Hello, hello. I’m sorry it’s been so long. I’ve just made it through two weeks of absolute chaos. Utter mayhem. In the past two weeks, I’ve had to register for next year’s classes (which is still in shambles, I’ll expand later), choose next year’s rooming situation, take eight quizzes, take five exams (four in one week), give a ten minute presentation, attend two flute lessons and six rehearsals, write three papers, and give two concerts. But I’m here. And I’m alive and not too sleep deprived, but even so, I haven’t had much time to stop and just be.
However, throughout this disorganized season, I’ve been constantly reminded of God’s presence. If you know me, you know I love clouds. I absolutely love clouds. I don’t really have one specific reason why I love clouds. I think they’re beautiful, I like how they are always changing, and I see them as a tangible way to imagine God’s presence. Sometimes, it’s strong gusts of wind to grab our attention; other times, He speaks in soft, gentle breezes. Almost three years ago, I wrote about how God is like the clouds, constantly moving in everyday life though we rarely slow down long enough to notice. If you focus upwards for a minute or so, you’ll notice the clouds are gradually dancing across the sky and changing shape, sometimes color. God is always moving, but we’re often too busy to stop to acknowledge His presence. These last two weeks have been extremely busy, but I can honestly say I’ve been reminded of His presence so often. I’ve woken up to snapchats of clouds from friends. I’ve looked out the library window to see a sky overflowing with clouds. I’ve gotten up at ungodly hours to go watch a foggy sunrise. It’s been a beautiful reminder of His peace and perfect nature covering and overcoming my stress and shortcomings. I’m including some of my favorite cloud photos, simply because they are lovely.
In my spare time (ha), I went back and read through some of my older posts. This will be my seventy-second post, and it’s amazing to go back and compare old thoughts and habits to who I am today. This url has absolutely changed my life. It’s given me the opportunity to encourage others. It’s become a release. It’s taught me the value of vulnerability and community. It once gave me an opportunity to speak to over three thousand people about how cool God is. I’ve made some really amazing internet friends, and it’s sparked conversation. Occasionally, I get “you made me cry” texts, and honestly, I just want to let you know I am thankful. I am so thankful for your love and support, and I’m just really blessed.
A few weeks back, I was scrolling through a textual study of 1 Corinthians 13, and I really liked this:
“Love says that I am, essentially, exactly what every other human being is. On the universal scales, there is no difference at all. None. My soul is just as putrescent, just as sinful, just as corrupt as every other soul. In the realm of identity and difference, there is only identity. God alone is different. The subtlety of my arrogance is to not see my identity with all that is human. And when I do not see my identity, I cannot recognize the difference. Love reminds me that the chasm between my Creator and myself is infinite, but the chasm between me and every other human being is insignificant.”
Sometimes, I find myself forgetting my status as a human. And I just thought this was a beautiful, well worded reminder to constantly love. We’ve been talking about the five love languages (quality time, gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch) in my Communications class, and I’ve been reminded of the importance of loving people individually. Not everyone’s primary love language is the same, and some people may express their loves in ways which don’t coincide to your personal primary love language. I’ve been constantly reminding myself of this, because deep down, I want to be a person who expresses my love for people in extremely individualized ways.
I’ve been realizing how poor I am at adequately loving people. Especially in the past two months, I want to acknowledge my disordered priorities and my impeding bitterness. Ever since I’ve gave up instagram, I’ve realized how shallow a majority of my relationships are. There haven’t been many times I’ve felt this alone. I’ve been learning that my expectations for others are unattainably high, and I become disappointed when they aren’t lived up to. I’ve been learning that I try to live up to others’ expectations and I often fail. I’ve been learning that I often find my self-worth in others. If I am not good enough for him, I must not be good enough. If I cannot be what they need, I must not be needed. I’ve been learning that I am an incredibly selfish being at my core. I love serving people, but sometimes I serve people to gain their praise, their friendship, their affirmations. Deep down, my motivations are imperfect, even if my actions bless others. I’ve also been learning that I get incredibly annoyed when my standards are not reciprocated. Annoyed may be lightly used. I was mad this week, incredibly mad, and I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve been “mad.” I don’t get mad. I don’t let myself get mad. Usually, I’m able to laugh things off and call it a new day. If I’m being honest, I’m still mad. I’m mad because I don’t feel loved by those I try the hardest to love. Lastly, I’ve also been learning that it’s okay to let people walk away, even if it’s not what I want. And as they walk away, it is important to be present when they finally walk back. I’m learning. I think it’s a good spot to be in, but parts of me just want to skip ahead to the “I learned” phase.
On a brighter note, I’ve truly been finding community here at college. I’ve been asked to lead a band next year, and I’ve been continuing to meet new people and learn about them. I’ve started eating dinner twice a week with a wonderful group of people, and overall they’re really just a blessing to me and it makes me happy. I’m really happy here, and I’m happy I can say that with confidence.
A few months ago, I asked a lot of people what they would do if they were more bold, and it was really neat to see people be challenged when giving their honest answers. I love learning about your thoughts, your drive, and your unique opinions. This month, I want to ask people what they are passionate about and why. I want to remind you of purpose. So comment, be involved, speak your mind. Don’t just be a bystander.
Happy Palm Sunday!