Reverse Butterflies

You know that feeling when your stomach just drops; when you realize the pending emptiness life is about to bring you? It’s like butterflies in your stomach, but instead of that warm feeling, it’s concave and sinking. There should be a word for that…reverse butterflies, maybe?

I shouldn’t be thinking about this. I should be thinking about graduating college and how my computer crashed and how I’m behind on assignments, yet when I drove to a coffee shop today, I got those…reverse butterflies.

This summer, my few friends from college will be either gone forever, or travelling for months at a time. I remember. One friend will be coming back to me. Back to my town. Not travelling for once, thank God. I have a feeling I will rely on that fact all summer long. Wait. Maybe another will be in town. I’m not sure though, so that thought doesn’t do much for me. I drive.

The summer is empty.

It tends to be, for me at least. Suddenly, I can’t keep pretending that all those people around me at school actually mean anything to me. Nothing against them. I don’t know them. But I don’t want them, I want my people. Those people who mean everything to me. Those people who make me feel like I’m not going at this alone.

What doesn’t bother me enough about that line of thinking is that I forget that God is with me and that’s all that matters. Why don’t I think to care about that? Do I have to come to the end of all my relationships for that to become a reality to me? I don’t want it to take something that drastic… but I think I act like I do.

And who knows, maybe I’ll meet a large group of people who take me in and let me appreciate their time and company. Maybe that’s what really awaits me this summer.

With a dry gulp and a shiver down my back– And what if it’s not?

WHAT WILL YOU DO THEN, EQUALLY LOST?

I feel how I am being deceived sometimes. Satan is eager to pick at those parts of us that are so vulnerable. The weight I place on my relationships is a vulnerability. Even more so is my thought following that– “well, then I shouldn’t value my relationships as much as I do. I shouldn’t care to make new friends and put effort into a relationship for it to drag me into vulnerability” (aka a steady depressive inner conversation that leads me to crying in my car on an August night, where my only hope is that I will be returning to school in the fall…then things will be better [except that’s not the case this year, as I’m finishing university]…what’s your hope then, Equally Lost? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO). And I know that this button Satan pushes as he drives me into isolation is what keeps me from a church community. The idea that I should be in community. It sounds wonderful to me, but it also means that I’ll have to be more open with them than I’ve been with people I’m in relationship now–because that’s what community means in the church and I’m afraid to admit how I’ve buried myself so deeply in things I never thought I’d be doing. Ever. ‘I’m not that kind of person. I mean, I definitely can’t let other people see me differently.’

And I sleep through church service after church service. Isolation.

But but God wins in the end! I know that!

Why isn’t He winning with me?

Why don’t I let Him?

Why do people say “let”?

“Let” is the most difficult thing.

“Let” means I have to do something. I have to fix it. I have to admit to it. I have to tell someone else. I have to confess it. I have to address that which I am so good at hiding. What makes me cry listening to that song that says God isn’t ashamed of me because I’ve been washed by His blood. Why aren’t You ashamed??

This conversation isn’t over.

-Equally Lost

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There goes my hero

Hi, yes, Hello, it’s been a while.

I love the sound of the keyboard as it clacks, at 11:36pm. I have a nice house this time. Three dogs. Little dogs. Little yappy dogs, but they’re quieter now that it’s late. I’m a pet sitter, if I haven’t told you. House to house I move every week, basically, sometimes more. I like it—living out of my car, constantly eating out of different fridges, learning the routines of different dogs and cats, having an excuse to wear the same jeans for a week straight (sometimes a month—November hit me out of nowhere. I wash, don’t worry). I mean I think it’s easy to like doing something when someone says, “I’ll pay you”. Those words have taken me places I never thought I’d be. Okay, so that sounded kind of prostitute-ish, but I meant I never thought I’d be a pet sitter. I didn’t do my research on the market, find the perfect city for it, and market my professional-business-skills to my target audience, all the while slaving away to find a client or two here and there and now I’m a business-mogul with an empire of employees. I can’t say I worked that hard. At least not to get the clients. They have, over the years, come to me somehow. I always say, “well, God must want me to be a pet sitter right now”, the opportunities are so stupidly obvious, if I credited anyone or anything else it would be a blatant lie. I suppose I can take credit for making time for them and allowing them a person with which they can trust their houses and pets with, making me somewhat invaluable in certain situations…but giving up some personal time to relocate now and then seems simple in comparison with the life it affords me now. I’m not rich, but I’m not afraid of money and I enjoy my life most days.

Where was I going with this? Right, I had no plan… A dangerous thing for someone like me at 11:48pm.

I haven’t written in a while. That’s not to say I haven’t been thinking of a variety of things to say or argue or confess, but the timing was never right for me to put it into words (with school and work and all). Plus, I hate to go back on a topic when I’m not feeling particularly attached to it anymore. I think what sat me down tonight was a song I heard in the car. Most of my ideas for blogs, or anything in life really, comes to me while I’m shifting gears. I guess that’s statistically unavoidable considering the amount of time I spend driving in a day. (Dogs-school-dogs-school-dogs-work-dogs—and repeat tomorrow.) Get it? Right, back to tonight. Well, some background: you know I’m a Christian, if not…”hello, I’m a Christian. I believe Jesus came to earth as the son of God to save me and you from our sins by dying on a cross and being raised from the dead three days later. It’s amazing, I live knowing that God loves me in ways I cannot comprehend—without ceasing.” Which brings me to tonight, the night before Easter.

Naturally, I’m thinking a little more lately about the historical fact of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins. Sometimes you think about it factually and it’s impressive, sure, factually of course it is. And then other times you think of it and you’re completely overcome by the weight of your guilt, because Jesus, for some reason, was willing to save you from eternal damnation. YOU. ME. what the heck? why in the world…this is ridiculous…. thank you, I guess?…is it enough to say that? what am I supposed to say?

As I’ve lately been stuck listening to the rock station on my car radio (I have no idea why, I’ve never liked rock much, but now it’s all I listen to in my car). The song “My Hero” by Foo Fighters came on with the words “there goes my hero, watch him as he goes” standing out to me and immediately I’m drawn to the moment Jesus would have been carrying His cross to the hill He would later be crucified on. Being a very visual person, I can picture—almost like a movie scene—Him walking and me understanding what that whole situation means.

It’s an odd feeling to realize how principles can turn into feelings. The things I know about the crucifixion, the facts, were taught to me ages ago, and now my mind doesn’t even have to walk me through the whole bit for me to feel everything that the crucifixion makes you feel. It just takes one simple image –Jesus walking with His cross— for me to feel completely in awe of God as I cry with my windows down, driving along the freeway.

I don’t really have a point to this story, other than to say that it happened. Honestly, it happens a lot.

I like moments. I really like the moments when I feel God with me, even if it makes me go weak in humility. Especially then.

I continued to drive as the song continued to play and I couldn’t help but say “God, I’m ready, just take me. Or if you need me to stay, keep me here and show me what to do. I’ll do it.” I’m so overjoyed to be a part of His plan, because I know it’s perfect.

Goodnight and Happy Easter,

-Equally Lost

A Letter I’ll Never Give to You

Dear Friend,

You’re leaving soon and the thought that you may not come back quite literally tears me up inside. I guess all I want to say is, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I didn’t take any pictures of us together. Sorry I ignored your texts. Sorry I picked dumb fights. Sorry I didn’t go to your athletic events. Sorry I never heard you play piano. Sorry I never really got to know your friends. Sorry I couldn’t be a part of that. Sorry I didn’t go out and do things with you as often as I desperately wanted to. Sorry I built you up to be so special that I didn’t have the guts to hang out with you. Sorry I couldn’t understand you when we first met. Sorry I got to know you on my terms. Sorry I wasn’t better at being your friend. Sorry I didn’t see what you were going through. Sorry I didn’t take you seriously when you said you were hurting. Sorry I judged you. Sorry I didn’t speak up when all you wanted was to hear my voice. Sorry I didn’t encourage you the way you wanted me to, the way you needed. Sorry I didn’t understand how to help. Sorry I wrote in letters what I should have told you in person. Sorry I’m not very good at that stuff. Sorry I pushed you away when I couldn’t understand my feelings. Sorry I isolated myself when you needed a friend. Sorry I didn’t let you in when you wanted to help. Sorry I didn’t tell you what I wanted you to know. Sorry I thought you didn’t care. Sorry I didn’t understand the way you love. Sorry I didn’t see you the way you wanted me to. Sorry I know you more over the phone than face to face. Sorry I didn’t know what to say. Sorry I didn’t have the answers you wanted. Sorry I didn’t know how to care for someone like you. Sorry I didn’t learn as fast as I wanted. Sorry we didn’t meet sooner. Sorry I couldn’t have been there earlier. Sorry I only had three years to know you. Sorry I only had three years to share with you. Sorry I didn’t make the most of it. Sorry I didn’t know how. Sorry I only have two months left to figure out how to care for you the way you deserve to be cared for. Sorry that I have to say goodbye before I feel like I said hello.

Sorry this is the end.

But I’ll never be sorry that you were my friend.

-Equally Lost

Coffee & Tea

I poured my coffee as he poured his tea and I thought, “maybe that’s just it…maybe we will always be coffee and tea.”

So there’s this guy. *gasp* …I know.

He’s not new. I’ve known him for a long time (about 8 or so years now) and we’ve been friends since the beginning. I guess if I’m the business one, he’d be the talented one. Sort of a triple threat kind of guy. That’s not why I like him though (I met him wayy before he was the crowd favorite). There’s a lot of reasons why I had a crush on him in middle school…the same reasons in high school…and here I am in college with no idea what I think about him anymore. We go to different schools, so I only see him every few months. I’ve changed; he’s changed. Not in any specifically exclusive directions, but it should be noted, I guess.

Maybe I shouldn’t be writing this at 2am, but loads of coffee and his company got me thinking tonight (along with some Sara Bareilles in the background). One problem I find when I’m trying to sort through emotions (not my strong suit), is that I have so many thoughts, I’m not even sure which ones are my own #INTJproblems. Like sure, I can totally hike down that rabbit trail, but I can just as easily hike down the opposite one…so at that point do I even have an opinion or is it all just me playing mind games for the fun of sorting it out. Just thought you deserved to know how my mind works before going any further with this splattering of thoughts on a page.

Anyways, I really do like all those same things about him that I did throughout our earlier years together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything beyond the fact that I still want to be his friend, or that I enjoy his company as a human being, right? But the ridiculous (yes, I’m judging myself even as I write- feel free to join in) thought that has gone through my head since graduating high school is: should we be together? Like is he “the one” and neither of us has had the guts to act on it?

Okay, let’s back this up… in order for that to have any relevance, we need some evidence.” You’re right, okay let me explain our history a bit. In high school we went back and forth liking each other. We are really different, which is actually one of things I like the most about our relationship. Another INTJ thing (also, apologies for bringing this up so much, but I think about it a lot, and if I didn’t mention it as I see it, this wouldn’t be a very honest blog), is that one of our biggest weaknesses is the gap between who we like and if that person realizes it. When we like and want to pursue someone, we change the way we act around them. And not in the flirty, seeking attention kind of way. INTJ’s are oddballs, so we rather put them through a series of tests and trials to see if they possess certain specific criteria we deem necessary to have in a life partner. Dating isn’t all fun and games with us; it’s if I find the one, you must be some kind of miracle and are stuck with me now. I didn’t realize I even did this until I read up on it and saw my life had fit the pattern exactly. Whenever I would be more in the mindset of pursuing him, he seemed to drift. But INTJ’s (according to my research *pushes glasses back into place*) are usually found most attractive when they are focused on their work: AKA not pursuing, judging and interrogating the person they’re interested in. Blah blah blah, back to the good stuff.

My senior year, I realized it can’t be going anywhere, especially since we would be living in different cities soon enough, and so I told myself I would give it up. And I did. Not but a few months later we ended up going to prom together where it became apparent that he had caught some feelings. Smh.

Ah, thank you for that. That didn’t make me confused at all. It’s fine. I still moved on.

*fast-forward sound* Here we are today. Like I said, I see him every few months, either on a holiday or when I go to one of his performances. In a weird way, I can see that we’ve both given up trying to impress each other. We aren’t unnecessarily witty or flirty (not that I even understand how to do that). And because of that, along with our long history, we can be open with each other. He is totally honest about his life (work, performances, faith, friendships and relationships) and always asks me for advice about it all. And vice versa.

Still, this is really only describing a solid friendship…am I wrong? There’s just something about the way he is and how I am that keeps me asking the ridiculous question: is he the one? My natural realistic/pessimistic side immediately says “no” as soon as I finish asking the question. Then the side that doesn’t get much attention says, “yes, this is the right choice, he’s the one, it’s just not time yet.” In reality, the worst part about this is that I am an extremely patient person…meaning if I’m still left asking the question without getting an answer, I will sit here as the years pass and pass.

The only way to know is if we were to try it–to actually date each other, of course, but the step I’d like to pretend doesn’t need to happen is the conversation that must precede that. I’m not much of a risk-taker, but finding the one is worth the risk, right?

What do you think? Should we stay friends, or give it a shot? Can coffee and tea ever work?

All opinions welcome.

 

Always,

-Equally Lost

Pros/Cons: Passionate Preachers

The idea for this post was not originally so open minded. I was sitting in chapel at my Christian college, a twice a week occurrence, when it hit me. Maybe I should say “re-hit” me, because I think about this often. Well, every time I hear a preacher/pastor/Christian speaker who is hurting my ears with how loud they speak and their unnecessary emphasis on unimportant words (or just every word). Now I know that even as I break down both sides, I am leaving out the variety of intentions each individual speaker has behind their decision to speak in this way (assuming it is a choice). So I will try to break down, as impartially as possible, the pros and cons of a preacher/pastor/Christian speaker who isn’t afraid of the whole city hearing their voice.

Cons:

They act like newscasters. The way they use the same breathing techniques that allow them to spew out information at lightening speeds before the camera man pans away from them. I sit there feeling assaulted by the rapid-fire abuse of oxygen taking place on stage. What’s the rush? [personal thought: maybe it’s better to have less words with more meaning than more words that, in the end, have less effect on people because they can’t keep up]

They’re very aware of how they speak. They utilize dramatic pauses, whispers, yells and claps. This is not inherently negative. After all, many excellent speakers use the same methods. But are preachers supposed to be the best? That doesn’t mean they should try not to be a good speaker, but it does make me question whether they choose their words for their own benefit (pleasing the audience, sounding cool, gaining credibility, etc.) rather than for the fulfillment of God’s purpose in them as a speaker.

Pros:

They get people’s attention. Audience members are forced to open their ears to hear what they have to say. They aren’t the same monotone pastor that strolls through. This is especially beneficial (within the college campus/high school setting) for the students who assume that all preachers are the same: boring.

They are using their gifts. I say this because many of the people who do this are naturals at it. It’s either how they were taught or how they taught themselves how to preach, making them be at their most comfortable at that volume level. And a comfortable speaker puts the audience at ease.

-They are natural motivators. Every Christian has gotten into a funk that only a retreat or passionate Christian could get them out of. Doubts are okay, healthy even, but not a place to build a home.

They reach a different crowd. These kinds of people catch the attention of the extroverts in the audience. “Finally, someone with a personality!”, they might be thinking. They allow themselves to be more relatable to a crowd that is often ignored with our monotone-speaking friends.

In Conclusion,

I’m glad that I found more pros than cons. I don’t just write these posts for you guys, you know. I’m usually a realist–pushing pessimist–so I expect a negative outcome. While I’m hoping to reach a positive conclusion, I am often disappointed to prove myself right in the end. But not today! Today is a good day with happy endings.

What do you think? Did I miss anything? Was I too bias? Want to start a useless internet argument with me? Well you can’t, because I don’t care enough to argue with strangers (or maybe I care so much that I don’t care to argue with strangers. Things to ponder…).

-Equally Lost

Midnight

I tremble as my mind goes blank

how can I see nothing in so much?

feet frozen

hands clenched

i ache as my stomach deceives me

goosebumps on goosebumps on goosebumps

i have nowhere else to go

is it my fault?

i’m alone

it’s late

and the only thing I want is a

Snack

-Equally Lost


As always, feel free to share your thoughts, feelings and questions in the comment section below. Remember, I am Equally Lost. For further discussion, check out my Contact Page.

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-Equally Lost