Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Official

The day has finally come. The decision has been made. The Lord has been sought, and He has poured out His favor.

I'm going to my far-away first choice school!!!! My parents and I were praying about for a while, but then the letter from the second-choice, local school came, and they wanted their money this week. So Mom and Dad and I looked at each other and said, "OK, we'll just hear God this week!"

I'm beyond confident that this is where I'm supposed to go. I nervously waited for Mom and Dad to tell me what they had heard, and when they said "yes," I was thrilled. My heart is so at peace, and I'm really excited and nervous and shaking and smiling and I wish it was August already!

On the other hand, I'm a little sad. I know that I will miss my friends and family, and the familiar. This will be the first time that I don't go to my home church for an extended period of time, and I'm nervous about what the church there will entail. But I know that God is good and He has great plans for me, and when I'm in His will, there's grace. I have been praying for His Spirit and His conviction to be with me when I go, because I'll be alone, so I'll need Him to guide me.

He shared some things with me yesterday, and I realized what a huge step this is for me. One wrong decision, and I'll have no one to blame but myself. I could get in very bad trouble, or I could stay straight with God and get His heart for everything! I plan on doing the latter. Thank you for sharing my excitement. I'll keep you posted as I register for classes and get my free t-shirt! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

We're Together

This week has been all up and down for me. You may know that I was accepted into my first choice college, many many miles away from home. You may also know I applied to my hometown college, a few miles away. I got in there, too.

But let me back up. After I had applied to both, I wanted, oh so badly, to go far away to school. I wanted it. I breathed it. I dreamed it, and I didn't even have a mental picture to dream about, so my mind made one up so I could dream about it! I was praying that I would get it while I was trying not to get my hopes up, since I do live so far away and the odds of me getting in were slim. I tried to force my heart to be ok with going to the hometown school, and I tried and tried to like it. But I couldn't. I wasn't on the alter. I was holding my heart with both hands covered, not willing to let God mold it as He chose.

 But then I found myself on the alter, and I found myself way more at peace. I had asked Him, even against my own will, to have His way. And suddenly I realized that no matter what school I went to, I could worship my Lover. He had eased my grip off my heart, and then He too it gently in His own palms and kissed my heart. I found complete peace, and I loved His will. I told Him, "Whatever You want, do it. I choose You." I would have been completely happy going to my hometown school; I actually began believing that I would, because there was no way in God's green earth that I could get in to the far-away school, but hey, let's see what God does.

This went on for about a month, while I waited for a letter, a postcard, something from either of these schools. It was agony, but I was at peace. Funny how God gives perfect peace, but sometimes there is pain in the peace, so the pain doesn't hurt that badly, but it's still there, but the peace is never marred. God is so cool.

Well, I got a letter. Actually, it was a BIG envelope with a letter and a scholarship from my first-choice school. Yes, I got in. Against all odds, I got in to this amazing school several states away. I made it. They want me. I was thrilled! And so my dad and I went to visit this far-away school, and I fell in love with it. Small school, small town, friendly people, beautiful campus. Yes, this is pretty much Heaven on earth. And I still hadn't heard from my local school, so why not dream? Well, I think in this dreaming, I reclaimed my grip on my heart. Going to my local school seemed an incredible chore. I got in where I wanted; why should I care about this other school? "I care," God seemed to say. "I care, because I want you to trust Me completely. What if I ask you to stay local? Can you still worship? Will you be mad at Me? What if?"

Again I am forced to surrender my will to His, and I'm still in the process of getting to the peace. Both of these schools are prestigious, and I should be honored and grateful that I was accepted at my local school, because it's very competitive, but to be completely honest...I was disappointed that I got in. I was pretty sure I would get in, and I felt bad that I was accepted when other people that I know were not. And I was a little mad at God for still keeping both doors open. He reminded me, though, that to Him, it's about relationship, and if I got my decision in a letter, I wouldn't have to press in to Him and ask Him.

But because I face an immense decision, I am forced to give my heart back to Him and surrender my will back to His. My parents told me that they are pretty sure that I'm going to the far-away school, and when they said that, I almost melted. To have their support is huge. But then something else replaced the weight of uncertainty: I'm leaving. I am moving across the country for two years. I will live in a dorm with someone that I have never met, and I will go to school with people who are used to a completely different culture than I am.

Sadness, maybe? Nervousness? Anticipation laced with timidity, sprinkled with excitement and salted with reality? Probably all of the above. I'm still open to God telling me to go to the local school, and I'm still working on relinquishing my grip. My head knows that I will be MUCH better off in His will than mine, but my heart is slow and rather stubborn... it's a process.

I will leave you with this: trust Him. He wants the best for you, and more than that, He just wants you. If He can have relationship with you while you're going through hell, then hell is to His glory, and He will bring gold out of the fires of hell. When He gives you peace, no pain can dull it. When you know that you know that you know He adores you, it doesn't matter what school you go to. It only matters that you and Him are together. We're together.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Looking Back to Go Forward

I was thinking the other day about how the number one question adults ask kids is "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Think for a moment... every answer reveals a deep part of a child's personality. Some careers are for helping people, some are for taking care of others, some are for sharing compassion, some are for having fun. Doctors, nurses, teachers, astronauts, cowboys, race car drivers, even dinosaurs (as one little boy I know is convinced he will be when he grows up!), all play characters that little boys and girls want to embody.

Now that I'm older, I'm asked a different version of the same question: "What are you studying?" "What are you planning?" What do you want to do with that degree?" and so on. I've been thinking that hopefully my current dreams are a reflection and a maturation of my previous dreams. When I was younger, I wanted to own a dance company and teach ballet.

Now, I'm studying marketing and management, and I want to run my own business. You can see the correlation: owning a business, and telling people what to do! :) What were and are your dreams? How are your past dreams reflected in your present dreams? Are they remotely related, or still the same? What part of your childhood dreams do you still want to embody, and how can you intertwine that into your present goals? Take a look backwards, and see if the past can shed some light on your future.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Communication really is key

For my ASL 6 class, I'm doing a presentation on Deaf education. I also "borrowed" this topic for my informative speech in Public Speaking class, and so recently I've been reading a ton about the history, culture, and language of the Deaf.

Currently I'm reading a book called A Journey into the DEAF-WORLD by Harlan Lane, Robert Hoffmeister, and Ben Bahan. This book is bringing up a lot issues to contemplate. One of the main challenges Deaf people face is the fact that approximately 90% of Deaf people are born to hearing parents. Hearing parents are often advised to go to speech therapy and audio-specialists, etc, but are never told to sign with their child. Because the Deaf children's parents don't sign with them, they miss out on the most crucial language-development years.

There is a lot of frustration from both the parents and the child, and I think I realized the reason behind the reason for this. Parents and child are frustrated because they can't communicate with each other; this is the obvious reason. But the heart of it, the reason behind the reason, is that communication is the key to relationship, and relationship is the key to every person's heart.

Without relationship, where would we be? People need to love and be loved, and to know that they are loved. Communication is the means to relationship. I guess that's all I wanted to share... love on someone today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I figured it out!

Yesterday I was watching The Young Victoria (for the third time!!!) and all of a sudden it hit me.

The movie opens with Victoria explaining that every girl wants to be a princess, and I agree with her. Then at the end of the movie, viewers see Victoria enter the room as the Queen of England, and I thought to myself, why do little girls grow up wanting to be a princess... but not a queen? And then I realized, because this is what Victoria also realized, that queens have a great responsibility and many pressures and pushes and pulls and duties, etc. Princesses, on the other hand, do not. Princesses have their daddy, the king, to bear the burden of all the ruling responsibilities. {"Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." ~ Matt 11:28-30, NIV}

This revelation struck me for a few reasons. First, when Daddy is on the throne taking care of all the "boring meetings" that a ruler must attend, a princess can play dress-up. She can be beautiful. You may say, why is this important? Read John and Stasi Eldredge's Captivating. Beauty is deep in the heart of a woman.

Secondly, King Daddy can train His princess and give her some responsibilities and duties, but if she makes a mistake, He can always fix it. There is no shame, because Daddy rules over shame.

Thirdly, and related to the second, princesses don't rule...the King does. And isn't that how reality is? Our amazing Father King rules, but gives us authority. Princesses are royalty, because their father is the king. We are royalty, because our Father is the King! These are my musings on princesses, dear readers. I hope you find these simple revelations as delightful as I do! :)