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Interesting how parts of our life can be so completely forgotten. I forgot I ever had this blog. I have no idea how it came back to mind. It’s also interesting that yesterday was a three year anniversary since my last post. Quite a bit has changed in that time, as would be expected. I have been trying to be more disciplined about reflecting and writing my thoughts lately. I wonder if this worth picking up again, sort of as an internal personal journal…


Regaining calling…

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I’m about three months beyond my first blog entry, and emotionally back to where I started. In a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned that as of late I have recognized in myself a lack of faith. In many ways I am still a nominally practicing Christian. But I have lost a real sense of a personal interaction with God. I have lost faith in the God who actually intersects with my daily life. I think what I’m longing for is not a new job or new life situation, but a new sense of calling. I’ve had my resume re-reviewed professionally, sent out a few resumes, gotten a few first round interviews, and  have approached a job search half heartedly.  It’s not a new situation I want (although I do want that too) but a renewed sense of wonder and passion.

I’ve tried a few new things over the past few months; even good things with mixed results. I’m  only 32, but I look back on my early twenties as a time that I had a sense of direction and purpose. I was certain God was going to use me for big things. I certainly didn’t become a Christian celebrity, leading 100’s or even 10’s to a redemptive path.  But to be sure, I saw God do some really amazing and providential things beyond my own capacity. I’m not sure where I lost that sense of purpose. Maybe it was at a small Charismatic church that took some bits of Scripture too far. Maybe it was just in the mundane-ness of my job. Maybe it was because the man I married was not walking with the Lord at all when we started dating three years ago.  (He is now saved and growing in godliness). Maybe it’s because I’m too far removed from the things that broke my heart for a way to offer hope. Maybe I was too radical then, doing things that didn’t fit who I created to be as a person.

I’m waiting for God to work, and I’m getting impatient. Isaiah 64:4 says “He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” I just don’t know if I’m waiting actively or waiting well at all.

Context for this blog: Who I am

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I am a 32 year old married white female. I have been married only six months to an African American man. I grew up in suburbia, but have lived in Chicago for almost 8 years. My neighborhood of current residence is a gentrifying hipster neighborhood. I started my walk with Christ in my senior year of high school, devoting the better part of that year to student leadership at my church. I attended Bethel College outside of St Paul, Minnesota for one semester when I felt led by God to choose ministry and more diversity. That led me directly to three incredible years of inner city ministry where I watched God move powerfully. I started Philadelphia Biblical University in the fall of 2000 while working for a small urban church. Upon graduation with a Bachelors in Biblical Studies, I moved home to Illinois and then to Chicago. I have held a variety of jobs from community organizing to providing respite care for autistic children to account manager at a Fortune 500 company.

I believe God is good and has His hand on my life.  I believe He wants to interact with us on a daily basis, but I have been badly burned by distorted theology in a Charismatic church I attended for almost three years.  However, I found wonderful community there and have struggled to connect with new post college friends on such a deep level  I’ve worked in sales for a small Green Business for the past six years and am soon joining the multi-ethnic neighborhood church I have been attending for the past four years.  I  have worshipped in various denominations and with a wide range of ethnicities. I completed my MBA at a small B level grad school in December of 2010. I have yet to figure out how God wants me to use that. I also have a rare genetic disorder called Phenylketonuria, which affects me to a greater extent than I am sometimes willing to acknowledge.

I love to read, write, learn, run, bike, take classes at the gym, crochet, cook, travel, hang out by lakes, and spend time with people. I don’t like  Chicago much and living here often feels  like a burden. I still have much to learn about life.

Georgia on My Mind

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I just returned home to my three flat apartment in Chicago from a trip to visit my parents and family in Georgia. I take an annual trip every August to see my brothers and celebrate all our July birthdays. It’s a nice, relaxing trip every year. This year I’m a newlywed. I’m thirty-two, and have been married all of three and a half months. I didn’t quite  expect this weekend to be much different than prior years, when my now husband would travel with me as my boyfriend, then as my fiance. It was a surprise for me. My interactions with my family were the same; I laughed and joked with my brothers, my interactions and tensions with my mom hadn’t changed. Their home looked as Better Home and Garden cover as ever.  What had changed was that I was married. I often wonder if getting married younger is an easier adjustment. Different struggles to be sure, but early mid twenties are a time of adventure and flexibility and change.  I’m set and pretty settled by myself at this point in my life.

Until this weekend, I don’t know why, but I hadn’t really thought of myself as married. I hadn’t really seen my husband as family.  Over these past few days, I had the chance to step back and watch my parents interact with each other as husband and wife and not just mom and dad. I watched my husband step up and handle my expenses instead of my dad. I headed downstairs to the guest apartment with my husband at night time, instead of to my room upstairs on the upper level with my family of origin. My husband and I had conflict, just like we do in our own home, and I had to step away from time with my parents and brothers to work out our moments.

I realized that I am married and my husband is family now. For better or for worse, he and I are together. Maybe our family will grow to include children or maybe it will just be the two of us for a long time. Not everything goes as smoothly as I would hope, and he does a lot of things differently than my family of origin would. This is what it is though, and gives me a much needed perspective change. Despite the fact that he’s laying on the couch watching crime dramas right now, which is not my favorite way to spend an evening, I think this relationship will be a good road.


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Instead of complaining about present circumstances, it might be wisdom to just work to get better at what I am doing.

It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick…

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NOTE: This piece was written about three years ago during a dark time in my life…

I keep thinking about cigarettes, worship music, and the thief on the cross. I don’t know that I really have anything together as a “Christian.” I always hoped and wanted to be one of those followers of Christ who just outwardly have things together. “They” say that those types of Christians have their own struggles too. You know, I love Jesus. I really do. I know I need a Savior…
I have done all the things good Christians do, like Bible college and missions trips and youth group. In my heart I know that not drinking or cussing or divorcing or cheating or lying are not the only things that makes one a good follower of Christ. I know that being in ministry is not the mark of a successful walk with God. But maybe religion has created an artificial picture of what good Christianity looks like. Sort of like the airbrushed digitally enhanced photos of models that no one can ever live up to because they just aren’t real, people. All the best we do is worthless without love anyway.
I can’t keep things together for long. I try hard and I succeed for awhile. I do well for a year or two. I walk into churches and worship and know the Bible and people trust me but after awhile I fall down in rather outwardly obvious ways. Nope, I’m not one of those people who struggles with internalizing anger or that sort of silent secretive sin. I’m the type that shows up on my former roommate’s doorstep (the one who kicked me out…) after 14 drinks at 4 am…Of course, that incident was many few years ago, but I have other examples.
Maybe I can blame it on a complicated genetic defect I have called phenylketonuria. It causes me to act extremely irrationally and impulsively when I have too much protein. Then again, maybe it is also just plain old sin.
I’m wandering somewhere on my spiritual journey right now. I know God is real and Jesus is my Savior and that the Bible is true. That’s about all I know today. I know God is there because I know that His power is perfected in my weakness. That’s what God says. Jesus saved the thief on the cross next to Him…a man who may not have done a damn good thing in his life. The man was saved at the last minute because he recognized who Jesus was. That’s all he ever did. No ministry, no church services, maybe nothing in his life that would ever cause anyone to respect him.
A few weeks ago, I was upset and hurt about something. It was late at night and I sat outside my apartment with a pack of cigarettes. (To clarify, I’m not a smoker–I was just that upset). My ipod was also with me. So I sat out there in the dark worshipping Jesus and smoking. Yes, both at the same time. And I felt the presence of God there for the first time in a long time. I felt Him letting me know everything was going to be ok. Maybe that’s all this is….just falling on Jesus completely and utterly in the midst of our mistakes.
The Bible is full of prostitutes and liars and cheaters and adulterers and thieves and murderers that were called people of faith. Sometimes in the church we pretend we are better than them. But we are not. We ARE them, just covered by God’s grace. I don’t have any answers. But neither does religion. And neither does anyone who pretends we can ever do this on our own. I will probably keep falling until the day I see Jesus. All I can do is pray that His grace helps me live out of the hope that one day I will.


Joshua 1:9

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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

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