Browsing Category

Daily Life

0 In Daily Life/ Hawaii/ Uncategorized

24 Hours

I went to the beach. It was nice, sunny, not extremely crowded. I even went in the water. Not fully submerged but up to my shoulders. I love the beach and it is a sacred space for me, but as soon as I got home and laid on my bed alone, it hit.

So I called anyone and everyone who would answer. Cassie, college mentors, high school friends, Cassie again. Between Zoom, FaceTime, and phone calls I was consistently talking to someone for at least 4 hours. But each time they hung up or the Zoom call ended, it hit.

Then at night I went to church. I sat through the message, made it through worship without completely collapsing, and managed to put a smile on my face when I met the new guy from someone’s connect group. We went out to eat afterwards- waited in line for an hour. Spent maybe two hours at the restaurant and finally made my way home around midnight. But after all those hours of forcing a smile, it hit even harder.

I went to bed. A new day would be better right? But at around 6 AM I woke up because somehow even in the midst of my sleep, it hit.

And so here I am. In the midst of constant pain coming after me. Hoping that maybe, just maybe, if I write it all out it won’t hurt the next time it hits.

So far, my head hurts- possibly from the lack of eating. My eyes are red and puffy from rubbing them so much. My nose is snotty. And no matter how many times I try to sleep and dream it all away, I wake up in a panic.

And I don’t know how I got here.

How the only thing I can do is sit and stare at nothing. How I can’t muster up the strength to eat a full meal. How even doing the things I love- like going to the beach or going on a walk- leave me feeling just as empty as I was before I did them.

I keep trying to put myself in other people’s shoes. Telling myself that if Vanessa Bryant can handle the death of her husband and her daughter at the same time, then I can handle this. That if Tanya Burr can handle divorce, then I can handle this. That there are people in this world going through far worse than I am, so I can handle this.

But my therapist once told me that I need to process my hurt instead of trying to find the immediate solution for it.

And I absolutely hate it.

Why would anyone want to just sit here and feel this deeply painful feeling. Why aren’t the distractions working. Why am I doing everything that makes sense for me to clear my mind, yet it’s still all one meddled mess. Why can’t I control the floodgates of emotions that wash over me at any given moment.

I have no solution to this.

And I will walk through today with a smile on my face. I will be the sunshine and rainbows that everyone knows me to be. But deep down, right now I am just one big mess. I am a ticking time bomb waiting to explode with tears flooding down my eyes.

But Cassie said that’s ok. She said it’s ok that the only thing I know how to do right now is cry. She said it’s ok to grieve. She said just take it one moment at a time. And I guess that’s how I’ll do it.

The past 24 hours have not been easy, but maybe the next 24 will.

0 In Daily Life/ Hawaii/ Uncategorized

It’s Hard

I think I get it. Why so many people stop being Christians or refrain from the Christian faith at all. Because being a Christian is hard, and I know that because I am currently trudging my way through it.

There are rules. And probably not even rules that God meant for us to uphold, but these unspoken rules of what you have to do and what it takes to be a so-called “good Christian.” Most of those rules don’t make sense, or at least I feel like they don’t have much backing to them other than “the bible says so” and even then they are taken out of context of what the bible actually says.

Then there are commitments. Go to church every Sunday. Read your bible every night. Pray before you put a sliver of food into your mouth. (Maybe some of those blend with the rules…) But sometimes I feel like being a Christian is my part-time job. Pre-COVID I definitely spent some billable hours at the church or doing things for the church or with those I serve from church.

And maybe the most challenging to wrap your head around, have faith.

At least with rules there are concrete do’s and don’ts. And with commitments there are evident hours of your life spent doing something. But how on early do you even list out or calculate how to have faith.

When someone takes on a sport, you practice and practice and practice, and you get better. As a kid you don’t really know much, but then you get older and you learn and experience and then eventually you know better. With most everything in life, the more time and effort you put into something the more you’re able to understand later. But I can confidently say after having been raised in the church and having dedicated my life to Christ that one summer years ago in Africa, I don’t think it’s gotten any easier to have faith.

Honestly, it’s become more challenging. I have cried my eyes out in absolute agony and despair in more than a few hundred occasions. I have felt the rug being pulled out from under me with absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. I have watched front row as some of the greatest, most valuable, my favorite things in life have slipped from my grip and come crumbling down. In my many years of faith, that is what I have gone through.

And you would think that faith is one step back and two steps forward, but more often than not it feels like one step back, one step back, one step back, one step back. I have been living in a never-ending tumble cycle of “what the hell is God even doing?”

So I will be the first to say, having faith is not at all easy.

What would be easy would be putting my cross down, and walking on my own. It would be a lot less pressure and a lot less weight. What would be easy would be cutting corners and just doing it the way everyone else in the world does it. That would probably get me to my foreseeable future fantasy faster. Goodness, it would be so much easier to just not have faith. To just go my own way.

But for as much as I’ve felt upset about the difficulty of following Jesus, I’ve equally- if not more- made so many mistakes as a result of doing it my own way. I have said the wrong thing. I have made a poor decision here and there. I have bought many dresses that I could neither afford nor have a purpose for wearing. Quite frankly, I just mess up- a lot sometimes.

And because I am imperfect, that is why I follow a perfect God.

That is why I abide by the rules and uphold those weekly commitments in my calendar. That is why I believe in something- someone- I will never understand or be able to measure. Because being a Christian means following Christ, and Christ lived and achieved perfection. I may never live nor achieve perfection, but in being a Christian and doing the hard things, I think I am one inch closer to a goodness I know I can never achieve on my own.

This doesn’t mean it gets easier. I am still going to grit my teeth, stomp my feet, and yell my way forward. It is still going to suck sometimes. I can guarantee you, I will cry at least a few more hundred times. This pain is inevitable when we live on this side of eternity.

But God did not promise me sunshine all day every day. He did however make sure that that all the elements can come together in order to form the most spectacular rainbows after a storm. Because in order to have a rainbow, you need a few clouds, maybe some golf ball sized rain drops, and just the right amount of sunlight. It’s the good, the bad, and the ugly all mixed together to create the most spectacular something.

And that’s what God is doing. Taking all the hard things, maybe the few easy things, and definitely the many enjoyable moments, and He’s creating goodness through it all.

0 In Daily Life/ Hawaii/ Uncategorized

A Fool

I had to have been maybe 10? How old is a sixth grader? Are they ten? However old I was, I remember I was at the height of my elementary school career, so 6th grade. (My elementary school went to 6th grade) That’s why it stung even more. Because I had spent years building up to this point. Maybe not years, but to 6th grade Meg it felt like years. I had liked Vincent Velasco from post Christopher Alvarez moving in the 4th grade to second year Ms. Greene in the 6th grade. And like I do with anyone I care for and adore, I had smothered him with all the love I had to offer. I had been his friend, did whatever he needed, and practically worshipped the ground he walked on until one day when I followed him down the hall and he turned around and said, “Meg I don’t like you like that!” And what a fool I felt like.

And from that point, I told myself I’d never let myself be made a fool again.

I did everything I could to protect myself from being in a position of embarrassment. Dance in front of a group of people? No thank you. Do silly stunts afterschool at a friend’s house? I’ll be over here watching on the side. If I knew that it would make me look silly, I automatically associated it with making me feel stupid. And I don’t quite like the feeling of being stupid.

But now I am 26 years old, and I am currently trying to crawl my way out of my comfort box in order to be more obedient to God’s call. And if you’re following along in my box journey- all two of you that read these; three if you include Jasmine on the days she responds to my text messages- then you’ll know what I’m talking about. And update, I think I’ve crawled out of the box. Now I’m trying to find my footing in this foreign territory called “following God.”

From my crouched position barely outside this box, God has told me “Good job, now let’s keep going.” He’s waiting for me to stand up, but in order to stand up I’m going to have to look like a fool first.

And you know I’m already stomping my feet and rolling my eyes at the thought of it.

Serves me well though. Telling God to prove it two more times before I take a step forward. Because it’s only been a couple hours, and sure enough He’s proved it two times.

In the book of Joshua, you read this classic story of God’s faithfulness- and absolute incredible power to blow your mind- as you learn about the walls of Jericho. God told Joshua and Joshua told the people to walk around the city walls once a day for six days and then on the seventh day to walk around the city walls seven times. And after the seventh go around the people were to shout and the walls would come crumbling down allowing them to just waltz right in. Who does these things?! Oh right, God does.

I read that story and think “Wow Joshua you are crazy.” Because from an outsider’s perspective, they all look stupid. How could walking around a wall do anything? Shouldn’t we be breaking the wall? Climbing the wall? Even just punching the wall could do more damage than walking around it. But God didn’t say to do any of that. He commanded them to do something that sounds so utterly absurd. And yet, as faithful as ever, He gave them what He promised. The walls plopped straight to the ground, and the people who had been looking like clowns the seven days before walked straight into Jericho and took seize of everything.

And maybe that’s what He’s trying to tell me also?

Meg do the thing that everyone will think you’re crazy for doing. Especially Jasmine, she has already rolled her eyes at you many times. You are going to feel stupid. You are going to feel like you are wasting your time. But suck up your pride and follow me. Listen to what I’m telling you, because what I’m asking you to do will lead you to what I have planned for you. It might seem absurd now. You might feel like a fool now. But when the walls come crashing down and you’re able to just walk right into your promise, how amazing will you feel then. So, do it. Go on.

Well here goes nothing.

I’m looking forward to seeing what God has for me behind those walls.

0 In Daily Life/ Hawaii/ Uncategorized

The Box

As I am writing this I have a 20-minute episode of Wanda Vision paused in the background. It’s taken me almost three days to finish this one episode because of reoccurring pauses. And why do I pause might you ask? Because in my personal opinion there are scary parts. They’re not even really scary parts. I just checked, and Wanda Vision is rated PG- so really, not scary parts. But they’re scary to me. Scary because something unexpected is about to happen. Something that I don’t see coming and can’t predict. And even though I’ve scrolled my cursor over the buffer bar and have watched the little image stills of the scenes, I’m still scared. Because I’m not sure what’s about to happen.

And that is my entire life summed up.

I do not take unexpected well. It’s hard for me to stomach. Hard for me to be open to. And hard for me to not tip toe my way in with my eyes covered and my lip cowering. I much rather prefer the things I can plan. Specifically-timed and scheduled activities. To do lists and recipes with each step by step. I like the order of it. The ability to know exactly what comes next. I do not, under any circumstance, like or enjoy not knowing.

But that’s the tension I’m sitting in right now. And maybe it’s the tension I’ve been in for some time now, which would definitely explain the uncontrollable, sporadic tears. Because knowing each step of the way is not how God works, and I have been fighting God because I’m not particularly liking the way He works. I want to know it all. I want to know why and how come and when. I want answers and I want to see each step of the way, and you know damn right I want to know how this is going to end. But none of that- none of what I’m demanding from God- is faith.

The bible puts it so clearly. Faith is “the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. The Passion Translation puts it, “Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.” Faith is trusting that God knows our heart’s desires and though we can’t see what is going to happen- we can’t know what is the next step, we believe that God is still working. And I don’t have a lot of that right now.

In my wanting to know everything and in my wanting everything to occur to my timing, I have forgotten the meaning of faith. Instead I have settled on what I can see right now, what I can control right now, and what is available to me at the moment. And the problem with that is that I’m keeping myself cooped up in a box.

It is the Meg box. In the Meg box things are comfortable. Things are not the worst, they are not the best, I guess I would say they are ok- bearable at most. And in being too afraid of not knowing, I have let myself settle for bearable at most when God has absolutely incredible and mind blowing in store for me. But the problem is, instead of holding onto faith I have been death gripping my box- my comfort.

And now that I know this- now that I know what I have been doing, I am absolutely terrified.

Because I know now that the next step for me is to leave the box. And it scares me. Because once I leave this box, I am leaving what I have been comfortable with for the past few months. Once I leave this box, I don’t know who or what will be waiting for me on the other side- if there is anything at all waiting to catch me as I feel like I’m falling. Once I leave this box, I am leaving behind all of my understanding and planning in order to walk into not knowing any of God’s steps or plan.

And it already hurts. And I haven’t even left the box. I just know I need to. I just know that’s what God is telling me to do.

There is one thing I do know though. I know that anytime God has called me to do the unthinkable, the scary, the seemingly impossible, the uncomfortable, He has always walked beside me. He has always held my hand and brought me to greener pastures. He always has better in mind and greater in store.

He has been so patient with me. So forgiving as I mess up over and over again. He never once turned His back on me and said, “Fine Meg stay in that box of yours!” He’s always been waiting for me. Waiting with arms stretched wide. Waiting to hold my hand. Waiting to catch me. And now that I know this, it’s my turn to take the step. To start crawling my way out of this box and into His peace.

0 In Daily Life/ Hawaii/ Uncategorized

You Can’t Have It Both Ways

I had an argument with God the other day. It wasn’t really an argument. Because I’ll never win. So it was more like I was being scolded by God. But still not even scolded, because God was only doing it out of love. So I guess you could say I talked to God in a fairly upset, angry tone, and He talked back to me in the most loving and wise way.

You see, I’ve always had a plan. My plan. The most suitable, time conscious, effective plan- or so I thought. And I’ve always been headstrong. Do it my way, do it exactly how I want it done, and do it right when I say so. And lately this plan and this stubbornness has caused me to stumble quite a bit. And when I say stumble, more like fall off the edge of a cliff repeatedly. I’ve been going the wrong way, knowing I’m going the wrong way, still choosing to go the wrong way, and crying in frustration wondering why I keep falling off the cliff.

And so I go to God stomping my feet and shaking my fist at Him wondering why things are so difficult. Why they can’t work out the way I imagined it in my head. Wondering why can’t things just go according to my plan. But most of all, why do I keep going through the same pain over and over and over again.

So the other day I went to Him in prayer in frustration. I asked all the questions I have been asking for so long now. I demanded answers and clarity. I cried and cried wondering if He even hears me. But the truth is- the truth that I’m too stubborn to listen to- is that God has already addressed those questions. He has already provided guidance and given me direction. He has already made it very clear to me.

Then once more He reiterated, “Meg, you can’t have it both ways.”

Because in this season I’m in- in this season of not knowing the purpose- I’ve been trying to achieve God’s way by ignoring His directions and going my own way; doing my own thing. And that’s the repeatedly walking off the cliff part. I can’t keep going my way and expecting to achieve God’s results.

And that wasn’t the hardest pill to swallow. I know full well that in order to achieve God’s promises I need to go God’s way. I know that! I know that! The part that made me feel so terrible. The part that made me apologize over and over and over and over again… It was when God told me how He has given me everything I asked for, but He will not give me this one thing if I continue to try to do it my way.

And the truth is, He has given me everything I have ever asked for and more. I used to cry myself to sleep asking for friends, and He gave me a new family. I prayed for financial stress to be taken away, and He gave me a second job, a pause on student loan payments, and money that I didn’t know I had. Every time I have come to God asking for something, He has always given it to me. And here I am, stubborn and selfish Meg thinking that He is withholding even the tiniest ounce of promise from me when all along it has been me. I have been standing in my own way.

So I know now what I need to do, even though I may still stumble, I must try. I know what I need to say, even if that means losing the one thing I don’t want to lose. And I know that pain will come. It will be hard. There will be many tears shed. But if I do it God’s way, then maybe I won’t fall of the cliff anymore. Maybe I’ll get to the edge, and it’ll be scary, and I won’t want to look down, but I won’t keep falling. And that makes the pain bearable. Knowing that it will not keep going again.