Wisdom's Words of Wonder (and other words that start with W)

Proverbs 8:30-31
"Then I {wisdom} was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind."

I want this back.

Wisdom speaks of being a creator, of being delighted, of rejoicing.

God showed this verse to me just now. I love that God describes what we usually see as  a very stern, dry, ugh-do-I-have-to? thing like wisdom is such free, spontaneous, youthful words. 

Filled with delight day after day.
Rejoicing always in his presence.
             I would like to be and do that. The first is the hardest for me.

I love that God uses the word "whole." Rejoicing in his WHOLE world. That word has such an impact on me because it does not simply mean 'all-encompassing' but also 'complete' or 'full.' God gives me words for different parts of my life, especially in the past few years. First freedom, then glorious, then humility, then hope, then family, and now complete or whole

I said that I want proverbs 8:30-31 back because this world is no longer whole but is broken. I have a friend that doesn't believe that humans are made in the image of God any more, but in their own image. I disagree. Yeah, genesis says that Adam's children were made in his image, but Adam was made in God's image. So, Adam's children are made in his image, but Adam's image is simply a broken image of God. A reflection is a reflection, whether clear or muddled.

In other news, I get to see my Look Up family next week. Some of them anyway. To Highlands, North Carolina (home of Lanier Ward, Jake and Nathan Heffington, and Eric Knapp: the hometown of the arguably most hilarious people in the world, except for Walter Howard, the Keigley family, and Sydney Brown) I go! 

In moreother news, my cousins remembered me at our Christmas get-together. God provided someone for me to talk to concerning my struggles detailed in my last post. I have not much time until I move back to Liberty for my camping ministry class, which is scaring me a little ever since I looked at the syllabus. BUT! It'll be grand. Swell, even. Because my God has my back.

Psalm 32: 7
"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah." 


Breakdown! Breakdown, oohh [part II]

I'm a bit late in posting this, I know. I'm sorry.

But look what happened in the meantime!!!
That's 15 inches of snow in less than 24 hours!!! I played in it today. I could fall anywhere and not hurt myself. It was awesome, in the true sense of the word. I was in awe of the beauty (and surprising almost-warmth) of today. 
I threw myself on the ground about 5-6 times, shoveled about half the snow you see there onto the stairs you see, then went around the other side and climbed up the "mountain," getting stuck many times. When I got stuck I started laughing, sat down right where I was with my legs fully enveloped in snow. The family came out to see what the heck I was doing/if I was alright. Good times.

Anyway, the snow is NOT what this post is supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about something much more personal. 

Isaiah 54:1 "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD.

This verse was originally about the nation Israel. I'm pretty sure (I have corroborating evidence) that my Father wants it to apply to me as well. Which is super hard for me, who, to be completely open, would love to someday have a husband. And the point at which God choose to give this verse to me just kills me with its ambiguity.

So He gave me that verse over the summer, and again a couple days ago. So what's the big deal, right? I saw a verse a couple times. I've also seen the "cut off your right hand" verse several times, but I'm not doing that! Well....then there's Matthew 19. Jesus is talking with some Pharisees and his disciples about marriage and divorce. Here's the kicker in context, verses 9-12:  
"I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given....The one who can accept this should accept it.

I think I can accept it. I think He has given it to me (via Isaiah 54:1). Crap. 

Sometimes I wish I didn't listen to Him when He says things to me. Or that I didn't really mean it when I said I would give anything to see His Kingdom come to the this kingdom in this life. Or that He hadn't started to show me that He is my only Desire, my Delight, and by getting married I would be sacrificing some of that for a human, a delightful worthy-of-desire human of course, but still a human, and it would be settling (see Rachael's SWEET post on settling). Or that I didn't know the extent of my stubbornness and what some call flightiness.

But I do, I did, and He did. So now what? I'm gonna be single for the rest of my foreseeable days.
That scares me. I don't want to be alone. I want family, community, welcome, and admittedly, a sense of safety and security. Intentional community à la Shane Claiborne here I come! 

So I will be returning to the center of GET MARRIED NOW! and YOU MUST FIND A MATE! aka Liberty University in January. Yay. At least I have my (less than) two months to mourn before then, like the daughter of Jephthah in Judges 11, who roams the hills for two months to mourn that she will never marry before her father sacrifices her. A really unusually story in the Bible, but it works here. I am sacrificing a part of my would-be life. 

Only my friends are in relationships/getting married/planning their weddings that are YEARS away.

I know He will work in mighty ways, ways that I can't even imagine (and I can imagine A LOT) through this, but it still scares the living daylights out of me, saddens me greatly, and strangely, gives me freedom and hope

I just hope I'm not alone in this, that I'll find a mentor or a woman my age that has decided the same thing, for the same reasons, and is committed to not fostering a sense of loss because of it. 

Because I have not lost anything. (Though to be honest, I'm not really sure yet what I've gained).


Breakdown! Breakdown, oohh [part I]

If you love Relient K as much as I do, you'd know that the title of this entry comes from a song of similar name off the album Anatomy Of The Tongue In Cheek, which was a good'un. Back in the day. Well, back in 2001.

My yesterday was the day of breakdowns. Just one actually. Sorry, I like exaggeration.

Yesterday was my first full day at home for Christmas break. I caught up on sleep, chilled with my brother at the house, went out with my family for dinner, then hung out with Lori and Sonia (yes, the 3 Amigas, or Stooges, are together again for a time). 

The breakdown happened between being at the house and having dinner out with the family.

I had found an old pocket-sized Bible in a drawer in our kitchen. I knew no one used it, so I wanted to see what version it was and I wanted to keep it in my Look Up-given fanny pack/bag/thing I use as my carryall because I really hate purses. I flipped it open thinking, "yeah, I go to Liberty, I can tell what version it is within a few words!" {that was only partly true, my friends sometimes expect me to be smarter than they are with Bible stuff just because I go to LU. Odd thing is...sometimes I am. LU influence is yet to be determined.}

So I open it. And where else does it land but on Isaiah 54:1. God sent this verse to me at a very critical point of my summer (some at LU and at home know the full, maybe-prophecy, story), and I told no one there. Isaiah 54:1 says, "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD. Crap. I'll explain more about this verse and things relating to it in the next post, because this one'd be REALLY long if I included it here.

I then went to deposit my "hey, I sold all my books back" money, plus some savings bonds we had found in my name, into the bank to pay for next semester. Here's where it starts. The savings bonds I won in middle school/family members from my dad's side had given to me when I was little, on the bond itself, said $500 and two $50 respectively. So, I'm thinking-and was told in middle school-that they would be worth $600 total and I'm going to deposit about $800 into my account, including my book money. That still leaves me with about $300 that neither me nor my family can provide to pay for next semester, but it's a lot better than the $500 we started with. 

I get to the bank, and I live in a very small town, so I got some funny looks because they didn't recognize me (I haven't been inside this bank in over 2 years). They deal with the bonds first. I get my receipt. Only $384 and some change was put in. I stood there shocked while they deposited the book money, then asked them why there was a difference. 

Evidently the bonds aren't worth what they say they're worth until they accrue the full interest on the purchase amount, which is only HALF of what the paper says. That's so stupid!!! I was so angry, infuriated actually, because I'm right back where I started. I still had $500 to spring out of nowhere, since no one will hire me for a month, and my middle school straight up LIED to me, a 6th grader, when they said I had won $500 for my essay. 

I hate being lied to. HATE IT. Probably because I struggle with lying myself (aka exaggerations...). And I had expected to be so much closer to paying for my last semester. And I knew my mom would want to absorb the extra cost, because she's my mom and that's what she does. But she can't now. 

So here I go, driving up Christiansburg mountain to meet my mom and brother, all enraged, then I start crying. Shoot. I knew I would too. My mom got out of her car, and I out of mine, and she just let me cry. She knew that the lost money was not the only reason I was crying. I told her that I just really hate having to put pressure on her to keep providing for her 20-year-old daughter. That I hate being a burden to her.

Then she started crying, which makes me cry more. She told me, I will never forget this, that a little after my dad died (when I was 2 and my brother a newborn) people told her how hard she would have it being a single mom with two young kids. She said she chose to have us, and that not one day of her life had she regretted having us. She said that we were what kept her going most days. So I cried more, of course. Almost crying again now.

And then we went to dinner.
And then I hung out with my co-conspirators.
And then I came home and realized again how hard it is going to be to leave my mom.
And then....I realized that I had some begging to do of the AmeriCorps people because my mom, as dear to me as she is, did not see the deadline posted on some information sent to my house. I missed it by a few days because I was at school still. I have called and sent emails, so hopefully I hear back from them soon about my options now. 

I'll post part II here soon, maybe later tonight.



SIMWs #5

While writing a paper and yes, listening to Christian gangsta rap, I realized that I am still in Demoss. Demoss is not my dorm. It's currently 2:44 am. I have never been outside of my dorm at this time of night before now. Wooo...finals week and extended C-Lab hours..