Conclusion.

Scenes and Monologues: a collection of potential situations.

Conversations/circumstances that always seem to be on the verge of happening

Random musings that work as a monologue

Sophomore year of college

 

Note:

SO. That last post (below) is the end of my “Sophomore Year” vignette series… if you didn’t get it from the intro post (during the writing of which it was 2am and I was feeling really ambiguous) they are pretty much from exactly a year ago. They display a certain learning curve for me, and a whole lot of hotmess-ness. Annnnd when I began posting these, at first I wasn’t sure why I was doing it. I guess I just wanted to provide a catharsis for some people who might possibly read it, and get used to putting myself out there as a writer, y’know, growing in vulnerability and all that… But then as the week went on I began to see why I really wanted to post them.

By posting these old writings, I wanted to showcase my humanity. As a Christian blogger, I wanted to show something real. I start to get sick of blog posts from Christians that are practically how-tos on life. You know, the polished, I-immediately-run-to-God-every-time-I-struggle type blog posts. How to live like a Christian. How to marry like a Christian. How to read the Bible like a Christian.

Of course I’m just playing devil’s advocate in a sense because I read those posts myself… sometimes even write and post them. Many of them are extremely biblical and helpful in my walk with God. But where are the posts that show true “brokenness?” True neediness and struggle to find identity in the Lord? We can talk about how that process happened, but how often do we get a glimpse into the life and feelings of a believer who is going through that?

So I guess that’s ultimately why I wanted to post some of my writing from last year. Sophomore year of college… the struggle in the year I began walking with God for real. And what does that even mean? “Walking with God.” I think it means being more aware of Him, and how a belief in Jesus and what He did plays into your everyday life.

 

For me, it was like an awakening. Suddenly I saw the world through a different lens. It was a better, clearer one. But I had to work out some kinks, discrepancies between my old world view and this new one. I mean, who am I kidding… I’m still working through some of these things. I probably always will be. But the major things were the hardest. And I think it took a good year or so, but I’m to the point where my big questions are answered in a way that I can understand personally and I can move on from them and grow in my relationship with God. This has been especially life-giving. To believe, and keep believing.

What were those major questions? Well, some of them are reflected in my little series of writings.

 

Firstly, I went through a period of time where I began to doubt everything I ever thought was true about the world. It’s because I was taking classes that made me more aware of Postmodern thought, that’s why.

Existentialism. Epistemology. The Atom Bomb.

If you will, imagine this in a whiny voice. Ahem:

“What is reeeeal? What is gooood? Are we all hypnotized right now? Does God REAAALLLY love us or is he tricking us into THINKING he loves us? Is there a God? Why does it matter? I can’t do anything to change anything! Wahhhhh.”

I thought I was insane. I understood the absurdists.

 

Maybe even Jackson Pollock.

And I mean, I think those sort of thoughts worked themselves out of my system in time. But it happened, and I think I can say after (EVENTUALLY) running to God, asking Him to reveal truth to me and give me peace about not understanding the hugeness of the universe and all its complexities, my faith has been incredibly strengthened through the process of questioning.

 

My other issue was that I was struggling to leave my old way of thinking about relationships. Maybe you can read between the lines through the series of vignettes and see that I had very dependent feelings on men. I mean, really the few writings that concerned guys were very small reflections and expressions of a much larger issue going on, and that’s the fact that I’ve always idolized (that’s Christian-ese for fixed upon and possibly obsessed with) relationships. LITERALLY this was how I lived my life. One emotional attachment to the next. Sophomore year was a huge process of trying to free myself from that. Because I’d finally learned that a relationship with a dude wouldn’t satisfy the longing I had to be known and understood, and that meant I had to change my lifestyle of constant pursuit of a real and fulfilling relationship. But from age 12-19 I had struggled with infatuation and placing all my hope in guys who 1. didn’t deserve so much attention and affection from me (I picked some lousy chicos) and 2. only hurt me later. Therefore, God was teaching me to stop, and wait.

 

Exodus 14:14 — “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

Jeremiah 29:11 — “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

 

It was hard to learn. But how loving of God to want to give me something better?? Along the long path that I am still walking of not wanting to put all of my everything into human men, I have read some great books and articles, watched fantastic sermons, and had discussions with some really strong, encouraging people. All of these have helped me to slowly uproot my deeply-engrained, routine pursuit of attention from men. Some of these include but are not limited to And the Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh, Marriage: A Revolution and a Revelation by Elisabeth Elliot, and Christ-Centered Relationships (a talk given by Francis and Lisa Chan). I think many of the ideas in the post “Convictions” are a reflection of these things put together. But mostly the Elisabeth Elliot article. If you want to keep your fluffy, pretty, Disney-movie ideas of love and marriage protected and intact, don’t read it. If you want them shattered on the floor, it’s a good read.

I also just have some pretty awesome friends, who have really been a huge part of the process towards a more Christ-centered life in general. I didn’t start out my sophomore year with many of these friends, however, and I think building these friendships were a huge part of “getting me off the ground,” per se, in my relationship with God. God uses people to do His work in the world. As my friend Katie Morario would say, “Write that down.”

So. There’s my little explanation-blurb. I hope that at least a few people read the whole series, and are encouraged. Encouraged that there is never a place of too much searching, never a place of instability that you cannot be rescued from. If you’re there, seek God. Even if you don’t believe, I dare you to just try praying and asking Him to show you Himself and His truth. It will blow you out of the water, or at least that’s what it did for me.

I am happy to say that I am still a seeker. Seek and ye shall find? It’s true in my life. I’m still someone who passionately explores every question to its logical end, but I am a very different person than the girl who wrote the vignettes in this series. I am rooted in the knowledge that there is a God, He loves me very much (as proven to me in very personal ways on many occasions in my life), He sent his Son to redeem the world, and He’s coming back for me. I can continue to flounder through life as someone who constantly asks “why,” and who in true hot-mess style talks passionately about those questions, makes art about them, writes plays about them, maybe never finds concrete answers, and yet STILL remains rooted in peace and emotional stability. Because the faith that God has grown in my heart is all I really ever need to overcome all the perplexities of life. The series has become a kind of personal celebration of that for me, and I hope someone else is impacted by the transformation as well.

Praise be to Him who works all things together for our good! He’s really cool, guys… I can’t understand why I get to be part of it.

Thanks for readin’!

J

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