This is Life 4.0

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this is life.  it’s intense sometimes…and right now is sometimes.

in many ways, growing up is not nearly as exciting as i thought it would be.  not that i regret growing up.  it’s good and despite the previous sentence…yes, i am excited for the future.  it’s just that life is so much more complicated and confusing and crazy than i ever dreamed it could be.

it is having piano lessons for which you have not practiced.

it is realizing that you are more emotionally vulnerable than you thought that you were…and that it’s ok.

it is deciding that snuggling with a precious bright-eyed baby sister is more important than studying.

it is listening to this song and this song over and over again while you read shakespeare, just to keep your focus where it needs to be.

it is going to bed at midnight and not falling asleep for hours because you just can’t shut off your brain.

it is waking up at six and not being able to fall asleep because your brain is still spinning from the night before.

it is being desperate for the Word of God, so thirsty for it that you sometimes can’t read it for the tears in your eyes.

it is hurting for friends who are hurting.

it is realizing that in all likelihood, you will not be around a whole lot longer to watch your baby sister grow up.

it is feeling completely inadequate in the face of all that lies ahead.

it is having to literally getting on your knees on the bedroom floor in the middle of the night to cry out to your Savior in tears and confusion, begging for wisdom, for peace, for wisdom again…

it is life, and it is painful sometimes.  growth is never easy.  sometimes it’s harder than other times.  right now, life is sometimes…and it’s intense.

but Life is also intense these days, intensely joyful, so much more intensely real than it ever has been before. when my weakness is revealed, so is His strength. when everything is changing, i have to cling to the Rock with all my strength, which is not mine, but His.

i’ve been into reading psalms lately.  i never really appreciated them until the last few years, but more and more i am coming to love them.  psalm 71 in particular.  “be to me a rock of habitation to which i may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my refuge.”

oh, that is precious.  i don’t know about you, but i’ve become so used to the language of the last part of that verse that i tend to think of Christ, my Solid Rock, as the place where i go “in time of trouble.”  which is good and right…He is that.  but i also tend to forget about the first part of the verse: that He is not just a tower to retreat to when all other strongholds have failed, but a citadel.  you don’t retreat there.  you live there, in the shadow of His wings.  you dwell there continually, not when all other strongholds fail, but because you realize that there are no other strongholds. 

(more from psalm 71, emphasis mine) “…but as for me, i will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. my mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for i do not know the sum of them.”

that’s the other amazing thing.  that the joy of the Lord is not just enough to “get you through.”  it’s not like God just enables you to endure until the next “good” day.  good days don’t matter any more than bad days, honestly.  we’re not just surviving the night until day breaks again.  this joy that we have in Christ, in our salvation, is much truer and deeper and richer than that.  it is a joy that is eternal and it can’t be bound by riches or poverty or marriage or singleness or health or sickness or anything other than Christ, His death, His resurrection, His glory.  it is sustaining, not just when life is crazy, but when it’s not.  it’s that rock of habitation again.  we don’t just go there sometimes…we live there.

so.  in the middle of my crazy schedule, my bleary eyes, my raw emotions, i intend (not by my own strength, but His) to praise Him each painful step of the way.  to remember that the joy of the Lord is my strength, not sleep or coffee or weekends.  to count each wakeful moment of each wakeful night an opportunity in which to glorify His Name.  to take joy in the very intensity of this life of mine, because God is on His throne and His will will be done.

~c. a.

  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.
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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kaleigh S. says:

    That really hit home, Carreen. Thank you. <3

  2. Olinda says:

    Yes, Carreen, I concur, life is complicated and confusing, and at some point you realize that “growing up” is not so much a destination as it is a journey (I know because I’m still on it), and that we don’t ever want to get to the place where we don’t have to cry out to our God in the middle of the night.

    I love the lyrics of Laura Story’s “Blessings”:

    “and what if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near…
    and what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights,
    Are Your mercies in disguise.”

    Keep dwelling in that rock of habitation =)

  3. Cassandra says:

    carreen… you are in my thoughts and my prayers. I know where you are, dear sister, and these hard seasons always force us to cling more fiercely to Christ. He truly is all that we have.

    All my love in Him who gives me strength,
    Cassie

  4. mekame31 says:

    Bwaaa I check your blog every week for 8 billion months and then one week I forget and you post new things!! Glad you went and commented on my blog so I came over here and found everything. I’ll try to do this in order.

    1. Congrats on the new sister! That sounds like an astonishing experience I cannot even imagine. I would love to get the password for your pictures. Can you send it to mmellers10@georgefox.edu? Thanks!

    2. In response to your comment on my post–yes, playing with POV is super fun. I really like your idea as well and I hope you get time to work it out. I finished the piece I was referring to a few months ago and it was certainly interesting. I found a purely objective first person to be too cold and unnatural, so I relaxed it slightly. The narrator is a mix of what I said and what you said, actually. The main character (“I”) tells what “I” did, but also tells the other main character (“you”) what “you” did in response. And its in present tense. Wahhh. You’re welcome to read the finished piece if you like–let me know and I can email it to you as a response when you send me the photo password.

    3. I can totally sympathize with this post about the madness of growing up. It really hit me about 10 months ago, at the beginning of sophomore year. I couldn’t figure anything out and I became really depressed and confused. It has taken ages of praying and talking since then without feeling like I was going anywhere at all. But just in the past few weeks I have seen the enormous journey God has taken me on and how I am a completely different person. So hang in there, just as you are, and I can tell you that the light will come.

    Oh, I guess you probably didn’t know this since you aren’t on Facebook. I got my first piece of writing published! It’s a poem in a poetry magazine/journal thing. It took a lot of rejections but I’m super excited to have “broken through” so to speak :). You should try this too sometime–it’s actually easy because you send stuff away and then do nothing for months while they ponder.

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