Thursday, May 28, 2009

Discovering the Plan

See that shadow of light between the trees, past the grey clouds? To me, that is heaven. Yet I am on the path we must all follow to reach it, to try to dedicate more of our lives to Christ. But His presence is within me, His love wrapped around our souls that cannot be destroyed by things of this earth.

I'm currently in this state of mine, questioning my faith.

This is healthy.

This is great.

It leads me to discover what Jesus has planned for me next. This spiritual quest drives me to find what He wants me to do, what He wants me to hear Him say.
And oddly enough, I believe it's not so much another phase of total submersion into a devotional, focusing all my intense worship-ness only on Sundays, or even forcing myself to read the Bible consistently. Instead, I think He wants me to see who I am through BEING who I am. The fact that we can identify ourselves as Christ followers, yet at the same time as individuals, is amazing! It wouldn't surprise me if people only classify themselves as Christians, and I don't see anything wrong with that. But I love expressing myself through writing and music, and I do this FOR GOD'S GLORY and not really for myself anymore. There's a reason why we are granted natural abilities to perform or relate to other people, and I think it's because God has a purpose for us on earth to live out these gifts. We mustn't worry so much about where it will take us, but we should take in every moment, the great and the unbearable, and rise above this world's upliftings and downfalls to enhance our connection with the Lord. Heaven...that place above where we all want to be, I am so so so just wowed thinking about how it's beyond our imagination of happiness! To be with GOD, our creator, our rock, our shelter, our provider, our EVERYTHING! Can I get an AMEN?!

For about a week now, I've sat in English class, taken aback by the intensity of words in The Grapes of Wrath. The distinct use of human nature and biblical references is astounding. Although I haven't cracked it completely (and probably won't, considering a novel is a novel...the arguments and questions sometimes never have a true answer!), I have been inspired by Chapter 14 when Steinbeck writes, "This you may say of man- when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back." Powerful. We may make some grand mistakes, but it is instinct to pick up the pieces and move on. That is our human nature, otherwise we would not survive in this society of torment and decisiveness.

And at the same time, God provides us with so many beautiful things here on earth- each other. People make the place. Not to mention the trees, the sound of a flame flickering. You can't imitate the Lord's creation one hundred percent, it's impossible. Like cloning- what the heck dude? We don't need that crapppp!!! I don't wanna see twenty of the same person. Strange...!

Jeremiah has been a favorite of mine lately. The contrast between sorrow and then praise for God is a perfect portrayal of all of us and our emotions conflicting with faith.

"But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail." (Jeremiah 20:11)
"Sing to the Lord! Give praise to the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked." (Jeremiah 20:13)

"'Am I Only a God nearby,' declares the Lord, 'and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?' declares the Lord. 'Do I not fill Heaven and earth?'" (Jeremiah 23:23-24)

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I call out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to His ears." (2 Samuel 22:7)

God of our life,
our heaven,
our sky,
continue to set us free from the captivity of depression,
of unhealthy obsession.

You proved me wrong so long ago
When I tried to doubt Your existence
while my heart was overwrought
with pain tingling and screeching

You silence all the chaos,
calm the violent winds,
and seem to find me again,
during times I think I'm falling,
into the abyss of loneliness.
Thank You!

This is how much free time I have in Spanish Class by the way! HAHA

Sunday, May 24, 2009

i have a problem

Thursday, May 21, 2009

He totally watched over us tonight!

I just returned to Powhatan, Virginia after one of the most insane nights of my life.

A group of my friends, my sister, and I went to Carry Town this evening. Trouble was, no one in the car really knew how to get there. Being the taxi driver, this made me a little nervous, but I wasn't freaking out any. Either way, lost or on track, we all knew it'd be a great experience.

Turns out we ended up in Goochland, near the correction facility. We stopped the car in a cow field, Rachel running out into the grass and jumping on rocks, while the rest of us are trying to gain contact with some person who'd have some slight idea of some way to get back to some trail that leads to Carry Town.

After realizing that the phone service sucks out there, I decided we should ask the people at Java Jodi's. They were closed. So I thought, HEY! Let's go across the street to the butcher's!

And it turns out that when we asked for the butcher's help, he told us to wait ten minutes for him to pack some meat up in his car, and that we could follow him since he lived there! WOW SHA BANG how weird is that?! It was an amazing coincidence hahaha. But at the same time, I was also feeling iffy because I felt incredibly responsible for all the girls who were all younger than me. My gut told me it would be alright.

The butcher was pretty funny. He wore a bright tie dye shirt, had icey blue eyes, and that leather looking skin from smoking. At one point he asked some of my friends if they'd mind helping him with the meat and to go into the freezer, where an entire dead pig was. They screamed and were immediately freaked out! HAHAHA Although I HATED being there because I think it's horribly cruel to have a store where they chop up innocent animals! BOO!

Turns out this guy was honest, he lead us right to Carry Town. We had PLANNED to go see Coraline at the Byrd, but for obvious reasons of being lost, we missed it. Mariah, who was one of the friends in the group, told me to park in this alley way. So I see this spot on the other lane, and try to get over there...(not succesful), and in the process I happen to foil this pregnant woman's attempt to cross the street. Everyone in the car started laughing because you could clearly see her mutter every cussword in the potty mouth alphabet at me. I was kind of terrified that she'd come over and hit me she looked so pissed!

The Galaxy was awesome, as usual. Yum yum

And then at the Byrd were street musicians (as usual), but this time it was a four piece brass ensemble and they were HOT! They played jazz/swing style stuff. Rachel and I danced together, somehow causing a larger crowd of folks to appear and gather. I requested them to play salsa. AND THEY DID!! WOOHOO!!! I gave them two dollars just for that, and I'm money-less so that's good for me!!

Mariah's really bad with directions, and she's well aware of it so I"m not trash talking her. Really, though, she's bad hahaha. We spent an entire hour driving in circles in Richmond looking for the highway. Retarded, but entertaining nonetheless. Eventually we resulted to calling Sarah Brawley, who actually did know how to get out, and helped us, even after her exhausting day of just driving. So I thank God for that!

Anyways....a ton of more stupid crap happened tonight, but it was amazing. One of the best nights of my life. I will never forget all of us, under eighteen, driving late at night around Richmond, not losing our minds but making the most out of confusion, and later on praising Jesus for ensuring our safety!

When Rachel and I drove home, we listened to worship music, because we recognized how much He has done for us today. He answered our prayers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Last Monday my therapist said to me, "You have changed so much. I wish you could see our first session, where you could hardly breathe, and see yourself now, calm and content."

And this is the part of my journey where the fear that has been sticking to my heart has to peel off. That fear inside is the anxiety to try facing the world step by step without the assistance of a therapist. Within six months, they will start decreasing my amount of medicine. Yesterday when I went to hang with Sarah for an hour, I expressed the loathing of having to be taken off a pill. The psychiatrist I have told me some people do not react well to decreasing medicine, and that it's very possible for me to need to stay on medicine longer. I'm fine with taking medicine as long as I need it. I like the fact that some chemical is helping my mind balance, my emotions balance. And at the same time, it doesn't make me numb. But this fear, I have to let go of.

Then there's school. My life...which sheesh in a year I'll be out of highschool and will be one month away from being nineteen (I'm an older student). Let's just say I haven't been recieving too much encouragement from my home. A lot of assumptions really. Negative ones. BUT instead I plan to do whatever God places in my heart. What that is? Not sure. But there's this grand feeling that it has something to do with playing music. I can't live without it. If all else fails school wise, I'll still have that. Might not have a lot of money...but that's never been too important to me. Yes, money is necessary to survive in this country, but I want to be happy. Not go through college majoring in something that doesn't capture my best interest, and always dreaming about being this performer or something! I don't know. It's so great, though, that the Lord has a plan. And I know that His plan is one to cause me to prosper, not to harm. Trusting in Him, I have to push all other's pessimistic assumptions and opinions about me, and turn my eyes upon God. In the end, things always work out for us if we follow Jesus.

And at PCC this Mother's Day, my mom went! The dance at the end was so moving! GOSH! Made me really see how I hit a bad point with life, and God somehow found me through it all! YEAAAHHHH!!!! He is amazing. OH and I almost forgot! haha but I played that service! My friend Rachel thought it was so funny seeing me play with a bluegrass group, but hey it's music! I didn't care! The musicians are the most tolerant and mature guys I've ever played with! Yet...everyone else I've ever played with has been below the age of twenty! Probably explains a lot. I hope I can bring some type of glory in God's name for His people by playing. Being up on the stage, I didn't feel nervous at all! It was awesome! AHHH! I didn't care if people noticed that I was playing drums, I wanted them to hear the music and feel the spirit of the LAWD come aliveeee!!! hahaha SO RAD

Prom was this past weekend! What a great time! Never been to a school dance before. I went crazy! Our group was fun and hyperactive the entire time! At PF Changs I hit on this super cute waiter, and it turned out he was gay! UGH! Besides that though, it was a highlight of my junior year. Infact, my junior year has been more than I could ask for. Yes, I've had to deal with anxiety and crap. BUT I found Jesus, gained a new incredible best friend, learned a lot about myself through God, found a family at PCC and with the Brawleys, and I've felt happiness more than sadness. I've prayed for...a long time for this. For happiness. At night, I still experience this temporary depression. I don't know why...but it's so quiet in my house, we don't really talk to each other, my room is silent. It's strange to transition from a busy school day with dozens of talking people, to my house...where...communication lacks in some areas. But God's working on that. I mean...seriously! My mom came to church with me, that is a big step in my parents supporting my new found faith. She said that she'd come next sunday too! I'm praying she keeps this promise. And it's not that I want her to spend time with ME and ME alone, I want her to discover in this time of her life the love of Christ, and how he always offers change and love. My mom deserves this joy. My dad does too.

The book of Acts is blowing me away. Intense devotion to spreading the word of Christ? You betcha buddy! When Stephen gets stoned, and yet he prays for God to forgive the people...that's Jesus. And how Stephen "falls asleep". There's more to this than him just falling asleep. It's showing that God granted him the peaceful rest apart from the evil that surrounded him. Isn't this what we all want?'s possible by not only demonstrating but BEING MOVED by Jesus' guidance. Forgiveness: this is the hardest thing for me. That and jealousy. I could go on about my jealousy problems. The worst part is that I bottle it up for so long and then it explodes. But jealousy shouldn't be in me in the first place. If anyone knows any bible verses based on this, please let me know!!

Gotta run to God for this.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Childhood Memories

Opening that old chest from the early nineteen hundreds that sits in my living room, I noticed how much of the stuff in there I didn't remember. In the chest are several pieces of art work and writing that Kelsey and I had done in elementary school. Wow! I was one heck of a weird kid but I thought it was hilarious. So...apparently I was a MUCH better artist then compared to now! hahaha here are some of the things I found.

I believe this was from first grade. Obviously an enviromentalist from the start, I wrote "Do not throw trash on the road."


Fifth grade. Not sure what we were supposed be going for...but I had a spongebob building!

Tacky peace sign!!! This was meant to be a dream catcher...HAHAHA

I loved clay and all that jazz. Bear in a swimming pool.

CHECK THIS RADICAL ELEPHANT OUT!!! YEAH!!!! Look at the detail in the nostrils hahahahaha

But it wasn't only art work I discovered, it was writing too. Thought I'd like to share some of the stuff I wrote.

First off: "My Halloween Poem" (Hopefully Ms. Deep will see this, on account of she was my teacher at the time!)

I'm a black cat.

My favorite meal is stewed rat.

The name I have is cosmic creepers.

By this time you can see,

I give people the jeepers.

Hey, you wanna come over to my house?

In the fridge I have a dead mouse.

Now go ahead, eat up.

This is surely a feast.

And here have my great spider cup.

Oh, and on it it has a letter from my friend the beast.

It says "Hello black cat, I'm coming right over now.

While I'm at it I might take a chance to chow."

Oh please don't go away.

I was having a party,

for it's almost Halloween Day.

BAHAHAHAHAHA Kelsey and I died from laughter after reading that. Hmm...can't quite figure it out. Next up is a paper I wrote in third or fourth grade about my wish:

My greatest wish is to be a famous musician. Why? Because I love music! Every night I would get out all the keyboards and my guitar, turn on my TV to channel 59 (which is GAC) and start playing along with the music videos! Some people like rap, but that isn't the kind of music I want to be with. I like country because it has to do with a lot of different instruments. That's a reason why I like Dixie Chicks! No one knows how much I love music! Seriously!! When I was a little kid my dad used to put on some music like KC and the Sunshine band. I would shake my booty to the beat! True! Now let's get back to my greatest wish. I've always wondered when did music start? Why was the first instrument built? There will always be a wonder in the world about music.

Ok so the reason I put this up is because when I looked through all my papers, the majority had to do with music. And...I felt more aware of my true dream. To be a musician. Here's another poem I wrote:

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful

I wonder what will make me happiest in life

I hear chad smith's drum fill on "give it away"

I see a concert arena with screaming fans

I want to one day be a professional drum set or tenor player

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful

I pretend that I am dumb

I believe in God

I touch my drumsticks

I feel there is too much hate in the world

I worry that my parents will be ashamed with me when I grow up

I cry only when something band happens or if I am happy

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful

I understand that not everyone is the same and most things are unfair

I say that this poem is confusing

I dream of performing around the world

I hope I will one day identify my true self

I am energetic, willing, and thoughtful.

Reading this, the insecurities of a preteen flashed back into my mind. And I see how far I've come. What surprised me was how I mentioned God. For what seemed like such a long time, I couldn't sense his presence. But I'm thankful the connection between the Lord and I has grown tremendously over the past year or so.

A funny one I found was this. Titled "My Funniest Moment":

"Here it comes!" said my mom. We were at King's Dominion for the weekend. At that time we were riding the log ride. The big hill was just around the corner waiting for people to get soaked. Also at the same time I wished the bathroom was around the corner waiting for me. One or three seconds left till the big splash. 2....1..."VROOM!" went the ride. Now I really had to go to the bathroom! By any chance, the hill was so steep that I couldn't wait any longer. Yes, you guessed it, and boy how soaken wet I was! At least I didn't have to wait anymore. Now that ride is my favorite ride, not because of that though. Just make sure you have to go or not becfore you ride a rollercoaster. Now that's my funniest moment.

It's a mystery to me as to why I would want to share this with the teacher (who was Kelley Deep at the time :D), or my classmates for that matter. Guess I just wanted attention! I loved making people laugh.

Among other poems from later elementary school, there was also my first personal poetry journal from first grade.

When will this all stop?

When will my dog's fat stomach pop?

When will a shock come into my head?

But the most question needs to be asked is

when am I gonna be dead?

Depressing! But when I wrote it I was just trying to rhyme.

I know about dogs

and they like to eat logs

some are as little as a frog

and some are as big as a hog

their favorite food is a hot dog

HAHAHAHAHAH. Gotta love it. Here's one called weddings.

Weddings are the settings of love,

people with emotional feelings fly like a dove.

the whole thing is an act, and I love that number one fact,

that this is a permanent show,

and you can never go back.

The wedding was a setting of love,

and I, ofcourse, flew like a dove.

Alrightyyyy I made marraige sound like a death trap!!! The last one in the book is called "God"

God made us, our head to our toe

But that, I think, you already know.

Bibles are based on stories that are tru,

and they tell you what to do.

Some people have other gods, like buddha

the religion gets to choose ya!

All of them I hear are great,

so what's yours mate?

I believe in God

I think he made me head to toe

now that's what I know.

Growing up in elementary school I was made fun of alot. One reason I happened to have excelled in reading ahead of a lot of kids in second grade was because I read the bible often because it made me feel good. Like it does now!'s just think I broke apart from that. That I didn't realize at the time the power of Christ. And how for a while I forgot it all. I'm glad He let me find comfort in the gospel at that age!

This was a mini report card from pre-school. FUNNY!!!

It's true, I was an aggressive kid. Always wanting to fight and beat up the boys. Which I did.

One last thing. I found the bible I would flip through and stare at when I teeny-weeny. Whenever I'd get sad, I recall flipping to this page in the back. It gave me inner peace, the image of Jesus providing strength to those who were scared of the storm around them.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Take a look out the window.

Well, it's raining.


But it's Sunday, the best day of the week!

And PCC did a service about pornography.

WHAT!??!? PORN?!?!

Yep. PORN.

Why has our society...actually, why has the WORLD and the people in it changed the way God intended sex to be? How come most of us accept the fact that our relatives and friends have a destructive habit, which leads to unhappiness in their relationships? No satisfaction? I wonder, and I ponder on the lack of attention towards the subject. The problem isn't sex, it's what we have made it out to be. How we have taken the biological process and shaped it into a replica of imagination, and sometimes abuse. No one can undo it. Heck, no one can stop the porn business, it's too successful, it's too popular, it's desired and it's a MONEY MACHINE. As human beings we are given the choice to give in, or stay out.

Yet, we live in this world where it's a normalcy. And at my age, in high school, it's much more common than the use of drugs, alcohol, etc.

A part of me believes that people aren't immediately swayed by porn, that it's a "slow fade". You look at the screen, the pictures in the magazine, the words in an erotic novel, and a shock ignites in your mind, "This is how it's supposed to be?!". And it's pain, it's grief that comes as a consequence. Then eventually, it's numbness. The loss of innocence, or moral value. We no longer see people around us as human beings, but as items of sexual fantasy.

So many of us have been exposed at a young age, later in life, or at a time when your spouse's addiction affects your relationship. I strongly think that the imagination is much more difficult to erase than the actual action of sexual immorality. Because if your imagination is still running, that means your want for it still exists. And how do you approach God with that? How do you approach the Lord with a cry to wipe the slate clean when you cannot come to terms with your sin? We can ask for a direction to where we can break ourselves in order for us to see Jesus' true path for us, and see people as He wants us to. The most amazing, amazing, and amazing thing that the Lord offers us is a chance to gain purity again.....

Just now I stopped typing and closed my eyes and felt like Jesus was saying to me, "I promise you this opportunity to become new in my light."

I'm praying for all who are struggling with an addiction to porn. God's promise for us to be new again is what I praise Him for right now, in this moment. It's a personal topic, it runs deep within the darkest pit of depression within us, but we can always, ALWAYS be sure that Jesus knows what's going on. He knows the way out, and He has so much confidence that we can break free if we choose His guidance, rather than that of our addiction's allurement.