Friday, November 21, 2008

Seasons Change

A song/poem I wrote as the snow was trying to fall the other day.

Seasons change and my heart follows close behind
excitement builds, for something new
The smell of rain, the crisp cool air of spring
the sun rises,I gaze upon the morning dew, the mornings new.

We grow older, why fight the natural order
trying harder to justify ourselves
Leaving what once was, walking new paths
saying goodbye to where we have been before, We have been here before.
from Em to open to G
Open my eyes so I can see
Open my ears so I can hear you,
Soften my heart so I can can feel you
leading. last line goes high

I'm tired of singing, songs that will never be heard,
Tired of screaming out the deaf and dumb...Dreaming dreams that will never be lived out.

Open their eyes so they can see
Open their ears so they can hear you
Soften their hearts so they can feel you

Seasons change! change the hearts of this nation
stir us up, for something new.
coming into what is real
following your leading, your leading,
my heart is changed

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Glass Ceiling of Relationships

I am in the midst of my B-block class once again and I am really struggling today. Only one and a half more days and then finally Thanksgiving, the long awaited break is here. I have had in many ways a successful week and in many ways the successes have caused fresh challenges. Victory in leadership and mentoring has triggered an excitement in me that sadly distracts me from the more mundane commitments that I maintain during the year. I have not been committed to a team these past three weeks having decided not to compete in the Junior Olympics yet my sister Jessica who is ridiculously talented chose quite wisely to continue. She has practice downtown Monday Wednesday and Friday. This has allowed for an incredible amount of time for coffee poetry and music, the things that I standardly have no time to pursue in the midst of sports. My heart today had conference with my mind and they decided that long term relationships often develop a ceiling of sorts. When I want to pursue something like poetry or music more intensely then those who have known me as primarily a runner for years are thrown for a loop and often do not encourage such things. Not because they disprove necessarily but they do not have that picture of you as a poet... People inherently do no like change so when you come up to those you have known for a long period of time and offer a new concept of you rarely are they as excited. This lack of enthusiasm often hurts or is seen as these persons discouraging your pursuits or not believing in you.
I want to leave....
and so today I am struggling.
For it has become evident that there is indeed a view and perception of who I am that is not allowed to change as liberally or quickly as I feel the need for growth.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Poem and the Thought of Song


I am a Negro:
Black as the night is black,
Black like the depths of my Africa.

I have been a slave:
Ceasar told me to keep his door steps clean.
I brushed the boots of Washington.

I've been a worker:
Under my hand the pyramids arose.
I made mortar for the Woolworth Building.

I've been a singer:
All the way from Africa to Georgia
I carried my sorrow songs.
I made ragtime.

I've been a victim:
The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo.
They lynch me still in Mississippi.

I am a Negro:
Black as the night is black,
Black like the depths of my Africa.

Langston Hughes

This is the Poem that grabbed my heart today. Read it again and think about it! It is history and heart, a flow of words that musically portray an incredible sorrow and a subtle sense of pride. I think it is powerful to see how blacks though rich with a history of abuses have claim to great accomplishments. ie the Pyramids, The Woolworth Building, ragtime, jazz... it goes on and on. They have been the strength that raised equality and conviction inside of there abusers. There sorrow songs have turned to praises and there slavery into a liberty that has worth and life so much deeper than ours. They have fingure prints everywhere! I know that racism and slavery are still a huge problem and factor in society but I love this picture of perseverance. Inside of the great pain and injustice come to the surface some of the most compassionate, immensely strong hearts. Out of the gr owning is birthed the most majestic of choruses.

My thought process is such that I am craming my head with peotry and stories, and the verses of the bible hoping that they will poor out in song. Ps 126:5-6 "Those who sow tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to so, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." There have been many tears sown this past season in my family. There has been a shaking of everything we have known and I believe that we are going to reap some incredible songs of joy out of it. I was listening to an awesome man of the Lord named Creflo Dollor last night and he said, "if you need a house then get out there and plant house seed. You need a job, plant job seed." We have an inordinate amount of seed found in the bible if we will get into it and get it. Then pray it or plant it! act like you belive it! live it out and then you will reap a harvest. I am praying for a harvest of songs. The bible says through the tears that have been sown that they are coming so I am going to sing!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Once upon a time... A tale of the middle school years

Once upon a time there was a home school kid that loved his teacher. His teacher was his mom, and his mom had the top say in his life. She had raised him to read the word, pray, and worship daily. Respect your elders, clean up after yourself, you know…all of those wonderful things a good mom should teach. There was one mistake though; she loved the way his hair curled when it got long so when she cut his hair she would leave a couple of curls dangling down the back of his neck. Then it came time for our little home schooler to go into a public school because mom was having her fifth child and needed some help teaching them. Now our little lad who loved home schooling did not want to go to public school and hated the way kids judged other kids, he hated the way kids acted in general.
The first day he walked in to class was about two weeks after school had officially started and there was a math quiz. The poor lad looked at it and knew none of the material. Scared and not knowing what else to do, he took the quiz and with trembling hands gave it back to the teacher explaining, “I do not know any of this.” The teacher was a big man with a kind demeanor and he tried to reassure him, “It is ok, I want you to try it so that we can figure out where you are.” The child broke down crying and after a few moments collected himself and asked to go to the bathroom. He did not know where it was so the teacher asked the cool kid in the Vans and skate gear to help him find his way. Cool kid Vans man looked the home schooler over and then gave him this look like, “Are you from mars?”
I was that kid, and I learned vary quickly that even if your mom likes the way your hair curls, rat tails will just never be accepted as stylish. I cut the rat tail off and after a month of coming home everyday and crying, came to a revelation. My parents had made the decision that I was staying and crying was not going to change anything. From then on I took culture shock and turned it around on the culture itself. I began to build relationships with the kids and because it was such a small school I soon knew everyone’s name and had befriended each kid. I caught up in math and actually ended up teaching more math than our teacher. He was a little lost being a science geek that was forced to teach math because we could not afford another teacher. I began to pray and felt like I was supposed to start a bible study. I did and it started out with about 3 kids. Me, the one nerdy girl that had a crush on me, and the really smart girl that had like half the bible memorized but no comprehension of how to apply it. Anyways, we began to study the word during our lunch breaks. Most often it was mainly conversation based off of what we each had been learning in the past weeks. The conversation drew the popular girls in because they loved to talk about anything and everything. We had three of them get saved and they soon drew in the guys. I am telling you, you want more guys in your church, get the cute girls saved!
This growth continued all year and then summer came and most of the kids were like, “What do I do? We can’t stop just because school is.” So I invited them to my home church and we had about twenty of them begin carpooling in on Sundays. They were discipled on a deeper level then I could ever have done in a lunch break and we came back to school my 7th grade year with a solid remnant of disciples. Then it took off, we had about eighty out of the ninety kids in our class coming to Westside church. I was elected as President of the student body and began to lead even more formally with the faculty. It was outstanding, God did great things!
I am now the vice president of the student body in my high school and have helped raise up a bible study here as well. I have been under fire from our schools leadership and learning how to defend and further faith in a highly critical arena. I am believing for amazing breakthrough even still to come in the 3 quarters I have left before I am sent out into the next season. Which I am praying will be with you all at SPU.

Love Actually...

Love, a word that could mean so much in todays culture. What is love, what is lust, how do we distiguish between the two? The world has something it calls love where you can love somebody and then two months later hate them. A love that is more of a commonality where you have permission to touch me and make me feel good and when you need some, come on over. It is a strange fleeting thought. For girls I see it as this attempt to mix farytales with reality. Guys it is more of a buddy thing where you have a girl you get long with, you click with and you sleep with. A lot of times it is a mix between an attempt to be her prince and the fight to suppress a beast of selfish lust that is fed off of a never ending supply of perversion and very often pornography. As best as I can tell they guys role is to try and make the girls farytale come true and the girls role is to feed the beast of his desire. It is more about what I need then really pleasing her but to get what pleases me I entertain her fantasies as a way of payment. Then God says that with out love we can speak in the laguage of angels and be nothing. We can have faith that moves mountains and be nothing. We can sacrifice ours bodies and give away all of our stuff to the poor yet have no lasting effect. We need to have love or we can not do anything that really matters. So I ask again, what is love? How do I get some? Because if we do not find out what it is and how to live it out then our lives will be a wash and our ministries no matter how large, our companies no matter how flourishing, and our relationships no matter how numerous will all amount to nothing.
I am sitting in the cafateria with my special needs friends working with them on math and getting into the word because I did not get enough of it this morning. I asked them what love is...Eric says that love means giving bear hugs. And kisses, and sleeping together, and hanging out together, and solving mysteries together, like in scooby-doo. Anna says it is a really warm feeling that you get. Ollie says you can love chocolate and you can love your parents but when you love your parents it is different. He says you hug and kiss and hang out. Autumin and Misty say it is when you care for someone really really much.
I love these kids so much because they are so not judgemental or cynical. They call stuff like it is. If my hair is a mess they tell me. If they do not like what I am asking them to do, they tell me.
Tina another staff member says that love is caring for someone beyond circomstances or feelings.
There are so manny definitions of Love how are we going to get it right? First Cornithians 13 says that love is patient, and kid. You know the passage. The world knows the passage and thinks it is a great idea but the problem is that ideas have no power until acted upon. Gods definition of Love is selfless, completely focussed on the well being of the others. Jesus said that there is no greater love than when a man lays down his life for a friend. He told us to love like he oved us and gave himself for us. That is radically different from the way we think of love and the way that we live. I know that even with those I love I am not selfless and do not set out to serve them and lay my life down for them daily. Think of how awesome our relationships would be. Here is my thought, lets intentially start loving on our familys as practise for how we are going to love other people. Like practise for an awesome marriage. Lets love on our families! Lets redefine love to the point that even my special needs buddies know that love is a selfless action of laying down your life for another. A choice for compassion beyond what is becnificial selfishly.

Insecurity Hurts

A- block again and a little different story, last night instead of sleeping at 7;30 it was 12 and I woke not at 4:30 but 6;30. I really did not want to come today but I know that once I actually make the choice to stay home as a cop out of class for whatever reason then it will be easier to cop out the next time. It sets a precedence in my thinking and then I would gradually drop back in grades and motivation. I know me and me would get all proud and make excuses for why school is not really a valuable way to spend my time which is totally a lie. Anyways I am at least here, though blogging once again because our class in ridiculously good at manipulating our teacher for more time on assignments and of coarse much needed movie days.
So my heart this morning hurts. It hurts for my friends in relationships that are not righteous. It hurts for my friends who do not know how to trust. It hurts because I have seen my relationships get cut back into a superficial grossness because there is a lack of authenticity. Insecurity hurts! When you are insecure in who you are then you are unable to be the friend that I need and the tool the Lord wants to use. Insecurity causes division because it sets up this competitiveness that causes us to compare ourselves with others. Please stop! God says that you are created in his image! You are set apart for his purposes and you were predestined before you were born for good works. Beautifully and Wonderfully made, knit together in our mothers womb. You are you and no one else can be! Can we stop trying to be other people please. We are depriving the world from the piece of Jesus we are called to be. Do not hang out with those that compare you to others. Do not be around those that do not speak life into you. Do not hang with the "cool" kids if they talk down to others and require you to act or dress or function in a way that is not you. You are a piece to the puzzle and a part of the body of Christ, whether you believe in God or not, he has plans for you. They are good plans, to prosper you and not to harm. Stop being what the world tells you to be, be what you are. Sons an daughters of the king of kings. There is no need to impress or please people, please God he is the one who has worth to give. If you find your worth in what other people think you will never be fulfilled or able to function the way you are called to function. God wants you, your voice, your gifting, your thoughts. The body needs your piece of the puzzle! Come on people, slap me when I try to sing like John Mayer. That is not me. When I try to dress like, Cory Parnell. Although that is kinda my stuff too:) Can we please listen to what God says we are and step out in faith and live like we are what he says. He knows our inmost beings. Can you understand your heart and emotions? He created you and I and knows what we are to be mind, body, and spirit. Praise the Lord. He loves us!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another A- Block Update

It is Wednesday morning, forensics class on the day after Veterans day and it is a half day here at school. We have been working on a report for the last three days of class and had the laptops available to us so I have had the opportunity to update my blog. I do not really trust the schools database for saving my work so I prefer to work at home.
I woke up this morning half an hour before my alarm at 4:30. I went to sleep at seven thirty the night before so I still had nine hours of sleep in my tank and I decided to get up and at it. I am on a quest to get strong, so I grabbed my ski poles, laced up my running shoes and hit the trail. I am in my off season and in a a new season of training. It is new because for years I have had my complete focus on fitness for running. I have been all about lean muscle and slow twitch endurance. For the most part I have tried to stay away from building bulk muscle. I am 135 pounds of lean mean distance running muscle. The problem is that I have one leg that is lightly shorter than the other which causes muscle imbalance and extreme discomfort in my left leg. After four years of running on average 40 miles a week all year long my body is feeling a little bit beat up. As I have prayed about college and direction for next year I felt like the Lord was telling me not to run XC or Track. I came to my mom with it and asked her to pray. Before I had even finished telling her what I was feeling she confirmed what I had been hearing. So my fitness has a new focus. I do not have to be afraid of building upper body power. So for the past week I have been been working on power and strength training, while keeping my legs fitness alive by incorporating running into the strength focus. I was reading in first Corinthians while Paul talks about running the race to win the prize. He says that all runners who participate in the games go through strict training. They train to win a prize that perishes but we train to win a crown that lasts. I am amazed at how my spiritual fitness parallels my physical. I have been all about endurance in my spiritual life as well, all about lasting and building up faith that lasts through the intense fires of life. I love the intensity and longevity of endurance training. Now God is doing something with the churches of moving them into power! We started a series called Kurious (greek for Lord) the first Wednesday of every month. It is teaching our congregation how to function in the power of the holy spirit. How to listen to the spirit of God, check the word with one of the pastors and then present it to the congregation. It is awesome. We are finally learning to do what the bible says. We have simplified and cut some of our services out of the schedule and focusing in together. I struggled for a while and still do with some of the changes that have occurred at Westside but to see us really hit the mark one Wednesday a month is worth it. The power training in the spirit! Right now I would rather lift weights and gain some mass and power once a week than continue to pound in endurance training that I have reached bit of a wall in. The power I believe will allow me to run with more dynamics and break me out of the rhythm that I have been in. Endurance so manny times can put you to sleep with it's repetitiveness. I believe God is wanting to break the church out of repetitive ritual that has put us to sleep. Lets not neglect our endurance but lets begin to break out of the norm. More love, more power! More of Jesus in our lives!

Monday, November 10, 2008

32 Minutes of Sleep

Movie night! A night full of pillow fights and wrestling matches, grandmas snacks and not much sleep. We had a blast this last Saturday night watching The Pianist, The Last Samurai, and Braveheart, along with the little break to watch like twenty youtube videos. The real story though is Sunday night, our Cross Country banquet. The culmination of the last four years of pain and endurance. The goodbye to the many beautiful people that I have poured into and have poured into me. Now, if you know me well, you know that my heart is easily moved in relationship with people, so last night I was using all of my energy in an attempt not to cry. I think though that my emotions were placed on steroids by the previous nights lack of sleep. I had only slept about a half an hour from 7 to 7:30am and when the sun is up, my body is up.
I came home around 9pm after the banquet and though my body was involuntarily shutting down on me in an attempt to lay me down for the night. My heart and mind were racing. So now I sit here in my A-block forensics class blogging it all down because Stephen has my journal in the back of his car!
It is true, and is becoming real to me, I am near to the finish line of this stage of the life. I wrote on an earlier note about the the short amount of time until I leave Bend and now it is even more real. Does anyone else feel this way? I am grieving for what I am leaving yet my heart flails inside of me, dancing to a new of song of anticipation. College essays are due this friday for early action deadlines and there is an urgency that has been stirred inside of me for my peers. The deadlines of time to be with them are fast approaching, the dead lines to love on them, the deadlines to extend any invitation to new life. These deadlines hold for some life and death. It is a strange new place where my heart has been moved.
I have decided through much struggle that I will not be running cross country or track in college and I am excited about it because I will finally be less spread out, able to be more excellent in study and in relationship with people.
O my heart! Today O Lord I am so tired yet so awake to the fact that there is so much more to life than the routine.
Now I must run to my next class but, Lord let my heart stay awake to what you are leading! From class to class, assignment to assignment, hello to hello, break us from routine! I pray that you would open our eyes to see the significence of every little thing. On to B-block.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fear, Faith, and the Grapple with Both.

Matt 5:25-32
25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

Ok, a little bit of my testimony from this last year. In summary, this year has been one of extreme presure! My family has been under fire financially, physically, spiritually, and relationally. We have been forced to live in faith because there is no other way to stay alive. I don't know if anyone reading this has been there but, I would highly suggest it if you want to grow really fast. I would warn you though, there are growing pains! I would say to you to you also that even in the midst of fear and pain and heart ache. Even if you are on your knees, beat down by life and cut by those closest to you, crawl, scrape, do whatever needs to be done to get to Jesus. One touch from him changes your life. In the midst of fear that seems to suffocate faith, do not let shame creep in. Though there is fear it does not mean you do not have faith or even that your faith is week. Just as doubt is proof of faith, like a shadow is proof of the sun. Fear and faith can go together. I am not saying it is ok to live in doubt, fear, and the shadows, but I am saying that if they are in your company you are set up for powerful faith! Do whatever you need to do, get to Jesus, he did not give you that spirit of fear. Faith will always win just as Romans 5 says that the testing of your faith produces perserverence, perserverence then character, character then hope and hope does not disappoint. Do not fear the tests, they are proof God is building something!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sleeping Around With Ideologies

I have found myself frustrated lately. I get frustrated with people who say they want to be fast but will not put in the work to achieve that goal. Frustrated with people who say they want to see the world changed and don't put any time or effort into other people. FRUSTRATED with people who say that they are Christians yet they live to please people and call it being relevant, maintain wrong relationships and call it being non religious, or even worse, Just sit on their blogs and talk about how frustrated they are. I am so easily frustrated by apathy because I can see it my life, easily frustrated by lack of faithfulness because I myself am so unfaithful to things that I say. I must confess that at times I can speak well sadly the majority of the time I cannot get past speaking and into living. All that as an intro to what I have been learning. I don't want to sound preachy but if I do know that I am writing it as much for my heart to hear as for you.
Romans 7 We find Paul talking to people who know the law. He says, "This should be easy for you to understand because you understand the law. If a woman marries a man than she is bound by law to him until his death. If she lives with another man while her husband lives she is considered an adulteress." Now if her husband dies than she is released from the law and may marry another with out the danger of accusation and the consequences of sin. HE goes on to say,"In the same way, you have died to sin so that you could belong to Christ." After reading this I began to get the revelation that I have been an adulterer when it comes to my beliefs. When ever you continue to dabble in sin or play with ideologies contrary to the word of God you are messing around with relationships. Building relationships with the world and earthly ideologies when you have relationship with Jesus who died to restore right relationship with us and God is like attempting to have two girls (or guys). Let me break that last sentence down a little bit. If you continue to sin it is like continuing to see an ex girlfriend or boyfriend after you supposedly broke that relationship off and started a new one. Problem, when you try to be a playa you get yourself into a game that is much more complicated than you could plan for. You have to play the game of secrecy while trying to maintain positive relationship dynamics with those being played. If you can do that then comes the issue of your heart being split. You cannot have a flourishing and completely incredible relationship with someone if you know there is more to the story. If you know that they would not approve of what you do in secret, and if you are stuck juggling with their hearts. So what I am trying to say is,"If we want to have a good relationship with either sin or Jesus, pick one!" If you are friends with Jesus and yet you try to maintain an affair with sin, your sin becomes shame, contaminated by the knowing that what you are doing would break the heart of your other lover. Now if you are a friend of sin but want to have some of Jesus, I would advise against it. If you want to try Jesus you have to give him your whole life or it is not an accurate taste of who he really is. Then once you have tasted him your sin is no longer as tasty, no longer is sleeping around or lusting after women on the internet fun. Hell, cheating is no longer a fun way to get out of doing homeowrk, lying is just not funny anymore, and those little fantasy's of a relationship with so and so just seem childish.
If you want a rocking love life, choose one partner! Both in physical relationships and when grappling with what beliefs you will base you life off of. If you want to go for drugs, sex, and rock n roll, then go for it! Don't compromise or try to incorporate any Jesus, they conflict to much! Know also that when your body is trashed, your finances are in the pits, and your heart is nothing but shrapnel left from the explosion of your last "hot" fling of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Jesus still wants you! You don't even need to shower off the terrible smells or get rid of the residue, just run straight for him. He loves you and died for you even when you and Sin where living together.
Now to those of us who want Jesus lets stop fooling around with sin. Believe it or not Jesus knows your cheating on him no matter how well you think you hide it. Your paster may not know it, your family my not see it, but you know what is going on in your heart and we will not have the relationship with Jesus we want until we break off our relationship with sin completely. He wants all of our hearts, all of our dreams, all of our hopes and desires. In turn he offers Life! Life that has no regrets, fulfilling relationship, and even in the hardest stuff, joy that will be our strength.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Laughed...

Last night I sat on a love seat in my grandmas house in Eugene, Springfield and laughed with an awesome friend of mine. We laughed at growth and life and friendships and high school relationships. I couldn't sleep because I had just finished my last high school cross country race. I have raced the past four years of my high school career, run thousands of miles, developed hundreds of relationships, cried, laughed, and now it is done. Or at least it is finished for this stage of my life, and all I wanted to do was talk to someone. I couldn't sleep until I had someone to help me sort through my emotions or at least listen to some of the thoughts swirling around in my whirlpool heart. I finished something that I had invested a large portion of my life into, which means saying good bye to a lot of kids that I do not spend time with in any other venue. I told her, I feel strange! In two months I will know what colleges I am accepted to, only 4 months after that I will sign to one of them, 7 months from now I will finish high school track, high school ministry, and indeed high school it self, then in about 9 months I will leave Bend. (All of this pending on Gods leadership of coarse) Bend, the place I have been born, raised, and lived out the entireity of my life thus far. The place where I know every short cut, bike route, and running trail. Have 17 years worth of relationships and networks, my family, our home, our buisness, Westside Church, my best friend. LIFE! The reason I laughed is the thought of leaving in 9 months and then I took it further down the road. In 30 years I will meet an awesome woman of God and get married, 50 years and I will have some kids and have to get a real job and stop touring the world with my band. LIFE IS ENDING IN 7 MONTHS! Or at least life as I know it. I can't believe it. Completely new paradigms of thinking have entered my high school head and are tearing at my heart. What are you going to do Jordan? What happens after the races, the performances, the veggie tales parties! How am I going to live, with who, where? WHY? What out of the time that is rapidly being spent actually has worth? Actually is Life? From these past 17 years in Bend I have learned a few vary solid truths, and off of these I have discovered a few things that really matter and really bring fulfillment.

~First, God is. God can. God cares. (thank you Bo)
Basically God is real and I know it because he has carried my family through massive beatings, my sister through what should have been a devastating car wreck, and me through my many struggles. I have gone through three vary intense cycles of depression, in the past three years, ran away from home, and tried to run away from God. No matter what I did or how low I sank God was there and he loved on me. Which brings me the next point. God can, He is able to change mindsets, heal physical disabilities and trauma, lead us out of destructive and addictive behaviors, forgive our sins, and restore, rebuild and cause us to become men and women that are whole. I have been a witness to his healing power! My Older sister Whitney was blindsided by an excursion cruising at 55 miles an hour on the drivers door of her little Subaru. This inflicted amongst other things a concave skull fracture big enough to stick my fist in. It pierced the dura mater(the sack the protects the brain) and we where told, after she came out of surgery that she is not in the clear, that she most likely would have speach and motor issues, and should be in intensive care for around three weeks. a few hours later, I was talking with her, 18 hours later she was in the process of finding a room on the main floor of the hospital. God can. Then, God cares. This is the fact that God loves us! Me, he loves me! He wants to heal me and see me alive and flourishing. Truth: Life is hard, but God is good AND he loves me! This is the premise to real life. (thank you Lynden Evans.) It is easy to believe in God and his power because there is so much evidence of him through miracles and changed lives but it is not so easy to believe that he cares about us, individually. He wants to have relationship with us, use his power on our behalf, and even have us partner with him in that power. But it is true! Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. That joy was you. Relationship with me. Hence I have deduced that relationship with Jesus and with people is life! Living in his power and love and extending that to everyone around me is the stuff that lasts and fulfills. So I have begun to learn some answers to my questions. It is still so strange for me to think though that I am finishing this stage of my life. Cross country is done! It was a success, I grew in relationship with God and many people! Time to finish the rest.... with Gods love and power constantly at my side. And so begins my walk into my own life. Jesus!