Hey, I like You. Do You Still Like Me?

How do you tell someone you like them? Particularly a person who has reached out before, when you only wanted to be friends, and after a year, you’ve just begun to realize that that person was the one you’ve been looking for all along? I have been asking myself this same question for over a month now, and it makes me so nervous, that I have thrown my advice of just telling the person up front and honestly, to everyone I have known who has been in the same situation, out the window. A little backstory might be a little helpful.

A year ago I met this guy in a college class. If I remember correctly, he was already seated when I entered the room on the first day that spring semester. I wasn’t planning on getting to know anyone in the class, as I had mastered the art of being a loner. It was fun, and I liked going from class to class all on my own, finding a spot in the library to read, all on my own, and going home without having to worry about keeping up a friendship. I can barely remember the first words I spoke to this guy, other than the usual greeting people give before they make eye contact with one another. What I do remember, is that over that semester, this guy became a very fast friend of mine, and a very sweet gesture, lead me to the obvious conclusion that he liked me a bit more than I thought I liked him.

I had told him my birthday was coming up, and I discussed it with a former classmate of the previous semester who sat nearby as well. The week after my birthday, when we returned to class, this guy surprised me with a very sweet gift. It was a beautiful bangle bracelet, with butterfly charms dangling from it. I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to say but thank you, as I slid it over my wrist. No one outside my family had ever done something that sweet for me before. Not long after than he asked if he could take me out. He met my parents, and we went to a little diner for dinner. I had a great time, but I felt after that night, that I only wanted to be his friend, with no real problem on his part that lead me to feel that way.

Since then, we have still stayed in contact with one another, took a history class together, and shared our thoughts on many different historical time periods in America. I have found that he is basically like another version of me, minus the coffee addiction–that is something that belongs to me, ha. Over the year, we have gone out together weekly after out classes, traveled to a few historical sites, and visited many bookstores and libraries in search for more books to a growing pile of books we both keep at our homes, knowing we would never have enough bookshelf space to hold them all. Since then, I have spoken to maybe two other guys, met them, and compared them all day long to my friend I met in that class last spring. He’s the only one I’ve told almost everything to, shared my interests with, and my fears. He’s even stuck by me through the times where I have been moody due to my ever growing impatience with other people–something I have to work on, but I am my father’s daughter!

Though we have only been friends, he has been the perfect gentleman in opening every door, and insisting on paying for every meal we have gone out to together. There is a town twenty minutes from my house and school that I currently attend, and each time I visit a restaurant, no matter who I am with, I think about the times I spent at those places with him, and whenever a text notification pops up on my phone, I secretly hope it’s from him.  Funny how a person seems to creep up on your mind so often when it didn’t before. I guess it is the time you’re forced to spend without them–through summer break and miles apart–that you realize how you truly felt about them all along, and how every second you’ve spent with them has been the best time ever. But what if this guy doesn’t still want more than my friendship? I wouldn’t know where to begin laying out my feelings…but if I don’t do it, I will never stop thinking about what could have been.

It just isn’t as simple as saying: “Hey, I like you. Do you still like me?” Then again, maybe something that awkward could open the door to a more serious conversation about the topic with him. I am at loss for words, and still as nervous about the whole situation as I was when first beginning this post. Lord help me, I have never asked out a guy before.

 

 

Advertisements

‘Black Jesus’: Blasphemous!

This year, I have had a handful of friends who have raved about this new television show on Adult Swim titled: ‘Black Jesus,’ which happens to be about a street smart thug black Jesus, who parades the streets of Compton, California with his small group of followers and participates in their daily activities of using profuse profanity, drinking beer, smoking marijuana, and vandalizing private and public property. That’s not all ‘Black Jesus’ gets into on a daily basis, but I’m not entertaining the question of what and with whom, by watching any more than the few clips I first saw, yesterday afternoon.

The danger of watching such a blasphemous program should be obvious, as the love this Black Jesus endeavors to spread to the world is more like hippie love than it is the love given to us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What has become even more shocking to me, though, is the number of professing Christians that spend their nights laughing and praising this show, and I can’t help but wonder: When did it become so easy for a professing Christian to detach themselves from God long enough to entertain such a Godless show, and feel completely comfortable encouraging others (believers or otherwise), to abandon all Biblical knowledge and reason, for a show that turns God and his word into a satirical piece?

Last night I spent some time doing a little research, and of everything I have found, I only found few things that speak out in concern. That leads me to wonder again, if this is because many people don’t know this show exists, or if they do, they are comfortable watching it, thinking no harm will come from viewing it. Of the articles I’ve found, one stuck out to me the most, which I found from USAToday. In this article, pastors are quoted and described as being offended by the television show, and true Christians will be. I want to be clear about something that’s very important, that I have not read in an article yet. Something much bigger than Christians is offended, and that is GOD. I’m terrified by the fact that there is and overwhelming number of people (including Christians), that do not fear God.

Towards the last part of the article, the television network that airs the show is quoted. “Black Jesus is a satire and one interpretation of the message of Jesus played out in modern day morality tales; and despite what some may consider a controversial depiction of Jesus, it is not the intent to offend any race or people of faith.”  I cannot stress the importance enough, of the fact that only one interpretation of God’s word and the message of Jesus Christ is needed, and that is the absolute and final truth that is given to us in the Bible. No other interpretations are needed. If people of modern day times need modern day translations to believe in Jesus Christ as son of God, and Savior, then it is safe to say they would not believe anyway, for the Bible tells us: “blessed are those that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

My goal is not to personally attack anyone, or to accuse a believer of not being a child of God. The purpose of this article is to caution everyone, especially professing Christians. Just because we are forgiven by God, does not mean we do not also reap the consequences of our actions here on earth. Someday we will have to answer for it. Jesus explained in the book of Matthew (22:29): “You are in err because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God”. I encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to always keep the word of God. This is the only way you will be able to examine your walk with Christ and the way you live your daily lives.

If anyone is offended by this, just remember that God has been offended also, and I would like to ask: “Who is more important to you?”.

 

John MacArthur: “We Will Not Bow”

Family is the microcosm of society; when there is disorder in the family, society falls apart. John MacArthur preaches a thought-provoking sermon on this subject, in We Will Not Bow, which helps us to understand how America has crumbled from the destruction of its roots (the family), and has continued down its path of destruction at a terrifyingly speedy rate. MacArthur states that of all the terrorist attacks on our country from outside groups, the greatest terror inflicted upon us originates from within, by the United States Supreme Court. These attacks: the legalization of abortion and the legalization of same-sex marriage. But it isn’t specifically about each attack by itself, it’s about one single goal, which is to eliminate all forms of biblical marriage, thus eliminating family. This eliminates those small units (provided by families), that stand up against the “corruption that seeks to dominate.” If this isn’t damaging enough, churches in America that refuse to conform, are being deserted and unsupported, leaving the churches to fend for themselves.

The first significant attack on the family: the legalization of abortion. MacArthur explains, that if you go back to contraception, it all starts with the feminist movement. “Now when contraception comes in, you have sex without children. For the first time, the greatest restraint against having sex is eliminated.” It doesn’t matter then, how many a sex partners persons have, because this contraceptive prevents the conception of a child. But, wait…what if, like MacArthur says, the pill messes up once? Well, then, the child can be killed. No worries. What’s the purpose then, in waiting until one is married to start a family? What’s the purpose in even getting married? Well, there is none, because babies can be born without the sexual intercourse between a man and his wife, which leads to the next attack.

The second destruction to family was the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage–the final blow to the family unit. “Since marriage is vital to God’s design, for ordered society, sensible civilization—civilization able to enjoy common grace—since marriage is, by God’s design, His way to pass on order, to pass on peace, to pass on temporal blessing, and even to pass on righteousness from one generation to the next, family has always been under assault.” And now an actual living being can be transplanted from one mother’s womb, to that of a lesbian, so that child can be born outside the natural conception through intercourse between a husband and wife. The natural formation of a family designed by God, has been obliterated.

As MacArthur stated more than once: these corruptions are not new. In fact, they’ve been here since Genesis–after the fall. All sexual perversions including polygamy, incest, prostitution, rampant homosexuality, have all been here. So what is the goal? “The objective is not simply to redefine gender. The objective is not simply to redefine marriage. The objective is to destroy what God has designed.” Well, it has finally happened, thanks to the people in our Supreme Court.

But the pastor made an extremely profound, sincere statement that I truly believe is the best way to close this article: “We don’t bow down to Caesar. We bow to our king.” This article is basically a quick summarization of this sermon which goes into greater detail on a couple of the points I selected to go in this post. It deserves to be heard, as it will educate believers and non-believers, the true Christian approach to these very serious problems. While many will brush this aside and call it a product of hate, I pray that it will open some eyes, and open hearts, and turn unrepentant souls against their sins, and into a steadily growing relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Lack Of Self-Control

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

Ever wonder why self-control is so easy for everything, but the thing you are always tempted with? I wonder all the time, and this verse describes exactly how I feel every time I am tempted, and I don’t even try fighting it. I just indulge in it, and then once everything has been done, I realize what a horrible mistake I’ve made, and I sit feeling broken with no one around to help me. Sometimes I feel like God has become so fed up with me and decided to remove his hand of protection completely away from me. I try to pray – I try to ask for forgiveness butI feel like my prayers are so repetitive, and so superficial, that they have become nothing by hollow words.

It has been three whole years since I’ve given my life to Jesus Christ and I feel like I’ve gotten no where, like I never completely turned away from my sins. I feel like I should be somewhere after three years, like my relationship with God should be stronger than it is. And it hurts because I love God, and I believe with my whole heart that Jesus Christ died for my sins – that there is no other way to heaven than by Christ alone. Yet, for someone who believes so much, for someone who professes to love their creator, to love their Savior, I sure don’t show it much. Not in my daily, personal walk.

Yet, I know what it takes to remedy the problem I’m having; God has given me the remedy, but I never uses it, which shows me that not only do I have a problem with self-control, but also a problem with letting go of my pride. These are dangerous characteristics to have, and stumbling blocks that cannot be removed by oneself. The only things I know for sure as I write this post, is this: I love Christ and I love God because He first loved me, I know that as a Christian there will still be sin in my life, but through daily prayers, repentance and in reading the word of God, I can overcome those temptations with His help. I just have to learn to stop allowing outside influences to hinder that process. God has not removed himself from me; I believe I know what I know now as I finish this post, is that He is here, showing me what I’m letting go for the attractiveness of worldly pursuits.

He’s reminding me of several instances, where I have soaked up the thrill of “intellectual,” political conversations that I somehow manage to become a part of daily conversations that have never really benefited me in the long run, because the topics of these conversations (the problems we discuss) will never, ever go away no matter how much we try. This is only one example of those several things God has shown me in the duration of writing this post. So now, I’m happy. I’m happy because I know that God has heard my prayer. Not only that, He knows my anxieties and fears after the outcomes of my actions and He always proves to me that my fears are nothing more than that–fear.

I don’t know that I’m still making sense. To be honest, I feel like this post has ceased making sense two paragraphs ago, but that is usually what happens when it’s late at night whenever I decide to write about these things and my thoughts are still flying in all directions. With that, It’s probably best that I wrap this up as quickly and painlessly for whomever it may be reading this. I see this post as a blessing, because not only did it start out as serving for me, an outlet for all my anxiety, questions and fears, but it also ended hitting me with the realization that I need not fear, that God is still very much with me. I can now move on with the rest of my night peacefully. Good night.

With God, You Will Always Come Out Winning.

It’s going to be one heck of a day. I believe, a day that will have me sobbing by the end of the night. I’m saying this at 6:45 in the morning after receiving a call from the kitchen manager at work. Apparently, I have forgotten to make a carry out order last night, and it was due by 6:00 a.m. I receive a call just minutes before with my manager in a panic, and then when I bolt up from my pillow, and recall that I forgot to make it, my manager replies with, “Oh my gosh! What is going on?!” and then before I could stammer out that I didn’t know, that I was sorry–he hangs up. Since then, I have been staring in the darkness of my bedroom, in complete panic. Complete worry for what would possibly be coming my way later when I have to go in. Allow me to give a little bit of my work history there.

I have been an employee at the fast food restaurant since we opened three years ago. Let me say, that it has been an amazing three years. This job has taught me things I’ll be able to use in any other job, or whichever career I go into: Communications skills; hard, dedicated work, problem solving skills, the list goes on! This place really brought me out of my shell, and though there have been times where I was at my wits end and couldn’t possibly bear it anymore, the thought of quitting flickered through my mind, but vanished just as quickly. The place I work is like family: no matter how crazy there are, no matter how much they them to constantly be on your back, you still love them. The thought of giving up on my work family paralyzed me with fear. How would I function without being around them? These passed…six months has begged a different question though. “How much more of me can they take before they let me go?” And that is an even scarier thought.

These past few months have been stressful. Sometimes I don’t even know where I stand anymore, or that I’m even a part of things I used to be a part of. There are times I feel like I’m a walking target and everyone is out to get me, just waiting for me to do something wrong.

I have frantically searched my brain for reasons I have messed up in areas, asking myself what I could possibly do to make it better. When I came up with things to help me in my situations, they worked a little while and then I found myself messing up, again. I’ve been up all morning thinking and thinking, and thinking! I finally have come to one conclusion. God is testing me; He must be! For months, I’ve been trying to search myself for answers to problems, for ways to do better in areas where I’m slacking, and everything I try just never seems to work. I was absolutely made certain of this fact when I logged onto Facebook this morning and saw Bible quotes on my timeline that just seemed to scream at me. What a reminder that God is always in control. He’ll always be there for me and I should never forget it, or worse, try to work outside His will.
As long I know in my heart that God is in complete control, I don’t need to fret. I’m not fighting a losing battle as long as He’s fighting it with me. I’ll always come out winning with God.

Thinking About The Future

I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. This seems to be my only thought since fall semester ended last week. Instead of the semester ending with me knowing how good (or bad) I did in my classes, I was left hanging in one of them. None of the grades I made mattered much to me, except for that dreadful C I earned in British Literature. For a week I have only thought about those last two papers that determined my final grade. I have done nothing but replay the whole semester in my head, and let the stream of questions I’ve had time to come up with since then, consume me. Right now, I think if I replay the semester through writing, I can answer some of these questions on my own. Some of the most pressing questions are: Does writing really fit into my life? If so, what type of writing? Do I still love it enough to make a career of it? I’ll begin at the moment I decided I was going to have a two-week period of major freaking out.

I was sitting in the library, pulling research from books and academic journals for the annotated bibliography that would be due in a couple of weeks (before I knew we would get a rolling due date). While sifting through the gigantic piles of notes I jotted down over the last few days, I began to panic from the realization that I had no clue what I was doing. Before that day, I went through a stage of self-doubt for two weeks after my first paper in British Literature. I received a C on a closed reading paper – C meaning, catastrophe. The whole paper, starting with sentence structure, choice in words, poor choice in quotes…the list goes on. The truth is, I panicked. It didn’t help much that my instructor looked like a terrifyingly tall man, with strict facial features and a strong accent that wasn’t from around here. He looked like he stepped right out of Germany, and later my thoughts were validated when he soon described his German descent.

Okay, so I wasn’t 100% correct. He’s not from Germany, his family is. Close enough though. From the first day of class, I was afraid to approach him, but knowing it was inevitable that I’d need his help, I stopped at the bottom of the stairs after class one day until the heavy clumpclumpclump of those heavy boots drew nearer. Then appeared my instructor. I took a deep breath and called his name. I set up an appointment during his office hours and decided I was getting ahead this semester. I was getting all the advice I needed, and I was going to ace this class.

Surprisingly, the man wasn’t as hard to talk to as I thought he would be. He looked terrifying and mean on the outside, but as the first weeks of the semester raced by, I learned that he was one of the instructors that was truly there to help. He was interested in his students’ gripes and concerns, as well as doubts, and was determined to do all that he could to wipe all that negativity out, but he never left out the harsh reality. He never sugar-coated the truth, but he did offer any solutions to problems we students were facing in our writing processes. I always went into the English department nervous. I would sit down across from my instructor, let him read over my first (of many) drafts, and bite my nails, my bottom lip, or the inside of my jaw. I would watch in horror as he marked up the page and spewed out suggestions, or tried to guess where I wanted to go with my paper. That’s what always broke me down – going to meet him with no clear thesis, or no idea where I wanted to go at all with my paper.

With that C in mind, and the sheer realization that I had just spent two weeks wallowing in self-doubt, I began to panic that I would also make the same catastrophic grade on the annotated bibliography. With that, I gathered all my notes, along with the sources I printed off, and stuffed them away in my bag. I would think about this again the next day. Two weeks later, I have four days until it is due, and I’m pulling all nighters just to get the thing knocked out. Right after I turn it in, I have a research paper and a final paper to plan. I couldn’t believe I spent a month and a half wasting time, and with little over two weeks to write two papers. I didn’t have time to go through the proper writing process for either paper, and on the day of the final exam, I turn the papers in, both of them the first and final drafts. I leave class knowing I won’t pass British Literature with anything above a C. My heart feels heavy, but I know it’s my own fault.

The next day, I take my last exam, head to the library to sign onto my account, and check my final grades. My final grade for British Literature was what I expected, and even though it didn’t come as a surprise, I felt tears gathering in my eyes. The grade in any other class wouldn’t hurt me so much, but receiving it in a subject I felt was so dear to me, broke my heart into a million pieces. I logged off the computer, went outside to a secluded spot and thought about what this final grade meant to me. Clearly, I could no longer consider making a career out of writing, especially in a teaching career, which I have thought about for years.

That doesn’t mean writing no longer fits into my life, which is the answer to my first question. I will always love it, but to be perfectly honest with myself, I do not think I’ll make a career of it, meaning: journalism, teaching, writing books, etc. The type of writing I will more than likely ever commit to, is blogging and personal journal writing. That does not mean I will give up majoring in English or even maybe mastering in it as well. I love the subject too much to stop at the basic understanding of the subject. My career of choice (whatever it may be), will most definitely center around English. I’ve probably dreamed of becoming a librarian more than dreamed of becoming a successful writer. I love the college setting, especially in a small community such as the one I’m in now. If I could work in a college library for the rest of my life, I’d be extremely happy.

Reflections

Fall semester of college is over, and after receiving my grades, I went outside, sat in one of my new favorite spots and reflected. Overall I’m proud of the grades I’ve made in my classes. I could have done better in one of them, but I decided there would be room to grow and do better next semester. However, I do not want to start setting high expectations of myself, or setting new goals. I’ve learned very quickly that doing this does nothing but bring disappointment. So, as of now I accept the grades I have received, and have decided that nothing else will do but to go with the flow next semester. Over the past four months, I have learned many things relating to school and personal life:

  • C’s still get degrees (though I will still continue to fret over future assignments and papers).
  • Most (but not all, haha) Instructors are not there to demonize and destroy dreams, they are actually there to help and love to know their students can think for themselves.
  • I will not always be accepted for who I am, and that’s okay.
  • There are people out there who ask for advice and really only want to be told how intelligent they are (sorry, but I’m not a flatterer).
  • Friendships do not always develop with people who are on the exact same page on every aspect of life. It’s okay to disagree with someone, as long as it’s done respectfully.

This isn’t all. I’ve learned many things, I’ve just lost my train of thought, which is probably for the better. But among them all (including these listed), I have realized that while learning is fun, having intellectual conversations with someone who can converse rationally is gratifying, and thought-provoking class discussions are important, God is more important! It’s so easy to put all faith in one person, and to lean on education to get through in life, and while people and education are great tools for success in careers, It is important to take a moment to thank God for putting those people in one’s life, and giving them a way to get that education.

That being said, I’m extremely grateful for all the connections I was able to make this semester with the staff of the college. They are all very insightful and helpful, and genuinely care about the connections they make with their students. Talking and interacting with different people has helped me gain better insight on how certain things operate, and learning of a couple of my instructor’s experiences has given me the courage and confidence I need to take those next steps into the direction of my selected career.