Sunday, July 7, 2013

dealing with disappointment

I gave up my dream college.

I had searched for months after my high school graduation and finally settled on a college towards the end of the summer. I applied. I visited. I was ready to enroll. Despite the fact that it was a 15 hour drive from home, I felt like it was the perfect college for me, exactly what I was looking for.

Several weeks later, however, God opened up another college opportunity. Now I had a big decision to make: I could either choose to attend the college that my heart was set on, or I could pick the college that was I knew was a wiser choice (as far as distance and finances were concerned). The choice was mine to make. After much prayer and discussion with my family over my decision, I decided to give up my dream college and trust that God would not disappoint me for making a decision I felt best aligned with his will.

But I'll be honest—it was a tough decision that initially left me desperately disappointed. I felt like I was giving up the greatest thing in the world and that I'd never fully be satisfied with the decision I was making. (Since then God has showed me how my school fits my needs better than I could have ever imagined, and I can now say that I love my school. He is indeed faithful!)

However, I have discovered that life is full of disappointments. College, friendships, jobs, injuries, relationships, family, illnesses—there are just so many things that never work out like we want them to. "Disappointment" is a reoccurring word in my journal; I've had to deal with it often. And I hate it. It hurts, and it never makes sense.

Yet through it all, disappointment shows me how much more I need to cling to Jesus. He is the one thing that will never disappoint. Instead of wallowing in the unfairness of my dashed dreams or failed expectations, I need to let disappointments drive me to Jesus. Maybe I've been treasuring something too dearly; maybe it's God's way of bringing my attention back to him. Regardless of the circumstances, God is showing me (often very painfully) that Jesus is worth more than every disappointment life could bring my way.

Counting everything as loss for Christ's sake isn't easy, but it is worth it. He will never disappoint.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

summer lovin'

I do, in fact, love blogging; but you probably wouldn't know because I hardly do it anymore. (And I'm not even sure who "you" is supposed to be because I don't even think anyone reads this old blog anymore.) Well here's to changing my stagnant writing habits!

Two down...124 more to go. Oh well. Although I'll eventually have to come to grips with the fact that there doesn't appear to be any human means of me ever completing my reading list; yet, I continue to try. Most recently I have completed Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton and Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

Cry, the Beloved Country is an excellently written book, dealing with the themes of reconciliation, injustice, and the power of faith in God. I read this book because it was highly recommended to me as "a book that every Christian should read." While this is a book I certainly recommend to every Christian reader, I think I would have benefited (and enjoyed it) more had I read it in a study group or taken the time to study its powerful themes more deeply. Not my favorite book, but one that I certainly appreciated, especially for its literary value. Paton's lyrical, poetic prose is beautiful and is worth reading simply for that reason alone. It's a more challenging read, but I would agree with other literary critics that this is one of the best novels of all time.

Peace Like a River may just make it onto my list of all-time favorite novels. A richly dynamic and powerful book, Peace Like a River enthralled me with its gripping narration of the tragedies and miracles of the Land family, all the while employing lyrical imagery and captivating prose. Yes, I am envious of the way Enger can create such fresh and evocative metaphors and descriptions. Personally, I think this novel is literarily stunning. Rueben, Swede, and Mr. Land have become some of my favorite characters, so unique and fascinating! I'm very glad I got around to reading this one.

@ChristianHipster, the source of my daily laughs.
@UrbanaMissions, encouragement from the Word and excellent articles and tools for global-minded Christians.
@EricMetaxas, keeps me aware about pertinent issues regarding human trafficking, abortion, and politics.

camp war eagle
That's right. I'm working as a counselor there this year, and it's a blast. I'm so excited to see what God does through camp and how he works in the lives of the kids there! It is seriously crazy that I get paid to have so much fun and have such an incredible impact on the lives of kids. Loving kids and loving God. Can't get much better than that.

nike shorts
I love 'em, I wear them all the time. Especially since I've started running quite a bit... they are my favorite kind of running shorts. Well, can I help that they're so cute???

This guacamole!!!
And maybe some cauliflower poppers.
Not to mention this granola.
And this Monterey Chicken that I haven't made yet, but am going to soon.
And just because it's WRONG to forget dessert, cinnamon roll cake.

"Look So Easy" - Dave Barns
"Blood and Bones" - Elenowen
"Welcome Home" - Dutton
"Half of my Heart" - John Mayer
"Army of Two" Olly Murs
"Let Go" - Safetysuit
"Start Over" - The Afters
"Between the Raindrops" - Lifehouse