Jan 16, 2008

Much Farther To Go

Sometimes, I get discouraged. I feel like people love other people and end up getting screwed. I have watched people hurt each other, their friends, their families, their significant others. Yes, broken people, broken world. But I end up thinking I'm better off just where I am. Don't get any closer. And then I remember that, actually, life really sucks without other people. Being lonely is probably one of the worst feelings...because we all just want someone to love us.

Sometimes, I get discouraged. I like to understand what's going on. I like to be clued it. I like to remember the things I study. I don't like when I don't get it. As happened when trying to understand the cardiovascular system and how you assess it. And when I read things about Early Christian art and Ancient Roman art. And when I read for Pharmacology and don't recall a single thing I had just spent the last hour trying to beat into my brain.

Sometimes, I get discouraged. I am the only college student who goes to my church. I want people my age to go to church with me. I want the community I tried to integrate into, despite the different life stage, to stay together. When I go to church, sometimes I feel as though I am an outsider...which is ironic since I have been there for a long time. I am tempted to pick up and leave, because it would be easier for me. I would have more "fun" going to church with people my age. I would satisfy those desires for things that church shouldn't be about. Because as soon as we start listening to the "I" statements in our lives, we make ourselves more important than we should ever be.

Sometimes, I get discouraged. As when I try to plan a well campaign to run through Lent at my church, and all I meet is red tape. Committees and boards and meetings that have to approve the idea. And you know, churches need rules. They needs parameters. They need to approve this. But I get so frustrated when it seems that I can't be heard, that my dream won't come to fruition, that I am a young person trying to sit down with middle-aged men to answer their questions about an organization, and how it is funded, and why I chose it, when all I want to do is encourage people to help me dig a well in an AIDS-devastated community.


And then, as frustration mounts and discouragement grows and I get fed up, I walk outside. I leave the computer lab to find the snow falling. There's no one on campus. There's nothing but the sound of snow.

I love the sound of snow.

The muffled, gentle murmur of snowflakes hitting the bricks. The hiss as the wind blows the top layer around. And the rest of the world has to slow, quiet down, and watch. There is something about snow that is captivating. It is an unchained creation of God. It falls and settles and the world looks completely different. Snow never fails to bring a smile to my face.

And somehow, snow reminds me of this:

God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times.

When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.

Why? Because the Master won't ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way:

My heart aches for the people in my life who are hurting. For the people dying of AIDS and parasitic diseases and the cold in the city. When I think about them, my discouragement in studying and in my selfish desires in church seem like pitiful excuses for discouragement. And so I will try to let them go and instead, quietly hope for help and bow in prayer for those who are hurting and for a world that is broken.


  1. Fessie, I signed up for one of those Google Reader things so I never have to click on individual blogs to read them anymore. But the downside: I'VE STOPPED COMMENTING.

    So. Sorry this is late. But I think that you're amazing, and have more depth than any other 19-year old I've ever known (yes, even ME at that age), and you make me want to be a better person.

  2. you're beautiful beautiful beautiful.

    my heart breaks for you
    because i want to be part of your community
    and live life alongside you
    and help.

    and i agree that churches need rules.
    but they need rules like businesses do.
    because they're kind of businesses.
    i don't mean to offend,
    but the only rules needed are what Christ has said.
    and when he said,
    love your neighbor,
    what you have done for the least of these,
    and you should wash each others' feet...
    i think that he accepted that idea of giving water to those who need it.

    but that's too hard, i think.

  3. just you wait til 06.06. shout out of your life.

    sunday. there will be no sabbath for us. only sisterly love.

  4. Two things...
    one, I relate about church. I think many times where God places us though has less to do about age, and more to do with helping people be more like Him. He WILL use us regardless of whether we're tastily young or grumpily middle aged. Those who have become complacent need their toes stepped on by Him sometimes... and young people less impacted by life's stereotypical norms are good at that.
    Two, the other day when it started snowing I walked outside after having one heck of a poopy day. I yelled in sheer utter excitement (quite loud I'm afraid) and then began laughing for God was giving me something so fresh and new that I definitely needed at the time. It was uber refreshing and definitely a tidbit of his what makes Him glamorous to me. I also made a poor girl jump and she literally ran away in fright. I guess big, tall, scary guys can do that to people.

  5. i saw your post on your dad's blog and hopped on over. :0) i'm so glad to have met you the other night and i hope we can talk more sometime. don miller and brennan manning are 2 of my favorites. i also feel deeply the pain of the hurting world. it feels so overwhelming sometimes. be encouraged that every smile, every loving gesture you offer, every person you help to awaken to the need of those around them, every prayer your heart offers for the hurting--you are helping them to heal. (as if you don't know this :0) what happened with the well project? i wanna help! i've been specifically praying for ways to help with water, warmth, and hunger cause these things tear me apart.