long sprawling entry to follow. just try to keep up. (of course i say that to deter you slacker-readers out there who clearly didn't read that article i linked).
hard drive recovery update: i have searched through the recovery files and it seems the only ones that were not recovered were most of my europe pictures, which just so happen to be the only pictures i had kept on my computer because of their value to me. coincidence? i think not. i want to say God is good, but does God bestow his favor on me by saving pictures for me? perhaps. God is good.
ok now to the real stuff of this post. got back from the trip to okc, which was really great. i won't bore you with details or uninteresting events that just tell what we did and really have very little interest to anyone who wasn't on the trip, and those who were already know all those details. so i will tell of other things in connection with it. (and yes, the title of this post is related to the trip--of which i will spare you the stories but both of those things were somehow quite prevalent this week).
i'm almost hesitant to get into all of this--partially for my sake, continually needing to call it forward and keep it at hand is hard, but necessary. part of me wants to retreat into the zombie state that i feel from tiredness after the long trip, but i've got a good night of sleep in me so i should be mostly physically recovered. i guess i am also hesitant because i don't know how open i should be. i suppose though that i'm open enough about everything else. and i have been thinking that i want my blog to be more wholly representative of what has been going on in me--both the good and the bad, the hard and the uplifting, the questions and the learnings. of late i feel like i have been offering mostly the pain and struggle. it is the greater reality at the moment, but it is not the whole reality. so here's to authenticity, holding back only what God would keep between us.
first of all, i'm almost certainly moving to kc this summer. it's not moving to the suburbs or a trendy part of midtown. it's going into the city and living in community with brothers and sisters and loving a neighborhood. it's not safe or comfortable, but what of those values anyway? God confirmed those thoughts just before the trip, and so the time down in okc was a great place to look at what God is doing in the heart of the city and to dream about what he might have for a community in kc. there are some amazing things that have happened in okc. what could be in store for kc? it gets my heart so excited.
all of those thoughts and plans stand in great contrast to the immense poverty of spirit i have had within me of late. indeed, this idea of a kc community is the only thing that stirs my heart right now really. why is that? well, some of the reasons for that i can identify. others are simply what the Lord seems to have me going through right now, both in circumstances and in interior realities. a couple of these came to the forefront on the trip.
i believe the first was a recognition of an idol in my life--one i had been wary of in the past but has crept its way back. ever since my parents were divorced, or i guess since i can remember (since i was so young at the time) i have wanted to have a family of my own to do it right. this desire has at times been a greater motivating factor to me than following God, but not for quite awhile. a serious relationship came that God was leading a lot, but then it ended. my choosing ultimately, and i am not sure if it was the right choice. i am not sure if God wanted to do more in that situation. i'm not sure i will ever know, but i have accepted it now. that was not an idol in my life. but then came another relationship, and somewhere along the line--perhaps from the fear of more heartache, pain, and loss--the desire to maintain and hold that relationship started taking over my thoughts and intentions. i realized the intensity of my love was not passion, but self-preservation, trying to allow anything but the ultimate freedom to not choose me. that may be one of the hardest things in life, at least for me--to let someone walk away from you. but that's more about loyalty as a form of control, which is for another post. i confessed this idol in my life, and how i don't want to reenter that cycle of holding a relationship above God's plans for me. i don't want something like that to take over again like that did. i want that desire for something good to be just that--good and not consuming and unhealthy.
that is something in the past and done and then about looking forward. and i've realized i am nowhere really ready to look forward, at least in so much of my heart. i've held a wall in front of it in a lot of ways--and monday night was a time of penetration past it. it took some pretty specific prayer and words of ministry to get there. parts of me had gone numb, and i had closed off places in my heart--fearing the lose of ideologies and hopes. the word in prayer was to stay open, continue to give myself away. but i'm finding that to be so hard. removing the wall brought some truths, but it also brought the impact of the things that have been pressing against that wall, trying to get at my heart. i have called manhattan my island before--feeling isolated and remote from so much of my life of the past. there is newness and a few good friends who i am so grateful for, but also much that has been difficult. also pressing was the impact of watching nearly all of my closest friends get married within the last year. people would ask me if it was weird, and i would generally say no. but now it is hitting me. especially after wading my way through two serious relationships that came down just as my investment in them went up. and the number of my single friends is contained on one hand. there is something that just wears over time when you only hang out with couples, or parts of couples that can't really relate any more. it just slowly wears away at that strength of independence within. especially when you don't even really believe in independence. anyway, i say none of this for pity.
it raises deep questions in your heart that you don't want to deal with. what's wrong with me? why did it happen like this? etc. i won't get into those too much. but significantly monday in a moment of silence God spoke to me clearly, "you are loved." he didn't say "i love you," and i wondered why for a moment. i suppose he wanted me to know that it was more than just him. perhaps. i know romans 8:38-39. it is in the core of my heart like little else. yet the places that his love leads me i feel like i so rarely understand anymore. yet, "you are loved." it just is really hard to see sometimes. and perhaps the hardest part of it all is getting my heart to believe that.
i don't know if all of this writing is comprehensible or helpful to anyone else in any way. it is jumbled and confused as is my heart right now. but somehow it is at least something for me. so that's that, and this is but a part of my journey now.