Posts Tagged With: Confusion

Beach Tears – God is Still Faithful

 “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. “

2 Thessalonians 3:3

 

Its hard to believe its been over two weeks  since I arrive here in Kona.  I’m not going to tell you that every moment has been perfect. Like any week, there has been ups and downs.

I have a peace being here because I know that this is exactly where God wants me to be.  I have had tears these last few days because I know these six months aren’t going to be easy.

***

I sit on the beach, the sun kissing my pale skin.  I listen to the waves lapping up upon the dark grey sand, coming in and out like someones breath. Suddenly tears well up in my eyes as I go back to a different day in my mind.  The day was the last day of this past March . At this time I was sinking in a deep depression. Every little thing took effort; tears were many, smiles were few.  My sisters and dad had planned a trip to the beach with some friends at the end of spring break, and almost reluctantly I decided to go with them. My dad was thrilled, since I hadn’t been doing much of anything other than sleeping and crying. I was exhausted the entire trip to the beach.  I slept most of the way there and back in the car, and just lay on the beach most of the time we were there.  I watched my sisters have a grand time with their friends, and I cried because I wished I could find that happiness to be like them.  Tears trickle down my face as I come back to reality.  I am just starting to realize what I have got myself in to.  This is not simply a vacation or camp.  I have a long road ahead of me, I am far away from anything I have ever called home and I won’t be going home any time soon.  I am scared and overwhelmed.

***

I has been almost a week since my tears on the beach.  I have come a long way this week.  The lecture topic for the week was the  Father heart of God.  Early on in the week we were told to ask God which of his characteristics he wanted us to focus on.  Almost immediately God put on my heart how he is faithful.  He is the same day after day, always loving and pursuing me, even when I don’t feel it.  As alone as I might feel, he is with me, holding my hand.  This has been a comfort to me this week.  I know God doesn’t  promise that life with him will be easy.  On the contrary, he acknowledges that there will be struggles.  But he promises to be with me always.  There have been many tears this week, but I think that’s OK.  I have a lot to adjust to but I have a faithful God to help me.

Categories: In Kona | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post Thanksgiving Update

Laughing...because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Laughing…because sometimes the life of Heather is just unbelievable.

Dear friends,

I am coming home from the Tri-Cities tomorrow and I NEED HELP! I have been very successful with Black Friday Shopping and have been able to get most of my Christmas/thank you gifts for people and a lot of new comfy/workout clothes for Kona. I got some new bed sheets and towels for my move also! I have been advice to get what I can here for cheap because everything is so expensive in Hawaii. So now I just need to sort everything out! I need to sort: what I am planning on bring to Kona, what clothes I am going try to sell, what items I can use for my next fundraiser or donate to my Grandma’s House, what items I need to put into storage, and what things go together to make nice Christmas gifts!

This is fun work, guys! And I have tons of yummy food to feed you and old things to give you if you so desire! But I do need help staying focused and lifting things. I also have finals week after next and need help studying! I actually enjoy my classes and homework, its just really helpful having someone with me keeping my on track and quizzing me.

I am sad to announce that I am having more health issues. I will not get into the nature of this yet because at this point there are a lot of unknowns…which is so frustrating! So my Go Fund Me site I would say is about half missions funding and half medical funding…crazy. I am excited to be ending my second day without any Dr./Urgent Care/ER visits…but I know it all will continue once I get home again. What I can say right now is that my right wrist is still giving me trouble (its is still obviously sprained/dislocated), I am very low iron and I seem to be having some heart trouble.

One more crazy hiccup in my life…my beautiful purse was stolen/lost on the bus on Tuesday! Yes, I have checked in with my bank. Yes, I have emailed Trimet. NOTHING! Finally I had all my IDs and cards in one place…then ALL GONE. Fortunately I still have my phone and keys.

So, here are the prayer/help as you can needs for right now:

  • That my purse will be returned
  • That I will have clarity concerning health decisions
  • That I will be able to focus and do well during finals
  • That I will be blessed with helpers to get things done; even the simple things are so hard sometimes
  • That my friends will be able to understand my needs and help me, especially financially
  • That I will be able to get on a good sleep rhythm
  • That I will be able to have good boundaries with certain people, no matter how much I love them
  • That I will have the energy and focus to get the important things done
  • That I will be thankful for many people and things I have been blessed with
  • That I will rely on GOD NO MATTER WHAT

I have several new blog posts in the works, including a Thanksgiving thankful post, and a recap of the Swing Dance Fundraiser…WITH PICTURES!  But this is what I have got for now. As much as I hate admitting it, I need help.

Keep updated with my Fundraising Site and Facebook Page, and of course for all my silly and/or deep thoughts on Twitter.

Blessings on you all!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Transfer to Lines 32, 34, 35, 79 and 154”

Well, I was going to write a post entitled “I Have a Big Mouth,” which I think I will still write sometime, but I decided to write this one instead. Today I’m going to talk about riding the bus.

Public transit has a big stigma. I really surprises me how many people will ride public transit all over the world, but never in their home town.

I rode the bus for the first time alone when I was twelve. We were taking care of my aging grandma, who we couldn’t leave the house with.  I took the bus to my dance lessons. I didn’t complain, because I knew my mother was doing the best she could.  I didn’t have a cell phone, but neither did my parents. Sometimes it was scary, but I lived.

Riding the bus has never been my favorite thing to do, but it gave me freedom.  I wasn’t completely reliant on others for rides anymore. I had the power to leave a situation of I was uncomfortable or scared.

After doing some traveling with friends in europe, public transit seemed much less taboo to me. All of my friends and I were riding transit together, no matter how well off they were back home.  Even my rich friends had to walk sometimes. I thrived, because I had done so much of that already at home.

Most of the time, I really enjoy riding the bus now! It is more relaxing than driving. I love watching people, listening to music, and running into old friends. Bus riding is very physically taxing, but emotionally calming. Its the same route, the same people, the same automated messages. For so many people, its their rhythm, their routine.

I will always associate different bus lines with certain people or events. I was asked out on my first date on a 33 bus.  I listened to endless Group 1 Crew and TobyMac while riding the 35. You get the idea.

In conclusion, riding the bus is still not my favorite thing.  Sometimes I see people I don’t like; sometimes I get scared. Its a freedom and a responsibility. Its a gift and curse. But sometimes, its ok. Sometimes listening to early in the morning sitting on the bus and listening to that certain song while watching the city outside wake up is just what I need.

What do you think? What sort of stigma do you see public transit having? How do you think it varies from place to place? Don’t forget to pray for Sarah Evans and check out my new Facebook Page! Blessings to you all!

Categories: Rewind, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rewind: Coffee Shop Ponderings

During the past few months, and years of that matter, I have spent a lot of time in various coffee shops. Coffee shops are good for a lot of different things.  They are good for charging laptops.  They are good public places to stay safe in. Some coffee shops are open in the early morning, some are open late at night, some don’t close at all.  This was some writing I did at a Starbucks in March. I was very frustrated because I had set up an ideal surrounding for myself to write, but then I couldn’t find anything to say.  I ended up writing like this for a while…”free writing” of sorts…and then went home very frazzled. In reality I was still getting some medications sorted out.

Anyway…take a peek tonight into the (sometimes frustrating) mind of Heather. Go ahead, and then tell me what you think!

Tonight is a night of pondering.

Thinking.

Evening Walking.

Caramel Latte. 

Jars of Clay. 

Reading.

Blogging.

I wish I had the ability to take what is in my head and get it in words on this screen. There is so much I am longing to say, I just can’t seem to interpret it into words. I feel isolated. Trapped within my own mind, raging to get out. Where is God when I need him? In the words of Psalm 42, why are you cast down, oh my soul?

Failure.

Loser.

Their talking about you. Nobody like you. What a joke.

Where’s my camp? Where is my safe haven? Nowhere. It doesn’t exist.

God, be good to me. I’m trusting you will unmuddle my head soon.

I can’t feel you. You’re a cement wall in the sky.  Frustration. Anger. Every emotion at once. Why is the writing thing sooooo hard? Why can’t I interpret what’s in my head?

Tebo’s.

Dance.

“Darkness is my closest friend.”

My story is one of uncertainty.

Nicotine and Caffeine.

I’m losing it…

Jesus I’m crying out to you. Cover me. Help me function. I can’t do this on my own. Send me an angel of hope.

Categories: Rewind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts of Halloween

Today marks my third official year celebrating Halloween.  I kind of have a love/hate relationship with this day, and I think I always will. I’m not going to get into a debate today on the ethics and theology of Halloween, I have many friends who both embrace and deny it.  I do believe it is a special day though.  I think that things happen on this day that don’t happen on any other day of the year.

 

Many different memories come to mind on this day.  I remember the dress-up box getting put away, because God knows who would get us if we dressed up on October 31st.  I remember being kept home from activities and church groups because of the costumes.   I remember our curtains being closed, locked out from the whatever evil the rest of the world was doing.  I remember all the candy that I would somehow get a hold of after the holiday was over.  I knew there was something magical that I wasn’t getting to be a part of. 

 

Two years ago I went to my first Halloween/harvest party.  I dressed as Ragity Anne, and prepared at my friend’s house.  I watched her and her current finance’ fight and yell about his drinking habits, and was thankful that I  wasn’t getting a ride home with them.  The friends I did get a ride home with was lit up with glow sticks and thankful we weaseled our way out of a ticket when we got pulled over.

 

Last year I made a warm welcome to Halloween at swing dancing and community college.  I prepared a killer costume of Deb from Napoleon Dynamite with the help of friends.  I organized a group of my friends to go to a special costume swing dance event.  Amazingly, the people I spend that night with are some of the friends who have supported me greatly this year.  

 

And this morning I found myself stranded in North Portland, dressed as the corpse bride, to exhausted and scared to get myself home, watching the city go by.  I made it to school around noon where I was treated like a celebrity due to my costume and rising networking status.  After crashing in a friend’s car, I made to downtown Oregon City where with my theater company we brought in the evening with a bang.  Soon I will make my journey back to Portland where I have the best of friends waiting for me to make sure I have a safe and fun night, whatever I need that to be.  

 

 

Stranded in North Portland!  Making the best of things as the corpse bride hangs tight waiting for a ride on this crisp beautiful hallow's eve morning. #corpsebride #halloween #lovethiscity

Stranded in North Portland! Making the best of things as the corpse bride hangs tight waiting for a ride on this crisp beautiful hallow’s eve morning. #corpsebride #halloween #lovethiscitySo tonight I am blessed.

 

 

To tonight I toast to the people that have stood by me through thin and thin.  I toast to those who have been affected by my careless words and behavior.  I toast to my friends who are rising above the gossip and rumors in order to keep people safe.  I toast to the Lord because he is so good, and I toast the devil because he reminds us how beautiful our God is.  The clouds have a silver lining, because the sun is so much brighter. GOD BLESS YOU ALL! 

Categories: Rewind, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

With You in Spirit Tonight

Here’s another letter from a relative I received today. God is with us!!!

 

 

 

I remember swing parties and will be with you in spirit tonight, even though we are separated by some 66 years and an entire continent. I’m also excited for you as you prepare for your Great Adventure and will be mailing a contribution soon. 
 
I will also read your blog and email you from time to time. (I’m not a big Facebook fan.) When I turned 18, I had just finished my first year at Lindenwood College, a small Presbyterian school in St. Charles, MO, just outside St. Louis. I was on my own for the first time and loved every minute of it.
♥♥♥
Categories: Preparing for Kona, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rewind: My Journey Towards Choosing Joy

Below is a compilation of personal blog posts telling the story of my special horse and I, and the way we learned to trust together.  Please enjoy the stories and pictures.  Stay tuned for more posts telling about my more current experiences with horses, including a trip to this ranch just a month ago! 

Continue reading

Categories: Rewind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Have to Speak

This morning I got a letter from a distant relative who read my most recent blog post Rewind and Right Now: Lost Within Myself.  They are true, honest words, and I offer them here for whoever they may speak to, not just me.  Read and receive, my friends.

Also, I have added a new category to my blog entitled Right Now, which will include posts like this one, which do not directly relate to my trip.  I do think it is helpful to talk about these sorts of issues before my trip however, for I will need to know how to deal with it when it inevitably comes up while I am in Kona or on outreach.

“Oh my dear Heather, you don’t realize what a precious soul you are. It probably doesn’t help to have some distant relative say that you are not alone; you are very loved. But as one who has lived in hopeless hell for years, I have to speak. Your emotions know that are taking a huge step, and IT IS scary. If I can offer just one piece of advice, please don’t decide that you are letting anyone down by feeling your emotions. Unless they start to damage you, it’s OK to acknowledge and embrace them. God put them there, and without them, we would be very shallow people. Your pain today will give you deep insights into the hurting people you will meet. I know these words won’t stop the pain. Funny thing about strong negative emotions is they won’t won’t let you feel the love and support we want to give you. PS You are FAR more in touch with your inner feelings than most folks who do this kind of thing. It’s pure terror now, but as distant third party, I’m actually excited to see the person you will be in a year or two from now.” 

We are not alone friends, no matter how alone we feel.  God is with us, and we all have at least one person who loves us. That’s what I’m holding on to tonight.

Categories: Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rewind and Right Now: Lost Within Myself

I’m going to be honest here, thus week has been challenging.  Due to some unexpected recent events I have been experiencing PTSD.  I have been having some every similar emotions as expressed in the piece I wrote in mid-February if this past year.

Nothing makes me happy right now. Really truly happy. I smiled when I talked to Hannah on the phone, I chuckled at dance when Benny the dog was being silly.  But where is that complete feeling that I used to know? I used to feel full, but now I’m empty, and I’m not sure what will fill me up again.

Is Jesus enough? I sincerely believe that he is a God that can do all things, but does that mean that we depend on only him? Are those pills that I have learned to resent part of God’s will for me?

A woman that I look up to always tells me that “we are rulers of our own destiny.” I think there is truth in this, yet where does God’s sovereignty fit in? I want to have a successful life, I have dreams and goals. But I’m not there yet. I’m stuck in the here and now, where sleeping feels good, living takes work and God feels so far away.

When I can think clearly enough, these are the questions I am asking. Yet for the last few days (or weeks), thinking clearly is rare. My thoughts conflict, and stress comes rushing in like a whirlwind. I want help, I need something to change. I don’t know what that looks like, and I’m scared.

 My 18th birthday is quickly approaching, and I’m moving out this Saturday. This new freedom is something I have dreamed of for years, bu suddenly, its scary. Maybe that is normal? Maybe I just won’t know until I’m there.

Well, I have to be up and moving in six hours, so I should probably wrap up my rambling. Maybe this has done some good? Maybe I will awake with renewed energy and motivation? Somehow I doubt it. For now I will give in to sleep and hope for a better day tomorrow. Help me Jesus, I am lost within myself. Teach me to find myself in you. 

Thank you for reading my friends. Please don’t hesitate at all to send a prayer in my name! Please do! These are hard days, everything aches and hurts.

Blessings!

Categories: Preparing for Kona, Rewind, Right Now | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trust and Obey: A Journal Belonging to Esther

This is an original composition based on the book of Esther. It is an idea of what she might have been thinking and feeling.  The piece was written in January 2012, and was a creative interpretation assignment for a high school Old Testament Survey Class.  Please enjoy!

Painting by Edwin Long, 1878

Painting by Edwin Long, 1878

Dear Journal,

                  Sometimes I feel so alone.  My parents have died, and all my friends are different than me.  I am different than all the other girls I know. None of the other girls are Jewish, they worship many gods. Their names are different, and they act differently as well. They have different traditions, they eat different foods, and they have many family relatives and great amounts of money.  Most importantly, they all have parents. Now I am very thankful for Mordecai for taking care of me all these years, for being like a father to me. Still, he is not my father. I want to trust that God has a purpose for me here in Persia. But right now, I feel so alone.

Dear Journal,

                  Today we heard that Queen Vashti is no longer queen!  Apparently, While King Xerxes was indulging during his banquet, he felt the need to show off his wife publicly.  Now if I was queen I would not like to be paraded around, with all sorts of most likely drunk men looking at me!  I suppose this is how Queen Vashti felt too, because she refused to show herself to her husband, the King.  Now King Xerxes has banished her from the throne. I do not like how he has treated Queen Vashti, I do not that is how a husband should act, no matter if he is the king or not. If I were the queen I think I would have wanted to respond the way she responded, but I do not know if I would have had the courage to.  Of course this would never happen, why would I ever stand before the King?

*About four years later*

Dear Journal,

                  I am so overwhelmed right now! Everything in my life has changed. I have been taken from my home and the little family that I have and been brought to the king’s palace with many other girls. We are here because the king misses Queen Vashti body.  Now he wants to find another woman to suite his pleasure, so many of us girls have been forced from our homes so he can take inventory. Hegai, the man who was put in charge us, has been very kind to me. He is making sure that I have the food I need, and maidens to take care of me. I feel blessed because of him.  Also, Mordecai told me to keep my Hebrew heritage and faith a secret.  I am trying my best to honor him and do as he wishes, but it is hard! I do not know how to act like the other Persian girls. I miss my home so much, even though Mordecai has been visiting me every day.

*About one year later*

Dear Journal,

                  I am so scared, for the time I have been dreading yet waiting for has come. Tonight I must go and sleep with the King. A year I have been preparing for this moment, being beautified in every way imaginable. Now I have to go and try to impress the king in bed! I am not ready for this, and I do not think I want to be ready. I am a virgin, and I do not know what I am doing. How am I supposed to please an old and experienced man? I do not know if I should even try to please him. Maybe if he does not approve of me, then my life will get back to normal.  However, if he somehow senses that I am not trying my best to bring him pleasure, he could assume that I am mocking him and have me beheaded. I am not called to honor elders and authorities? I do not know what to do or how to feel. I do not understand how God could have a purpose in this.

Dear Journal,

                  So much has happened; I do not know how to process it! First of all, my night with the king was unbelievable!  I could have never imagined such love and passion as I experienced that night. King Xerxes was so kind and gentle with me, and the way he touched me was so perfect. I felt completely safe in his arms, and I knew that he loved me. I knew because I didn’t adorn myself in unnecessary ways. If the king was going to see and spend time with me, it would be the real me.  King Xerxes has now chosen me as his queen. I have a crown to prove it.  We have all been enjoying a grand wedding feast, and I feel very happy. I am not sure if I even know what love is, but I do think I am in love with King Xerxes.  The only thing that worries me is that my new husband still does not know of my Jewish heritage and faith. I want to share everything with him, but I need to honor Mordecai’s wishes. He has a lot of wisdom, and I know there must be a reason he asked me to keep it a secret.

Dear Journal,

                  Little did I know that my new husband would such a death target! Today Mordecai informed me that two men were scheming to kill my husband, King Xerxes!  This upset me a lot, but on top of that, I had to go to the king and tell him this hard information. But because I took action and obeyed Mordecai, these horrible men have been caught and they will be put to death. I made sure to give all the credit to Mordecai.  I am starting to understand some of my relative’s great wisdom. I am starting to understand that if I simply trust and obey, no matter how hard it is, that I will be blessed. I wonder, does this apply to my relationship with God as well?

Dear Journal,

                  Right now I am sort of worried.  King Xerxes has brought a man named Haman to come help him rule over the people of Persia. The king finds much favor in Haman, and he had elevated him over everyone, giving him almost as much power as King Xerxes himself. I am glad that my husband has found a man that can keep him company, who he can confide in. Yet, there is something about Haman that makes me uneasy. Maybe I am just an attention seeking wife, but I do not think so. I sometimes sense tension between the two of them, and it makes me worry.

Dear Journal,

                  I love and respect my relative Mordecai so much. He raised me and always treated me like his very own daughter. That is why it worried me so much when I found out that he was outside crying and wearing sackcloth. The reason however was the most upsetting, and it confirmed my suspicions about Haman. I found out from Mordecai through messengers that he had refused to bow down to Haman. This didn’t surprise me at all, for Mordecai is a man of great and strong faith. I know that it would go against his convictions to bow to anyone except God. This angered Haman so much that he tried to bribe my husband to execute all those of Jewish heritage! Now Mordecai wants me to go to my husband the king and appeal this royal decree. Lately I have been doubting my relationship with King Xerxes.  I hope that he still finds favor in me, for he has not asked to see me for thirty days.  This makes me feel especially skeptical of going to my husband uninvited and trying to ask for something.  He has every power to have me killed, just for entering into his presence without an invitation. However, I know that if I do not approach him, I will be killed, along with my only father-figure and many other innocent Jews.  Nerveless, this does not make me any less afraid to go and talk to King Xerxes.  Now something just that Mordecai said to me through message keeps popping up in my head: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” This could be why the king found favor in me; this could be why I was chosen to be queen.  This could be the Lord’s plan and purpose for me. If so, why am I still so afraid? I know that Mordecai and many Jews are fasting while praying for me, but I cannot feel it. I feel completely alone, without any support. Yet I know what I must do: trust and obey, no matter how hard it is.

Dear Journal,

                  Well, I did it. Now looking back, I know that the Lord was with me. I entered into the room where my husband the king was sitting, and he was happy to see me. I was so happy to see him as well, and I wanted to just run into his arms and receive the comfort that I needed.  However, I knew that I could not do that. I had to be strong and poised for everything to work. I invited the king and Haman to eat dinner with me. When they came that night, I could tell that Haman was feeling pretty good about himself, and I did not like that one bit. King Xerxes then asked me what I really wanted, offering me greatness just so his curiosity would be eased. I invited them to come to dinner again, and then I would speak my mind. When they left, I felt worried, but I felt stronger and had confidence in my actions.

Dear Journal,

                  I feel the blessings of the Lord raining down on me. I now see how God worked everything together to glorify him. I am overwhelmed with the way that God used me in such a big way. I feel honored to be part of his perfect plan. I had my second dinner with King Xerxes and Haman.  When Haman came in that night, I knew that something was upsetting him, but I had no idea that it was directly related to Mordecai. After the meal was done, my husband again asked me what I desired. Not quite sure how to proceed, I blurted everything out. I told my husband that my desire was to live, along with the rest of the Hebrew nation. And the climax: I told the king that it was all Haman’s fault.  What happened next just reinforced my husband’s amazing love for me. Like a good husband and king should, he made everything right. In that same day, Haman was hanged on the gallows he had personally prepared for Mordecai. All of Haman’s possessions were given to me, and I in turn gave it all to Mordecai. The king gave Mordecai his signet ring, giving Mordecai all the authority that Haman had had. Mordecai and I revealed our relation to the king, who loves me still, even though I am not of his own race.  Finally, a law has been passed by the king and Mordecai that gives all Jews the freedom to defend themselves against anyone who tries to hurt them on the day that Haman appointed for our doom.

*Many years later*

Dear Journal,

I look back on my early years as queen and I have both wonderful and fearful memories.  I now understand why it needed to be me that became queen.  I understand why I had to go through the things that I did, so God could make an impact in my life and save his chosen people from destruction. Now I have the blessing of mentoring other Jews, along with Mordecai. I am also striving to teach my step-son of the ways of the Lord, so he may be a strong leader when his father dies. I know though that I am not better than any other young woman. I choose to trust and obey, no matter how hard it was, and because of that, a nation was saved and a heart was deeply changed.

Categories: Rewind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: