Saturday, December 13, 2008

Times are a-changin'

My past has been filled with ups and downs. Everyone's is. The recent past seems like it has more downs than ups, but things seem to be turning around. God has recently blessed me with the reacquaintance of an old friendship. This guy is someone I would trust my deepest secrets with. We were friends first just like everyone always recommends. Now I'm sitting here with my best friends at Belmont in my favorite city and I'm happy. Things aren't perfect, but they are getting better and I'm very thankful for that. God has shown me his mercy and is building up a new faith in me. He has provided new people to help me on my journey. There are good guys out there :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

From the Classroom to the Highway

Little kids are adorable. You can say just about anything and they will repeat it. Bible stories are so much fun to teach to these exuberant learners because they have all the makings of a great adventure. You have action, suspense, drama, and romance. Even the little ones can appreciate a good story. We were all one of the "wee ones" once. All of us southern youngsters grew up in a sunday school class where a sweet older lady first taught us the Bible stories we would hear all our lives. From that first moment we were introduced to David and Goliath or Queen Esther we never thought to question. After all, our parents had brought us into that classroom and we often heard mention of these stories at home so mom and dad obviously approved. No, there was no need to question or consider other possibilities. Vacation Bible School in the summers further confirmed the validity of these lessons. Thats where I gave my heart to the Lord for the first time. At a Vacation Bible School altar (and I'm pretty sure with a clown standing over me) I prayed to Jesus at the age of six, asking him into my heart. I knew Jesus would make me a good girl and my dedication to this being would make mom and dad happy. I can't help but wonder if I could understand anything deeper than that.
Daddy's death has massacred my faith. There is no lesser term to describe it. One night I go to bed knowing God is in control and he is going to provide for my future. Knowing he knew the desires of my heart because he put them there. The next morning within ten minutes of waking up and 1 minute of being out of bed, I knew nothing for sure. For a few days, I cried out to God asking him to comfort my brother, mom, and myself. I have discovered that my previous faith stemmed from the comfort of my life. Recently I have reached an uneasy holding pattern in my prayer life. Sometimes I know God is listening and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I don't want to talk to God. I'm angry with him for taking my Daddy. But as I have heard before, you can't be angry with God without acknowledging he exists. Sometimes, admittedly, I feel thats a bummer.
On November 30, 2008 I went to church for the first time in my life with no desire AT ALL to praise God. I didn't even want to be there. I squirmed uneasily in the pew wondering if I could get away with making a run for it. At the very end of the service my Mom suggested we go have the pastor pray for us. I begrudgingly followed. I felt slightly better after that, but I feel like that moment only counted for Sunday. The people at church know me as a shining example of faith and integrity....where did they get that bull crap? I think its that image that is now smothering me. It exists in my family too. Some of my friends are allowed to stay out later if they are with me. After all, Kristen does no wrong and of course I won't let them do any either. Don't get me wrong I have made many mistakes. Some that only I know about. But for once in my life I need space to figure things out on my own. I need to test the limits of my "religion". In the end, I know that I will come out of this with faith like I have never had before. But I need time and space to get there. Let me run around in circles for a little while.
I want to know those Bible stories are true not because the nice old lady taught them to me or because my parents believed them. I want to know they are true because I have seen them proven in my own life. Because God has done the work in my life to prove it. But as I begin my journey I will always remember that I need Jesus to come to my rescue.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Was Watching Daddy

Daddy, I miss you more than words can say. Today at Church I cried all through praise and worship. I miss the sound of your trumpet. Now there are just empty chairs there, like you never existed. I kept crying when Pastor Danny started preaching. Out of the corner of my eye I kept seeing you coming to sit down beside us. Sometimes I could swear you are there. I finally said I wanted to go home. So we left, Mamaw and all. Now I'm sitting in my room on the floor. My bed is gone and the furniture is piled in the middle of the room. I want you to know that I was watching more closely than you may have thought when you did the things that Daddys do. I took down my curtains and the brackets holding my speakers on the wall. I took down the smoke alarm. I used the very screwdriver you used to put most of that up. I put all the screws and brackets in a sandwich bag so they wouldn't get lost. I did this all from 10:30 to 11:30 at night. That was our time. Mom is asleep and I'm alone. Tonight I wanted to go get you from the living room and say "Daddy can you take these lights down and my speakers, oh and the curtains too". When I talked you into doing something else I wanted to hear you say "you don't play fair", like the speech you gave at the Father Daughter Banquet for Missionettes a couple years ago. "Daughters Don't Play Fair". It took you a while to get through that one. You even had me crying by the end. I want to ask you how to paint my room. I know that these chores only require common sense, but right now I just want you here. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. Twice this week I've pulled in the driveway and sat and stared at your Jeep and yelled at God "why did you take my Daddy". I keep telling him I don't understand. You're supposed to be here. You were never supposed to get old, but you weren't supposed to die now. I know I sound like a little kid, but I don't know what to do. I don't want Thanksgiving to come. I'm angry because everyone else is going to enjoy the holidays. Sometimes I'm angry with all the girls who still have their fathers. Sometimes I'm happy for them. I miss you Daddy. I need you here to tell me everything is going to be okay, that God is always on time. I need you here to pray for me. When I'm upset like this I feel the farthest from you, which only makes this worse. I know you don't see me right now because that would upset you and there are no tears in heaven. Daddy, I promise I still love and believe in God with all my heart. I just don't understand right now.

Monday, November 3, 2008


My dad died. Life just became a whole different ball game. There are a lot of firsts coming up. Both big and little hurt just the same. For instance, Lowes Home Improvement can be a very painful place for the family of a loyal customer and true blue gadget man. If there was a gadget for it my dad had it. Then there are the big ones: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and my 20th birthday. In March, my mom will celebrate her 35th wedding anniversary...alone. So where does that leave me? I know that God's fingerprints are all over my life and even my dad's death. It doesn't always feel like God made the right call there, but I know he did even if I don't know why. There is a lot of grieving left to be done. It's not like you can dehydrate yourself completely once or twice and then be done with it. Healing takes time. God's time. I know that there are summer classes in my future. I still want to graduate from Belmont (2011 would be great). The question is when and how will I return. God has my future in his hand. He allowed me to have my freshman year at Belmont to make all the amazing friendships that have held me up through all of this. I can do this. My mom can do this. God did this and I don't have to know why.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Daddy

This time last year my Daddy was here. This time last month my Daddy was here. In fact, he was worried about me because I was depressed. When it happened I would have told you that having your parents have to come get you from college is one of the worst things ever. But today I know it is the best thing that could have happened. Not only did I get one last road trip with my Daddy, I got to spend over a month with him that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Because God allowed me to have this depression I got to see my Daddy the night before he died. I got one last hug and I got to tell him goodnight one last time. I got to be here for my mom before anyone else could get here. There are no more family vacations to be had. There are no more Daddy daughter late night Wal-Mart runs. My Daddy won't be there at my wedding. That keeps flashing through my mind. Daddy could fix anything. Daddy could do, would do anything for anyone. He and my Mom drove all night to come get me from school. I can't just call him "dad". He was Daddy. I had already decided I would call him Daddy for the rest of my life. I would not graduate so to speak to "dad". He IS my Daddy. You don't say you are a "dad's girl" you say "daddy's girl". That is what I am. I don't know why God took my Daddy so soon. I miss my Daddy. I want my Daddy to give me a hug. I want to sit on his lap. The Daddy I saw laying on the bathroom floor was not my Daddy. My Daddy was in heaven dancing with Jesus.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The Lord works in mysterious ways. He uses what we may consider the most unlikely of circumstances and people to show His glory and prove His power. When I grow apart from God there are few outward signs. I don't go on drinking binges, start spending the night with strange guys, develop a drug habit, or rebel against my parents. The signs are only visible to me and to God. My priorities are rearranged for the worse and I start to lose my direction and faith. This week has been a learning experience. We aren't supposed to judge other people. Ask my parents, I am the one it bothers most when my grandmother makes racial remarks stemming from her childhood. I'm the one who has stuck by my friends when they have made wrong decisions. Or have I? All this time I was trying to save Alexx, but God was using him to save me! I was given a book this week by Max Lucado called 3:16: The Numbers of Hope and I am so grateful for it. Tonight I asked God for forgiveness for my hypocritical judgement of those friends. I am not perfect. All this time Alexx knew what he believed, but I didn't believe him. I made the call that is only God's to make. We are both far from perfect and while our flaws are not identical they are similar in number. I'm hoping when the time comes for God to use me that I will be ready.
This book reminded me of God's love for me. He hasn't forgotten me and no matter what shape I may feel my life and heart are in He accepts and heals them.

"with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever" ~ Psalm 136:12 ~ Jesus is undefeated and he is in the ring fighting on our side.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Life 85 - Me 0

If life was a football game I would have called a time out three weeks ago. That time out would last until I am able yet again to handle life. I know life is full of ups and downs. For the most part I would consider myself pretty good at looking back at the down times and valuing the lessons learned. This time I can't see the purpose. I am trying my hardest to see the good in me being back at home. To see the good in taking the rest of the semester off. To see the good in leaving my friends. To see the reason God is choosing to hold me still. You would think my inability to cope with the outside world would make it easier to focus on God. I have more time on my hands to pray and to read the Bible, but that's never what I end up doing.
First Assembly Mooresville has always been home. I've gone to the same church my entire life and there are plenty of people there who have watched me grow up. Going to church is always one of my favorite parts of coming home. But Sunday I walked in a few minutes late. Everyone was standing up singing. Their faces were just as friendly and warm as I remembered them, but I wanted to turn around and leave. Instead of thinking about the Awesome God I was singing about I was thinking "I had to come home." "I couldn't do it on my own". In that crowd of familiar and loving faces and in the midst of the music I felt the most alone I ever have. I finally turned to my mom and cried for the rest of the worship service. Everyone thought I was hearing from God that is was all going to be okay, but I wasn't. I just felt lost, like the one last safe haven had been taken from me. When prayer time came at the end of the service my parents hustled me to the front. The man praying, who happens to be one of my dad's friends, thanked God for bringing me home and asked that He provide a close school for me to attend. I was outraged. Not so much at his humble prayer, but at everyone for not understanding. Sure people are diagnosed with depression all the time, but they aren't 19 years old. They don't have to leave school in the middle of their sophomore year or try to explain to their friends why they have to go home or how they feel. There are no words to describe it. Sometimes I feel depressed. Sometimes I feel nervous. Sometimes I feel alone even when I'm not. Sometimes I feel worthless. Sometimes I feel numb. That is the worst one. At times we may wish to avoid the pain of losing someone or to rid ourselves of regret, but to feel nothing is worse than any emotion.
I have never truly felt forgotten by God or by anyone else. I don't know what to say when I pray anymore. I know He hasn't forgotten me. I know there is a reason. It's incredibly hard to remember that when you don't care to get out of bed some days or care to eat when you are hungry. When you can't find any purpose in living it's impossible to find purpose in waiting.

He knows the plans He has for me. Plans for hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A First...

For once in my life, I am writing a happy blog. Ok well maybe happy, which implies issue-free, isn't the word really. Atleast a non-depressive kind of deal. Summer is coming to an end and I can already smell the Nashville air. Ok, so it kind of helps that I was just there 3 days ago; beside the point. My parents are in overdrive in the bonding area and during the day I often feel smothered, but I'm coping. I can somewhat understand their viewpoint, but freaking out if I make plans with friends is a bit excessive I feel. But alas...I know for sure that Belmont is where God wants me for now. As moving day approaches I pray that I haven't done anything to screw that up. It is up to me to focus on my grades and to have a good time making memories with my friends while conserving as much money as possible. Relationships are falling into place, places that I feel secure in leaving them in. That is usually what bothers me most, following through with all the "I promise to"'s by the end of the summer, and getting in one last day with everyone. Is it bad that once I get to Nashville those things don't usually bother me? I don't feel guilty for being there and not here. Some people have attempted to make me feel bad for that, but thus far I have resisted and I feel like that is an acceptable response. Before I start rambling I'm going to go. The coming days may test my patience, but I will prevail.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's Personal

I've never been really happy with myself. It's not that I think I'm ugly or anything. I've just never felt like I'm much to look at I guess. Weight is the touchiest subject. I knew I'd been eating more this summer and exercising less and less frequently, but I just ignored it. I started being pickier about what I pulled out of my closet. The winners becoming less and less fitted. But tonight...a true test. My little black dress, bought especially for my brother's wedding rehearsal. It doesn't fit. I mean physically it slides on my body and zips, but the end product is NOT acceptable. My parents however, met the questions with the utmost grace and lies. "I don't see anything wrong with it. You look beautiful." But I can't believe them. I feel like God is sticking ten dollar bills in their pockets with each compliment. "Don't lay it on too thick now", is what I hear in my head. I know this all sounds ridiculous, but when your self esteem has only reached positive numbers instead of being below zero in the last year and a half, there is no room to give. What makes even less sense is that the size of this dress should be very exciting to me seeing as how it does zip and everything. This dress should be a great milestone in my quest for positive body image. Thus why I write. To work through yet another problem and hopefully make it feel smaller. At least I have other dresses in my closet that I do feel fine in. At least I got a wake-up call before I start looking like I did in High School again.
Looking back at all this, I sound very self-absorbed. I know there are dying people in Africa and thousands of other places, probably even just down the street. But then again, if you don't think you are worth saving how can you think they are. So, issue addressed, as personal as it is and I feel better knowing I told "someone" exactly how I feel.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This Is Me You're Talking To

To Whom It May Concern:

I know more than you think I do which makes it hurt even more when you give your explanation. I know what is a lie and what scant pieces are the truth. What do you want to accomplish here? Break my heart? Done. Make it impossible for me to trust you? Done. Make me feel worse about myself than I already did? Done. Who are you really? I would ask you in person, but I wouldn't believe your answer. You have wiped any lingering wishes to remain here from my mind. I have only one desire now, to be truly free of you and your influence. Am I that worthless that you can toss me around like a toy? Does the hurt in my eyes and the tears streaming down my cheeks not affect you in anyway? Oh, that's right. You never see those. You aren't there when I'm crying at night. When I'm alone in my room staring at the mirror picking out all the things wrong with me physically and contemplating those flaws I can't see. How much of our relationship was a lie really? Was it hard to suffer through all that time spent with me? You could have left a long time ago. It would have been easier for us both. I just thought you should know what is really happening behind the smile I flash you next time I see you.
...because I'll never say it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vacation...of the Mind

Vacation offers a lot of free time. That is the point after all. Time away from life and worries. I must say the change in altitude has cleared my head. I wasn't over taken with anxiety or anything, but as my last blog addressed, I was holding onto some things that I shouldn't be. Today through random circumstances I slipped back into those thoughts temporarily, but through some more random encounters I have been reminded why I need to get away from those. Those feelings are holding me back. The hardest part is that these feelings are not just about some random event from the past or some past residence. The feelings I am struggling with are for someone. Someone who I thought may just be THE one for a while. I am slowly...painfully...realizing that was not the case. He will continue to be a close friend, but there are more and more doors opening for me in other areas of my life. Maybe some day in the [kind of] distant future I will come back to the place I am in to face a man who has accepted God's help and become the man of my dreams.
This week of rest is opening my eyes to what can be in the near future. My best friend is going to be a mere 30 minutes away from me next year and who knows about next summer...a Nashville apartment perhaps?! However long it takes to adjust my heart and mind to what God wants it to be I will be patient and anxiously awaiting the future!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fasten Your Seat Belts and Keep Your Hands & Feet Inside the Ride at All Times

So we meet again. Only this time I am happy to say that while I don't feel in control of things I do feel that God is in control. I have fastened my seat belt and am prepared to go wherever life may take me. I have been forced to let go of the things that I held on to for security purposes. Now I am standing on my own under the wings of Christ. Life is a hard nut to crack and I don't intend on beating my head against the wall everyday until the answer falls from the sky. There are some circumstances that I don't understand, but I'm through trying to. As I said in my very first post today is the first day of the rest of my life and I choose to see it as a very beautiful thing.