As of yesterday night, I have completely finished reading the Psalms. This last day was almost hard to complete because I didn’t want it to “end.” I can honestly say I find myself to be a more joyful person since beginning to read them on a daily basis. I want to tell you how God has used this to redeem my purpose and joy. I have read genuine cries to God – ones of praise, help, pleads for deliverance, cries for justice. David also writes anthems of praise, long monologues full of despair, and songs of gratitude and hope. There are a few recurring themes I’ve really enjoyed, and one of them is the idea of God being our rock, our cornerstone. I want my life to be built around Him, including my relationships, education, career, and persona. The words “right hand” were also used a lot throughout this book. God is strong. He is a just God, and sometimes, we fall among the wicked David describes. However, God is also a strong God who loves us and can lift us up from our sorrows. Next, I really admired David’s stress on repentance throughout this book. His words are ones of genuine remorse and regret at what he has done, begging on his knees for forgiveness and redemption. God is the only one who can redeem his life. I mess up – a lot. However, I’m not one to be incredibly confrontational or put a lot of stress or attention on small mistakes. Even so, sin is sin, and I truly admire David’s attention and recognition of his faults. Additionally, I saw many references to clouds, and this made my heart happy. David also writes about his soul longing for His creator many times throughout, and one of those instances (psalm 63:1) happened to be the verse I associated with my baptism. My soul longs for my creator. The entire purpose of reading through the Psalms was to hopefully find joy, and I honestly can say I have. I’m usually happy. I’m happy when I’m around people. I’m happy when I am in God’s neature. However, when I am alone, stressed, carrying burdens, or just not feeling great, I know for a fact I have the tendency to feel depressed, isolated, and afraid. I’m not here to tell you reading the Bible is an instant cure for feelings of depression. Just earlier this week, I sat on my dorm floor and cried for a solid ten minutes. I can tell you God will use your efforts to redeem you. Overall, I feel joyful. I feel redeemed. I feel a longing in my heart to love people, and I am content. I am content in the work before me. I am content in the relationships I’ve made. I also feel just an overwhelming desire to love people. I don’t care if it means late nights, long talks, lengthy letters, I don’t care. I don’t care if it’s me praying for you, cleaning your mess, trying to make you laugh, giving you a hug. I don’t care if it means some of my work not getting done. I want to love you. I want to serve you. Please, feel free to let me know how I can love you these next few weeks and beyond. Send me prayer requests. Let me know if you need anything at all. I want to share some of this joy and love I have, and luckily, God has it in bulk.
I feel I am often one to focus on the negatives of life and see areas for improvement. I’m one to have extremely high expectations for both myself and other people. Sometimes, I forget the simplicity of living, just living and appreciating every moment. I had an absolutely wonderful day this week. In my past few posts, I’ve talked about struggles, areas of improvement, challenges, and melancholy things. Today, I want to tell you about what a day it was to be alive on Wednesday, which just happened to be a really great, joy-filled day, my dudes:
Under every circumstance, I should have had a long and tiring day. This morning, I finally went to bed around 3:00 AM after studying for a quiz for a class later today. I got a good four and a half hours of sleep and woke up feeling absolutely dead. This morning, the skies were gloomy, the wind was absolutely dreadful, and rain poured down from the sky – it was a perfect day to wear rain boots. Today, I had the opportunity to play for the chapel service. I began to write out the events of the day, but I realized they attribute absolutely nothing the joy I had, and in fact they almost disqualify my joy. Long classes, hard quizzes, etc.
However, one of my favorite parts of the day occurred later in the night. At the beginning of the year, I joined the nursing home club here at college, and I attended for the first time all year on this Wednesday afternoon. I have a weekly study session for my Anatomy class which prevents me from being an avid member. As we arrived, we walked by many residents eating and sitting around. After entering a small room, a few came over, and we were asked to go invite others. I want to shoutout my roommate, my queen, today, because watching her interact with these people was absolutely inspiring. There was a certain confidence, approachability, and care she brought with her, and I sat there and just watched in awe. We gave each of the residents who attended a small Halloween basket filled with some candy, and the surprise on their faces was absolutely adorable. Additionally, the comfort dog from school came with us, and their joy from simply petting her was also incredibly cute. After a brief petting session, hangman commenced. It was incredibly hard for some of the residents to see, comprehend, and communicate, and my heart was filled with empathy. Especially this week, my appreciation for life has increased. Life is short, time passes quickly, abilities change, and through it all, we will live in different perspectives. At some points, we will be young humans seeing those older than us slowly deteriorate – those who we know, but maybe not well. Soon, it will be our parents, aunts, uncles. Someday, it will be our friends. While it’s hard to think about, we will soon follow this pattern; it will be us. Life is short, and to truly live is something I strive to do. Love your peoples while you have the chance.
We played a few spooky rounds of hangman, with lovely elderly ladies shouting out letters. At the end of the night, we had a short devotional, and then asked if there were any prayer requests. Some of the residents lifted up friends, others themselves. It gave me hope as we all gathered together and cried out to our Savior. Someday, I hope to see each of these residents – renewed, capable, and with Jesus. At the end of the night, I walked one of the residents back to her room. She made polite conversation on the way to her room, asking my about my major and college experience so far. I opened the door to her room for her, and she invited me in. Lynn was an artist in her earlier years. She showed me some of her sketchbooks, the crowns she made, and told me the meaning behind one of her pictures on the wall. Upon leaving, she told me the world needs more good people. And I completely agree with her. Someday, you will be only what you have done. You will be the change you brought to the world. Today, you have the decision to be the hope, the light, the change, the joy, the good in the world. Love everyone around you. Treasure every moment. Find purpose to your life. Do things which matter. Inspire kindness. You have the ability to choose what you leave behind.
Today, I choose joy.
After returning home, I had the absolute best night with my immediate roommates. I feel at home here. I feel loved. I feel joy. They are absolute lights in my life, and I treasure every second spent with them. Honestly, I haven’t laughed until I’ve cried for a while, and these girls most definitely have the ability to make me do so. Probably couldn’t tell you what was so funny, but I can’t smell, whales make noises, and getting high is cool. Golly, I love you guys. Thank you for the joy you bring me each and every night.
My appreciation post of the week goes to someone who is patient, to someone who values other people a lot. To someone who loves Jesus with everything and brings Him into their everyday life. To someone who has truly listened to God’s calling on their life. To someone who sacrifices anything for the people around them. To someone who will call you at 10:32 at night and ask if you want to meet your favorite author the next day. This is someone who has tangibly shown me grace, love, and patience. This is someone who makes gr9 puns, takes time to interact with children, and sees value in potatoes. This is someone who inspires many to love Jesus each day. Keep it up, pal. You’re a star. Thank you for living out Jesus, because it’s truly admirable.