Past week has been interesting. I went and talked to a couple mormons yesterday, they seemed interesting. Basically they said that the book of mormon is not an addition to the Bible, but they didn't say it was part of it either. It's mostly about how after Jesus died and was resurrected, he came to "the americas" and taught the natives about him so that everyone could know about Him. The Book of Mormon states that when you read it and pray, God will show you the truth about whether or not the book is true. I don't know what it is, but every time I read that book it sort of freaks me out. It's a feeling I get, more than anything. Something tells me that that phrase is the only right one in the book of Mormon.
My mom freaked out at me when I told her that I talked to them. She threw a fit and told me "as long as you live under this roof you will not associate with mormons!" I laughed. That strikes me as so ridiculous. I get a craving to learn more and more about God and faith, and she freaks out and tries to stifle me.
As far as my faith goes, I know that the Bible is the ultimate truth, the ultimate authority. Anything that contradicts it is wrong. Exploring my options is a healthy thing to do, as long as I am grounded in my faith. But who knows, maybe I'm not grounded. My faith seems to be evolving by the day... I know very few people like myself who share my same beliefs. I have no problem dropping an F-bomb and I smoke cloves occasionally, but I won't kiss until marriage or participate in anything even remotely sexual.
|Not really sure how to start this. It's more of an emotional thing than a physical thing. It doesn't make me feel better as much as people say. It's more accurate to say that it makes me feel nothing. I am numb. Sometimes for a few hours, and if I'm lucky, the rest of the night. But there is a difference between feeling nothing and feeling peace. Peace is a specific feeling, similar to happiness, but mixed with serenity. Numbness is never a good feeling, but it's not that bad of a feeling either. I'm done with this.|
I've been busy. No clue where to begin.
Today is day 103, woot me!
I was praying today in chapel at SU and just talking with Him about how sexually frustrated I am. I felt Him telling me to strive for Him even more. I only have a little bit more time before she enters my life, and when that happens, my spiritual life will not be my own. When I start dating someone, it's going to be completely based on Christ, and I feel like our spiritual lives will merge. He told me to enjoy where I am now. The privacy of my spiritual life. Also, I'm not going to have to search for her. He's bringing her to me on a sliver platter. Hell yeah, I'll have to work for it, but... I won't have trouble figuring out who.
I also posted this as a FaceBook note:
Burn The Church
Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 2:57pm
Hear me out before you stone me.
Television is a freaking god in America. People use it for everything, especially as information source. They watch the news and political shows and base their political beliefs on what they see rather than getting up off their lazy asses and doing their own research. Read? Who wants to read when I can just sit there and watch information be fed to me?
The problem is that TV is a tool controlled by other humans. Other humans decide what to broadcast and what to hide. Because of this, they can make the TV say virtually almost anything they want, giving a heavy, but often unnoticeable slant to any information broadcasted. They can choose to broadcast the good parts or bad parts of the Iraq war. They decide whether or not there were WMDs. They create their own reality based on a few seconds of film footage and a cheap script, and a huge amount of people accept anything the news says, no questions asked. They don't want to put out the effort to do their own research.
There are so many similarities between TV and The Church. Many people I know go to The Church on sundays and are spoon fed their faith, then spend little or no time in the Bible the rest of the week. They're too busy during the week to do their own reading, so they go to The Church once or twice a week to catch up. Unfortunately, The Church is also a man-made system, a human organization prone to error. There is no deity in The Church. And much like TV, The Church can twist the Bible to make it say anything they want.
I was reading through 1 Corinthians a couple nights ago...
"Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial." Ever heard that before? I've heard people quote that passage and use it against swearing, drinking, smoking, gaging ears and piercings. Later on in that chapter, it talks about how the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is another verse that is used against smoking, drinking, tattoos, etc. But every verse in between and after those two verses is about sexual immorality. It says nothing about drugs or tattoos.
One huge problem I have with The Church is that, rather than basing their beliefs upon the Bible, it often develops its own morals based upon a mix of cultural rules and ultraconservative traditions, then looks to the Bible to defend its views. It's so backwards.
Here's what I'm talking about: According to (much of) The Church, it's a sin to drink alcohol. Forget moderation, any consumption of ethanol is sin (tradition). Gluttony on the other hand, isn't even talked about, and obesity is completely acceptable. Forget the fact that the risk of heart disease is multiplied tenfold along with a multitude of other health problems, it's culturally unacceptable to talk about weight publicly, so it's avoided (culture). On the other hand, using, or even purchasing any tobacco products is a terrible sin partly for the health reasons, and partly for the possibility of addiction (tradition). Caffeine however, is also quite addictive when not used in moderation, and a huge amount of churchgoers are completely addicted to coffee. And it's completely acceptable in The Church (culture).
Homosexuality is another subject that frustrates me in The Church. While part of The Church completely accepts the active homosexual lifestyle (which is complete horse shit if you've read 1Cor 6), the majority completely condemns any homosexuality and will have nothing to do with those who practice it. Homosexuals are completely cast out of the church. At the same time, sex outside of marriage is looked down upon by The Church, but often tolerated (especially of older unmarried adults). It’s all sexual sin. Where is the consistency?
Another thing that frustrates me is that The Church’s whole focus seems to be on where you’re going when you die. “You need to believe that Jesus died for your sins and be a good Christian or else you will go to Hell. And you’d better stay good because you never know when you’ll get hit by a truck!” This whole going to Hell theory is based upon a three word phrase in Revelation: lake of fire. Have you ever read Revelation? It’s that weird ass book full of symbolism and metaphors, which are wide open to different interpretations. Personally, I believe that going to Hell is something that The Church blows way out of proportion.
For me, my faith isn’t about avoiding hell and getting to heaven. My faith is about living a fulfilling life and serving Christ. It’s not about saying a magic phrase and spending two hours a week in a special building for the rest of my life so I can get “saved” from hell. There’s so much more to it than that. It’s about loving people. Loving God. Learning about forgiveness, grace, power, justice, and peace. Heaven and Hell aren’t even on my radar. I have no clue where I’m going when I die. I’m not worried about it either. Once you realize what life really is supposed to be about, heaven and hell kind of fade in comparison.
I went to The Church for like 15 years of my life. I stopped going because I got bored. I didn’t enjoy it. That right there should be a red flag. If you’re not enjoying your faith, there’s obviously something wrong with it. For me, the idea of rejecting The Church scared the crap out of me at first. I mean part of me almost feels like I switched religions or something since my life now is so radically different than 5 years ago. It’s easy to follow the crowd along with these cultural and traditional rules. Breaking out of that a couple months ago was super scary at first, but I’ll never go back.
I feel like my faith was completely wiped out and I have go back to day 1. Everything I knew about God and the Bible was filtered to me by The Church. Reading the Bible without that filter is like reading a whole new book. My body as a temple doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding anything I don’t like. Divorce isn’t an option (don’t even get me started about divorce in The Church). I’m not supposed to tolerate sin amongst brothers, even if it’s culturally acceptable. Pressing on towards the goal takes on a whole new meaning.
So that’s about it. My own personal 95 thesis. The Church is a sham. A ludicrous, hypocritical sham.
Jenna Curato likes this.
Amy Saito at 6:48am March 26
So much of what you say reflects what I have seen in the church as well. Any time you get a group of people together, there is going to be inconsistencies, failures, mistakes and just really stupid stuff. The American churches need to STOP taking verses out of context. Part of it, as you pointed out, is due to our culture. We like everything bite sized, including our theology.
Without critical thinkers in the church, however, what will happen to the church? do you think that as people who see the disparity between church and the Bible leave, the state of the church worsens?
Cory De Silva at 8:27am March 26
so. what you should do Chad is found a really strong relationship with God yourself---just you and him. It sounds like you're doing that. Once you've got a great, powerful relationship, then you need to surround yourself with powerful Christians who will raise you up, keep you accountable, and strengthen you in the lord. I agree with much of your thesis: especially the obesity, and the drugs thing as well as some of your church stuff but at the same time, a man can't do it alone. I don't care how strong you are in the Lord. You have to be around strong Christians who are doing the real thing. Otherwise you will fall away. I've seen it time and time again. "Where two or more are gathered..." there the Spirit of the Lord is (I forget the verse). You should at least be part of an on fire home group for Christ if you're not going to go to Church that meets every week. Another thing that Church can do is keep you updated at what God's doing in the world around us. Be connected in some way.
Chad at 12:05pm March 26
Cory: I think the verse you're looking for is in 1 Corinthians 5. The entire chapter is about expelling the immoral people in The Church who claim to follow Christ (swindlers, sexually immoral, idolaters, etc). The Spirit of the Lord is present, giving them power to throw hypocrites - people who continue to live in sin regardless of the teachings of the Bible - out of the church. Although I don't think this verse is in the correct context, I do agree with you fully that believers getting together is vital to the survival of each person who follows Christ.
Chad at 12:20pm March 26
Amy: As far as what will happen to The Church? I think it needs to be completely torn down and restructured. As far as church politics go, I'm not a complete anarchist, but I am an antifederalist - that is, I don't think one man should have too much power. I don't think a bunch of believers getting together to listen to one man interpret the Bible for them is what Christ had in mind when he established The Church. Bible studies are excellent ways people can connect to God on their own time, then come together with other believers and discuss what they read and how to apply it to life. Bible studies encourage STUDYING the Bible. From my experience, Church sermons spoon feed you what the pastor wants.
I think it'd be great if people came together on Sundays in worship, but then broke off into consistent small groups afterwards and studied the Bible. The entire congregation would be encouraged to study the Bible throughout the week, and contribute on Sundays...
Chad at 12:21pm March 26
The relationships developed within the small groups would be so much deeper than the "turn to your right and to your left and greet the people next to you" philosophy that many Churches have adopted. Accountability partners could actually be found. Going to Church would be a learning, interactive experience, rather than sitting there and listening to some guy talk for 40 minutes. Did you know that in college after 30 minutes of lecture, the student brain is paying attention to less than 50% of the lecture? Instead of the focus of the entire congregation being on one man (who, all in all, is only human and just as prone to fail as any of us), the entire focus would turn to the Bible. The Word of God instead of the words of man.
Amy Saito at 12:47pm March 26
dude that's genius. I love that idea. all of those ideas.
Cory De Silva at 2:42pm March 26
i don't know what the verse is. Maybe that's the one. I like your ideas, however dark and cynical they may be.
Megan Flores at 10:04pm April 5
I really like this,Chad...although you already told me what it says before I read it
I agree with pretty much everything you've said, and I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one who's been questioning the church as it now stands.
Read Hebrews 10:19-25 (the one I was trying to find early this morning, lol). These verses, for me, are the reason I don't agree with the church, but can't abandon the idea of church. Verses 19-23 talk about God being the one and only way. Jesus made the final sacrifice, so that the priests who used to offer sacrifices are no longer necessary. Jesus has become our one and only "High Priest" over the House of God. As Christians, we draw near to Him. Verse 23 says "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;(for He is faithful that promised).." The way that church-goers go into a church and listen to their pastor and then depart to continue putting other things above God in their lives, is what I'd consider "wavering".
Megan Flores at 10:28pm April 5
I don't believe that God has called us to perfection, but He HAS called us into a deeper relationship with Him, as individuals, not depending on other Christians, or on a pastor, or on a program, or sermons. His Word is continually pointing us to our need for a direct, and open, and unwavering hunger for God. Meeting every sunday has become so ritualistic for sooo many "Christians" that it is comparable to the sacrifices that were made routinely before Christ made the ultimate sacrifice, wiping out our need for the sacrifice of animals.( Hebrews 10)
Verses 24-25 talk about our need for fellowship with other Christians, something that we're told not to "abandon". To me, I can't give up the IDEA of church because of the way we're told to meet together, to motivate and encourage one another. Looking at today's church though, it's become about other things, and so my idea of church remains just that...an idea.
[You: "I think it needs to be completely torn down and restructured.]
It caused a bit of drama with my family, but I meant every word of it, and I'll never turn back.
I burned all my stuff that had to do with Dana. It wasn't much... a sickeningly sweet
thank you note for taking her out for her birthday, the stocking, and candy. It wasn't a bitter feeling or anything. It was burning my ship to Tarshish. I swore that night that I'd never turn my back on Christ again. It was freaking awesome.
Lately God's been telling me to respect authority, which has been rough. I wanted to go drink with a couple friends, but I'm not 21. I'm going to Simpson next semester, so I'll have to give up my cloves. Mostly just a bunch of small rules that I don't like following. But I'm working on it.
So that's where I'm at now. I'm happy. Very happy.
I suppose I'm well overdue for an update.
Another girl has entered my life. Girl I work with. She's beyond gorgeous, makes easily twice as much as I do, and is 23. But she doesn't exactly hold the same beliefs as I do and doesn't practice abstinence. So if we did end up together I'd give myself less than a week before the whole abstinence thing got thrown out the window haha.
So that's not an option... mostly because I know I've been called not to date right now. But still, it's been a struggle fighting it off. I almost asked her out the other night. That would have been dumb as shit. And I know it makes me a total douche, but I'd pretty much be the biggest pimp ever if I dated two different servers at my work =P
I haven't struggled s at all lately, which has been really nice. My main struggle hasn't really even been not asking her out. It's been not dwelling on the thoughts of doing so, or being with her. I find myself often speculating about how I would go about asking her out, where I would take her, etc. But this isn't good at all to think about, since I'm doing my best NOT to let that happen.
Had an odd dream about Dana last night. We were on my couch and she kissed me and told me that it wasn't working out with mike. I ended up making out with her. I pray for the best for her, I honestly do. Every part of me hopes she'll find Christ. I almost feel arrogant saying this, but for some reason, something in the back of my head tells me someday she'll call me up and want me back. For her sake, I hope she never ends up like that, but if she does, at least I'll be prepared.
I'm finally to the point where Dana isn't on my mind constantly. Daily, yes, but not on an hourly or minutely basis. I suppose time does help heal. I realized today that I only have like three weeks left until I hit day 92, which is the longest time I've ever gone without any sexuality. Crazy. Here I come.
I have a lot of things on my mind, and I need to write them out so I can deal with them logically and one at a time.
Biola: I want to go next semester. But it's probably a better idea to finish my AA then transfer there rather than just dropping everything I'm in the middle of and signing up. After this semester I'll have nearly 60 units, but a lot of them are biology and chemistry units, which I won't be using. So I don't know if that means I need to get more classes that are geared towards psychology or what.
I want something new. I almost feel like I'm running away to Biola. Maybe if I completely separate myself from everything I know and am familiar with, I can grow in Christ unhindered. Maybe I'd be more at peace without having to work with Dana or deal with the haunting memories I have in certain places with her. Living on my own with other men and women of Christ, on the beach, studying psychology... ah, how it sounds like bliss. *sunsets on the beach*
I have a few things I want to do before I hit Biola. One thing that would be nice is if I sold my MacBook Air and got the new MacBook. It's a lot more well balanced computer and more realistic for a student. This is purely a desire though and in no way a need.
One thing I NEED to do is stack up a bunch of money. My car will be paid off a year from now. Books are pricey and I highly doubt I'll be able to get a job down there where I get tipped. Once I hit Biola, my expenses should be almost nothing, especially if I leave my car in redding. Tuition, rent, and food will all go on loans o.O. So I hopefully should do ok financially.
Deanna: ah, I want to help her so much. But I can't if she doesn't want to commit to Him. We're going on a walk tomorrow, and I'm planning on asking her if she's fully committed or if this is just a halfway thing. But I tend to rarely stick to a plan, so we shall see what happens.
I might sell my wii. It's started to be a hindrance to my walk with Him and my motivation in general.
I have homework and I'm tired. But all I want to do is think about and plan for Biola. Damn.
So apparently when I'm not close to God, I avoid blogging too, since that forces me to look at my life from a spiritual perspective. I have quite a bit to catch up on.
I strayed from Him. I just got busy and lazy and stopped journalling for several days. I was watching a movie a couple times and I should have looked down at certain parts, but didn't, which fueled my sex drive even more. But the other night I picked up my Bible, got bored within 5 minutes, so I went on a walk with Him, in the darkness, wind, and rain. It was beautiful.
I prayed for Deanna mostly, and texted 5 other people to do the same. She needs Him so much. It pains me to see her struggle with the same pain I did mere weeks ago, but on a larger scale. I texted back and forth with her for an hour or so afterwards, just sending messages of encouragement, which were returned with depressed, and once even hostile responses. She said God can't take all her pain away. I know that's not true. Letting go of pain, anger, and sadness isn't easy, but I've seen Him move mountains and wipe out armies with a blink of an eye, so I know that it is possible. I just wish I could somehow show her that.
...I have no doubt that she likes me. But I can't fall into a relationship with her. That's not the position I've been called to be in. At least not now, not for a long time, if at all. I'm not even really tempted. I just can't see us together like that. But I have so much love and compassion for her. I want to be there for her, but I know that if I'm constantly there, she'll become dependent upon me instead of Christ, which would destroy any meaning of me in her life. I text with her frequently, but I only want to meet with her a couple times a week to make sure that doesn't happen.
Andrew and Peta... two of my best friends who are dating. They make out, which I'm not a huge fan of, but that is between them and God, so I refrain from making too much noise. But Andrew told me the other night that Peta said she wouldn't care if he felt her up. I pretty much flipped out.
That was the single aspect of the relationship between Dana and I the burned me the most. It fucked me up beyond words. Getting sucked into an addictive sexual relationship, then having it instantly cut off was devastating on my mind and heart. There's no way I'm letting my best friend get sucked into this.
As for Peta... I don't think she understands how guys work. I was pissed as hell at her for a bit, but then I realized that it was pure ignorance (I don't mean that to be condescending). Her mom is a crackhead and her dad died of cancer a couple years ago, so I can't really stay mad at her for not understanding how guys think.
So I talked to Andrew, and he's going to talk to her about that soon. I'm not leaving him alone until he does haha.
I'm limiting my time on my Wii. It became a distraction over the past week. One hour a day, at most, and not until I've spent time with Him. Damn that makes me feel childish... setting limits on how often I play video games... -_-
I might go down to Biola next semester as a psychology major. They make really good money, so student loans won't be that much of a hindrance. I'm prayin about it. That would give me such glee.
I was on the bluff watching the sunset an hour ago... I randomly decided to text Dana to tell her to look at the sunset. Within five minutes she showed up. That was freakin weird as hell haha. I guess she was driving by and knew where I would most likely be, so she dropped by. We talked for a half hour or so. It was good. I get more and more comfortable each time we talk. I should pray for her and Mike.
Praise Him. He is good.
Sweet girl. So after day 50 I backed off quite a bit. I didn't want to get too close and lead her on or anything. I didn't actually see her until last night.
We were hangin out at Jay's house. Movie night or something. It was more like hang out time with a movie in the background. There were half a dozen people there, and the only one I really knew was Deanna, so I spent most of the time talking with her and hanging out on Jays couch. One thing lead to another, and we ended up cuddling for a while and she fell asleep in my arms. It felt damn good to sleep next to someone again. And all the while I had that nagging voice telling me not to pursue her.
We woke up around 5 am or so... mostly because the couch was pretty uncomfortable. We both sat up and stared at the heater for a few minutes. I knew why I hesitated to return to the same position, but was curious why she was as well.
"What happens now?" she asked.
I told her I wasn't ready for this. That I had just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship a couple months earlier and was still dealing with the pain it had brought me.
She told me she had just gotten out of a relationship a month ago and was doing the same. Turns out that she's going through some of the same shit I am lately. She got cheated on. She got too physical with him. She went back to him when she knew she shouldn't. The difference between us is that she is holding on to her hate, and I have let mine go. My first instinct was to try to help her leave that behind, but she said something that made me realize that her bitterness is the very thing that is keeping her from going back to him.
I don't think it's healthy to harbor bitterness. But it's odd to think that that is the one thing that is keeping her from going back to him. I guess my best plan now is to pray for her healing, as well as mine, pray that we don't get sucked into co-dependency, and pray that I can show her His love.
I'm going out with her tonight. I'm probably gonna show her a blog or two about what happened between Dana and I so she gets the full gist of the situation. From there, I have no idea what to do. I'm bringing my Bible. Speaking of which, I need to pick that book up more often. I don't feel dependent upon it anymore, which makes me uneasy.
Well, it's 12:01. Today was day 50. No sexual contact with anyone or anything. I honestly never really thought I would get to this point.
I've realized that I'm not invincible. As long as I stay close to Him, fighting temptation becomes much easier, but if I leave His area of protection, I can be swept away as easily as I was a few months ago. This makes me nervous because the past few days I haven't been very close to Him. I'm going to read my Bible after I finish this.
I met a girl a couple weeks ago. She's cute, sweet, wants to adopt, and gives back massages. I also have that specific, constant feeling in me that says DON'T PURSUE HER. Her name's Deanna. Deja vu, eh?
I took her out last night. It was a pretty stupid idea. All my other friends went to bed because they had homework and stuff, so I texted her and we met at Denny's and ate food. I ended up paying too. I didn't really mean for it to be a date, but it sorta turned into that. She texted me later that night and thanked me for dinner and said she had a great time. Ah... I'm gonna back out of that one like there's not tomorrow. (wait, that makes no sense... lol)
My own humanity fascinates me. I jerk off, and I feel good for mere seconds, then I feel like shit for a while and it's not worth it. Then I repeat it over and over. You'd think after once or twice I'd learn. Same with this situation. Another Dana is coming right at me and I know it. And yet, I'm actually tempted to continue on like this. Amazing. I'm still feeling some mild repercussions from my last relationship that I knew wasn't right, and yet here I am, thinking about starting this whole painful process over again. Even rats can learn by shock therapy. What is it in me that makes me want to screw around when I know I'll bleed from it later?
I got some powerful imagery in my head today.. not sure where it came from. I realized that when I ran to God, He set me on fire. That's often used as a positive thing in the church... being on fire for God, share light with your fire, or whatever the hell they say these days. But for me, it wasn't some glorious experience or spiritual high that left me feeling fantastic or light headed.
Being set on fire was painful. It burned. My heart ached. Ever watched a movie where they soak someone in gasoline and light a match? Yeah, that's pretty much what it was like. True, everything that was not of God was burned away, but the heat from that fire still scorched my skin and bones. And as the weeks passed, there was less and less hatred, lust, and sickness to burn away, and the fire eventually died down. Hell, I felt like all that was left was my inner core, a small fragment of humanity that had been lost and forgotten about. Spiritually I pretty much had to start from ground zero.
But now that most of the pain is gone, I have a new life. I'm not the same person I was 2 months ago. I'm not controlled by my lust. I'm not driven by my greed. I'm not a slave to my lazy nature. I'm driven by Christ. I've developed a passion for Him. I want more and more. I go to chapel at Simpson and bethel whenever I can now, because I hunger for Him. I love Him.
I can clearly see why I felt moved to start up my blog once again. Seeing Him move into my life, wipe out everything that was, and build something completely knew is so... mind boggling. It's good to go back and look at the individual days and see where He helped me and when He carried me.
Yes, in His great mercy, He lit me on fire. But I was not alone even while I suffered. He was with me every step of the way. Even now I feel His presence. I love Him.
This was supposed to be a 10 minute blog. haha... I'm going to watch the sunrise in the morning... assuming it's not rained out. We shall see!
So I was in my psychology class, and my professor was talking about how we live in a very sexually repressed society.
I also remember reading somewhere that sex is generally healthy and good for stress relief.
So this got me thinking... is a life of abstinence truly healthy? On the other hand, my past semi-sexual experiences have fucked me up pretty good, so I'm at an impass. Even if I was to abandon my faith and my abstinence, I have no clue who I would screw with. Casual sex just doesn't seem like my type of thing. But maybe it would be if I tried it. Who knows.
I'm glad I didn't think about this a couple months ago.
Past few days have been ok. I realized last night that I'm slowly slipping back into that lazy stage where I do nothing productive and don't listen for God. I did nothing yesterday. Nothing. So I decided today would be different. I did some homework this morning, and now I'm gonna go meditate for a bit before school at 11.
I hate tuesdays. It's the very end of my weekend. I work wednesday through saturday. I'm not a huge fan of the shack anymore. Loads of memories with Dana which I'm trying to burn from my memory. After all, that is where I first met her, talked to her, where we hung out a lot, etc. God help me through these four days.
He's calling me. I gotta go. Maybe I'll post more later.
God grant me a passion for you.
I was watching braveheart the other night... it's a damn good movie. In the first half hour or so, William's father and brother are killed, and he is forced to leave everything he knows and loves to follow his uncle.
At first he fights the idea of leaving his home. But that night he has a dream. In his dream, he is with his father. His father looks over at him and says,
"Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it."
His uncle teaches him to become a great leader. A great warrior. One who fights with passion. One who will not back down, even when vastly outnumbered.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Today was nice. I got out of class early and ran up to the bluff, where I took dozens of pictures. The sky was beautiful today. It was a bit rainy, and very cloudy and windy. As I stood on that cliff, I felt at one with God. Viewing his creation, standing in the wind and rain... it puts me at such peace. I feel so close to Him when I just worship Him in His creation.
I went to work at 5. Dana must have talked to Ashleigh (her best friend) or something because she walked over to me and asked me how I was. We talked for a bit, and it was good.
I told Dana when we talked that I didn't want to turn into another Matt. Matt is her ex fiance, who is still desperately trying to get her back, even though he is in the Air Force, gets drunk frequently and has 1 night stands, etc. I didn't want to be another creepy ex boyfriend. Though it pains me that it didn't work out between us, the fact that this is what I needed is as blatant as His love and compassion right now.
I was listening to worship music in my car today. I started praying for Dana, and He told me to stop. Be at peace, for it is in My hands, He said. I want her to come to Christ. I've been praying for her daily. I've done everything I can. The rest is up to Him.
So I pretty much don’t even know how to begin this blog. To make a long story short, I met Dana today to give her back something I found buried in my trunk, and we ended up talking for two and a half hours. About everything.
So apparently there was a few miscommunications. First off, Dana didn’t meet this guy out drinking. I got that impression because 1, I was pretty emotionally screwed up when she was told me (understandably so), and 2, she said it was one of Ashleigh's friends, and she goes out drinking frequently, so I guess in my distress the two connected. Damn that sucked. So I have this complex of this guy who intentionally “stole her” from me who picks up girls at bars and has no morals or respect for the boyfriends of the girls he’s with. Well, they’ve never gone out drinking. And according to her, though he sorta liked her, he never even tried to pursue her while we were together. And you know how they spent the weekend together down in sac? Yeah, they were with her friends Gene and Martin, and nothing happened between them. I guess she’s known him for years, he’s a Christian, a virgin, and a pretty decent guy. Oh, and his name’s Mike. I didn’t even know that until tonight.
Boy do I feel like a dumb ass. I guess my actions are excusable based upon the fact that she was pretty ambiguous about him and that I was under a massive amount of emotional stress. But damn, it’s not nearly as bad as I thought it was. I wish my point of view had been a little more... informed.
I’ve been fighting four main attitudes lately. First off, lust. That’s been a struggle, but I’ve been orgasm free for 41 days, so yay God!
Bitterness has been a struggle. I hated the fact that some other dude came along and stole her. But the fact that it’s what I needed (hell, I even prayed to God to get me out a few times), and the fact that he had respect for me while we were still together pretty much wipes that out. I have nothing to be angry at him for. I almost owe him a thank you. He indirectly is the reason I’m not stuck in my porn addiction still. Praise God.
Dependency has been a mild issue. The old man within me wants to return to that old state where I was dependent upon another human being. I’ve had a few near misses as far as rebounds go, but God pretty much smashed them before I could get close enough to burn. Actually lately I haven’t even felt the need for another girl to satisfy myself with emotionally.
The main struggle I’ve been having is with depression. It wouldn’t be so hard if I didn’t have so many damned memories at my work with her. A lot of the memories I have with her are pretty sexual too, which isn’t good at all. If I quit my job it’d be so much easier. But this is where He has me, and I don’t think quitting is a logical way out. The main attacks come at me when I’m actually at work, unable to reach for my Bible. So, I recite memorized psalms aloud in my car when I go on deliveries. Psalm 103 and 116 have been amazing. So much power... I shout them if I have to.
Lately the assaults from the enemy have been pretty useless. Depression I fight with His word, lust hasn’t been overbearing (if it is, I bust out Psalm 3 lol), bitterness is pretty much not a struggle anymore, as is the dependency factor. Praise God.
On the other hand, it was really soothing to hear from her. As I said, although our relationship was extremely spiritually detrimental, I have missed the pure parts of our relationship. And it blows my mind if you look at the blog before last that I posted YESTERDAY. Read those last two paragraphs and tell me that we don’t worship a loving, compassionate God. I’m glad she’s with a decent guy and not a jerk like I thought. That gave me such peace. We talked and laughed about school, work, etc. Not once did I feel anger, hostility, or awkwardness. It was good. He is good.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Kat, one of my close friends and spiritual mentors, has been a huge encouragement the past month and a half. When she prays, mountains move. No joke. I was looking through my text outbox and there is some pretty awesome stuff in there... it's amazing to see Christ pull me from the pit on a day to day basis. These are most of the texts I sent to her.
Please pray for me. I’m really struggling. I’ve been freed from the relationship that has kept me in bondage for so long, and I don’t want to slip back into it. But right now it’s all I can think about.
I kept telling myself I had nowhere to go but up. Then I realized that as painful as this is, it is a step up. a huge one.
Please pray for me. I feel sick, and I just want to get better. I hate feeling this way and want to feel ok again.
Video games is an addiction that has been a constant hindrance to my walk with God. I listened to a village sermon about Jonah. Video games has been an escape from reality, something that 100% distracts me from guilt. My way of running from God. My ship to Tarshis. I’m trading my Xbox and all my games in for Wii Fit. I can’t imagine being addicted to an excersize program lol
I just spent the last 3 hours writing a letter to Dana. I had to get some things off my chest. And Jesus told me to.
I’m in a place of such humility. I’ve come so far but still have a long way to go. The withdrawals aren’t nearly as bad as they were in the beginning. For the first time in probably well over a year, I’ve been porn free for almost two weeks!
Pray for me. She had someone cover her shift today so she could go ice skating and to a kings game with him, and for some reason that’s bringing me down.
Day 20 porn free. Talked to Andrew and Peta last night. We cried together, they held me, then laid hands on me and prayed. Then we read the Bible. I read the Bible for a couple hours tonight with Amy. He is good. =-)
I had my first night at work with Dana. Wasn’t sure what to do. “Love her as I love her” He said. I was cordial to her, which I think she found surprising. Pray that I can distinguish true love from the cheap lust I’ve dwelled in for so long, that I can show her Christ’s love without getting emotionally involved. I can already see that that is what the enemy is assaulting me with next. Never before has my mind been under siege like it is now, and never before have I destroyed every temptation that has come my way like I am now. Day 22 porn free. He is good.
Pray for me Tonight work was hard. I got in a huge fight with my mom... I’m gonna stay at a friends for a few days to cool down.
Day 25 porn free. I spend a few minutes in prayer for her every morning while shaving with the razor she bought me. Praise the Lord O my soul, all my inmost being, praise his Holy name. I want to learn more of this love He has shown me. He is good.
Barely made it through today. My eyes and mind have become my fiercest enemy. But His enduring love is ever faithful, even through the most difficult paths. I have so much passion within me that was spent on her for so long, and I’m channeling all that energy toward Him. Read Psalm 116. Praise His holy name. He is good.
My heart is filled with sorrow when I realize what I have done. Though I have His forgiveness and love, there are still consequences for my actions. This pain is difficult to bear. Dozens of memories of sexual experiences plague my mind constantly. Sex is all I can think about lately. Pray for the healing of my mind and heart.
Day 32 porn free. His legions are constantly falling at my hands. He has made me a force to be reckoned with. When they realized they could destroy me with neither lust nor hate, they tried to seduce me with an old familiar lightheartedness. A new girl has entered my life. Ambushes from the enemy are constant, but all in vain. Read Psalms 91. He is good.
Made it through day 34. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such sexual pressure. The fact that I can persevere each day is purely His strength within me. In a desperate attempt to dull my sex drive I’ve changed my diet to only brown rice and an herb that supposedly lowers testosterone levels. Pray for me. He is good.
Though I am pressured I will not relent. Though I am tempted I will not succumb. I will refuse to bas my worth in how others see me. I am no less than a child of Christ, made in His image, branded by His love.
I realized a couple weeks ago that the relationship between you and I is parallel to my relationship with Christ.When I fled from Him, I also distanced mysle f from you because you are a huge impact on me spiritually. I can honestly say I would not be the same person I am today without you. I love you and andrew so much. He has been like a brother to me through this. Thanks Kat =)
So I’ve decided to pick up consistent blogging again... more for personal reasons than anything. I want to be able to record my life and thoughts at least weekly and come back to them later in life. Unfortunately I’m at a bit of a dark time to start doing this, but I figured I might as well. Only one person on my friends list has blogged since 2005, and Adam isn’t local, so it really doesn’t matter. He seems to be going through some of the same shit that I am lately anyways.
If you read the previous few blogs, you can get the gist of what I’ve been going through. I met this girl at my work, and we started dating. She broke it off after a couple months, mostly because she felt she couldn’t see herself with me permanently. At that point I made it my quest to win her back. We kept our friendship and got closer and closer until about a month later when I finally made my move. We were messing around in the computer room at her dad’s house (he works like 50 hours a week and is guaranteed to be gone from 8 until at least 6 every day, so that gives us plenty of space). We were flirting, and I jokingly forced her off the computer and was messing with her myspace. We ended up wrestling around a bit, then both fell on the floor, and I ended up mostly on top of her. I looked her in the eyes, leaned in for a kiss, and she accepted. Ah, how a vast part of me wishes I could go back to such innocent days, before everything got all screwed up.
LIfe went on. No one at work found out this time, which gave us both glee. To be in a relationship with a co worker and keep it a secret from everyone was exciting. Rebellious, almost. My parents didn’t even know half the time when we dated.
As time went on, we grew more and more physical. We spent the night in a hotel once, which was dumb as shit. I’m pretty lucky she didn’t let me go the whole way, because I damn well would have. I told my parents I was at Andrews. We were going to get up early and watch the sunrise. We were watching tv in bed together, when all of a sudden, the power went out. So here I am and I realize I’m in a bed, in a hotel room, with a beautiful woman, without any distractions. WTF was I thinking?
I knew I should have run, but her hand slipped over mine, and we started kissing, and all of a sudden, it’s fucking 3 am, she’s on top of me (clothed), and we had been making out for 5 hours. My hands slipped up her shirt a couple times, but she kept me away from her bra. Thank God.
Pretty much all the rules were off after that night. I had tasted something so sweet, and I wanted more. One thing lead to another, and eventually we ended up staying the night in her room a couple times a week. We’d both lose our shirts and bring each other as close as we could to orgasm without actually having one. That would be a form of sex, and we both believed in abstinence until marriage. Hah, what a joke. Just a side note... physically, it’s super rough on my mind and body to dry hump a girl to the point just short of orgasm, then stop. It fucking sucks. But quite frankly, I was scared to go further. I didn’t want to lose that part of me yet.
So about early november or so, we plan on me staying over on a thursday night, and skipping school friday (I often skipped class just to go fuck around with Dana. Terrible, I know). To make a long story short, she sat me down at her house and told me she cheated on me. She kissed some dude she met when she was out at a club (sober), then went out with him the next day.
Boy was I screwed up. The weekend was a blur. I went home thursday, didn’t show up to class friday. I laid in bed all day trying to figure out wtf I was gonna do. Saturday and Sunday wasn’t much better. Monday I failed a biology exam. Pretty shitty week.
After a week or two we talked about it, and I told her I had forgiven her, but didn’t know if I could be with someone I didn’t fully trust. That attitude lasted about a week, as the thoughts and memories of us rolling around in her bed consumed me. We were hanging out and on her way back over to her house, and she mentioned that her dad wasn’t coming home that night. That was like locking a deprived meth addict in a padded room with a loaded syringe. So, I shot up. The next day I broke it off because I was afraid if getting hurt again, but withdrawals came fierce, and we were back in her bed a week later. She swore to me that she would never cheat on me, that she would never leave me again. So I figured I was set.
Just for clarification, we always kept our pants on. We never had sex. But we came damn close a few times. I’m ashamed at the hight of my hypocrisy.
We did stockings for each other. I had mine ready a couple weeks in advance. I pumped like $80 into it. Mostly random cute stuff. I ended up not being able to fit it all in the stocking. She came over for Christmas and we opened them. She brought hers over, and apologized because she said it wasn’t much. It had a couple tubes of blistex in it, some pajamas, and a shit load of candy. Pretty cheap stuff thrown together at the last minute, but I didn’t really think about it.
The next day she told me she had developed feelings for another guy, and that she wanted to break this off so that she wouldn’t hurt me anymore. I wrote her a letter, which I posted a couple posts before this blog, basically saying that we could never be together again, we both need Jesus, and please don’t chase this other guy, at least for a while, out of respect for me.
She completely disregarded the letter. A week later, she spent the weekend with him in sacramento to go ice skating and to a kings game. We were going to go ice skating this winter, so that fucked me up pretty good. I cut myself a couple times, mostly out of curiosity, just to see if it would work. I felt kinda weird about it afterward, and decided to forget it and pretend like it never happened. She came back to redding and posted pictures of them cuddling on myspace. In my frustration, I sent her a myspace message. It went something like “wow, really Dana? Pictures on myspace? Nah, it’s cool. I actually wanted all our coworkers to know that you dumped me for him.” Naturally it was returned with an equally as hostile reply.
This was the darkest night of my life. About 10 PM I drove up to the trail on hilltop that leads down to the sundial bridge. I started sprinting, and didn’t stop until I had gotten to a bench a couple miles later. I collapsed on it, gasping for air. At this point I realized that this was the very bench I had first unclipped her bra. Reached for the knife in my pocket, and laid into my wrist nine more times. Not deep enough to be dangerous, but deep enough to draw blood. The feeling of pain really isn’t as soothing as people say it is. Hah, and I thought I was fucked up the first time she cheated on me. Andrew and Peta called me up and wanted to hang out with me, so I dragged my ass across the bridge where they picked me up and took me to my car, and I threw on a sweatshirt and met them back at Andrews place. Peta and Andrew were in the other room watching a movie and I was in the computer room remembering the first couple months of sweet, innocent bliss we shared, and wondering how it had gotten this fucked. Andrew knew something was up, so he came in and hugged me. He saw my wrist, and I told him everything, and he just held me. Peta came in and they laid hands on me and prayed for me. Then we read the Bible for an hour or so. I felt so cleansed.
Dana was everything I had. She was everything I wanted. I had abandoned my friends, my purity, and my faith to chase her. That night as I read 1 Corinthians 13, I realized how screwed up my vision of love was. The idea of love had merged with lust, and they had become fused as one. I couldn’t separate them. I felt alone like I never have in my entire life. But my friends were there for me, even though I had put them on the back burner for the past 8 months so I could satisfy my own damn selfish desires. And they were there for me in an instant.
Even more so did God come to my rescue when I was in need. I realized that Dana was not my entire life. Yeah, I had blown her way out of proportion, but there were other aspects of my life I had forgotten about. I had friends who loved me so much more than Dana ever did. And I had a God I had been running from who had enough mercy in Him to knock me on my ass where I stood and draw me to Him.
My life has changed dramatically ever since the day after Christmas. I rededicated my life to Christ. I’m trying this new thing where I actually do what He says, even when it’s not convenient or comfortable. Dana isn’t the only addiction He’s freed me from. I’ve struggled with porn for years. Since well before high school. The longest I’ve gone since I started was 91 days, a day short of three months. When I got together with Dana I was doing it at least daily. Dana broke it off with me 39 days ago, and I’ve been porn free for 40 days. If that isn’t God, then I don’t know what is.
One thing that has been extremely destructive to my walk with Him is video games. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true. Pursuing God takes effort, video games doesn’t. It’s part of me that I’ve always hated. I sold my Xbox and got a couple wii games, more for social purposes than anything. I haven’t actually touched them in like 2 weeks.
So that leaves me here. I’m a porn free, Dana free, abstinence practicing new born believer. Dana and I are on good terms, considering. I’m still coordial to her, which I think she thought was weird, but she gives me the same treatment, so it’s all good. I’m not angry, as I once was, though there are certain aspects of our relationship I miss dearly. I had some serious withdrawals shortly after she broke it off... the sexual part of the relationship was hard to instantly abandon. But I’ve grown used to not having someone to grope when I’m bored. I miss our long talks, walks, and playing pool, and listening to music.
I just want to talk to her. I haven’t had a real conversation with her since she told me she was dumping me for another guy. I want to know how school is going for her. How does she like her new MacBook? How is she doing? I find that regardless of what’s happened between us, I still care deeply for her. It’s different though... it’s not sexual in any way, and it’s not a desire to have her back as my own. If she told me she wanted me back, there is no doubt in my mind that I would reject her. I can’t go back to the life that I had. Even still... I do miss her.
January 12, 2009 - Monday
Slit my throat and walk away
How long do you think it will last?
The grass is greener on the other side
But we all know about houses built on sand
You've found more pleasure? Take it, you've earned it
Snap your fingers, you'll get what you want.
Snap your fingers, and you'll snap my neck.
I'm not one for bitterness, but you've left me for dead
In a blackened pit of hell that I will always regret
I'm not one for bitterness but you've left me no choice
This is one feeling I chose, will never fully cease
Turn a blind eye, slit my throat and walk away
Turn a blind eye, slit my throat and walk away
Turn around, shut your eyes, cover your ears
Scream his name and I'm not here.
Walk away, run away, flee like a coward
Drop the knife that runs red, wash your blood stained hands
Block out the guilt you feel from my open wounds.
If you don't see me, my silent death doesn't exist.
Even as rage flows through my veins
I cannot deny the truth: He still loves us both
I have been marked by grace, branded by love,
and will refuse to take joy in the fall of others.
Though blood and tears are my only sustenance,
Desire to spread His love outweighs any amount of hate.
Life is unjust, as is His enduring Love.
O Lord You have searched me and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise.
You perceive my thoughts from afar
I praise you, for I am wonderfully and fearfully made.
To the Lord I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because You sustain me.
I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
"Because he loves me, I will protect him" says the Lord.
"I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name."
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life
As I lie sleepless in my bed, I glance at my clock and see that it is nearly four am. I have some things I need to get off my chest, but I don't think I would have the right state of mind if I met with you face to face. So I've decided a letter is the best way of communication.
I don't know where to begin this. Since before the beginning of our relationship, I had a small voice in my heart that told me not to pursue you. I didn't know why. It didn't make any sense to me. You were everything I wanted. You are beautiful. Neither of us wanted kids. We both seemed to be financially prudent. My parents loved you to death. You are mature. You have your career started. You're funny, and enjoyable to be around. Your cooking is amazing. I could go on. Even to the minute details, You seemed perfect... everything I wanted and more. All these things seemed more than enough of a reason to smother the voice inside me. And that's what I decided to do.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I knew the voice I heard was God. But I shut him out, as I have grown so accustomed to doing. Replacing him with video games, work, and you, I did my best not to think about the fact that I was fleeing from God... replacing the creator of the universe with imperfect flesh and blood. I knew in my heart that if I continued fleeing God and pursuing you to the eventual point of marriage, I would miss out on some huge blessings in life... simply put, you were not the right woman for me, and I've known it since the beginning.
I learned to combat these guilty thoughts with the pros of dating you, stated previously. Once I thought about what I had, I didn't care about what I might miss, because frankly, what I had felt like heaven.
After you cheated on me, I was crushed. Being cheated on is truly a pain that one must experience to fully comprehend. I was so angry with you, yet so attached to you, yet so hurt by you.
The best way to describe it would be as if being with you, seeing you, thinking of you was like drinking a sweet, delicious wine. I drank deeply of it for so long that I had become used to having it on tap. Once you cheated on me, that drink turned extremely bitter, enough to make me vomit. But thinking of you was such a reflex... such a habit engrained into my conscience, that I could not put the drink down permanently. Without realizing it, the cup would frequently slip back up to my mouth, burning my lips and tongue, and I would vomit again and again until I had nothing in me but an indescribable emptiness, a pain that I knew only time would heal. But I didn't want to wait.
I ran to God the night after you told me you cheated on me. I had nowhere else to go. Even the entrancement of video games was not enough to hold my attention, and I knew eventually I would have to put the controller down and face my sickness.
That night I cried out to God for healing. And he was there, as faithful as the rising sun. I realized how far I had fallen from him, and begged his forgiveness. He told me that if He was going to forgive me, I needed to find in my heart a way forgive you. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." What you had done to me was exactly what I had done to God on a hundredfold scale.
I honestly can't tell you what happened after that. I do know that I took Gods guidance once step further in a very wrong decision -- I forgave you and took you back, rather than simply forgiving you. I don't know how I slipped back out of my relationship with Him because I hid my bible and journal after we got back together. I knew I was living in sin, and hated the guilt that came to me when I saw my journal, so I hid it, and I can't find it. I don't remember where I put it. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.
I do remember that we dated for one day, and I broke it off because I knew it wasn't right. Yet somehow I ended slipping down the slope of dependency, and we ended up back together. I figured it would work this time. I decided to reject Christ and follow you, and you had promised to stay faithful to me and not cheat again. Everything seemed perfect.
Then you told me you had developed feelings for someone else. Once again, I can't truly describe to you the magnitude of what I feel. Pain. Rejection. Shame. Humiliation. Sadness. Frustration. Anger. Bitterness. I'm fighting thoughts of hatred. The fact that you are leaving me for another man simultaniously infuriated, confused, and devastated me, magnified immensely because it was the second time you found me insufficient.
When you promised to be faithful to me, I didn't just mean physically. I meant emotionally too. But I, for lack of a better word, loved you. I gave you my all, and you decided you wanted something else, when even you yourself could find no fatal flaw within me. I'm still perplexed by this.
After you drove me back to hollywood and I got in my car to leave, I couldn't think of where to drive, much less see where I was going through the tears. I sat there for a few minutes, feeling many emotions, but loneliness being the dominant. I heard my door open, and for the last time felt your warm embrace. You told me that you were sorry, and that there was someone better out there for me who wouldn't keep hurting me. I kissed you on the cheek one more time and told you goodbye. We hugged one last time, and I painfully let you go, knowing full well that we would never hold each other like that again.
I can't explain why or how, but for some reason hearing that and crying on your shoulder helped me feel better. Simple human compassion gave me a little peace and strength to make it through the night, and work the next day.
Although what you did helped a little, it cannot annul the anger, frustration, or shame I feel from the fact that you're leaving me for another man. Dana, I'm struggling enough with keeping my anger in check right now. If you have any respect for me, if any part of you still cares about me, I would beg that you not see anyone until I ship out. The fact that you left me for someone else is a difficult and shameful burden, and I fear that my shame may turn to bitterness, my frustration to hate, if I hear of you with him. Its one thing to know that my ex left me because she has feelings for someone else. How much more would my pain be magnified if I see or hear of her with him? Knowing that he stole what was once happily mine, turned my dearest friend against me, how could I possibly not be filled with hate? Dana, I don't want our relationship to end like this, but if you see him, I will not know how to peaceably cope. I am fervently struggling as it is.
I would tell you that the best thing for you is to stay single for a while to begin a relationship with God unhindered, and to take time to figure out what your priorities are. But who am I kidding? I'm beyond emotionally involved, and it's clearly impossible for me to make an unbiased, sound judgment.
I would like to be able to talk to you without feeling shame or anger in a month or two after I finish dealing with the pain you have brought me. I hate the awkward silence Elise and I still have, and I don't want to have that with you. But selfish as it may be, if you get emotionally involved with another man, a cordial friendship between us will never exist again.
As angry as I am right now, I can still remember that I enjoyed hanging out with you. Unfortunately, I don't think we can ever have what we once did. I cared for you, and you broke up with me. I won you back, and you cheated on me. I forgave you, and you left me for another man. Please understand that, while it pains me to write this, I can never trust you again with my heart.
There was a reason I couldn't find my journal. A few days ago, at no doubt the darkest point in my entire life, I felt as though I could never come to God again. I called up my friend Kat, and talked with her for an hour. I realized that the reason my life had been Hell for so long was because I wasn't following Christ. I hadn't truly surrendered my life to him. If He told me to journal, I instead might -- and usually would -- decide to play video games. It was up to me how often I spent time with him. It was my decision whether I went to church or not. If I wanted to listen to my Dana mix playlist instead of worship music, I would. I didn't consider him an authority, so I still ruled my life. It was my life and I wanted to pursue the things I wanted. I heard his voice, even though it faded over the months, perhaps years of not yielding to him. I simply chose to put my desires first. I didn't pray about whether or not I should date Hilary, Elise, or you, because frankly, it wasn't His decision. It was mine. And this is where it led me.
Please read this slowly and carefully. While what I am about to say sounds cliche and cheap, I cannot emphasize the truth and power it holds. I fell on my face. Unworthy of forgiveness didn't even come close to describing my situation. But Kat told me that God loves me just the way I am. I don't have to fix myself in order to be worthy of him... in fact, I lack the capacity to do so. He has so much he wants to show and teach me. He has so many blessings in store for me. He wants to just love on me so much. I just have to follow him rather than my own selfish desires.
I rededicated my life to Christ that night. I gave Him control of my life. When I felt him tell me to journal, I don't just do it. I rush to do it, because I know he takes joy in my obedience. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty hard to put my own desires on hold and do what he says, but it's so rewarding. I've felt such peace.
God loves me for who I am. A broken hypocrite who has been doing his own thing for well over a year, pursuing my own selfish, evil desires, trying desperately to find fulfillment in paper money, plastic video games, and mere flesh and blood... all of which are his own creations. He loved me when I was running from him, completely apathetic about spitting in his face! And he loves you too, Dana. He loves you to death. Just the way you are. I can't even begin to fathom how many blessings he has ready to spill onto you. He just wants to be with you. To talk with you. The past doesn't matter. He doesn't care that you haven't really talked to him consistently before. He wants to start now! He has used this whole mess to completely turn my life around. I don't think that's where it ends. He's going to use this to change your life too. He will be your guide in your walk with him. He's begging to be let into your heart. Please open the door for Him. I promise, he'll never flake out on you or leave you out to dry. Forget your past experiences with sunday school or other Christians. All there is is here and now, you and Him. Don't put this letter down until you have picked up your Bible. You will be in my prayers.
November 1, 2008 - Saturday
I love Simpson. I really do. Simpson is an amazing place and I have made dozens of hilarious memories and best friends there, but the biology program isn't what I need. I want to do something more with chemistry and less with biology. I find that I tend to be more comfortable in systems based upon rules. In chemistry you start fairly simple and get more complex with time. Mathematics is the same way. It's basically just manipulating numbers. Biology... biology is pure chaos. There is so much unknown. There is no simple way to begin. Endlessly memorizing terms, ideas, and processes has become so monotonous to me. It's time for a change.
... so I've been talking to a Navy recruiter for a while. I don't want to be one of those people who go in and just pick a job without much of a purpose or plan. I want to pick a job that will translate easily into the civilian world so after four, six, or eight years I can leave the navy and be ready to continue on in my career.
I took the ASVAB pre-test thing. Scored an 84. Apparently that's really freakin high (average is below fifty), and the recruiter told me I could virtually do anything I wanted.
So I started to look into all the different careers, and one that really stuck out to me was Nuclear Propulsion Engineer. Most Aircraft Carriers and Submarines are powered by nuclear energy, and they need people who are skilled in math and chemistry. It's a six year long contract. Two years of schooling through the military (Advanced Calculus, Linear Algebra, Physics, Nuclear Chemistry, etc), then I owe them four years working in a Sub or on a Carrier doing technical analysis on the nuclear reactors or something. After I get out I can sign up for another four years and get a bonus of $100,000, or make close to that much per year starting out working in a lab or power plant. What more can I ask for? Getting paid to go to school with no loans, and then starting my career. Plus the name sounds freakin bad ass. Nuclear Propulsion Engineer? Woo!
At this point I'm basically excited out of my mind. I wanted to find out virtually everything about the program. I had some pretty in depth questions, most of which my recruiter couldn't answer, so he called up a nuclear officer and let me ask him questions. Here's basically how the last part of our conversation went:
"So what could potentially disqualify me from the program as far as my GPA or grades go?"
"Have you ever gotten a D or an F in a high school math class?"
"Have you ever slipped below a 2.0 overall GPA?"
I laughed. "No sir."
"Then with your ASVAB pre-test score it sounds like you should have no problem getting accepted into the program. Any other questions?"
"One last question. I'm almost completely color blind. Could this limit me in any way as far as Nuclear Propulsion is concerned?"
"Uhh... well unfortunately color blindness completely disqualifies you from the program."
"Are you serious?"
Wow. Not really sure how to react to that. Colorblindness has always been no more than a mild annoyance to me, if not an occasional humorous conversation piece.
"Really? You're colorblind?"
"Well what color is this ______?"
"Well, I don't know, I'm COLORBLIND!"
lol. It's actually rather hilarious. That is, until now.
Colorblindness has never limited me. It's never physically stopped me from doing what I knew wanted to do, especially something as pertinent as my future career. It's weird. The closest thing I can describe it to is feeling wheelchair-bound. I know without a doubt that I have all the intelligence I need and then some, but my physical disabilities keep me from getting up and sprinting like I want to. Frustrating would be a significant understatement. Infuriating would be more accurate (although obviously not toward any specific person, especially myself). Quite frankly, this feeling sucks. And I'm not sure what to do with it.
October 13, 2008 - Monday
So I was thinking earlier today... imagine if you could go back to high school with the wisdom you had now. My dad says that from time to time, but I never really thought about it until tonight. I mean imagine how much better off you would be. I think back to my earlier years especially. Classes I could have done better in. I could have chosen more challenging classes that would have better equipped me instead of the easy A classes. As a freshman, I remember complaining because I occasionally had three hours of homework a night. Wow. I have days where I'm doing school and homework from 8 AM until midnight. I could have paid more attention instead of cramming for my tests. Relationships I never would have started. Friendships I would have invested more into. Not wasting thousands of hours on that stupid mario kart game or relationships that just ended up distracting me from school in the first place.
It really is perplexing to think about... if I spend to long pondering about it I get a bit depressed about how much more I could have done with my life. Then I realize... I'm only 19. I have plenty of time to do whatever I want with my life. Yeah I guess I made a lot of dumb decisions in high school, but that's part of life, part of who I am, part of what shaped who I've become and all that jazz.
So as far as I'm concerned, it's all good.
...still, it's really interesting to think about how things could be different.
October 11, 2008 - Saturday
I'm gonna make this quick and to the point. I don't comment or message people on myspace who text, because quite frankly, it takes way longer for them to respond, and by the time they do, I've often forgotten what I sent them. Texting is almost always instant. Myspace takes hours for a response at best, sometimes days. Because of this, I officially name myspace, facebook, and email...
Second Generation Snail Mail.
And if you think I'm ridiculous because email isn't fast enough, you're old.