Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Thing or Two.

Hello, World.

I exist. Kind of. These last few weeks, I've just been thinking, "It will be so nice to exist again." Times have just been absolutely crazy around these Belmont parts. I have had enough work to fill the workload of at least 3 people, and I am tired. I won't go into the details of how late I've stayed up each night this week, but let's just say I was up til 5:30 three (3) nights last week, and one night I didn't go to sleep at all. Sorry. Wah wah wah.

Anyway, I am not writing to tell you about that. I am writing to tell you about how happy I am right now! I still have a bit more on my plate, but somehow I am just feeling so at peace at the moment. Which is funny because this has been a crazy day in a lot of different ways. So, I want to share some of the things that I am thankful for that are bringing me peace:

1. My friend Kristin, who is a mother of two and wife of one and is filled with absolutely ravishing wisdom, helped me. In a huge way. Which I know is vague, but I just have a lot on my plate, and she just started eating right alongside me. You guys don't know how much I love her. She has known me through a lot of different stages of my life and she still loves me. And she lets me love her kids. And she gets coffee with me, and she is one of the most marvelous things that God has put in my life.

2. Being a religion major. I had a study group with some of my religion major friends at Belmont tonight after having dinner at my religion professor's house, and I just feel so happy to be a part of the REL department. the professors are all so loving and care about each student, and the students are funny and fun and will order a pizza with you at ten o'clock at night. I am blessed to be a part. And I am glad that I got a new religion department shirt for absolute FREE.

3. I'm going home in a minute!! I am so excited to be with Kristin and my brother and my parents and Haley and Heather and all of my home friends! And I am excited to go to the beach, and see my dear friend Megan Brittney get married, and to throw her a party. Also I am excited to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I made a goal on my half birthday to read the whole series by the time I turn 20. I can do it!

On a slightly different note, something that is true about my God is that He is in control of suffering. Sometimes he uses suffering to work for His glory and for our good. Sometimes we endure trials of various kinds, and while sometimes that is from the devil, sometimes it is, in fact, God growing in us. People often disagree with this by saying that "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above" (James 1). But I think that being a Christian demands a redefinition of the word "good." I think there's something that people don't understand when they read verses like that one in James 1 and another that says "For those who love God, all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). The problem is what does good mean?

Well, based on the life of Paul, and Peter, and pretty much every apostle, good doesn't mean comfortable, healthy, or even alive. Paul's life was certainly not comfortable or healthy (2 Corinthians 11), and most of the apostles ended up dead.

So if good doesn't mean any of the things we usually interpret it as, what does it mean? Well, we know that God is working for His own glory, and that He mercifully lets us be a part of that (Isaiah 43:25). So what were we created for? To glorify God. And I believe that the most fulfilled a person can feel is when they are doing what they were created to do. When you are being used in the way you were intended to be used, that is when you are happiest. So, as humans designed specifically to magnify the glory or the Lord, the ultimate good for us would be to glorify God.

So I believe that when the Lord promises our "good," He is not promising a life free of sickness or poverty, or even free of death (for God never promises us safety), but that He is promising us, if we will accept it, a life full of purpose. Mmmm. Rest in that.

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
1 Peter 1:17-19.