Overcoming Day One

Okay, well it’s not really day one. It’s like day six. But still. All my friends (and by all, I mean at least 95% of them) are making their plans to go out tonight. Of course, there’s several places around town to go to. A friend of my roommate and I was just in our apartment and we are all talking about all the dumb guys we’ve met at parties, and all the random make out sessions, and awkward situations that we’ve been through. It sounds stupid, but I’m already missing it. But then again, I know there’s a reason that I’m turning away from this life. It’ll go in the same pattern: spend an hour getting dressed, doing our makeup, doing our hair, drink a “power hour”, get to the party or club or whatever and drink more, everyone’s drunk, someone says something stupid or offensive, someone starts crying (usually the same person) and I go home and try to clean up all the drama. Does it sound like there’s any fulfillment in that? Sure, it sounds fun to me now. I’ll get to meet people and talk to people that I never EVER would have the guts to talk to sober. Then probably act like a fool at some point, and be associated with that for ever. Just say the word “halloween” around my friends, and well, the rest is history.

Like I said before, I’m looking for something more. I could drink all day every day and never really be happy. There’s a void that I’ve been trying to fill for months and months, and I’ve tried just about everything but God. I guess there’s not a real structure to this blog (and I warned you that I had no clue what I was doing) but I’ve been reading a new book called “The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism” by Kevin DeYoung. Basically, it’s a structural way to learn about God through the Heidelberg Catechism. Through the last few months, I’ve struggled with depression, self-doubt, lack of self-esteem so the first question of the Heidelberg particularly struck me:

Q1: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A1: That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to Him, Christ, by His Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.

That’s the comfort that I’ve been seeking all this time – to be set free and to know I belong to Christ. Later in the first chapter, there’s an amazing quote by John Calvin: “We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal”. It’s not even a question as how we are called to live our lives. We all know deep down that we are called to follow Christ. And every human has the law of conviction written on their hearts. I have friends that obviously are feeling convicted by their actions, but they choose not to act upon those convictions. And I can’t say that I blame them. This is by far one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. It’s hard to see all my friends having fun without me. It’s hard to help my roommate do her hair, and keep mine in a pony tail. It’s hard to drop a life that I was SO comfortable with and pick up a life that is socially outcasted and unaccepted. I live for social acceptance. Well, lived. But the truth is, I was never really living that whole time anyways. I was dying. I know there’s no future to that life, no fulfillment, no happiness, nothing. It’s an empty, sad, bitter life. It’s a worldly life with no eternity. Which brings me to my favorite verse right now. It’s my daily prayer, my daily thanksgiving, my daily reminder of God’s love: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart – I have overcome the world” – John 16:33

(side note: I’m writing this on a Friday night and my roommate and her friend are getting ready to go out right now. She just came in my room and asked why I’m not going out. AHH. This is so difficult.)

Anyways, there’s just one last quote that I have before I stop rambling. It’s a prayer for the Ephesians that I’m thinking about putting on my wall or somewhere in my room as a daily reminder: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from who his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and establish in love, may have power, together will all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen!” – Ephesians 3:14-21.

Pretty soon, Friday night will be in the books and there will be drunken drama that, for once, I won’t be involved in. Someone will get thrown up on, and it won’t be me. My friend is coming over soon and we’re going to watch movies and have “girl talk” – which sounds lame, but those are some of the most liberating conversations. And, in case you need something to be proud about, I’ve already made plans with a friend from church for tomorrow night. She’s coming to my apartment and we’re going to walk down to the park and lake and go to the historic parts of downtown and just enjoy the night. For once, I’m making decisions that I’m proud of. And slowly, I’m finding myself again.


One comment on “Overcoming Day One

  1. Kris says:

    Wow. This is good. Really good.

    Never mind how proud I am of you for making these really hard choices – you know what impresses me? Your ability to come up with the perfect “last line.” The post before this was great, too, in that respect. Good work! (Sorry…English teacher habits die hard…)

    Anyway, the larger ideas are good, too. It’s weird how it can actually be a comfort to know that “I am not my own.” The world these days has so much to say about “being your own person.” But in the end, it’s hard and lonely to live for yourself. It’s hard, lonely, and empty.

    God is doing a big thing in your life. It’s exciting to get to see it unfolding before my very eyes.

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