the story room

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Anna's a Prophetess

My good friend, Anna, has been saying for over a year now that I'd go with her to Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids. For the past year, I've been telling her she's wrong.

Earlier this past week, I went up to Grand Rapids, MI with Anna and Amanda to check Calvin out. I had heard a lot of good things about it from various people, but I have to admit that I wasn't expecting to fall in love with it. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I basically expected to be downright intimidated.

I should learn by now that my initial thoughts/impressions are usually wrong. ;-)

I completely fell in love with Calvin Sem. I met some very warm and helpful people, got a lot of questions answered, walked through the seminary building, and found myself amazed at how much I loved the place. I was impressed both with their academic work and the enviornment. Even prices are do-able (though still challenging!).

I guess I fought it so hard for a couple reasons. The first is that I didn't want to go there just because that is where most of our pre-sem students go (though I found out that's not even really the case). The other reason is that at first, I wasn't sure I wanted to be part of a CRC seminary. I've been realizing in the past couple months, though, that my theology is definitely genuinely reformed. It's not like I'm going to call myself CRC (I'm having a hard time affiliating myself with any denomination right now), but I do love the theology. Trinity would be so proud of me: I have a reformed worldview! What's neat, though, is that it wasn't at all something pushed on me. As I've been a student here at Trin, I've been honestly seeking God, and this is where He's been leading me.

Amanda and I were talking on the ride home and she said that for the first time, thoughts of life after Trinity aren't dark and scary anymore; there's a way that seems illumined, and it's exciting. I echo that.

I'm still going to keep praying and seeking God, but this is something I'm really excited about...and something I have a lot of peace about, too. I'm looking forward to what's ahead...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

...and another sigh if relief!

I have seen God's hand today in so many's amazing.

Last night, Amanda prayed that my nervousness wouldn't keep building, but that it would reach a plateau, and there I would find peace. And it's crazy...I was definitely nervous, but not bad at all.

While I was getting prepped, I was talking to my oral surgeon (who I respect a lot, by the way). He was asking me what I'm studying at school, and when I told him he opened up and told me a couple times how he really needs to have "more religion" in his life. It wasn't just something said out of guilt, though...there was sincere longing in his eyes. And then, he also told me a couple times, "You're a very good girl...I can see that." It was he saw Something in me. (I wish I could explain it better in words)

The actual surgery went well...I remember talking to my doctor, and then the next thing I knew, the nurse said, "OK, sweetie, you're all done." It was the craziest thing, but cool!

Since I've been home, I've definitely been sore, but I've also been feeling very good. I stopped bleeding a little after lunchtime, and have even been up and around the house. I haven't even laid down yet (due to doctor's orders...mostly I've just been sitting around). I'm happy to be functional! (I even helped my brother with his math homework!)

Last night as I was praying about all this, I asked God to not let me be loopy...I just wanted to be myself through all of it. And it's been so cool - even on my vicadin (well, the generic equivalent), I've been totally 'with it.'

Tara stopped by tonight with lots of soft food, and some beautiful red tulips. Her visit and love made my afternoon! Oh, and my mommy has been so good to me today, too! I love her so much!

I'm still amazed that for the first time in almost ten years (wow, nearly half my life), I'm all better. Years of worrying and prayer have all been taken care of today. There's other work that still needs to be done, but the hard part is over, and it'll be much easier from here.

God is so good...thanks for praying (and listen to me talk so long about my teeth!). : )

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Answered prayer and a huge sigh of relief...and a little anxiety yet

A couple days ago I heard from my prof who was in Indonesia when the tsunami hit. He said his entire family was safe, but asked us to keep the whole region in our prayers still. Thank you guys for all your prayers for him...I know God turned His ear to them. (Whew...huge sigh of relief!)

Oh yes, one more thing. As my friend Katy fondly called it, tomorrow is "D-day" for me (the "d" standing for "dental"). I've been talking about this a lot lately, but it's the biggest medical procedure I'll have ever had...and it'll also be the first time since jr. high that my mouth will be back to normal (after I get my braces, anyway). Even though it's going to be a rough couple days coming up, I am so psyched to not be in pain anymore. So even though anxiety comes with my anticipation for the morning, that too is an answered prayer (as my dear Anna mentioned tonight).

God is good, friends. Thank you for praying, and please keep it up!

Grace, peace, and much love to you.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

21 years ago today...

By the time I'm done typing this, it'll be my birthday. I've been thinking a bit about what that means. It amazes me that at this time 21 years ago, my mom was in labor and I had never seen the world. As I was holding my newborn cousin a couple days ago, I was amazed at the fact that I used to be that little. I'm blown away by how much we change, and in how many ways we change. Gosh, I've changed so much even in the past year!

The whole concept of existence...of life...awes me.

I've also been thinking about what it means that I was born on Epiphany. I believe that God was deliberate about that (especially considering I was born three days late), but I'm not sure how to take it. Maybe I'll post some more thoughts about that later. Right now, I don't have much to say; I'm still just thinking about it.

Father, I'm grateful for being able to see my twenty-first birthday. I don't know what the year holds, but I commit it to your hands. Thank you for being so good to me this far, and thank you for your hand on me in the days to come.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Maybe "home" is changing

I think I'm growing up.

I've been home the past couple weeks, on Christmas vacation. I've been craving this extended time with my family, but at the same time, I don't think I fit here like I used to.

It's not like spending time here is anything new...even during the semester, since school is so close to home, I'm here at least once a week. But something's different.

I feel like I'm a visitor here. My place at the table belongs to my sister's boyfriend now. I don't have a bed here anymore...Steph asked me if it'd be ok to get rid of it (though I admit, it was my fault for saying was dumb...I knew it'd make her happy, though). Even when I'm doing everything I can to be helpful, I'm made to feel like I'm in the way.

It's not everybody here who's making me feel this way - mostly just Steph and her boyfriend (who doesn't really live here, but might as well). My parents and brothers have been really cool, and they love having me here. Still, it's getting harder and harder to call this place mine.

I've been trying to think of Jesus, and how he never had a home. I think about Him when I get bumped from my spot at the table, or when I sleep on the couch, or when I'm told that this isn't my home anymore. I try not to care about the things that used to be mine here, but it's hard.

I guess the issue here really isn't my house here, because in a little over a week, I'll be back at school and more or less on my own. The issue is my heart.

I'm learning not to hold so tightly to things that aren't really mine. I'm learning to be at home because of the people I'm with, and not because of the space I have. I'm learning to be grateful for the blessings God's given me instead of feeling sad about what I don't have anymore.

I admit, I haven't been doing a very good job of this so far, and I've been fighting these lessons with many tears. But at night when I'm laying down, I hear God's voice very clearly, and I know His hand is in this, and He's calling me to something new.

I don't want things to change, but they are changing. May God have mercy on me and help me to take it all in stride, finding my home in Him, no matter what else happens.

(And in fairness to Steph, she's been letting me sleep in her bed this week.)