Monthly Archives: September 2013

Wedding Bell Blues

In two weeks, my oldest sister is getting married and moving all the way to Georgia. (My days, where did the time go?) I have to admit, her courtship and engagement have been a little hard for me. She’s been my roommate for as long as I can remember, and she’s always looked after me and talked with me about our writing, and laughed with me, and had insult matches with me, and drawn pictures with me, and advised me, and…you get the picture. We’ve been pals for pretty much forever. (At least she was my pal. I may have been more of a nuisance to her for the first few years. *Laughs*)

So it was a little rough to have her suddenly, ah, fall in love. Suddenly there was someone besides me to talk with late into the night (on the phone where I couldn’t listen in – the horror!), and less time for us to be together. And then suddenly there came the engagement. I honestly cried the night I heard about it. (Considering I was at STEP at the time, my poor leaders had to deal with me bawling about it. 😛 )

But guess what! Surprise, surprise, Camille isn’t mine to keep. In fact, she never really was mine. True, she is my sister, but she’s not mine if you take my meaning. She’s God’s. And since she’s His, He has a right to do with her as He pleases, right? Even when it doesn’t quite line up with what I want. God’s blessed me with almost seventeen years to spend with Camille, and I should be thankful for them instead of wishing she wasn’t going so far away. God’s opening the door to an incredible new adventure for Camille, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for her. And while I’m at it, maybe I should get over my fear of phones in case she ever gets bored and wants to talk to her favorite little Honey Duck again. *Skips away*

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Categories: Ponderizations | 3 Comments

One Year Ago…

What were you doing a year ago today? Do you remember? As for me, September 20 2012 is firmly imprinted in my memory. I remember cleaning off shelving units in the back room of the new Stafford Mercantile, waiting for the delivery truck to come so I could escape the nasty cleaning fluids and help the men haul merchandise in on pallets that were loaded higher than the doorway they needed to come through. (I also remember hitting the metal pallet-jack against a metal doorway to make sparks on the way back out to get another pallet…that probably wasn’t a very good idea.) I remember wrestling with a pallet that kept breaking, and watching my dad stop to answer his phone. I remember not even noticing when my parents disappeared and being completely clueless until Erica told me what had happened. “Calista, Noelle’s been in a wreck. Mommy and Daddy are going to the hospital now.” Fifteen words that changed my life forever. Oh yes, I remember very well.

When something like Noelle’s wreck happens, people immediately think of it as a bad thing. Because, obviously, someone’s life is hanging in the balance, and everybody is upset and emotional about everything. And our normal lives have been disrupted for what at least looks like it will be forever. I thought it was a bad thing too at first, because all my emotions were blinding me to everything else. And they blinded me to the reality behind it all. Consider this line from a song…

“I may not see in front of me, but I can see for miles when I look over my shoulder. And Lord it’s clear, You’ve brought me here so faithful every step of the way.” ~ I am Found in You, Steven Curtis Chapman

I couldn’t see in front of me then. (Nor can I now, to be honest.) During the first two weeks after Noelle’s wreck, we couldn’t even plan anything more than twenty-four hours ahead of time. (No, I’m not exaggerating either.) The only thing to do was to trust God. And as time went on, and I looked over my shoulder, I understood something for the first time… ‘Bad things’ aren’t actually bad.

*Gasp* Did I really say that? Yes indeedy. Whatever happened to this verse?

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

Yes, the wreck has worked for good in all our lives. And looking back, I’ve seen God’s mercy and grace in a million different ways. I would not go back now and undo it for anything. (Despite the fact that it sounds bad since my sister got a brain injury out of the deal. I don’t think she’d undo it either though, in my defense.) Speaking for myself, it was incredibly life-changing. When I remember how confused and lost I was only a year ago, I can say this with complete certainty. I learned more in those first two weeks after the wreck than I had in the last two years. Here’s a little ditty that ended up appearing out of my head then:

I can’t always see

What You’re planning for me,

And I know I don’t trust like I should.

But God…

You are good!

I guess that just about sums it up. *Smiles* And you know, if our God is good, then everything that He lets us go through is good too. It’s changing us and making us more like Him. So I don’t believe that God lets bad things happen to good people (that is, I’m referring to those who put their trust in Him). I believe that good people just can’t always see that things are good until after it happens and they have a chance to look back and see God’s leading. For me, I’m blown away by all the circumstances surrounding Noelle’s wreck that floored me then with how bad they seemed, and yet now have turned out to be the best things that ever happened to us. God is so good!

I know there will be many more monumental “One Year Ago” milestones in the future; new huge events that will challenge me in ways I can’t even imagine now. But it’s kind of hard to be afraid of them now. It’s hard to be afraid of them after feeling God’s amazing peace, and watching His hand working right before my eyes. It’s hard to dread them after seeing how even Noelle’s car wreck has turned out to be such a good thing. It’s hard to worry when I know what it feels like to be right in the middle of a river of power flowing from the very Creator of the universe. And just think! The One with the power to breathe millions of stars and galaxies into existence is the same One who holds my future. I think it’s safe in His hands.

Categories: Ponderizations | 5 Comments

Ramblings on Stress

Okay, so I’ve been taking college classes for the past…three weeks? Four weeks? Something like that. Anywho! It’s been a very good reminder about my susceptibility to stress. (In case you haven’t picked it up yet, I stress out about EVERYTHING. It’s annoying.) Just yesterday in my Office Procedures class (where we basically talk about secretaries and what they do) we even ended up talking about stress. One of my classmates, an older lady, was talking about how it was impossible to eliminate stress in her life, and several of the others agreed. That got me thinking. Is it really impossible?

I believe it isn’t.  We were never meant to be a slave to our emotions, and I think that includes stress. And as God’s people, we’ve been set free from everything that would enslave us. Including our emotions. And yes, that includes stress.

I believe in a God who says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) “Yeah, well, that’s talking about anxiety, not stress.” Same difference. And besides, I’ve tried it, and it works on stress. So there. End of story.

I don’t have a really good, inspiring summary for this post. (Hey, it’s almost an hour past my bed time. Give me a break!) All I can say is…This giving your stress and anxiety away to God stuff really works. And it’s sooo much nicer to have God’s peace instead of our own stress. So why in the world are we holding on to it, for pete’s sake? Just give it up. Let God handle it. He’s big enough to take care of our stress. And He wants to, anyways, so why get in the way?

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The Tragedy of Fame

Thinking about celebrities is depressing, you know? There’s probably a reason I don’t do it very much – besides the fact that they just don’t interest me. But I’m serious! Look at the empty life celebrities lead. On the TV screen they may be all glamor and smiles, but what about when they’re off the set? What about when nobody’s looking? (Or even when people are looking, actually. The news likes to report all the horrible affairs and other disgusting things celebrities get involved in.) I was watching the Pixar movie Cars recently and it reminded me about just how empty the life of fame is. Empty of joy.  It’s so sad how spiritually broken these people are!

I mean, seriously, think about it. They have every material thing they could ever want. Millions of screaming fans, more money than I could even comprehend, anything and everything the world has to offer. But sometimes I wonder if their smiles on stage mock them bitterly. If those screaming fans leave them desperately wishing they were as happy as the fans believe they are. Is it any wonder that in desperation they turn to every kind of immorality? Is it any wonder that so many glittering careers end in suicide or drug overdose? It’s easy to hold celebrities in utter contempt because of their immorality, but consider – they are just very lost human beings who just want to be happy, and sought their joy in the wrong place. Can we really be surprised at their broken lives?

I have to wonder…is God more disgusted or broken-hearted by Hollywood? Does He hate the atrocities that come forth from it, or does He grieve for the many, many lost souls trapped in evil? Does not God love even – brace yourselves – Justin Bieber? (Just for the record, I don’t know anything about him and his music besides the reputation he has abroad. 😉 ) I know it sounds crazy. But isn’t he a human too? Isn’t he desperate for fulfillment? Doesn’t God long for him to find hope? Maybe we should stop plain detesting celebrities and remember that they too are loved by God and beautiful in His sight. And who knows, maybe Hollywood is a ripe mission field!

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