this was going to be a much different post until I realized Jess had already said all I wanted to say. thanks for that. I can't tell you how greatly that little piece of writing touched and still touches me. like, dude. man. bro. "what they don't tell you about missing someone is that it's a verb."
so now what I want to say is a mix-match of things that all sort of have to do with each other (I think?). we'll see. have you ever heard that song by Horatio Spafford in the title? "it is well with my soul?" I'm guessing probably. I'm guessing you may have also heard the story behind it—that Horatio dear wrote it right after being hit by the great chicago fire, losing his business and finances and life's work in economic crisis, but even more devastatingly, all four of his daughters on a shipwreck soon afterward. and what does he pen as he crosses the ocean near the spot his children died? "it is well with my soul."
now I always thought this was a very touching story, super powerful and all that. but I also was kinda like duuude are you crazy? you just lost your children and you're saying that you're alright inside? whaaa? like sure God is good, but saying you are good...? I didn't get it. till the other day when I was driving home by myself at about eleven at night and thinking, "wow, life is really painful and unfair and hard and sucky" (I said that life and other things sucked about four times that day, and I really dislike using that word, so that says something). and then a funny thing after that happened, because I was just overwhelmed with this feeling of but God.
you see I believe that but God are two of the most powerful words in the Bible, and really in our lives. things seem desperate. but God. we're broken and hopeless. but God. I have no clue what to do or or how to fix things or where to go. but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
funny story, actually. that last sentence comes from Ephesians 2. I used to go to a church growing up where literally the whole time we were there the pastor did nothing but teach on Ephesians 2. you think I'm joking. he probably taught on that one chapter for several years. I grew really tired of it. but guess what—with a few years of hindsight, it's actually good stuff, whadaya know.
so sitting in my car driving home at eleven at night I was all of a sudden thinking, "wow life is really painful and unfair and hard and all these things but it's okay because I know God's got it." and then I suddenly thought of that song and how Horatio dear must have felt. because it's not like I feel all happy-go-lucky now, and it's not like difficult things are magically fixed just like (insert snap) that. but wow oh wow oh wow am I blessed or what to know that God steps in and holds it in his hand, and most importantly (and most encouragingly), that he's already won. and because of that, when I have peace like a river or when sorrows like sea billows roll, I can say, truthfully, that it is well with my soul.
and that pretty much blows my mind.
now we move on to talk to something that I thought was maybe going to be related but now I don't know, and that is social media (wut). mostly, there are a lot of distractions in my life. and a lot a lot a lot of things try to tell me, "nope Jenn, your soul isn't safe and well, and you have every reason to worry." there are a lot of lies that try to seep into my life. and quite frankly? I don't want them. there are some battles I don't have to fight because I already have the truth. so with that thought I give you a quote.
"one of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time."John Piper. what a jerk.
so yeah, social media. it's one of those distractions. let's be honest, guys. twitter makes me either really funny, really deep, or really negative. and lately it's been a lot of negative. ain't nobody got time for that. tumblr just lets me accomplish somehow socially acceptable subtweeting, and facebook, maybe save for pictures, is a waste of time.
so I'm taking a break. indefinitely. starting at the end of today. I'll still be on facebook sporadically because it's the only way I have to keep up with my siblings/some distant friends, but it'll be pretty much for the sake of checking messages and events and maybe sporadically uploading pictures. so I might be around here or there, but mostly? nope. twitter I'm giving up completely. that's going to be hardest for me (twitter's my favorite, guys). I'm logging out and disconnecting it from my phone and deleting my app. tumblr will survive without me, I think. I'll still be blogging, of course, because I feel it's something worthwhile. I'm doing my best to stay away from distractions and lies, but writing really honestly aids me in sorting through my thoughts and emotions in a really helpful way. but I don't want to spend my life pining away over social media. but God came in and ransomed me, literally picked me up out of my own self-created mess, loving me all the way, and he didn't save me to have the freedom to sit on a computer and subtweet. he did it to bring glory to himself.
and honestly that blows my mind too, that this little (okay, let's be real, huge) mess of me is somehow bringing glory to him.
and...that's all I have to say, really.
though satan should buffet, though trials should come,ps--this is not some valiant but weak blogger attempt to "simplify my online presence," whatever that means. this is stuff in the real life of Jenn where there are other things—eternal things, really—that I need to be and want to be focusing on. I'm writing it out to dedicate it to that end and to hold myself accountable. carry on.
let this blest assurance control—
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate
and hath shed his own blood for my soul!
pps--I'm going to have a lot of extra time to read and could use some titles to add to my summer reading list. I like classics best. book suggestions: go.