Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stretched too Thin

The last couple of week I have been less than OK with the perpetual singleness I have had to endure for the entirety of my life.  Most days my last thought before I fall asleep is how I just wish I wasn't alone.  Not to sound like a whiny child, but I just want to know when it is my turn to be with someone.  It is hard taking care of everyone.  I just need someone who will take care of me too.

This was amplified this past week by my dad's surgery on his heart.  For the last six months Dad has been suffering from atrial fibrillation; in other words one on the chambers in my Dad's heart was beating out of rhythm.  There is a procedure called an ablation where they go into his heart through a vein and they cauterize the nerves that are misfiring.  I am used to medical emergencies, since that is all my life is made of.  It all would have been easier to handle if the ablation had not fallen on the first day of YK.  I felt stretched way too thin.  I was trying to stay on top of stuff for the show, make sure my siblings were ok as well as find time to spend with my mom at the hospital while she waited for dad to come out of surgery.  In the end I was able to do it all, but at the expense of myself.  Through it all, only a couple people asked how I was doing, and none of them are related to me.  I felt so alone and rejected.

I haven't fully recovered from Monday.  I still really feel neglected.  And I don't feel like I can really talk to my family about it, because we are all trying to deal with the stress in our own ways.  The YK people are busy with the shows and ministry.  This loneliness bled into the rest of the week and when you add that to fact that I don't really feel needed at YK I have been having a lot more "low self-esteem days" as I call them.  My worth has been called into question in my own mind.  Once again, at risk of sounding like an emo child, I don't feel like I am needed and that makes getting out of bed incredibly difficult.  Whats worse is that sometimes I worry that I will never be loved how I need to be loved.  I worry I will always feel this alone.

Do you ever feel unwanted?  How do you get over it?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Overwhelmed With Life (Again)

Sometimes I become so overwhelmed with everything in my life that I start to feel like I am going to crawl out of my own skin.  Tonight is one of those nights.  My skin is crawling, my mind is racing, and I am fighting back tears because all at the same time everything is wrong and nothing is wrong.  I have no homework to worry about, and I am so so thankful for that.  That doesn't mean my stress is less, so is good [+] and some bad [-].

[+/- ] YK starts later today.  I have to get my siblings up and out the door by 7:00am, aka the butt-crack of dawn.  We have to be at church at 7:45, and lets be honest, we will never leave on time.  That is why I am giving us 45 minutes to get out the door, so we can be on time and maybe even get coffee before hand.  I am worried we won't be up on time.

[-] Dad is having surgery tomorrow.  He has been having a heart arrhythmia, in other words his heart is misfiring.  It is not beating all at one time, but kind of staggering the beat which is really really bad.  Because of that, he is having a procedure down that cauterized the misfiring nerves to make the heart go back to normal.  It is a relatively common procedure, but it is not easy.  It involves the surgeon cutting a hole in dad's heart to get to the nerves.  I am worried.  I don't want anything to happen to him. 

[-]  Poppie and Grandma Holt probably won't be around much more.  Poppie went into the hospital on Thursday for pneumonia and heart problems.  He came home Saturday and is doing well.  However, Grandma went into the hospital after having a stroke the same day Poppie came home.  Dad says that we will most likely lose Grandma within the next six months, and Poppie will go quickly after that.  They cannot function without one another.  It's like The Notebook.  He will not survive without her, and visa versa.

[-]  Dad says he won't be able to handle losing his parents.  That is understandable, but he pretty much said he will probably take it out on me, Sarah and Alex.  He would never be violent, that is not who my father is, but he did say I will probably need to grow thicker skin.  I can't.  I can't always take the brunt of everything, and that is what he wants me to do.  I can only handle so much before I start to shut down, or I explode back at him.  Neither of those ever end well. 

[+]  Work  is going so well.  I love to go and spend copious hours with the high school and middle school students.  I really think this is what I should be doing for the next couple of years at least.  We will see though. 

Tonight I am just feeling like I need someone who can take care of me.  I am feeling the weight of everything crushing me.  I have to take care of everyone, and no one is there for me.  I am the one who seems to be trying the hardest to keep the house relatively presentable.  I am the one who has been running a million errands.  I am the one looking after my siblings.  I have to be strong for everyone, and I don't feel like I have the opportunity to be the vulnerable one.  I just suck it up, but I can't handle that forever.  I need someone who will take care of me.  I don't want to complain this much, I am just incredibly overwhelmed and need a break.  Problem is, I am not going to get one for at least two weeks, if not more. 

I just need sleep.  And alone time.  And a strong drink.  Maybe not the last one, but the first two for sure.

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Day of "Work"

Today was my first official day of work with the Youth Group at church.  It went so well!  I think I'm going to love this job.  My sister and I went to The Gathering, our High School ministry.  We started out by just hanging out, then we sang some worship songs.  Joe Long and Katie Borden were leading up front.  They are both super talented.  Joe even wrote a new worship song for us to learn.  It was beautiful.  The words were based on Psalm 150, which reads.

Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

The song was amazing and this may be a new favorite verse of mine.  The song connected to the theme of the summer so well.  This summer we are talking about worship.  Doug had Tyler, the other intern, and me each share a quick testimony thing about what we see worship as.  Once Tyler and I were done, Doug had the kids break up into groups and discuss what worship is.  We went through all sorts of questions from what is worship, to what do we worship and how do we get back on track when we start to worship things that are not God.  It was a fabulous conversation, and Tyler seemed to have a lot to say, so I let him take point in our group.  He really seems to have a heart for God, which is great to see.  After breaking out into groups, we had Popsicle and played games and hung out. 

After pretty much everyone was gone, Chris and Alex asked if we all wanted to go grab food and hang out more.  So, after many distractions, some Teach Me How to Dougie and whatever else we ended up at White Castle.  So, Chris, Alex, Sarah, Tori, Doug and I went to White Castle.  Tori had to leave early, but the guys, Sarah and I ended up staying until 11:30pm.  We talked about all sorts of stuff.  It was great.

To make a long story short, I think I am going to like this job.  The kids are cool, the staff members are wonderful, and the volunteers rock!

Right now I am listening to so old one80 sermons from freshman year at Witt.  Its the Reset series.  So great, and totally what I needed to hear today. 

I think this summer is one of healing for me and God.  I think we are going to be friends again.  I am starting to want to read my Bible, and pray and journal.  I am wanting to spend time with God.  I love this feeling, and I have missed it so much.  I am tired of feeling at odds with God, that is the worst place to be because no matter what you are going to lose.  You can't beat the creator of everything.  It's just not possible.  This is going to be a big summer for me, and I can't even describe the excitement I feel when I think about it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mother Teresa

"It is Christ in his distressing disguise whom I love and serve."- Mother Teresa of Calcutta

I just watched a documentary on Netflix about Mother Teresa.  I have always known she is a miraculous women.  A woman strong and faithful.  She is someone to be admired. 

I think sometimes I over complicate the Christian calling.  I think it is human nature to make things more complicated than they need to be.  I judge my Christianity by the way I pray, or how much I pray.  I judge myself by how often I read the Bible, or go to church.  I judge my spiritual life by how close I feel to God. 

While I think all of these things are fruits of a healthy life in Christ, I do not think they are what leads to a healthy life in Christ.  I think the real mark of a Christian is someone who says yes when they are called to something.  Mother Teresa was called to the service of the the poor, sick, needy, unwanted and just entirely damaged. 

I know I have talked about it before, but I'm going to say it again.  My faith should not be as complicated as I make it.  My faith is not about how many Bible Studies I am in, but it is about how many people I mercifully help as though they were Christ.  My faith is not about having the right answers, but rather it is about having a right relationship.  This is a lesson I have to learn over and over again.  Maybe some day it will stick, but until then I can always look at my wrist.  I have the reference for Micah 6:8 tattooed to my wrist as a daily reminder of what God requires of us.  As the verse says that we should, "Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God." 

Right now, my biggest struggle is in the humility side.  I feel like I know everything.  What I need to know is that I am boxing God in with that attitude.  If I know everything, then there is nothing for me to learn.  If there is nothing for me to learn, then why do I need God?  I don't.  Right now, I need humility that shows me that I do not know everything.  I need to be better at deferring to God. 

I am learning from Mother Teresa.  When she was called she did what she was told.  While she was obedient, she did not force it.  Her superior said that he didn't think she was right.  Teresa left knowing that if God really did want her to work with the poor he would make a way.  I don't have faith that is that strong.  I have a hard time waiting.  I am anxious and becoming complacent.  I want to be moved to something.  I don't really have any way to make that happen.  I just have to wait, and pray.  So, I guess that is what I will do.  I just don't really know what I am praying for.  Hopefully God will let me know what I should pray for. 

Now, it is like 5:15 am, and I am still not asleep.  Time for another documentary.