Friday, March 4, 2011

Future.

Today, I just want everyone to know that I have no idea what I'm doing. Not in some terrible, crazy, someone call for help kind of way. I just don't know what is going to unfold in the next few weeks, months, and years.

Everyone keeps asking about summer plans. I have none. Partially because the thought of exerting energy on applications and figuring things out and interviews makes me want to sleep for a good three days. Still, I have no clue what I'm doing or where I'm going to be this summer. Am I scared? Kind of. Am I excited? Maybe. Am I secretly waiting for God to just shoot me an email with clearly depicted directions and advice? Absolutely.

I wasn't going to reapply for growth group leader. Then Tuesday night (two days before the deadline, mind you), I decided to reapply. A lot of people and questions encouraged me to do so, and I think that maybe it just might be the right decision. Was I expecting this? Nope. I had no intentions, no thoughts, no slight idea of reapplying. I was completely turned off by the idea, actually. But for whatever reason that God only knows, I picked up that pen and went for it.

I guess the beauty of life sometimes is not knowing. It's beautiful and exciting and terrifying all at once. I hate not knowing what my future holds, because I am such a huge control freak. At the same time, my current emotional state has made it so much easier for me to give that control over to my Heavenly Father. I don't think I could even try to figure all of this out on my own right now, and I'm really thankful for a God who doesn't ask me to.

So, here goes. What happens this summer and next year is beyond me. But God knows, and I think that today I am perfectly fine with that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pausing to Praise.

Tonight I just want to take the time to praise the Lord.

I don't do that enough. So many times I get caught up in the negative, in the anxiety, and in the busy life that I have. I focus on the people around me, and on my life, but I rarely find the beauty of Christ anymore. I used to. Last year even. I was so passionate and on fire and joyful. Something has been vastly different this year, and it has certainly been a struggle. I have been working through a lot of depression and anxiety lately, and I'm still working through that. But that's not what this blog is about.

I just want to praise the Lord. I've been broken and fragile and lonely this entire school year. Recently I have just been intensely plagued by hopelessness and anxiety. I don't remember feeling happy completely in such a long time. I went from being a girl who was joyful and carefree, to someone who has trouble getting out of bed and going to class and trying to force out conversations to people that she used to be so excited to talk to. Tasks that were so easy to me my whole life have become taxing and exhausting. It's been so long since I have felt blessed and excited about life and the future.

But tonight, I do. Today, I do. God has overwhelmed me with answers to prayers. A swarm of love and excitement and encouragement, and I am in absolute awe. It's funny how sometimes it just takes you getting to your last breath (figuratively speaking, of course) and then finally it comes. That moment when God shows Himself, and reminds you that He has never left. It's those times when you fall so hard that you know all you can be is dependent on God to get you through the day. It's those moments and those instances and those seasons that bring the greatest joy. I'm feeling that tonight, and well, I needed to share.

I hope you all get the feeling of joy and excitement, and the comfort of knowing that God doesn't leave. I hope you realize that in those times when it feels like you're relentlessly praying and begging and pleaing with God, He's listening and holding you. I pray that you feel that, friends. I really do.

Blessings,
Colleen

Monday, January 10, 2011

On worries, anxiety, and finally trusting.

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." -Psalm 49:19

I have always been an anxious person. Normally, the anxiety that I have comes and goes, and when it's here it doesn't last for too long. However, this break I have been left alone more than when at school, and that has led to a lot of thinking. The thinking leads to more thinking, which leads to "what-ifs" and millions of worries. These worries and uncertainties turn into these big monsters that overtake my every thought. Then I find myself in a very bad place. I find myself not only worried, but incredibly anxious. The type of anxious that prevents you from feeling hopeful and happy, and the type of anxious that makes you even feel sick. It's not healthy, and I've never experienced it as much as I have this break.

The worries I have vary. Sometimes it's about money, sometimes it's about the well being and health of my family and friends, sometimes it's the thought of losing someone I love, sometimes it's about the future. The main worry I have had recently has been about the future. Not necessarily my future life or job, but the future of my country and of the world. I think as I get older I see that there are so many things going wrong in the world, and it's scary for me. It's always been hard for me to trust that God will protect us and take care of us, especially when the only thing the news talks about is the negative. I start getting worked up and freaked out, and to be honest, I get hopeless. I decide that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and there is no use in thinking of having a bright future.

Oh, how Satan loves to lie to us all. Granted, bad things are happening. True, bad things will continue to happen. And maybe in a few years worse things will come. But I do not believe that is what the Lord wants me to be focused on. I have been praying a lot about my fears and my anxiety, and God has definitely told me that I need to take a breath, and trust in Him. I need to believe that He is my protector, and has my best interests in mind. Rather than giving up the ideas for my future, I need to take hope that God has a beautiful future for me, and I need to find discernment and direction in Him. Rather than waking up fearful of what could possibly happen sometime, I should wake up praising the Lord for a wonderful day where I am well, safe, and taken care of.

So I don't know what my future holds. But I do rest in the fact that the Lord knows, and He will always be with me. I am letting go of the fears that have paralyzed me from moving forward and living the life God has created for me, and I am striving to find comfort and strength in Him. He holds my todays, and my tomorrows, and no matter what I know that there will be beauty in whatever God has in store for me.

My prayer for you all is that you are able to look past the fear, uncertainty, and terror that is constantly produced by the media and find strength and courage in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

Love,
Colleen

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm not sure what to title this blog but I guess it can be something about 2011 and the new year.

Happy 2011 everyone! It's crazy to think that another year has begun. The start of a new year always tends to bring that refreshing chance to "start new". People feel a little extra motivation, and the talk of resolutions seem to be everywhere. I used to be one that made a few resolutions, but after years of those goals hardly (if at all) becoming successes, I have long given up on the idea of a resolution.

Still, the start of a new year motivates me to spend some time in self-reflection. 2010 was a really crazy year for me. I experienced a lot of changes, and I grew up a lot in that year. I feel like I'm actually beginning to find out who I am, and I'm working on becoming who God wants me to be. I have had to go through situations that have pushed me and challenged me, and I have seen the negatives and positives of how I have reacted in those situations and in the adversity I have faced in 2010.

Now it's 2011. I don't really have a certain "feeling" towards this year. Sometimes people know it will be good, sometimes people have the sense that it will be terrible, and sometimes I think you just don't know. Right now, I just don't know. I am praying and hoping that this year is wonderful, but I am trying to look forward to it no matter what. I pray that the decisions I need to make (which believe me, I feel like I have a ton of them right now) will be made through the guidance of God, and I pray that the changes I need to make will take place and stay changed. I'm praying the same for you all.

I may not have any specific resolutions, but I simply want to continue to change and allow to be changed and molded by my Lord. So, happy new year everyone. Here's to a fresh start.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Wonderful Life.

Today is Christmas.

Words cannot explain how blessed I feel.

Not just because I got gifts. Or because I got money. Not even because I was fortunate enough to have a nice family dinner. Granted, all of those things are simply wonderful blessings, but not the main reason for these feelings.

Sitting in the crowded living room at Grandma and Grandpa's house, watching everyone laugh and interact, being able to see and hear and feel the love in the room...that is why I feel so blessed. My goodness, I'm not sure how I got so lucky, but I am so thankful. I have the most amazing family, and even when a million things feel like they're changing and breaking I have this wonderful group of people there to support, love, and encourage me.

So, thank you God for putting the most amazing people in my life. I don't deserve it, but I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. Thank you to my family. I love you all so very much.

Merry Christmas all. I hope you're feeling as blessed as I am.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A short, post-semester reflection.

Another blog, another break. Sorry for such delays in updates, but I think most people can understand that time for blogging takes a back seat when you're bogged down with a billion other things to do. The past few weeks of the semester were crazy, busy, and full of exams and papers and meetings. It's good to be home and be able to catch my breath. Yesterday I woke up far too late, made coffee, and read a book. It was fantastic.

This semester has been different. It has been almost the complete opposite of what I expected it to be, and because of that it has been pretty difficult. It's funny how you can expect one thing and it turns out to be nothing like those expectations. I think it's God's way of keeping us in check, and reminding us how desperately we need to depend on Him. If my life always went the way I thought or wanted it to go, I would never turn to God like I have this semester. So I guess despite how hard the semester was, I'm still okay with it. Despite the stress, the pain, the feelings of being overwhelmed, and everything else that came with this semester, I am still thankful. I know that I have grown and learned a lot about myself during the crazy weeks at Grace, and for that I will continue to praise.

I hope you all are finding time to rest. Have a wonderful Christmas!

With love,
Colleen

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Whole Lot of Thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (finally). I am so excited to be with family, and friends, and just celebrating. So, I figured I'd celebrate and reflect a bit on my blog by listing a few (of the many) things that I am thankful for. I hope you enjoy this :)

Things that I am thankful for...
-My loving Savior who always loves me and provides.
-Breaks from school that always happen right when I need them.
-Clean clothes.
-The Holidays.
-My mommy.
-My whole family.
-My amazingly supportive friends.
-My boyfriend.
-Laughter.
-A good job that I enjoy.
-People that pour into me.
-Funny movies.
-Cuddling.
-Rapping in the car with my brother.
-Encouraging notes.
-Sweet text messages.
-A fantastic roommate.
-Forgiveness.
-Communication.
-A newly painted and decorated bedroom.
-Good coffee.
-Stars.
-Brokenness, because it reminds me how much I need to depend on God.
-Love.
-Hugs.
-The chance to get an education.
-Sleeping in.
-Affirmation.
-Music.
-My life, in general.