Friday, April 27, 2007

Thus far, the LORD has helped me...

In less than a week, I will walk for my graduation at Georgia Tech. I am no one special, no different than the countless multitudes that have gone before me. But my God is something different. He has ‘brought me thus far,’ sometimes by the yank of my ponytail, sometimes dragging me through, sometimes carrying me...but might I add, abundantly.

Because of a season of tragedy and its disastrous repercussions marked by the death of my irreplaceable Dad, graduating from Georgia Tech has taken longer than I expected. The Lord, in his tender mercies however, invited me to share in a minute way in the fellowship of His sufferings. I desire not to list them, as my heart is not in the loss, but know that He took everything away … everything. (In case you didn’t get that, everything). My heart however, has been found in the ‘gain.’ I cannot express to you in words what He has allowed me to gain in Christ, and for that, it is more than worth it.

If I could only tell you of the depths of nothingness with which He placed me, so that I could explain to you the bounties of His mercies and provision. If I could only speak to you of the pits I found myself thrown in, slipping in, and jumping in as a result of this season, so that I could boast with you in the wonders of His redeeming grace and resurrection power. If I could only paint a portrait of the darkness that He led me through, to then give you a glimpse into how much Light He truly is, no darkness being in Him. If I could tell you how isolated He allowed me to be, that I could speak of the intimate encounters I would not trade with Him in ‘my’ Gethsemane. If I could list the material, physical, and emotional loss, that you may know the miracles He did to bring a double portion – in all of those areas. If I could explain to you the wounded state of my broken heart, to be able to claim to you what a Restorer and Repairer my Creator is. If I could tell you what a beggar of His grace I am, to boast with you in the power of His cross. If I could only humbly confess to you my former passions, so that I could have the privilege to describe to you the way that I am head over heels in love with my sweet Jesus. If I could only show you the scars that used to be wounds, to tell you that ‘I know.’

I can’t though. As much as I wish I could see your face, I am assigned to this computer screen for the time. So…I will walk on graduation day. I’ll walk for the ones that didn’t know if I was going to make it. I’ll walk for the ones that knew I would. I’ll walk for the all-nighters, final exams, study groups, library sleep-over’s, stressful classes, demanding professors, and rigorous pressures of this school. I’ll walk because I love high-heels and anytime I get to wear them is a plus for me :) I’ll walk for my Mom, brother, and sister, whom I love so dearly. I’ll walk for the koinania friends that have cheered me on, wept with me, fought for me, and laughed with me. I’ll walk for the anonymous donations from the Body of Christ that have allowed me (literally) to continue my education. I’ll walk for my Dad: His dream was for me to graduate from Tech, and then go to medical school. Since I am not doing the latter, I am now approaching the reality that I will no longer know what his dreams for me would have been in this next part of my life. With that, my heart cries. Maybe it’s just the little girl with ponytails in me that clings to the smile of her Daddy. I may slow my walk down a little when I think upon that...

But in the end, I walk for one reason. I will walk for my LORD. He has done the impossible. I am smiling, crying, dancing, humbled, breathing, imperfect living proof of the impossible. Oh yes mam - He is alive. And He must delight showing off some and doing the impossible...Thus far, the LORD has helped me…and so I will walk. To Him I give much praise.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beginning of the End - GT style

I have spent an average of 5 - 20 hours a week with these people. We were group members of our Applied Experimental Psychology senior capstone course. We have successfully completed an environmental audit on an independent living community, created and ran a focus group, and redesigned the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society handbook for implementation of a web-based resource. In other words, we've practically lived with each other in our school's lab for days on end. Thank you Georgia Tech for one last attempt to define my life, degrade my self esteem, and steal my joy. You lost - again, thanks be to my God and the One who sustains me! Celebration upon our final project being submitted was in due call.
Hence - the pool party. I'd been staring outside my classroom windows for weeks and then looking dishearteningly upon my pale limbs, recalling the days when I used to be tan (forgive me for sounding so terribly vain...but I come from the beach - it's what we do!). I believe we kept the pizza joint in business girls! Thank you for putting up with my delirious singing and dancing. Nancy - thank you for being our over-achiever. Zunaira - your 'get this junk done' attitude is a lesson to us all. And Amanda - where we would be without your Dreamweaver skills ... in PowerPoint world I suppose!? lol.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Unmerciful dress!

I've got wedding number (uhmm...I've lost count) to attend this weekend, but I am so looking forward to it; the bride is a sweet sorority sister of mine. Not to mention, I get to dance to oldies music and stuff myself with chocolate covered strawberries until I can't move. Sign me up!
So I went on the hunt today for a dress. I find an adorable brown dress, frolic off to the dressing room, and try it on. After a few promenades in front of the dressing room, I decide it's not quite what I want...bummer.
Well.........I couldn't get it off. Okay - deep breathe. Try the zipper again. Nope. Okay, maybe I can just pull it over my head. Nope. Try again, maybe you can. I do the twist in my dress and get it partly over my eyeballs with one arm stuck straight in the air. Start giggling to myself. Start giggling even more. Pull it back down and aim for the zipper again. Employee walks by to ask me if I 'needed anything.' No mam; thank you though! (Uhm...actually, some scissors would be great!). Now telling myself to breathe because I start panicking over the fact that I'm going to have to break the dress or buy it, and put my other clothes on over it. I am not letting anyone see me like this! With a few more acrobatic bends, I manage to get the thing off. Not the adorable dress I thought it was.
Sadly - this same thing happened to me about 2 months ago! Ladies, never go shopping without your girlfriend. The feet you see shuffling in the dressing room next to you aren't necessarily someone who has found the 'perfect' outfit and is doing her own version of the catwalk behind closed doors. It could be me - having a fight with my dress that went on so easily, and is now leaving me with no mercy! Please tell me this has happened to someone else!?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Baseball with my bible study girls

Tonight was the last night with 'my' bible study girls. Instead of bowling, we celebrated by going to a Georgia Tech vs. UGA baseball game that was being held at the Atlanta Braves Turner Field stadium. Seriously - who wouldn't want to be there - state rivalries, Turner field, a beautiful night, and your girlfriends. To disclose something most don't know about me, I love baseball. I was raised on the Atlanta Braves, and my heart is just attached.
There was a wee little girl baby right behind me, and my attention was happily distracted by intermittently turning around and staring at her. She was the cutest thing...By the time the seventh inning rolled around, our pitiful 9-5 score had me a little bored. Not to worry, they play music during the inning changes. Ashamedly, I'm the one who has to get up and dance. It's not because I think I'm cool, or desire the attention. But I've been dancing since I was 2, so if there are tunes, I'll be there. One of my girls decided to join me, so we woke my section up a little bit :) We partied on innocently until they flashed us on the big screen. No worries though - I had my gigantic shades on (even though it was dark at that point) as a disguise and was allowed to continue doing the 'twist' for all of my embarrassment. Oh well - we had sweet fun and joy in the Lord. Can't believe I'm having to say goodbye to these girls who have made me love Him more. "I thank my God in remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bible Study Blues

I am getting ready to graduate in 2 weeks, and this week starts the beginning of a long list of 'lasts' for me. One of those 'last' is my last week of bible study with 'my girls.' I've noticed that most blogs contain content regarding family and darling children. As a single 24 year old away at college, could you allow me to talk about 'my girls' as you would your sweet little ones. Now I am quite aware that they are not mine - I know they belong to the Lord! But at some point in these past several years, an unexpected happening occurred and I place total blame on the Lord! I fell in love with these precious ones. They have marked me, challenged me, and made me love Him more. The ones that the Lord gave me the unspeakable privilege to serve have served me instead.
They have GRACIOUSLY put up with me as a servant leader. I do not consider myself much of a teacher, because I feel like a far more fitting term would be 'student.' I get so excited about the things He shows me in His Word, that I just have to tell someone. I love to learn (yes - I've embraced the fact that I'm a nerd). And they are the sweet ones loving enough to allow me to share what I get excited about each week. They have allowed me to come to them in sweats, pony-tail, and no make-up; they've allowed me to say 'I don't know' to questions; they've allowed me to look foolish in my praise to Him; they've allowed me to serve them.
God has changed them, broken them, restored them, challenged them, humbled them, and more. The day they clapped and broke out in a big grin about opening the Word, I just broke into tears. The Lord had done something marvelous. He had ignited in them their own independent passion for Him and His Word. That is one of the cries of my heart...I desire not to merely bring them a teaching, a challenge, love, joy, or the likes. I want Jesus for them. I want Jesus for them so badly that I do not know what to do with myself at times. And I am getting ready to say goodbye to their beautiful faces this week...I've realized that they have Him. They have more of Him than I could have hoped do I. I mean not to imply that they didn't have Him to begin with, but there is so much more of Him. He is more!
Tuesday is drawing ever nearer, and I suspect our bowling party will be full of laughter (due to our lack of skill). And who doesn't look hot in bowling shoes?! I'm sure there will be lots of photos taken, lots of pizza eaten, and lots of sharing. I will not help but be on the outside looking in, rejoicing at the work God has done in each of our lives over the seasons of pouring over His Word. What a privilege to get to watch Him change someone from 'glory to glory.' It has been a privilege girls!

A few more pictures of some of the girls and I