Tuesday, February 25, 2014

up for interpretation

I'm sitting down to write and I have so much I want to say and yet it's all jumbled too uncomfortably in my head to be able to get out.  "Be careful who you make memories with.  Those things can last a lifetime" (Ugo Eze).  That's what they say, and I suppose I never realized it was something to be careful of before.

There are people, you know?  Memories, now.  I alternately want to hold them, and weep, and rock back and forth and drown for a bit in tears that will wash away the hurt.  That's half the time, I suppose, and probably the good half.  The other half I want to throw things and say not pleasant words and shut myself in a sound-proof room or maybe not and yell till my throat is sore.  I don't like that half of me, I don't like it at all, yet it's been more prominent and I've been scribbling heatedly in notebooks in an attempt to purge myself of it.

Can I ask you one question: why?

It's maybe silly that I still can't fall asleep at night sometimes.  I have to get up and stretch or do something so I have an excuse for my racing heart.  Never, ever say I love you lightly.  Unless you mean it.  I love you is not three words, it's a promise.  Make sure you can keep your promises.

Every night that I get home late, I scan the sky behind the trees that border the side yard in search of Orion.  Last week I told someone that if I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be of the constellation Orion.  He asked why and I couldn't even explain.  There are too many reasons.  It's this constant sight in the winter sky, he's always there, he doesn't change, and maybe it's a reflection of God's constance, except then he's only around in the winter and strangely that's one of the things about the season I look forward to the most.  He'll be gone soon and it's not like I always sing anymore but it will feel sad without at least one friend to say hello to.

How how how can people live with themselves when they shoot others down for trying?  I have made more enemies in obeying Christ than any other single way, and it's all at once the worst and best decision I've had to make.  That shouldn't be in the past tense, because it's a decision I still have to make, every single day, which is frustrating, and even more frustrating when it seems like I'm the only one.

I remember this happening last summer: somehow songs seem to come full circle in a year and you begin to hear all the ones you fell in love with twelve months ago.  Maybe that's why I haven't listened to much music lately.  The other day it was nice out and I sat on the porch by myself and played ukulele.

How can you say you love Jesus if Jesus doesn't radically change the way you live?  How can you call yourself a Christian and continue living in temporal lies?  How can you say Jesus has saved your life and yet choose to throw away a life that, if you gave it to God, does not even belong to you anymore?  How can you say you know God or live in him and blatantly continue to do what he hates?  How can you claim to be rescued by the merciful grace and love of Christ if it doesn't alter your life at all?

I remember most of 2012 like it was yesterday, and sometimes it catches me by surprise that it's two years ago instead of just one.  I kept saying that 17 was the best year for me and somewhere along the line in January I decided to make 19 the best year instead.  That's easier said than done, and not always up to me unless I really do take up hermitage as I have continuously speculated, but I'm trying.  (I'm trying so hard, please.)

Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that it's unfair and totally unreasonable not to believe in yourself when Jesus does--enough to call you to follow him, enough to want you to be like him.

"There are no ordinary people.  You have never talked to a mere mortal.  Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.  But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours" (C.S. Lewis).  This is a quote that both haunts and inspires me.  This is why it makes me almost literally sick when people treat other people cheaply, lightly, not realizing the eternal significance of every interaction and relationship.  (This is the real reason jerks make me mad.)  Those are souls.

Let me ask you another question: in ten years, are you going to be proud of what you're doing right now?

It's one of the saddest things in the world to miss someone, but even worse than that is when the someone you would miss is not even the same person anymore.  You can't miss someone you don't know, and oh, I know.  Sometimes I hate to know.

This is not what I had planned!  My mom always told me when growing up: make plans, but don't get attached to them.  My plans aren't God's, but I want to make his mine.

Is it possible to be too forgiving?  I've asked myself that a few times over the past two weeks really, because sometimes it seems like forgiving again and again and again can't be the answer.  Seventy times seven is the answer I always get back.  That's a lot.

Messy, important, true things.  If only it made sense.  Me too, me too.


  1. Ah, so many thoughts. "Be careful who you make memories with. Those things can last a lifetime" - this is something to chew on for awhile. You know it's funny how forgiving seems to do nothing sometimes, but there's so much we can't see. Following Christ was never a promise to be easy, and I guess it's all all a little surprising sometimes to ones who aren't used to persecution when persecution does come. But that's when you know you're doing it right. At least, if you're still acting in Christ-like love. Sometimes people hate Christians because they're jerks. That's definitely not doing it right.

    Thanks for sharing this, it's giving me things to ponder today. :)

  2. "It's one of the saddest things in the world to miss someone, but even worse than that is when the someone you would miss is not even the same person anymore. You can't miss someone you don't know." Yes, just that. I'm there too. I understand. I miss the person she used to be, I miss the person I thought he was. Accepting the memories as just that; memories. Friends change... and sometimes not for the better. Sometimes it was real, it just changed and left. Sometimes it was never real. At least not the real you thought.

    Hang in there.

  3. We can't be too forgiving. I don't know this as a truth I believe but as a truth that simply is regardless of my participation of it or not. I've been studying Beth Moore's Esther with a group at church, and God is cutting through and peeling back many caked-on layers of dried clay from my foolish, pliable heart. I've held on to so much anger and bitterness and failed to see what acting from a place of pride did to a friendship I once valued deeply. It's immortals - C. S. Lewis is so right - and the memories are, too, and I am not the person I want to be, BUT FOR JESUS, and even then, it's a slow process.

  4. There is forgiving and then there is trusting. I think I often assume the two have to go together, but my mom has told me me a couple times recently essentially that, "You need to forgive, but that doesn't mean you can trust those people again."

  5. I love the depth of this. I am sometimes speechless at the things your heart says, my friend... but I know I want you to hear this: I'm glad I've made memories with you. I'm glad you've stuck around to make more. You are brave and you are beautiful and I love your thoughts and I love that you share them with the world and that you notice people's souls. And I'm very. proud. of who you are. Thank you, for the honesty you always speak with and the way you paint things real. My heart is just so full of all of you've said right now...especially this: "Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that it's unfair and totally unreasonable not to believe in yourself when Jesus does--enough to call you to follow him, enough to want you to be like him." Thank you, for the reminder..

  6. Hang in there, Jennoelle! You can never be too forgiving. And ugh, life is just tough sometimes. Sometimes I have to stop and rethink what I'm doing but mostly what I'm living for. I like what you asked, "In ten years, are you going to be proud of what you're doing right now?". Or are the things I worry about right now really all that important? Life is about being forgiving, but most of all, life is about loving. Thank you for the reminder!

  7. Jenn. I have read this so many times over the past week, and I still can't think of the right words to say. You've done it once again. You basically wrote out the words of my heart right here, my life story, the conflict of emotions and *why* questions that rage in my head every day. Why do people treat relationships so cheaply. How can they treat such a golden thing like it's common. Throughout my life, I have been hurt time and again by people who throw away friendships like they change clothes every day. And what I've learned is, no, you cannot be too forgiving. But that doesn't mean you are required to trust those people and open yourself up to them again. You can forgive without trusting. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. It's hard, because you love them and want to keep them. But some friendships are meant to stay, and some aren't. But no matter what, we have no excuse for treating relationships lightly. None at all.
    thanks for these words, my sweet Jesus-loving friend. i love you.


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