Monday, March 15, 2010

Running after You

Have you ever taken song lines and tried to make a poem with them? Well, my friend Erin used to do it all the time, so I heard this one song and really liked the words, so I tried to find words from songs that fit. Let me know what you think!

Finally I figured it out
But it took a long, long time
All my roads
Well they lead to you
I just can’t turn
And walk away

I’m so confused
There’ve been times
I thought I’d seen it all

You came into my life
I’ve waited all my life
To feel this way

Maybe you’re right, I can’t live without you
Maybe two is better than one
I don’t care what people will say
I’m running after you
I won’t turn back and go their way
I stand here in this place
All I want is you

Words can’t say
I can’t do enough
To prove
It’s all for you

You’ve already got me coming undone
Sometimes your ways I cannot understand
And nothing else will ever feel this way.

Lines adopted from following songs:
“Two is Better Than One” Boys Like Girls
“Running After You” Plantshakers
“All I Want is You” Plantshakers
“All for you” Madhatters

Monday, March 8, 2010


So I finished my "story" today. At CRU, we can give our testimony, but the saying they have is, "Everyone has a story". I decided God didn't want me to give the typical testimony type of story, instead, this is what he called me to speak (I am doing it Tuesday). It's longer than I thought it was going to be, but I can't think of anything to take out, nor do I really want to. So here it is:

When God originally told me to come up here and talk, I wanted to, don’t get me wrong, but I was really scared. I’m still scared. My story is one that I try not to tell too much anymore. As humans, it is in our nature to judge each other. We don’t mean too, and we don’t want too, but it happens. And my story has been turned against me, it has hurt me, and sometimes, it has been misunderstood. And so, there lay my dilemma. Do I explain my story in full detail, or do I give a light-hearted, easier version to take in?

After about six or seven versions, this is the one I’ve decided to tell. You can take it however you want, and as I stand before you today, I’ve asked God to be with me and I know that He will use it for His will. It is not about me, and never should be.

At first glance, my life might seem pretty normal. I haven’t harbored a secret drug addiction or become an alcoholic. I’m saving myself for marriage and haven’t broken that promise. And usually, those three things are what people usually talk about when they give their testionminay. It’s powerful. It moves people. What can I tell people?

But even as I asked myself these questions, I knew the answer. I knew what I’ve been hiding, harboring all these years. And I knew that talking about my struggles might help someone else.

I first want to start with a poem. I wrote this poem for Creative Writing class two years ago. My teacher told us to be honest with ourselves, to write about something we’ve struggled with. My poem was called Cleansing of Hatred.

Holding the bar of soap
Memories float around me
Filling me with anger,
Tears and pain.
As I feel the cold, waxy surface,
Vivid images flash past,
I remember your angry face
As you screeched
Those heartless words,
“You stupid daughter,
Who can’t do anything right!”
As tears streaked down my face,
I wondered if you loved me,
If you ever loved me
Loved me just for who I was,
You threw it at me,
Your face blotched with fury.
Did you ever care?
I stuck it in my mouth,
Hating you every minute.
I wondered why you chose
That bumpy, scratch square.
If felt like poison in my mouth.
Did you ever care?

I wrote this poem about my mom. My mom struggles with something called Thyroid Disease. I’m not really sure all that it entails, but I know what can happen because of it. Because of this disease, my mom has symptoms of Bi-polar disease. My home life growing up was pretty tough. I never knew when I came home how my mom would be. Anything could put her over the edge. I freaked myself out growing up-always trying to be perfect so I wouldn’t get yelled at.

It didn’t work. I failed, of course, to please my mom. I couldn’t be perfect, no one can except Jesus can be. And, everytime I failed, my mom would call me horrible names, and tell what a terrible person I was. She reacted in a way I now know she didn’t want to-it was part of her disease. Usually, at the end of the night, she’d come in and tell me she was sorry and that she loved me. But it didn’t help the hurt and it didn’t help the pain. And she didn’t always apologize. And since it happened so often, almost everyday, I became hardened.

I filled the pages of my diaries with things such as “I hate my mom” and “Why does my mom hate me so much?” If something happened to my mom earlier in the day, she would usually take it out on us. My self-esteem was slowly, but surely, floating away. I compared myself to everyone else. I longed for a different life, and filled my days with reading. The people in the books seemed to have perfect lives-I longed for my own fairy tale.

School was hard for me too. When I was born, I had really bad allergies. My allergies were so bad that I couldn’t hear anything, and when I was nine months old, they finally discovered this and I had tubes put in my ears. I had three or four ear operations as a baby, and I was finally back to normal by the time I was three, but I was behind on my learning. In first grade, I was still behind in my reading skills and I had to go to special classes for speaking. I was placed in a special government study which taught me to read in a weird way. When the study failed, they tried to catch me up, but I was so behind that I was forever punished in school for not knowing how to spell. I probably would have gotten more A’s if we didn’t have evil spelling tests in all my classes. I will never be good at spelling, although I have defiantly improved.

Even though my parents never yelled at me for grades, I always thought my mom was going to punish me if I did bad, and I pushed myself on my own. I would always get upset when I got a low A, even if it was an A.

I’m giving you all this background to understand that because of my mom’s disease, I had low self-esteem, was very hard on myself concerning grades, and was often scared to come home. I also harbored a deep, deep anger towards my mother.
This anger continued when my friends would come over and mention how scary my mom was. They all knew how it affected me, but they still made comments and often didn’t want to come over because she scared them.

At first, it didn’t appear that these comments hurt me. I pushed the anger deep within in me. I hide it behind a smile and a happy-go-lucky attitude. However, it continued to grow over the years, being fueled by the jokes at school about being short, the painful glares from the teachers when I couldn’t spell something, the pushing on the bus, and the terrible friends I hung around with.

All this time, my mom had been church hopping. Church hopping for my mom is going to a church for a while, then deciding that it just wasn’t “fitting” and picking a new one. Since we never stayed at a church long enough to establish real friends, I found other Christians to be stuck up, rude, and forever judging. It wasn’t until we found a more permant chuch, with an awesome youth group, that I started to see real Christians.

They all had struggles, like me, and they were willing to share them. It gave me hope. But it also showed me how terrible I was-that the anger I held was not good for me, and that maybe I wasn’t always behaving as the Christian I should be. I didn’t pray enough, I realized, and I was defiantly not reading my Bible enough.
Reading my Bible more, I knew that I shouldn’t be so hateful, angry, and upset. My mom had hurt me over the years, and still was, but I had to forgive her. It was what God wanted. So I forgave her. Or at least I thought I did.
My youth group gave me strong Christian friends, and I worked at Timber-lee where I was also surrounded by Christians. I went on mission trips, helped others and loved God. But, no matter what I tried to do, I still got upset at my mom. Especially when we argued about make-up, pierecing my ears, boys and how I couldn’t date, curfew, whether chores are more important than homework, and my constant track record of being a klutz. These are normal things a teenager argues with their parents about, especially curfew. But getting put down by your parent shouldn’t be.
College allowed me a chance to get away from my mother’s anger and to truly find myself. I found friends I could trust, and I found some who truly understood me down to my core. God blessed me with people He knew He could use to influence my life. I’m sure many of you know who you are. And because of my friends, my faith continued to grow. I have grown the most these past two years. And it was during this past year, that God showed me what I needed to change.
Bitterness can eat you alive if you let it. Bitterness, left alone, can travel within and make you an angry, bitter person. Hidden behind a smile and a good manner, it can only be released with the right push of a button. And unforgiveness just adds.

Not forgiving my mom made it hard for me to forgive others. Anyone who majorly hurt me, it was easier to stop talking to them than to face the fact, especially when they didn’t care that they had wronged me or that I was hurting. The unforgivness and bitterness become too much to handle, and I finally didn’t know what to do. After I disliked someone for a wrong they have done to me, I started to realize that was not the Christian way to live my life. God didn’t like that I wasn’t forgiving anyone, especially my mom. Although the anger towards my mother had subsided with time away from her, but I had still shoved it deep inside me, alloing it to soothe and create a deep self-pity. I didn’t want to forgive my mother, as it was much easier to hold a grudge than to forgive, to silently keep punishing her for her wrongs.

When God finally got ahold of me, it was after a stressful holiday season. I was broken, upset and deeply wounded. God told me to stop feeling sorry for myself, and to realize how wrong I had been. I realized I needed to forgive my mom, and once I did, I needed to stop dwelling on the past. I had to let it go and not think of it again. It was over, and done. I needed to give my mom the benefit of the doubt that the situation would get better.

As Isiah 65:16 says, “The past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” Let me tell you, God knows what He is doing. Once I forgave my mom, winter break became so much better. I spent a lot of time with my parents, and I finally started telling them I loved them. You might think this is really simple, but those three words got lost over the years. They stopped being uttered, and the impact they have now really means a lot. I said it my mom on the phone, and I think she started crying. Never lose the chance to tell someone you love them, and always, always remember to forgive. Because unforgiveness can tear you apart, but God will always help put you back together.

If you ever need me
You know where to find me
I will be waiting
Where I've always been
If you ever need me
You know where to find me
I have never left you
I'm where I've always been
Right by your side

Thank you.