Sunday, January 24, 2010



You believe that we were never friends,
And we were never dating.
So maybe I did imagine it all.
The scenes play over and over in my mind,
Like a bad movie that you wish you had never seen.
I only kept watching because I wanted to see the ending.
I wanted to resolve this mess and rectify your wrongs,
But justification never came.

I loved you, didn’t I?
I took your hits of blame and control,
Seeded with the weight of the hurt you carry,
Always thinking I was waiting for you to heal.
And since I loved you enough to stick around
And be understanding of where you have been,
I thought that things would get better.
But redemption never came.

We never got better. We could never heal
From the ways you threw my pearls before the swine
Time and time again.
And the damned thing is, I let you.
I handed them to you. It must be my fault.
People are supposed to learn from mistakes
And grow stronger and wiser in time.
I thought I was learning, I thought I was being refined.
But sanctification never came.

Maybe you were right,
We were never friends or dating
because after dating, I couldn’t just be your friend.
And after being hurt, I couldn’t truly be with you
Because there were too many walls.
I thought it was only your walls that hurt us,
But in the end, it was the walls I didn’t even know I had up
That made you and me an impossibility.
Donc le chagrin qui marque mon coeur,
Le chagrin que j’ai apporté pour si longtemps,
Il doit être tué.
And why? Because I can live without you.
And it’s time I started resting in that truth
So that my restoration can come.

What is this poem a reprise of? Find out here!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

weakest link

There are many different angles through which one can investigate the history of a country. I had never thought about it before I took a class on Paris my senior year. In high school, we just studied the presidents, the battles, the important inventions. That's what history meant to me. But I actually always believed that an important part of a country or a culture's history is the art, the literature, the architecture. But another interesting way to study history is to look at the poor and the common people. Who were they? Which leads to questions like...Why were they poor? And what was the government doing to help them? In my Paris class, we took a break from talking about kings and generals to look at the common people. People flocked to Paris in hopes of jobs (as always is the case with moving to the city), and they couldn't find jobs. So they resorted to prostitution and that sort of thing.

It gets me thinking about that phrase "you're only as strong as your weakest link." What if that were true of a country? I mean you can experience a country's culture when you travel in a myriad of ways: the landmarks, the museums, the food, the everyday way of life. But what if you traveled around and did volunteer work at places like orphanages, soup kitchens, etc. instead of the usual sightseeing stuff? Your picture of that country would be quite different. I wonder what that kind of experience would be like in comparison to the norm. What if a country was only as strong as their weakest link? It's just interesting to think about.

Which reality counts more? The pride of a country's monuments, museums, and battlefields or the amount of people in their country who have no homes or can't provide meals for their family? I don't know. It makes me sad to think of someone visiting the US and looking at the people sleeping on the streets. Part of me would want to shelter the visitors from the poverty so that I could show them our capitol building and our battlefields where soldiers bravely fought for freedom because I am really proud of those things. Which portrayal is a more accurate reality?

Apparently, the countries in Scandanavia rank as the happiest in the world. Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands are in the top ten. The number 1 happiest country, according to, is Denmark. These countries tend to have high income tax (50% for a middle class worker in Denmark), but that means they have good health care, education systems (college is free in Denmark), and welfare benefits. Denmark has a 99% literacy rate, and supposedly, 95% of their population is Evangelical Lutheran. Well, I'm going off on a tangent because I'm finding Denmark to be so interesting, but my point is, it seems that the poor are definitely taken care of in Denmark. And the country is happier for it. (Although, I must note that the Danes are not known for being friendly, but remember, they descend from brutal vikings!)

All that to just offer a different perspective of viewing a country's history and culture: from the bottom. I think that we're all connected and that my freedom is tied to yours. That's why we're only as strong as our weakest link.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

abide in me

How do I see God? That's what Betsy asked me. And frankly, I don't know. I could make up an answer so that Betsy doesn't know that my mind is absolutely blank right now, but instead, I just tell her that I don't know. But that's not really okay... so I went to bed that night, and as I was praying, I started to tell God how I saw him. And then I decided I wanted to write it down, so I got up and grabbed some paper. Since I like to reuse paper, I grab some papers with the blank side facing up, and I turned them over to see what they were, and all of them were Psalm 46. Be still and know that I am God. So I decide to write on the front of them instead of the back.

-How do I see God?

-My God created the universe from nothingness.

-My God always was, always is, and always will be.

-My God is sovereign, even the wind obeys Him.

-My God is mighty to save. He doesn't just reach out his hand; He grabs me and says, "I will not let you fall!"

-My God is in love with me. He is the best boyfriend--no others can compare.

-My God is not dependent on me. But he graciously offers me a role in his work in reconciling the world.

-Apart from my God, there is no life. He offers the living water to the whole world.

-My God chased after me into a pig sty and kissed my hand because He saw more in me than just a garbage collector. My God says, "you have worth in me."

-My God hung on a cross and forgave me as I stood mocking him.

-My God breaks things so that we can see His grace in the healing.

-My God asks me to trust His will for my life. Sometimes I don't know what that means. I want to follow Him, but what does He want me to do?

After reflecting on how I see God, I felt fully confident in who my God is. So I went downstairs to hang these things on the wall, and as I hung them, I felt God saying to me, "Abide in me." This gave me so much peace. It's like, whether I decided to keep on with the IV internship or if I decided to quit, it's okay either way. God can do something good out of either decision. God was giving me a choice here. And in whatever decision I make, if I abide in Him, I will be in His will. I didn't know yet whether I would or wouldn't continue with the internship, but I told Betsy about it the next day. We talked for a long time, but it was clear that God was asking me to follow through with my commitment. It wasn't about the fact that I had made the commitment, and I HAD to get through it. No, it was obedience that God was calling me to. I usually follow Him halfway and then think that's enough, but I decided that I wanted to follow through to do the entire year of the internship.

It was an awesome last few days as God changed my heart to make me joyfully desire to serve Him through this internship instead of just dragging through it because I "have to." I think things may continue to be a struggle sometimes, but after hearing from God, I am much more confident in knowing that He really is with me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Urbana 09

     Well, so much for writing once a week. I actually have three posts that I started and never finished...if that counts for anything! So I just got home from Urbana, a world missions conference in St. Louis. It was a 17 hour bus ride, but it was worth it! AND I got to see the Mississippi River, which was one of my lifelong dreams! Isn't that awesome? As soon as we got to the hotel, I went to check out the river and the arch with some friends from LVC. The hotel I stayed at with my Millersville friends was right across the street from the arch. Our hotel room had a king size bed and a separate living room. It was like a suite! Alright now onto the good stuff.... the actual conference!

    So worshipping with like 17,000 people from around the world is just an indescribable thing. It's like experiencing what heaven will be like because you get a chance to see a greater picture of who God is when you are with people from all places, cultures, languages. I loved the speakers the best, though. I loved hearing about the places they have been. I was very touched by Ramez Atalluh speaking about the garbage village in Egypt where he and his wife ministered. When the pastor who first ministered there tried to talk to one of the people, they ran into a pig sty because they were afraid. They lived like animals. But that pastor just put his boots, lit a torch, and went into the pig sty after them. It was such a picture of how God came down here to us. We do hide in pig stys, afraid of the goodness that God offers. But he comes in after us to love on us. The other speakers that really impacted me the most were a man from Rwanda and a man from Korea. The man from Rwanda spoke about the two tribes there and how his father had been killed by the other tribe when he was 5 years old. He talked about reconciliation and forgiveness and how God told him that he had no right to hold onto his hatred. So now he ministers to this other tribe, I think they are called the Tutsi. Anyway they were the ones who caused the genocide in the country. I can't imagine forgiving someone who killed my father and terrorized my country. That's what made me realize that if that man can forgive a group of people who have hurt his family and negatively impacted his life so much, and not only forgive but love and minister to, I can forgive the people in my life that I don't want to forgive. The man from Korea spoke about the Japanese imperalism that took over Korea and their culture. He is now a missionary in Japan. Seeing Jesus up on the cross saying, "Forgive them for they know not what they do" is a powerful image that just shows you that forgiveness is not optional.
  The story about the garbage village was particularly inspiring to me because Ramez Atallah and his wife are taking part in something amazing in Egypt where God is moving in huge ways. The church that was built in that garbage village is the largest in the middle east apparently! I looked it up online when I got home, and one sentence from an article I read really struck me: "They still collect garbage; however, they now have three schools, a hospital and many churches" ( The people there still collect garbage, but they are now followers of Jesus, and this makes all the difference in their village.

     I went into the conference with an expectation that I'd figure out what I'm going to do after my internships are over this year, but I didn't really figure that out. I do have a few things in mind, but the cool thing is that I don't have to sign up for a program next year. I can stick around here and just get a job, and if I have to move back home, that would be okay. It's all okay. And I'm just excited about whatever adventure God has planned for me. The world is a big place, and I intend to explore every inch of it!

     If you are interested in hearing the speakers from Urbana 09, you can catch them all on the website: