Tuesday, August 31, 2010

good versus better

there are things that are good for us, and things that are better for us. i was reminded of this fact by our amazing campus minister during the freshmen worship service that i got to attend on sunday morning as a connections leader. matt discussed wisdom, and how important it was to seek wisdom in making the choices that we are sure to encounter. i especially liked when he said that sometimes its not about making decisions about what is right or wrong- but deciding between things that are good for us and better for us. my decision to be at school is one of those types of decisions. as much as i love samford- the campus, the friends, the community, the sorority, the professors, and even most of the classes, it is always so hard to be at peace about being here instead of being home with my family. i've had an amazing little over a week back. i was able to be a connections leader (meaning i had a group of 15 freshman that i lead for their 1st 2 days at samford before classes started) and aside from my sorority experience, it is the BEST thing i've done at samford. i had a blast at training preparing to meet the new students, and truely fell in love with this awesome university all over again. it's been great to participate in the traditions that always ring in the start of the new school year. it's been a pure joy to be reunited with my best friends and roommate. but even amidst all the really good things- there is the stress of knowing that i am not at home. it's hard to talk to my little sister who is also my best friend when she's had a terrible day and know that i'm not there to just give her a hug or smooth things over. its hard to realize how different her routine is with me gone. the guilt is always there, and today, it just seems extra strong.
i feel like being at school instead of home is a perfect example of good versus better. it is good for me to be at home. it is good to be present with jessie, my dad, good to be able to help aunt sheri as she is in the midst of her own cancer journey. it is a good thing, not only for me, but for my family. however, it is better to be at school. school is where i am supposed to be. it's clear that God has a plan and purpose for me here. my mom wanted me to finish school at samford and she made that very clear to me. as hard as it is, it is what is best. despite the guilt, the stress, the sometimes pure anguish-it is the best thing for me right now. i'm preparing myself for the future. i'm growing in my relationship with the Lord. i'm establishing proper boundaries within my family relationships. i'm getting to experince and even enjoy the college experience, which is something that i need to do, and i deserve to do. i feel selfish for it sometimes. but i have to remember, i could settle for what is good for me, or i can do what is the best.
i just wish what was the best was a little easier.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

so. jealous.

"the pathway is broken,
and the signs are unclear
and I don't know the reason why you brought me here
but just because you love me the way that you do
I'm gonna walk through the valley If You want me to" [ginny owens]

sometimes i feel like the pathway is so broken, and i never really understand why i am in the place that i am. i'd like to say that i am always able to willingly say to the lord "yes lord, because you love me, i'm going to walk through the valley." but...that would be a lie. sometimes, i tend to be drug through the valley just a kickin' and a screamin'. getting ready to go back to school is one of those times when there tends to me more complaining and moaning and groaning than willful, joyful, obedience.

i try really hard to not have pity parties for myself and pull the whole "life's not fair" card. because in all reality, no its not fair that i had to say goodbye to my mom at 19 years old. but, its also not fair that i ever had such a wonderful mother to begin with when so many children don't. as much as i try to resist pity-party-mode, sometimes it just seems inevitable. and...time to go back to school is one of those times. i get so jealous of all of my peers. it's hard when everyone around me is so excited to get back to school- to reunite with friends, to get away from parents that are driving them crazy, to have their freedom back. it just doesn't seem fair that while everyone else its so excited about getting back to school- i'm feeling guilty. it's not fair that there is so much anguish over doing something that i know is the right thing. there is not a doubt in my mind that i am supposed to be at school. in fact, the first thing out of my mama's mouth the last time we truely had a conversation was "i want you to graduate from samford." i KNOW samford is where i need to be, that continueing at school is what is best for me. but at the same time- i feel so guilty about leaving home. i feel such a sense of responsibility to be present for my sister, to help hold my family together. things go so much smoother when i'm home. it's hard to pack up and leave, knowing what things will be like for my sister, and the way that things change so much when i'm gone. i wish i could be present to walk with my aunt and she's battleing her cancer, to help care for my cousin who has become my best bud this summer. i guess it's really arrogant to think that things at home can't run without me, because i know life goes on even when i'm gone. but i also know that life tends to get crazier, more stressful, and that more breakdowns occur when i'm gone.

i'm just thankful for a god who will love me no less if my valley time is filled with complaints and a jealous heart. i'm thankful for a god who will provide for me and my family when we are apart. but most of all, i'm thankful for a god who will walk right alongside me through this valley.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


there are very few things that i can say that i honestly hate. i feel like that's a really strong word, and i try to use it with caution. but, I HATE CANCER. i hate everything about it- the way that a perfectly healthy person can be so suddenly overtaken by a disease that steals their health with no warning, no ryhme, no reason. i hate the way that it affects families, on so many levels. i hate the way that it requires treatment- so intense, treatment that robs you of your energy, you appetite, your hair. the way that cancer can make you take a time out from your daily living, from the things that you enjoy- how it can make you put your life on pause, only to be resumed again if you are one of the lucky ones.

i hate cancer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

back to school

i can't believe that summer is almost over for me. i move back to bham on the 22nd, which means the end of summer anxiety is fully kicking in. i can't say that its any easier to be in bham than at home, its just different. i'm nervous about trying to get back into a routine, i HATE (with a passion) packing, and most of all, i'm anxious about leaving my family to be back at school. in the midst of this anxiety however, i've realized just how blessed i am. i have two separate but equally wonderful communities, one at home and one at school- consisting of some of the most wonderful people i know. i absolutly LOVE my family. not just my dad and sister, but also my aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins. things are always interesting, and even in the worst situations, there somehow manages to be laughter. i have an amazing boyfriend, who is also my best friend (besides my sis of course.), and his wonderful family who has definitley gone above and beyond to love and care for me. then, there are my friends and my church family, who have been there through the best and worst. if i only had my community at home, i would still be one of the most fortunate people in the world. but thankfully, i have a community in bham that has loved and cared for me in ways that cannot be expressed. my college years (all 2 of them) have been the hardest years of my life, yet somehow also the most beautiful. i've found friends that i feel like i've known my whole life, shared lots of laughter and fun, with quite a few tears mixed in with amazing sorority sisters, and have found a community of believers that have helped me to grow in my faith despite my crazy circumstances. the transition for home to school is never easy, but i'm so thankful that no matter where i am, i'm never alone.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

heaven stands

i've been so overwhelmed recently with the suffering of my friends. since last friday, three of my friends have had to face major tragedies. vastly different but all tragic and so sad, it's really hit home with me (again) about just how fragile and short life really is. it's also a reminder that you never know what people are going through. i heard a saying once that "everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle." i hope that i always stay aware of other's battles, so that i may minister to them with the sort of love and care that christ intends for us to share.
it's also during times like this that i become so thankful for the hope that i have in christ jesus. a hope that cannot be shaken by the circumstances of this world. i heard the song "your hands" by JJ Heller a few months after mom passed away. i love the truth that this song conveys.

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

Your handsYour hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

i'm thankful that like the song says, regardless of how much our world is shaking, heaven stands. no matter how many pieces we feel like our heart is breaking into, we are still held in the hands of our heavenly father who not only loves us, but knows what is best for us and will bring it to pass, even if we don't understand. I'm also thankful that indeed, one day, all things will be set right. there will be a day with no more death, no more pain, no more hurt- it seems like everyday i long for that day more.