Friday, March 26, 2010

Im Too Selfish For Catchy Titles

Ok, this is probably the biggest epiphany Ive had in a while, and its a doozy.
So hold on to your seats, ladies, here it is:

I am selfish.

You say, "Wait...that's it?" Yes. That's it. But before you title me as the blogger who cried wolf, give me a chance to explain.
About a month or so ago, I was talking to one of my closest friends at the time. He and I had been flirting the line between friendship and "relationship" for a little while, but I just wasn't sure if that was what I really wanted. Then one night, during another one of our regular 11P.M. phone calls, he began to get very frustrated, upset, and maybe even angry. In a slow voice that was beginning to shake with anger, he said four words that broke me.
"You are so selfish."

Now, before you charge after him with pitchforks and torches for being so rude, let me be the first to say, he is completely right. I am selfish, and I am learning that.
I had been telling him the whole time that I didn't really know if I wanted a relationship, but I was treating him as if I did, and as if he were my boyfriend, though that wasn't even what I really wanted. He had every right to be angry.
But since then, for completely different reasons, we haven't been able to talk much recently, and I've been able to clear my head from the self-inflicted smog that romantic emotions and words bring, and Ive been able to think. I hung out with some guys around my age, and some teen couples, and thought about how much I wanted a someone.Someone to hold my hand and kiss my cheek. Someone to be there, and be mine. Then I wondered why. Why did I want a someone so bad? Did I want it so I could pour myself into that person and deny myself for them?
Not at all!
I want a someone for me. To make me feel special. To make me feel valuable.
How messed up is that? I'm ashamed to admit my mind even functions that way. Love is not about yourself at all, and I'm turning it into something so ugly and about me. That's not love, that's lust. That's not love, that's pure, unadulterated selfishness.
So now, here I am, with this huge realization. What's next? While I do believe that being aware of it is half the battle, there is still half a war to be fought with no strategy. I do know that until this is healed and changed for good, remaining single is the best, if not, the only choice. But aside from that, what?
I'm open for advice and willing to share with you your struggles along the road. I'm not in this alonem and neither are you.

Now that I've laid all my dirt out there, what about you? How can you make your life and your actions about someone else, whether it be romantically like me, or even a friend or sibling?

I encourage you, no, I challenge you to find some way today to make an everyday thing about someone else. And I challenge you to do it tomorrow
and the next day
and the next.
Maybe you'll have an epiphany of your very own.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Beauty, To Me.

You're probably going to think I'm weird for calling this beautiful, but it is.
Let me back up.
I go to a big music festival called Cornerstone, and 3 years ago, I fell in love with the punk rock scene/movement, and I identify myself with it.
Yes, the mohawks, spikes, studs, patches...I love it all. Even though its often looked down upon as a group with angst, hatred, and anarchism, there is so much more to it if you take the time to look.

I'm also a follower of Jesus Christ.
(Wait, what? You can be both?)
And I find some of the punk rock Christians to be some of the most passionate people I've ever seen in my life.
This is Nate from FBS, reading from the Bible, live on stage.

And this is their drummer, Andrew.

I was walking around at the fest and made my way to Fat Calf stage, where a church service had just ended. But it was far from over. Andrew was standing near the stage with a young man, and what I saw will stay with me forever. Andrew had one arm around the guy, and the other was emphatically gesturing to show his passion. Both of them had their eyes closed. I stood close and watched(*cough* eavesdropped *cough*)as Andrew prayed for this guy.
I can honestly say I dont think I've ever seen anyone pray with such fervor. I wish I could just replay for you a few seconds of the minute or so I watched God using a dirty, 'angsty' punk like Andrew to change lives. That was beautiful.

And this.

Flatfoot 56 has been so influential in my walk with God. I wait all year for these 5 minutes right here(There are 99 days left till this year's Amazing Grace sing-a-long)
Let me explain why I love it.
Its midnight, and you've spent all day in the hot sun and the dirt and the dust, but you've got enough energy left in you for this one show. You spend all night running in the pits and helping up the people who fall. You're sweaty and gross, and so are the other 200 people crammed in this tent. Then, you know its coming. You put your arms around the people next to you, and chances are, they're big, burly guys that you've never met in your life, and you're just a little 17 year old girl. Their sweat is mixing with yours, and dripping off your elbow. The the entire place goes quiet in anticipation. The bagpipes drone, and then the first few notes of Amazing Grace are distinguishable. And you sing. You, the guys next to you, the guys on stage, your mom who came to try to understand why you love this so much, and every punk rock kid that some "Christians" would say are going to Hell for that haircut. You sing from your gut, and you dont even care if you hit a wrong note, because there is such a presence of God right there, that all you can do its sing.

I cant help but nearly cry every time I watch this video, because in some way, I think that's really how God intended us to be. Close, intimate, passionate, and all for Him. Maybe the sweat isnt so cute. Maybe the heat doesnt make you look so pretty. But a close encounter with God?
That is truly beautiful.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Picture Perfect(?)

I just finished reading a blog by Sarah Markley about beauty, and I figured I would chime in.

Most days, I look like this.
Note the acne and greasy hair.
But last Friday, I got to be this.
Sure, I had the help of a make up artist(My dear friend, Laci), but I feel like in that photo, I am beautiful. But is it lasting?
I posted the photo to my facebook and within hours, I had friends telling me how beautiful I looked. And a message from one of my other friends, who makes a living out of editing photos. He said that he enjoyed knowing every post-photography process that was used to make that photo so 'beautiful.'
And doubt kicked in. "Is that really what I looked like?" "How much was photoshop?" "How much concealer did Laci have to use?"
Then I realized.
It doesnt matter.

Today, my brother and I got a DVD of videos and pictures from a summer camp we attend, and I watched a video of one of my favorite skits from that week. The main character struggles with seeing herself as God's masterpiece, but God comes and shows her that when she surrenders over all the ugliness and flaws, He can make something truly beautiful.

So now, I start the process of handing over all those flaws. All the ugliness. Everything not of God. As he chisels away all the junk, His true masterpiece is sure to emerge.