So pants my soul for You, O God.

It’s okay. We drink the wrong coffee and get into the wrong cars. It’s community.” – Katie Jo

Hey, it’s true. I have fallen off the deep end just a little bit this week, but that’s totally okay. Sometimes we all just need to jump into the deep end and swim around a little bit to realize we don’t like being this crazy, so then we get out and dry off. I’m still in the process of drying off, but maybe it’ll happen. I’m lucky to have some pretty beautiful people around me who understand doing life this way. We all need a little bit of crazy (at least that’s what I’ve learned in my 18 years here). It’s not fun being “normal,” let’s be honest.

God is teaching me some pretty awesome things lately. I know I’ve written about how silent I think He’s been and how I just haven’t been feeling anything lately, but I think I might have hit a little breakthrough. Even if it was a whisper, it was surely something. Now, I’m not expecting the Lord to move mountains right before my eyes, but I am learning a think or two about being patient and how debilitating it is to place expectations for the things around you.

One of my bosses gave a sermon a couple weeks ago with some awesome imagery that made me turn this concept of expectations over in my mind. She had told us she wanted to try a little social experiment. We should go to our roommates, significant other, best friend, whoever, and give them new terms for our relationship. “We can only talk on Tuesdays. We can’t talk after this time. You have to do this, this, and this in order for us to be together. You have to do this to make me happy. And if not, well, then we can’t be friends.” She told us to let her know how that works out. We probably wouldn’t still be friends, right? Well, this is exactly what we do to God.

Boom. We place God in cookie-cutters of expectations. We expect Him to show up in certain situations. We expect Him to show up in big ways. We expect Him to meet our expectations. We expect Him to solely please us. We expect Him to move mountains right before our eyes. We expect Him to do all of these things, even when we don’t put in the effort. We expect. We expect. We expect. And we have this false assumption that He will do these things, and if He doesn’t, well, then He’s not listening, and obviously He doesn’t care enough to intercede right when and where we want Him to. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

And I think it’s especially hard when you come into an entire new season of life, where absolutely nothing is the same. I think what’s so exhausting is being defined by so many things. Instead of defining myself solely by Christ, I continue to bounce around to other things, which is incredibly stupid, but it happens & I will continue to learn. I have no idea who I am anymore, if we’re being completely honest. Sometimes this is a good thing, I’m not saying it’s bad at all because I’m not going completely crazy and letting loose in college and drinking and partying or anything like that, but I’m just a jumbled mess right now. I am exhausted & seeking definition & falling short. We will all fall short of the glory of God. Rest in that & find comfort in it. Continue to seek your identity in Christ. That is where the satisfaction will lie.

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Anyways! The small way He made Himself known this week:

Psalm 42

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
    and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
    a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.

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I’ve been in this slump of stress and anxiety and frustration and sadness. I think whenever we get this way, we tend to think, “It’s only me. No one can possibly know exactly how I feel,” and in that moment of self-pity, God said, “David knows.” I honestly don’t remember how I came across this, but I found it, and in a whisper, God said, “David knows. He gets it. He’s been there.” I thank God that David, who wrote more than 150 praises to a God who he knows loves him and would never forsake him, understands what I am going through. And surely, if David could fill His life with praise and live to glorify the God of the universe, I should be able to as well.

When we get sad our world can seem so small, but the world is so big, and it’s so beautiful…that’s good news.” – E. Moniz

Heartbreak is hard. And not the “I fell in love with a boy and he smashed my heart to smithereens” kind of heartbreak, but hurting for another person. It sucks, for lack of a better phrase. Hurting for a dear friend & every time you realize how badly it hurts you just kind of burst into tears, whether that be in public or private. I have found myself crying so much this week. It’s a little bit ridiculous, but some days, you just need a good cry. Curled up in bed, in the dark, watching My Sister’s Keeper. Ugly crying. I called up my mom last night and upon hearing the sound of her voice, I burst into tears. Sitting in a rocking chair in the cold October breeze, and I was ugly crying. And then I just started laughing. Crying and tears and a cracked voice and snot and laughter. Belly-deep laughter. And I still couldn’t tell you where this came from. But I can tell you now, that is the best kind of crying. And I can also tell you that my mom understands, and I could hear her laughing on the other end of the phone. I know this probably all sounds so strange, and you’re thinking, “Who is this girl & why does she enjoy crying?” Sometimes it just feels good, okay? Sometimes you need a good cry.

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But then sometimes, maybe you just need a good, impromptu coffee date. With a new friend. Sometimes it takes reliving your own story to really realize what a gracious God we serve. When you have to tell your story, you have to relive it. And while I may not depict the nitty-gritty details or parts with every new person I encounter, today I did find myself telling this wonderful person why I came to Berry, why I felt led here. I know I’ve said it before, but I do love when you get the reassurance that you’re exactly where God wants you to be. You know that you’re not going against His will for your life. That has got to be one of the most comforting feelings. And I love when dots connect and you find people who understand your quirks and like what you like, and you realize the world is pretty small, but then again, it’s actually quite large. And that is so beautiful. To be a part of this small, humongous, gorgeous, God-orchestrated world.

Sometimes it’s good to sort of be knocked over the head with the obvious. Whether that obvious moment be “This is not the car your supposed to get into,” or, “This coffee isn’t yours,” or, “David knows,” I hope you find your obvious in the coming week. I hope you have moments where you know God is there. Moments that stop you in your tracks. Those moments might be at 3 AM when you find yourself crying over Scripture. It might be the moment you look in a mirror and like what God has made you to be, finally. It might be something that makes you truly understand what it means to have your identity be in Christ. It might be sipping a really great cup of coffee one morning before an 8 AM. It might be at sunset. It might be running from class to class. Pause. Find your obvious. Take it in. This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice & be glad in it.

“And on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near, and my time has come, still my soul will sing Your praise unending, 10,000 years and then forevermore. Bless the Lord. Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul. Worship His Holy Name. Sing like never before, O my soul, I will worship Your Holy Name.”


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