Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Dear old friend

Dear old friend,

I miss you.  I miss the friendship we used to share.  We were comfortable together.  You made me laugh, I encouraged you, and we enjoyed spending time together.  I'm feeling nostalgic and because I miss you I wanted to write you a letter.

Do you remember the times we spent together?  It makes me sad to think of how time has changed our friendship, but I want to let you know I still think about you, and I care about you even though there is distance and time between us. 

I remember the time that you slept over at my house for a week and we loved every minute of it.  I remember books that you introduced to me, and the art you opened my eyes to.  I remember camps together and learning about our faith together.  I remember spending time writing stories together, imagining ourselves in magical lands, or thinking about the future and planning to be friends forever. 

I remember when we recited a whole movie together and that made us instant friends.  I remember classes together, singing together and reading together.  Your first sleep over was at my house and I was so glad.  I loved that when we talked to each other we understood each other. 

I remember the time that we decided to become friends and that was that.  I remember the first time I came to your youth group and realised how small Christian circles are.  I chose one of my subjects one year just to be in a class with you.  I remember long drives and long conversations with you.  It was so easy to talk to you, you were never judgemental and always had some helpful advice. 

I remember when you hugged me when I was crying over a guy, and when you let me lay my head in your lap even though it made your legs go numb.  I remember when you avoided me at school, and the time you followed me home.  I remember laughing at you, and many conversations, but the honest ones were the best.  I loved seeing your heart, thank you for showing it to me. 

I remember writing a song together and laughing with each other.  I remember your positive outlook on life and your constant encouragement.  I remember music at school and music at church with you.  I loved listening to you sing, I hope you still do it. 

I remember when we used to email all the time.  I remember games nights at your house and late night conversations.  I remember laughing at your jokes and admiring your relationship with your siblings. 

Do you remember these things?  Where is our friendship now?  I'm sorry that things have changed and that I'm so far away.

I miss you.  I miss our friendship.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Where's your career plan?

Sometimes I feel like I've mucked up my life.*  Well to be honest that's a bit dramatic.  If I think about it for more than a second I realise that what I really mean is that I feel like I've mucked up my career path.  I love everything else about my life.  I do not regret at all getting married to J at the time we did, or coming to college with him to study the Bible for a year.  

I feel like I haven't planned for my career or future study very well at all.  I've found myself thinking that I should have done something more productive with my year after honours and I berate myself that I didn't.  Then I remember that I did try to.  I tried to find work that was related to psychology and would give me some exposure or experience to help me on my way to studying masters.  But I was never hired for those jobs that I applied for.  Instead I got a job somewhere else.  Perhaps God used that job to teach me something, or develop my character or godliness.  But even if he didn't do any of this and my job last year was of no benefit to me whatsoever (which I don't think is true), it's not about me anyway!

I've realised that ultimately my career or job doesn't really matter at all.  What's more important, what God is concerned about, is that I glorify him.  There is no instruction in the Bible about what career I should have.  God knows what I will do, but he hasn't got one specific door for me to walk through and if I don't I fail at life.  I don't believe that there is one thing that God wants me to do and I have to ask him to reveal it to me. 

Maybe I haven't organised my life well enough to get into a psychology master program next year and follow the plans I had made for my life.  But what if this has given me the opportunity to reassess those plans?  What do you do when your dream changes?

I planned to continue study to become a psychologist some time during my second year of uni when I decided that I enjoyed learning about these theories of human behaviour and I didn't want to become a scientist (the other subjects I was studying at uni).  I was attracted to psychology because I found the subject fascinating and I want to be able to help people by talking through problems and listening to them.  

I feel like I can't change my dream of becoming a psychologist, like I'm betraying myself and the plans that I've tried to make.  Changing things now makes me feel like I'm drowning in the unknown next year.  But I shouldn't let the fact that I've been heading in this direction stop me from changing my mind or taking a detour.  Maybe I'll discover that the detour was the better way to go after all. 

I don't know if I'll get into a psychology course or not.  I don't know if I'm suited to the job anyway.  Maybe I'll try counselling first, or instead.  I just want to know how to listen well and have the skills to be able to help people with emotional problems.  But above all of this, I want to be glorifying God and serving him wherever I am.  That's what I want to focus my life on. 

*Note: I'm taking a leaf out of a college friend's book: because this post is a bit depressive it was not written on the day that I was feeling like this. 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Joy in the Lord

I was reading Habakkuk this morning and was struck by a few verses at the end of the book. 

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Saviour.               (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV)

Despite so many things seeming to go wrong, Habakkuk can say that he finds joy in the Lord. 
This passage comes at the end of Habakkuk’s prayer. God has been telling Habakkuk that the Babylonians will oppress the nation of Judah, just after they’ve already been oppressed by the Assyrians.  Habakkuk doesn’t think this is very fair.  But God says that the Babylonians will be judged just like the Assyrians and Judah must be patient.
Habakkuk says that he will rejoice in God, even though God doesn’t appear to be blessing his people.  This got me thinking about how I react when things don’t seem to be going well, when my plans don’t work out, when things don’t go my way.  The times when life piles up like loads of washing, when nothing on my list gets done and I break my resolutions.  The moments when I want to give up and just sleep my life away. 
I don’t often feel like rejoicing in God at these times.  I want to ignore him, tell him that loving him is too hard and I don’t know how to talk to him anymore. 
But Habakkuk has reminded me that even in these times I can find joy in God.  It is because he is my saviour.  God has rescued me, and this is the greatest reason to rejoice. 

Friday, 2 August 2013

A trip to the hospital

On Monday night I drove J to the hospital. 

Before anyone starts freaking out, don’t!  Don’t worry, he’s fine, and healing up well. 

We had both just submitted our Doctrine assignments, due at 11:55pm.  I had finished a little before J, but because it was already waaay past my bedtime I went to bed and didn’t wait for him. 

Image from he got home at about midnight I was still awake but in bed with the lights off.  As he started getting ready for bed and went to untie his shoelaces…


I was impressed that he didn’t swear, or even use any form of exclamation really.  Though, I’d probably be more surprised if he had sworn.  Maybe his silence was the shock from the pain and the sight of his own blood (who ever likes the sight of their own blood?). 

We had just bought a new wooden dresser from the student op-shop at college, but we haven’t integrated it into the room yet so it’s still standing at the end of our bed.  J had bent down to untie his shoelaces and forgotten it was there (not seeing it in the dark), smashing his head into the edge of it.  He chipped a tooth and cut into his lower lip.  And wow, do head-wounds bleed a lot!

How can something so pretty be so mean? Once we got the bleeding stopped I thought the cut looked deep enough to warrant some immediate attention, though it was now getting close to 1:00 AM.  So we bustled into the car and I drove (I drove!!) us to the nearest hospital, a couple of suburbs over from us. 

The result was about two hours waiting in emergency, two stiches, a tetanus shot and an iceblock (to ease the swelling).  We got back into bed at 4:00 AM and skipped college that day. 

As much as it would have been great that this never happened in the first place there are a number of things we are thankful for that we realised in the process.

We are thankful that I can now drive J’s manual car.  I’m much more confident than I was (I even drove to college on Wednesday when we didn’t have anyone else in the car with us!).  I wanted to learn so that I could drive in an emergency and not freak out.  And that’s what happened, my learning was put to good use.

We’re thankful for the love of others where we live.  We’re rostered on to drive to and from college every day in the car pool, but we clearly weren’t going to be driving on Tuesday morning.  Someone else offered to drive and everything was sorted out fine without us. 

We’re also thankful for the love of our fellow students.  We missed our three Doctrine lectures and one hour of Hebrew for J.  People have given us notes and advice about those lectures and been really caring of us.  We’ve appreciated it all so much.  Thank you everyone.