Monday, September 29, 2008

Trust

Trust. Once upon a time, trust was only a feeling. I'd go with my gut, and I usually couldn't completely explain why I trusted one person, but not someone else--it was just a feeling in my stomach, a peace or an uneasiness, and never in between. I see now that I was just a child. Though I am not saying I am all the way grown-up now, I am definitely older than I used to be.

It began this past month, when my world decided to do a headstand and stay that way. My dearest friends moved away, and with that came expected changes--lonesomeness, less social life, and the sky-rocketing use of cell phone minutes. I didn't expect trust to be a big issue, especially not with the man I've been friends with for almost eight years, and who I've loved for almost half that time. Long story short, we got burnt with dishonesty at about thirteen-years-old and made a pack to always tell each other the truth. Remarkably, it worked. I got so comfortable with him that I didn't anticipate this being one of the problems long distance would bring.

It was smooth sailing the first few weeks. After two weeks of absence, however, the waves started, but they were so small neither of us noticed. I didn’t agree with him on something small, and I told him so. Honesty has been our policy for nearly as long as I can remember. This disagreement was no big deal—we don’t always agree—so neither of us thought anything about it. Well, a few days later, again, I didn’t see eye to eye with him, and I let him know. The waves got a little bigger this time, so we both gripped the side of the boat, and without realizing it, we both unconsciously began to expect the disagreement. A few days passed and a few more incidents did, too. Before we knew it, he was hesitant to tell me his opinion, and I was continually doubted his judgment. The storm began.

It went on for a week without us even addressing it—I expected him to disagree with me, and he doubted I trusted him. So, distracted, we let each other drift towards the storm, each so sure we were right that we argued instead of doing something and changing the course of the boat. My feeling of trust for him was still there—but instead of showing that to him, I acted out fear and doubt, and so true trust was drowning.

Then, in the wee hours of the night, the storm broke upon us. He had made the honest mistake of forgetting to tell me some detail, and this time, to me, it wasn’t a small one. I cried, he felt awful, but rather than leave it at that, we decided to try and find a clear course out of this mess by facing our fears and searching for the source of the problem. While we tried struggled, I realized I had to make a choice. I saw where the wind for the storm was coming from—and it was my own stubbornness. I had to choose to trust him and come to a compromise, or let the raging winds blow us apart.

It was more difficult than I’ll admit. When you’ve grown up believing something, compromising it doesn’t feel right. But feelings aren’t everything. And I saw then, in the wind and the tears, where the raw, honest light shone. So I chose to compromise. Though it felt like leaving behind a part of me, walking into that light and staying with my love was the right choice. Since then, I feel like my eyes have been opened; the wind of that painful storm blew away my blindness, and now it isn’t so much of a mystery. Trust isn’t about feelings, it is about believing in someone and deciding that you believe enough to take whatever risk.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just Bullet (list) It

There is so much I want to write about. Lets just jot it all down...

  • Trust. God has been teaching me so much and testing me and its crazy and good and flippin' scary.
  • HW--its taking over. I'd like to talk about what I like and what I don't and discuss my teachers (they've got a few quirks), etc.
  • That leads into school. I want to document the feel of KVCC and what I like about it.
  • I'd like to start writing more about my emotions of Peter, specifically, being gone. I think it'd be worth looking back on. There are little things (and big things) I want to chew over and figure out, to define what I'm feeling and better process all the issues we've been talking about. We've really begun to see differences and we're learning how to bring them to God and find the compromise that will be fruitful. If you were to put Peter and I into two extremes, I worry and he doesn't. Obviously thats a slight exaggeration, but overall on many things I'm more skeptical and I try to be realistic, and he prefers to assume the best in people. Both good stuff--we're just learning how to make them work together. Anyways, there is a lot to go into there.
  • I'm trying to figure out a way to balance my life. It's very lopsided right now, and not enough is getting done on time. I have trouble sticking to a plan...and I want to figure out a way to get it sorted out--so I'd like to write it all out and process it that way.
But there's no time. So you get stuck with a bullet-point list of my life, and I get stuck with a bunch of topics that want to be expanded on but can't right now.

(P.S. If you want more posts comments make me happy 'cuz then I know it's being read (Cait)! ;-) )

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Splatter of Thoughts--from others to God.

I'm really tired of just writing when I'm not happy. So I'm fairly happy now, and I'm going to make myself write.

What do people want to read? I suppose, in a blog circumstance, they want honesty, something they can relate with, and then something funny every once in a while to spice things up. They want to read a new perspective on life, but to also see how they really aren't that strange either, because if this stranger will blog about it, than it can't be that bad. Right?

Sometimes I wish I could just sit down and write what the millions of people who have access to the blog want to read. Sometimes I think it'd be great to get a hundred comments a day. I also really like the idea that I could potentially influence that many lifes--and maybe even help people get closer to Christ in the process! But then as I keep thinking about it, that popularity could easily become a burden. Oh well. We'll let God do what He wants with this.


I think I should try to start writing about the positive stuff that happens. Maybe not all here online, but just so that I can keep focusing on that. Hey, why don't I share what Jesus told me today?

In my College group we have been learning more about hearing the voice of God and how He is always ready to talk to us, and in fact He IS talking to us all the time, we just need to listen. We have also been learning about different ways God talks to us, and different ways we can give Him opportunities to speak--like opening the door and letting Him do what He wants.

Well, at the end of the meeting we sat down and took a minute to give over something to God. But we did it a little differently than normal. Individually, we closed our eyes and imagined being at the foot of the cross, with Jesus (not all bloody ON the cross, but more "normal" looking). And then we pictured our problem or question, and gave it to Jesus and then watched to see what He would do with it. I thought of the doubts I've been having about a lot of areas in my life, and how I have been slipping into apathy to deal with them/the problems...not very good. I saw them as this ugly and gray blob in my hand. And then I gave it to Jesus...and I know this sounds weird, but He ate them. My first reaction was there is no way that was God speaking, that must have just my my mind playing tricks on me...but I felt like Jesus wanted me to keep watching, so I did... and He spit out jewels and put them on me like a necklace. Then I felt an explanation. You know how God says He wants to take our burdens and give us His light yoke? I felt like this was another way of saying that, but instead of Him carrying my burdens, He consumed them--so they couldn't fall back onto me. And now as I type this, it seems to have even more meaning. What normally comes out of a mouth? Words. And what do we live by? God's Word! And then just the fact that He wants to give me beautiful things in this life--blessing to replace the doubt...and not something I have to hide, but something I want to showcase to the world, like a necklace. It is so crazy but amazing that God can use our minds like that! I mean, yes, He can do anything, but that He cares that much to take our fears and remove them...consume them, make them no more..... *Sigh* It is so good. I just need to stay in this place more often. Stay at His feet, like Mary, and not let my Martha life get in the way of my desire to have Mary's heart....

Do you ever write and then feel like you've hit the point where you should stop, even if you keep thinking of more to say? Well, I just did. Mary's heart. That is what I need to continually end with--seeking to hear Jesus and sit with Him--loving Him and letting Him love me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

To Set Thy Fears At Ease

Hello, World!

I realize I have been giving a rather glum image of how I am and how things are going for me, and a few of you marvelous people have expressed some concern. So I'm going to take a short moment and address this.

I am having a hard time. But I have not lost hope! In fact there is much for me to be joyful about. Normally, in my everyday life, I am not sniffling back tears every moment (If you do hear sniffles around me, trust me, its 99% its allergies. Cuz they are rampant in my life now!), I am not depressed to the point of hurting me or others or laying in bed all day moping.

What most of you see, is my low points, because like I've mentioned before, one way I process them is through writing, and I enjoy sharing those raw moments with people with the hopes I can be an encouragement and I can also provide others the chance to encourage me or use my story to encourage others.

Okay, so where am I right now? To be honest, I am not where I want to be. And that is not easy to fix. I feel like my time is chopped up so much nothing is getting done as good as it should be. But if I take the time to get one thing done as good as it should be, than another falls past the point of being managed OK and into the point of really bad/failure. So I am stressed a lot. But most of the time I have not completely lost perspective--this is preparing me to better handle the "real" world of living on my own, and then marriage, and then my own family, etc. because of all the multi-tasking and prioritizing that I am learning (through trial and error...) now.

So what do you do? Well, you don't have to do anything, but if you can/want to, here are some things:

Please keep praying! Keep trying to get together with me even though I am so busy I will be practically impossible to meet with. To give you an idea: I work Mon, Wed, Fri, 11-4 (sometimes 5). Tue and Thurs I am at valley from 8:30 AM to 5:50 PM--and I only have a half hour lunch break and an hour and a half break, which I usually spend doing a little HW. OK so that leaves me weekends and evenings. Sunday's I have church in the morning and College and Career at night. The rest of the weekends and evenings are filled with HW and chores and recuperating and maintaining my relationship with Peter. So honestly, I'm swamped. But you are still important to me, so email me and message and pray. I don't want to isolate myself, but my former social life is too much for my current lifestyle that I have to. (And many of you know even then it was hard to meet with me!)

Prayer requests:
  • Time management skills and for me to learn to love the satisfaction of doing what I should so that I don't compare myself to others (That's in Galatians near the end I think.) Because I get so tired from everything that when I get home I crash and so the things I need to do at home aren't happening enough.
  • Peace. Strength. Joy. I need continually meet with God and so often He gets put on hold. I need His peace and like it says in a Desperation Band song, "Joy unspeakable that won't go away, Just enough strength to get through today." I need to get to that place, daily.
  • I need to not worry so much. That's pretty self-explanatory.

So this ended up being way longer than I thought. Thank you for reading/skimming this. It really helps to hear from you, so comment or message me or something if you have time, but even if you don't have time or don't have anything to say, just prayer and the fact that you read this is a blessing.

God bless you all and I pray He will continue to be your strength and provider. You mean so much to me, my friends.

-Tori

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rain--revised

The rain is pounding, dripping, falling. This storm has oppressed my city for four days. My heart has felt this way for three or so weeks now. Yes...it is how I feel. I am burdened by clouds. When I try to go places in this weather, my car will fog up on the inside and my wipers continually lose the battle against the waterfall on my windshield. Even though my headlights are on, they just reflect back on all the little raindrops in my mind.

I am here in this rainy city, while my heart is torn up and divided across the distance of hundreds of miles. We humans tie ourselves together. Friendships, love, intimacy, conversation, a shared meal—every little interaction connects us. So many of these connections are starved and soon fade away. For example, the eye contact with the grocer who is ready to leave work, the bubbly waitress who charmed a nice tip from you, the young man who held the door for you but didn't really notice you, lost in his cell phone conversation—all those connections don't grown into fruition. But others we nourish—family, close friends, classmates, co-workers. I have fed many, but only truly nourished some special connections. And, this season, most of those have moved far away from my life.

One I nourished especially. It started out small, seven years ago—a friendship with the new boy in town. These past three or four years it has grown into a deep love, a thick cord between us. So many fruits have come from it already—peace, trust, and companionship, to name a few. Some relationships, when they grow enough, become a covering of sorts, like a tree, to provide protection from the blazing heat of everyday life and the raging winds of life’s struggles—a shelter. But he has moved a lake and a state away, and that shelter seems in many ways to have gone with him…

Now I see the clouds above and feel the rain on my skin. Cold, prickling, forewarning of this winter to come. I feel the winter ice trying to sink its frosty fingers in my soul. I hear the winds and snow whispering fears, tempting me to retreat into indifference to the world—to hide away, secluded, distant from pain.

But there is something in me that is determined to fight back. It is small now, only a weak seed. Grief is at my door, ready to settle in my heart and become a leech to any joy. Plutarch, in “Consolation to His Wife,” warned of this: “In the beginning, everyone welcomes Grief into his house, and then when it has had time to take root and has become a companion and housemate it will no longer depart when the inmates wish it to. It must therefore be resisted...” But how to resist? Plutarch thinks, “…a troubled soul should itself receive support from a robust body.” I agree, and I suppose I find myself resisting grief in this area—I dress up occasionally for the sole reason of looking nice, even though the one who I wish could see me is 550 miles away. This does nourish my soul, a little. But taking care of the body alone does not cure a weary soul.

So I hold onto all I can—promise. I grasp onto the promise of a new life, the promise of love, the promise of what the future brings. Yet now, in this dismal night, promise seems dim and distant, ready to fade away into the shadow of a dream.

But that weak promise is still there now, though hidden away. I cannot see it, but deep inside, pulsing with my heartbeat, there is a little warmth resisting the bitter fears swarming my mind. It is often lost, so small I cannot find it. I need a light to break through and shine on this little seed of hope that is so buried in the dark soil of my circumstances. Perhaps the rains in my heart are good? Perhaps the pain I feel is the seed’s growing pains from soaking in all this water? Will this situation truly help me grow into a better woman? I believe it will—it must. I cannot stay this deep underground forever. And though I know there is hope ahead, and that this will prepare me for days later in my life, right now, in this moment, all I hear is the dripping rain, and all I feel are the cold drops on my skin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain

The rain is pounding, dripping, falling. A storm has been going practically nonstop for two days. My heart has felt that way for three or so weeks now. Yes...it is how I feel. Burdened by clouds. When I try to go places in this weather, my car will fog up on the inside and my wipers continually lose against the waterfall on my windshield. Even though my headlights are on, they just reflect back on all the little raindrops in my mind.

I am here in this rainy city, while my heart is torn up and divided across the distance of hundreds of miles. We humans tie ourselves together. Friendships, love, intimacy, conversation, a shared meal, every little interaction connects us. So many of these connections are not fed and soon fade away; the eye contact with the grocer who is ready to leave work, the bubbly waitress who charmed a nice tip from you, the young man who held the door for you but didn't really notice you, lost in his cell phone conversation, all those connections don't grown into fruition. But others we nourish--family, close friends, classmates, co-workers. I have fed many and truly nourished a few, special connections. And, this season, most of those have moved far away from my life.

One I nourished especially. It started out small, seven years ago; a friendship with the new boy in town. These past three or four years it has grown into a deep love, a thick cord between us. So many fruits have come from it already—peace, trust, and companionship, to name a few. Some relationships, when they grow enough, become a covering of sorts. A tree, to provide protection from the blazing heat of everyday life and the raging winds of life’s struggles--a shelter. But he has moved a lake and a state away, and that shelter seems in many ways to have gone with him…

Now I see the clouds above and feel the rain on my skin. Cold, prickling, forewarning of this winter to come. Oh, that is how it feels inside my soul! I feel the winter ice trying to seep in. I hear the winds and snow telling me to retreat into indifference to the world—to hide away, secluded, distant from pain.

But there is something in me that is determined to fight back. It is small now, only a weak seed. Grief is at my door, ready to settle in my heart and become a leech to my joy. But Plutarch, in “Consolation to His Wife,” warned of this: “In the beginning, everyone welcomes Grief into his house, and then when it has had time to take root and has become a companion and housemate it will no longer depart when the inmates wish it to. It must therefore be resisted...” But how to resist? Plutarch thinks, “…a troubled soul should itself receive support from a robust body.” I agree, and I suppose I find myself resisting grief in this area—I dress up occasionally for the sole reason of looking nice, even though the one who I wish could see me 550 miles away. This does nourish my soul, a little. But still I am overcome with these emotions so often…

I need a light to break through and shine on my little seed of hope that is now so buried in the dark soil of my circumstances. Perhaps the rains in my heart are good? Perhaps the pain I feel is the seed’s growing pains from soaking in all this water? Will this situation truly help me grow into a better woman? I believe it will—it must. I cannot stay this deep underground forever. And though I know there is hope ahead, that this will prepare me for days later in my life, right now, in this moment, all I hear is the dripping rain, and all I feel are the cold drops on my skin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Patience, please

I owe thee an update.
It will be forthcoming.
Until then, adieu.
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