Transformation

transformation

I’ve had a few changes in my life recently.  Nothing dramatic, but it has served to change my perspective somewhat.  Among my latest updates have been newly pierced ears, a shorter haircut, a new smartphone (all of my previous phones were flip phones), and a new residence.  So far, I’m handling the changes pretty well.  To me, these small adjustments represent an outward sign of an inward commitment to change the way I do life.  Sometimes I am so determined and focused on a certain activity that I limit myself by spending the majority of my time and energy towards that particular facet of my life.

Perhaps college has caused this change of thinking.  In high school, I hardly ever had extensive homework.  After all, there were rarely enough textbooks for the entire class, so realistically, take-home readings couldn’t be assigned.  The hardest part of high school was just making it through the long school day.  Because school didn’t take up much of my evening and weekend time, I felt free to do all sorts of other things:  acting, dancing, volunteering, babysitting, traveling, etc.

And then I went to college.  The class time didn’t feel as long, but there were certainly more homework, more independent studying, and more responsibilities.   Now suddenly, I had more free time than ever.  I could choose to spend that time reading, writing, and studying OR I could choose to use my time in other ways, like hanging out with friends, surfing the internet, or going out to parties.  All of the latter activities I frankly felt to be wasted time, given that I was a full-time student with scholarships on the line and my own reputation as a good student at stake.  Therefore, I committed my whole existence to doing everything right academically.  Do the assigned readings; turn homework in on time; meet the professors during office hours; write a paper; revise a paper; study the material discussed in class; ask good questions during lecture; answer instructors’ questions during class; etc.  But that life can get dull after a while.  It will make you crazy.

In the past couple of years, it seems I lost sight of what was truly important.   Now with newfound determination and clarity, I am endeavoring to change that.  I am hoping the change of scenery and pace in the coming season will help to elucidate my forthcoming decisions.

Life is Always Interesting

Life is always interesting, especially for those of us who make sure to keep it that way.  Apparently I have one of those faces that people are instantly attracted to… Maybe it’s the innocence in my heart or my welcoming countenance or even the eagerness in my eyes – but whatever it is, quite often I find myself making friends and finding admirers in the unlikeliest of places.  In fact, last weekend was filled with such experiences.  (If you’d like to know more of the specifics, you can fill out a contact form here. I’ll do my best to answer any of your questions.)

A little personal insight into my life:  Not long ago, I was involved in a serious relationship that everyone (including me) thought was leading to marriage.  As it turns out, our two souls were not being knit together in quite the way I had imagined, and the relationship, as we had known it, ended.    The thought of losing a friend distressed me more than knowing I had lost a lover.  Of course, there was a healing process involved.  Most people will experience these feelings of love and loss, and it’s not an unfortunate happening at all.  We can actually learn a lot from these events.  However, I have come to find that having hope and a close friend and the prospect of new love certainly helps us view the situation in a more positive light.

Budding relationships certainly give us hope in many cases.  As it turns out, it doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’m falling in love with someone.  If you combine genuine compliments with good conversation and laughing and then throw in some elegant dancing, chances are I will fall pretty hard for you.  Of course, it’s not altogether unreasonable for me to feel twitterpated by these actions since my primary love languages are words of affirmation and quality time.  Still, feeling everything so deeply can lead to hurt feelings when reality isn’t quite as you imagined it.

A friend recently remind me of the old adage, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”  I find this statement to be true in romance and many other regards as well.  If we can accept that some things are just the way they are, then why does it hurt so much to want something or someone that you cannot have – that society deems unacceptable?

Scripture says, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young; instead, be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).  Of course, we could just as easily substitute the word “young” with other labels… Do not let anyone look down on you because you are old, male, female, black, white, gay, straight, rich, poor…  Why must such labels hold us back?  Why are there barriers?  Why can’t we love whom we wish without fear of rejection?  I can’t solve all the world’s problems but I can make a difference one life at a time.   We’re all different – all unique individuals with special gifts.  Imagine how that line of thinking would change our daily interactions: viewing every life as a precious thing and cherishing the moments we have with all kinds of people.  I’m going to try to live like that.

Goal: Selfish to Selfless

One night recently I realized that I am a very selfish person.  Especially as of late I have been so absorbed with my own thoughts, activities, and feelings that I have overlooked the wishes and needs of my family, friends, and unfortunately my Lord.  Here I am sticking my nose into God’s business  – trying to plan out my own future.  Rushing to get a degree, get married, get a job, get pregnant, get a house, get a car, get an adult life!  Notice a trend?  I have been planning out all of the things in life that I feel like I should get.  Lately I’ve had a selfish attitude.  Not once in the past several months have I planned out and executed a plan that involved giving back to others.

Luckily, this week, I’ve been able to reverse that to a certain extent.  I have spent valuable time caring for and lifting up others.  I am convinced that the Lord created me to serve others.  I am never truly happy unless I can be of help to someone else.

Thank you Lord for fulfilling your purpose in me.  Help me to continually walk more closely to you.  Guide my steps each day.  May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight. 

~Psalm 138:8

~Psalm 19:14

From Hopeless to Happy

Below is an excerpt from a diary entry I wrote several months ago.  I came upon it last night as I was thumbing through the pages of my journal.  The cursive letters in my precious notebook portray an uninhibited version of my most intimate thoughts.  I do not share them often, but I was so taken by the raw emotion I had exuded that I felt the urge to share my reflection with others.  Maybe you too can relate to how I have felt…


I’ll admit it.  I’m feeling sorry for myself.  I’m sad deep down and I know it.  I’m sad because of the loss of a lover and friend. I’m sad because I feel I will not be given another chance at love.  I’m sad at the thought of unused, unrecognized talents.  I’m sad because I reach out to people only to be ignored.  I tell not a soul that I’m struggling, lest I should sound pitiful and whiney.  I eat and watch tv incessantly.  I yearn to travel and meet new people, try new things, see new sights.  I yearn for the touch of another.  I feel the disappointment in my God’s heart, yet know that he is eagerly awaiting my return to his arms.  I am not moved by the emotions of others, but rather by the own emotions at turmoil inside of me.

I realize that he is in the past.  There is no going back.  Some of those bridges cannot or rather should not be mended.  But even though I know these things to be true, my whole being mourns over the tragic death of this relationship.

There were days when I was content to be chasing one after the next boy.  Even though the chases usually only occurred in my daydreams, it kept me happy.  Hope is what fueled me.

Now my hope is gone.  I see the handsome faces of men as they kiss their wives and embrace their children.  No longer does this sight bring me great joy at the dreams of my having such a family one day.  Instead  I see a world of what could have been, but shall not be.  I am afraid that I will never be blessed with these comforts.  I am afraid I will live a servant’s life in solitude.  I am afraid that my plans for the future will be whisked away.  I am afraid the world will move on without me…


I can report that I no longer find myself feeling deeply saddened.  My outlook has improved recently, but there are still realities that weigh heavily on me.  It’s important to know that everyone gets in a funk from time to time.  Rest assured this season of life is not permanent.  Meanwhile, in the midst of these sad times, don’t let the dismal atmosphere prevent you from creating your own pleasant memories.  Hope is often on the horizon.

A New Literary Venture

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die…

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance…

a time to search and a time to give up…

a time to be silent and a time to speak…

a time for war and a time for peace…

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

DSCI0178

The above is an excerpt from Ecclesiastes 3, an oft-quoted scripture at both tearful and happy occasions.  From these words many people, including myself, draw special meaning.  Whether you are a Christian who believes these musings are God-breathed or a scholar who views them as a poetic piece of literature, there seems to be something thought-provoking, maybe even inspiring, about this passage.  My commentary on this once centered around how it proved that there was a reason for everything.  We just needed to trust God that He had it all figured out.  Reading it now, I see that there is much more to it.

The beauty of well-written literature I have found is that there is room for personal interpretation.  Just as there are seasons for every activity under heaven, so are there seasons in my life that impact the meaning I pull from scripture.  I often like to skip over the bad promises and emphasize the pleasant.  Don’t we all?  Particularly if we are trying to be the image of positivity.  We seek out the good and minimize the bad.  But as it turns out, there is also value in those “bad” experiences, as we label them.  I’m working on changing the label-maker in my mind.  Sure there are plenty of situations that aren’t ideal, but what can I really do about it?  I may not be able to change the situation, but I can certainly change my view of it and my reaction to it.  And that is empowering.

The problem, though, lies in the fact that our perspective – no matter how informed, considerate, cultured, or multi-faceted – can never give us a crystal clear understanding of everything at work in a situation.  In 1st Corinthians 13:12, scripture says “All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me completely.”  What a wonderful promise that is.

All my life I have striven to understand the hows, the whys, and the whats; I pride myself in being able to provide thoughtful insights to others and extend bridges of communication and understanding.  In short, I strive for perspicacity.  The frustrating part is that I can’t always know; I can’t always understand; I can’t always see things clearly.  I pray for clarity and discernment constantly.  I certainly think that I move towards greater understanding each day of my life, but I also recognize that my perspective still falls short.  And with this thought, I must have the serenity to accept it.  Far different from settling, having serenity about a situation entails being at peace with it.  While I live out perspicacity to the best of my ability throughout life, and even when I come to enjoy complete understanding as from God’s perspective, I now pray that I will always be serene with what knowledge I am given.  Vast knowledge is a high responsibility and can be a very unsettling thing…

Lord, may every season and activity in this life and in this world rest well with my soul – especially the moments of death, mourning, weeping, and failure.  Help me to always respond with Serene Perspicacity.