Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Future Freaks Me Out.

So here we are. The end of summer. Where did time go? It just seemed like yesterday that I was at Biola. Living temporarily in a rent free apartment...Being a film kid and spending way too much time on film sets....wanting to cry...actually crying...dealing with difficult actors...dreading phone calls from the UPM or Executive producer...making call sheets...taking way to many BTS photos..going to bed at an unreasonable hour only to wake up  6:45am for a 8am call time. Ah. The good life.

Even though this summer zoomed by and I honestly don't know where it went, it was a very eye-opening one. Unfortunately this summer was marked by the tragedy of the unexpected passing of my grandfather and other struggles. Despite these hardships, I have never felt God's closeness like I have this summer.

In the sake of looking back and remembering...here are some important lessons I learned (or in the process of learning) this summer.

The importance of Family
I really got to spend a significant time with both sides of my family. And I am beginning to see how important family is. Yes, no family is perfect. In the face of hardship, all those preconceived judgments that you may have don't matter, in fact you find out you are completely wrong. I have been amazed to see how my extended family came together to cope with my grandfather's passing and how through this tragedy God used it to rebuild relationships and open up lines of communication.

Reconciliation/Rebuilding Relationships 
I came to realize that there are some people in my life that I have held some sort of bitterness towards. While I said I forgave them, in my heart I still held onto the past. I've also realized that I, too have hurt people and want to begin to mend those relationships if possible. It's been a very humbling experience to confront these heart issues with God.

Love My Neighbor
The past two months, God has been showing me what my life will look like Post-Biola. It's pretty easy to love your neighbor at a place like Biola. But when you are taken out of that bubble and see the reality of this world, you find that it's really difficult to truly love those around you and see people as Christ sees them. God has been breaking my heart for the lost and those 'forgotten' by society.

God is Calling me to something Deeper...
A year ago, the word reflection just meant what I saw in the mirror. But in the past year I have been challenged to really look at my life (and my past) and see where God is in the midst of it all. With each situation I dealt with this summer....the good ones and bad...I have been able to see God's hand in it. Even though it can be difficult to stay focused on the bigger picture when we face of trials..There were many times I wanted to give up and just go back to my old ways..but I know that God is constantly pushing me to preserve because he is calling me to a deeper relationship with Him. I just have to be willing to take the risk and go there with him. 

My body is God's temple.
Let's be honest. I put on some weight. You and I both know this. I mean being 5' 1" if you gain any amount of weight it SHOWS. So this summer I really committed to losing a couple pounds and most importantly eating healthier and making good choices. For the first time EVER, I actually stuck to exercising regularly and eating healthy. I even lost some pound-age! HOLLER.

One of the things I am kind of scared of: THE FUTURE.

This is my last semester! I should be excited, right? A new semester brings new things.

I am DEAD terrified. I like college. I love what I have at Biola. I am scared of what life will look like after. Where will I live? Will I have a job? Where will I go to grad school?

All these things run through my head, their is no putting it off now, I am 4 months away from graduating!

I have to constantly go back to Christ with this one. God has my back. He will take care of me. Yes, I will probably freak out when things don't go the way I plan/or wanted them to. But that just reminds me that GOD IS IN CONTROL. He will get me where ever he wants me...in his own way...not my own.

Things on my mind as I enter my LAST SEMESTER EVER.

With this being my last semester. It will be a pretty hectic one I'm sure. I have class..internship..a job (hopefully?!) Maybe a social life if I'm lucky. I just hope I will remember to slow down and take in all that is going on. Enjoy each moment.

While at my time at Biola, I have cultivated significant friendships with numerous people. I pray that I will continue to invest in these existing relationships and continue to form new bonds with people in and out of the Biola community.

Yes this definitely sounds like a freshmen thing. But it will be hard, especially because my family is currently in transition to moving back in with my grandmother. A part of why my family is moving back is to help take care of my grandmother, who has shown early signs of dementia. Dementia is a horrible thing and it scares me to think how rapidly it can effect someone's brain. Please pray for my grandmother and my family as they make this transition.

After much prayer and wrestling with God over this, I have decided to pursue a master's in counseling. God has definitely been showing me where my passions lie and I have experienced great joy out of helping those around me and investing in people's lives. Yes, counseling is a total 180 from film, but I trust that this is what God wants me to pursue at this moment.  So what do I want to do with this degree? I want to get certified in marriage and family therapy and maybe work in higher ed ..possibly working in Res Life  for a bit and go from there. But I am just open to wherever God leads...who knows I could possibly just end up working as Goofy at Disneyland and be perfectly content.

So. That's the plan. If you read all this thank you. That was a lot to read.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Theology and Toilet Paper

I will be the first to admit that I can be a little doubtful when I hear miraculous stories of God's provision in people's lives, especially when it comes to material things.  (Getting a check from someone hours before rent is due, etc) I am not doubtful that He can do these things, because He obviously can (Hello, he's GOD!)

I just have trouble thinking that these things can happen to me.

For the past week or so, I have seen God provide for me in ways that I have never seen. Like Material things. What the heck?

Money for school. A new(er) CAR. Job Opportunities. Toilet paper.

Yes. Before you laugh. Hear me out.

This morning in my usual morning fog, I heard someone (i honestly don't know who) tell me we had no TP. 'Great! I can't even wipe my own...(i'll let you figure that one out)' But being too tired, I knew I was pretty screwed for the day, but just went back to bed. Also keep in mind I can't leave the house because my current car is pretty much...dead. (It overheats in the hot sun)

Flash forward to an hour later. Nature calls and i begin to worry of what I will do. I go downstairs to the bathroom and what do I see?

A plethora of toilet paper.

I have never been so happy to see TP! Right when I thought I would have to spend the day toilet paperless and uncomfortable, it seems like TP just rained from the sky.

For the record I don't believe that TP just magically appeared.  But this whole toilet paper 'ish' made me realize GOD PROVIDES. In the big things and the little things. He always provides for his children!

I think the thing is, because of our sin nature, we always want more. We want things we don't necessarily need. And when we don't get these things that we think we are entitled to, we believe that God is not providing for our needs.

For example, I mentioned earlier that I have acquired a newer car.  I have been praying for one for at least the past few years. A year would go by...no new car...etc. Meanwhile my little Honda was getting worse. Then I got a job...I said I would save my money...but alas I was a horrible steward of my money and did not save a penny.

Flash forward to July. I become in posession of money. Then I see a pretty sweet deal on classifieds for a car for $2700. I test drive the car. Loved it. Love the owners. They love me (I think?) But I only had a quarter saved.

Before I ramble on. In short God provided. But it was only when I was willing to surrender my own desires and what I thought I needed and really trust that he would provide. I had to really accept the fact that what I want may not be what he wants. That was a hard pill to swallow.

I have been learning that the process is the best part. If God just gave us answers, we wouldn't truly learn anything.

God provides. Not just in the material things. I look at my life and the lives of my fellow brothers and sisters and see how God is so faithful.

But because I am just a finite human being, I am always forgetting. Sometimes it takes things like toilet paper to remind me just how much he's got my behind.

Please...PLEASE tell me you got that?!