Friday, March 27, 2015

CID-DFW-DEN (Disjointed plane thoughts)


I’m taking off and the runway is going by faster and faster, and this is the part that I usually love most about flying, but all I want to do is stand up and jump out of the door and run back to my dorm room. And I don't know why. I'm fighting an overwhelming urge to cry. An overwhelming fight or flight response screams flight in my head, which is ironic because the last thing I want to do is be here on this flight. And I don't know why.

Normally, I love flying. The movement, the change, the people, the sensation of moving hundreds of miles an hour. Right now though it's hard to love flying when I'm struggling to not cling to Iowa. Like the book I was reading (til all of these feels ambushed me) was saying, people seek comfort and shy away from change.
I like the comfort of Iowa. How friendly people are. How predictable my life is, how controlled. There's a lot of structure provided by the fact that I do so much. I've built myself a structure cocoon in all my events, classes, and clubs.

I'm also avoiding confronting emotions about being home, more than likely. The questions about everything. The purposeless, aimless wandering feeling.
Why don't I want to go home?

Home is just as much Iowa as it is Colorado. Home in Boulder will feel a little emptier without Grandma. That's a tough emptiness to confront. Shoot. Those aren't tears lining up behind my ducts...I don’t know what you’re talking about.  

Hunger and reading books like this one (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, by Donald Miller) always make me contemplative and a little confrontational. And emotional, apparently. I feel wrong blaming it all on that though. I know I really am avoiding things here. But it's tough to make yourself stop avoiding something in your head. That's what Don Miller was just talking about-- characters have to be moved and forced. They don't like change or scary things, so they won’t willingly just wander into those situations.

Miller talks about having a sense of a Voice, which he then identifies as the Writer in his life. This Writer (understood to be God) suggests small and large life choices, starting with Miller holding his tongue more often but leading into him finding his dad.  Miller talks about how the Writer can see the whole story of life and knows what will lead to a better story, but how hard it can be to go along with His suggestions sometimes.

I've also had a sense of the Writer, or Daddy, recently, suggesting that I do a thing or two to live a better story. It hasn't always been what I want, but He has always made it work out for my good somehow-- often just because I'm learning to trust Him increasingly. It wasn't particularly hard or painful, til now. Now something about this is engaging my fight or flight like nobody's business, something about the changes I’m required to accept, the changes I’m going to undergo.

I look down and notice yet again how the callouses on my hands are flecking off. I didn't realize I had callouses there, honestly. It's because we've stopped lifting. I miss lifting already. But I'm not sure how I feel lifting alone just for the sake of staying in it.

It's like that with spiritual work too though--- you lose your callouses, your muscle mass, your capacity and strength if you stop lifting. I stopped again.

Why did I stop? Why is it so hard to continue with reading the word, with constant prayer?

It's tough to find time for devotional time. Because time isn't a thing I just stumble upon in my life, and when I do, I do what I didn't think I would have time for, usually homework or sleeping or buying groceries. So why don't I make time for Him?

I'm afraid He'll ask me to change in really hard ways. I'm scared of what I'm inevitably going to need to change, specifically my interactions with specific people. Changing things sounds hard and I don't want to submit to change without knowing what specifics I'm agreeing to change. I want control. But I don't get control, and I know that, so I avoid the situation as a result.

As much as I fight submitting my relationships to Daddy, this whole semester, especially the last month, has taught me a lot about submitting my plans. I’m learning time and time again how good He is when I do submit.
I was supposed to see Grandma over break. I was supposed to be spending time with her for hours after I got off the plane. I was supposed to borrow her knitting needles and learn really hard quilt patterns and make her dinner and hear her stories. That didn't happen. And I know God is using this for his best purposes. I know it was a good spring break and that I needed time in Cedar Rapids to recharge and get a handle on things and process. And I guess now I need to be going home. But learning to submit how I wanted things to go, even how I expected them to go, is hard. It's like what Ryan Hill was talking about in church last Sunday. I need to surrender my plans to Him, but wow that's harder than I thought it would be.

I don't get to be home for church this week as they transition to 2 services. ...I just automatically called Veritas and Iowa home-- no wonder I have funny feelings about going back to Colorado again. I'm so excited on behalf of Veritas as they move into new structure; 2 services is exciting.


"We don't know how capable we are of loving until the people we love are being taken away, until a beautiful story is ending." -Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

That makes me want to schedule coffee and adventures with every person I know for the next ever just to make sure they know how much they mean to me. Because when I think about the people I don't want to lose, the ones it'll hurt most to lose, I go to my grandma (whose service I'm heading to on this plane), my brothers, my parents, my best friends... And the names keep coming. Every single person I know crops up eventually, and I just want them to know how crazy wonderful they are. What their strengths are. How much I appreciate them for being a character in my story. How much God loves them. How much I want to see them one day in heaven.

But God doesn't give us time to schedule coffee and adventures with every person ever. God gives us 24 hours in a day (unless you're traveling through time zones, and then time gets weird) and however many days He thinks makes sense, and way more people in our story than we will ever have time to get coffee with. And we get to figure out how to convey how meaningful those people are with our few resources and precious time. I guess that's what they mean when they say time is precious. It's limited, and there's a lot we can do with it. Prioritizing becomes important, but so does not wasting time. Suddenly that's a lot more important.

How do I turn my aimless aloneness into loving God & loving others, into meaningful, precious time?

Don Miller talks about how God is like the grandfather ad infinitum-- with hundreds of generations of grand kids, and so much resulting wisdom. Watching the cars of Texas from above gives you so much perspective on how you can see things working in the bigger picture, like the flow of traffic and directions and how it all fits together. I think God's a lot like that too-- he can see everything from where He sits, how all the pieces fit together. But that's why the fact Jesus came in person is so crazy to me-- people aren't even visible from planes. God got down on our tiny level and loved us.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
1 John 4:9

That's really cool. Oh how He loves us so. How great He is. How blessed we are & how blessed I am to have such a good Father in heaven who is so worthy of all praise. Thank you, Daddy.

Some background for those who need it: my grandma died three weeks ago at the wonderful age of 97. She was a joy and a role model, and loved Jesus dearly. I flew home for her memorial service this week-- these are some of the thoughts that I processed on my flights home to Colorado. Daddy's taught me a lot through her life and her death, and He is always to be praised. Psalm 104.