I look at the Darnell family and the pictures that I see I feel like there will always be someone missing. Below are pictures from my most recent trip, one with Avery (now age 4) and Billy's little brother, Nathan (age 1 1/2).

A dream has been reborn for their sweet family... as well as another addition (another boy due end of September). As for me, well... as soon as we descended into Denver on my flight, August 27 I heard the Lord say the enemy had been defeated. A smile found its way upon my face and I felt a peace. A peace that I knew meant Cheryl, Bill, Avery, and Nathan are exactly where they should be. And although Billy's body is buried in Dallas, his spirit and joy lives on amongst all the Darnell's. Cheryl asked me if things had changed since I hadn't been in Colorado since Billy had died. I told her yes, but that so had we. It wasn't a bad change, but I could feel it... but it was a "meant to be" change. It's hard being this far from my sister and her kids, but I trust it's what God has for now. If He ever makes a way for me to be closer than I'll trust in His timing... not my own.

The biggest thing I've had to learn for me in this season is that I have to find my own way. I have to live my own life. Everything changed when Billy died, and in that moment I think I knew that I could never go back to the way I was. I've found an independence that I never knew existed. And not an unhealthy independence from God, but one in which I've learned I'm fully capable of being the woman he created me to be.

This has been a hard season, but all the while truly redeeming. I believe that if Billy were still alive he would be quite the independent, stubborn (in a good/cute way) little boy. I thank God for my time with him and whether he is here on earth or in Heaven... I will always be his aunt!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1