Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oh, Clementine...

Hey guys!!!

So, I have BIG NEWS!!!! Four exclamation points worth of BIG NEWS!!!! Ok, eight.

Anyway... I've moved to a new site! I'm getting all fancy on ya.

The new site is here. Go check it out, and leave me some love!

Love you all!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dreams from Childhood

My summers, growing up, were spent camping. Ok, to be fair, we camped in a campground and in a trailer, not a tent, but it was still camping. We'd raft down rivers, play in the woods, pick berries, and explore the great world around us. One of our favorite spots was this old railroad car sitting on top of this hill.

My Childhood Dream
I'm pretty sure I liked it because I wanted to be one of the kids from "The Boxcar Children." You know, the orphans who lived in a boxcar? Yeah, I don't know why I wanted to be one either, but my childhood fantasies generally revolved around that and Little House on the Prairie. I'm pretty sure I was big on things like making my own flour and butter, and wished we still lived by candlelight. So the opposite of pretty much every kid out there now. Anyway, this old railroad car was AMAZING! It had doors, ladders, cupboards, and it was SUPER OLD AND RICKETY!!! (I really am amazed my parents let us play there. More than one splinter happened, and at some point, I think my cousin stepped on a rusty nail.) However, as awesome as it was, those are not the things I think of when I remember back to my days of make believe.

No, I remember one very sad day. My friends and I were on our way to our usual hangout, but this time, something was different! My friends found a nest with baby birds, chilling in one of the cupboards. Being the geniuses that we are, we assumed that the mom had left them to die, and they were now orphans, just like the Boxcar Children! We adopted them as our new mascot, and went to go find worms to mash up and feed them with. Along the way, one of our parents stumbled upon us, and we excitedly told them of our discovery.

Being an adult, they knew the rule that you don't touch nests or baby birds, because once the stink of humans is in the air, that momma bird is never coming back, and the little birds will die. They explained that we had basically just killed these birds, and no, smashing worms to try and feed them for one afternoon wouldn't save them. We were devastated. I mean, they practically called us murderers and idiots in one fell swoop. That hurts when you're little and it's your mom telling you this. But she was right, because the next day when we came back, one had fallen out and died, one was dead in the nest, and the second was just barely hanging on. I'm  not sure about this part, but I think one of the parents did the merciful thing and put it out of its misery, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Now, I know you're probably thinking, "Wow, Lauren, that's kind of a depressing story, and I don't really care." That's ok. Hang out just a little bit longer with me.

For some unknown reason, this story flashed into my mind, and it got me thinking. We're pretty much those little birds. God's our mom, and the World is, well, me in the story. We get dragged into the World, by our own desires or theirs, and we think that we can never return to our nest, or that God will certainly never have anything to do with us, now that the stink of the World is all around. So we try to make it on our own, we stay where we are, in denial, or we let the World dictate what's going to happen, and let them put us out of our misery.

But the thing is, we have another option. Because God, while He is "the mother bird" in the story, His behavior is nothing like her's. He will come and fight for us, nurture us. He's not leaving us, simply because we have the stink of the World. He's bound and determined to fight for us. We just have to choose to let Him. Because we can't fix ourselves on our own, we can't stay where we are, and letting the World have its way, well, it's just not good enough for me. I want His way. Join me.

Thank you all for reading! It means so much to me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Goodbye to 2011

2011 was not a good year for me. Well that's not true. It was a good year for me. I was able to travel, I made new friends, got a better paying job. By all normal standards, it was a pretty good year. But I was dealing with issues that were still bombarding me from late 2010.

You see, someone really close to me tried to commit suicide. It was one of the worst experience I've ever gone though. And a lot of that had to do with the fact it had nothing to do with me. I'm not at all saying that the event should have been. She obviously need much more help with this than I did. The problem I had was this effected me deeply, and I couldn't talk to anyone about it, because in my mind, it would take attention off of her. Everyone asked how she was, how she was doing, but never me. We tend to forget about the hurting people behind the more overtly hurt. So I had this festering anger growing in me that I couldn’t talk to anyone about.

I couldn't understand how she could do this. How did she let everything get this bad? Why didn't she listen to me? Why did she listen to him? Find her value in him? Care about him? I felt responsible for not reaching out enough, for not noticing, for shutting her out, for pointing out the mistakes she was making. And it only got harder when she "got better."

You see, I forgot how to interact with her. I wasn't sure if I should be supportive of her, since she had dived back into the things that had driven her to the suicide, or if I should call her out on it. You're always told that they need support and love, but what do you do when you can't support what they're doing and they no longer resemble who you love? I choose the cowards way, and simply chose not to deal with it at all. I thought by doing so I wouldn't cause any harm. And while I will never know if it caused her any harm, I know it harmed me.

In not dealing with her, I didn't deal with the hurt I had experienced from all this. By acting like I was fine, I may as well have taken a bucket of toxic waste and dumped it on my open wounds. Instead of healing, my unforgiveness festered and grew. I became shut off from a person I care more about than anyone else in the world. I grew distant from others on the off chance that they would do the same thing. I found another I could blame for her actions, and I wished, hoped and prayed for every plague I could think of to strike him.

But the thing is, God doesn't work like that. He's a God of restoration, of mercy, of an all encompassing, all consuming love. You can't hold onto the things that are contrary to His very Being, and take part of His Wholeness. So I came to Him with all of my baggage, my despair, my inability to fix the mess that had happened, and I laid it at His feet. Then, I got up, stepped away from the hurt, and into His arms. And there, in His presence, I've found true forgiveness. Not only for her and him, but for myself as well.

It was rather remarkable when it happened. I half heartedly asked God to give me His heart for them. And without even realizing that it had happened, I suddenly didn’t have the desire to smack him for treating her as worth less than she was. I felt compassion on her for not realizing her true worth. I began to reach out, not with the hope of changing her, condemning her, or even helping her, but with the simple idea of loving her. And in doing so, I was able to forgive myself, and open up.

Thank you for reading. It's been almost a year since I've started writing here, and every day I'm amazed and encouraged by you. Thank you.