Lately I have felt like my life is pretty much a roller coaster…maybe not all the time, but it has been a bit of a crazy ride lately! I’m not saying that’s all bad, though. Honestly, my life was a little boring before college and now it’s…not boring, anyway! Haha. Things have been crazy, but it’s these times when God pulls me closer to Him and whispers in my ear to trust Him and to wait on His timing. I feel like He has been beating those two things into my head for the past couple months. It’s about time that I start listening and act like it! I don’t think I would have chosen for all of this to happen this way, but I truly do believe that God has a plan through all of this and in the end, it will all work out! That’s the exciting part 🙂 So I’m going to try to simply hold on for the ride!
Out of the confusion, I cry out to you God
Out of this chaos, I run to You
Out of this dry place, when I’m not sure where to go
Out of this mess, you can make something beautiful
Through all of my pain, through all of my tears, through everything that I have messed up
Through all of my past, through all of my future
You’re making it beautiful, you’re making it beautiful-
A beautiful mess
Out of complication, I ask for peace
Out of past regrets, I can now let go
I have spent so much time wondering where you want me to go
I have spent so much time talking to you, but not listening
I have made such a mess of things tryin’ to do it on my own
You have everything under control, so I’m letting go
^That is my newest original song called A Beautiful Mess, for obvious reasons. That’s what my life seems to be as of lately…messy, imperfect, crazy, complicated [the list could go on] But God is making this beautiful and He has a plan [that I do not see yet!] Interestingly enough, I wrote this song before some more things happened and I didn’t realize how closely this fit my situation until I was playing it a couple days ago. God gave me those words [not that they’re that great of lyrics…but they fit my situation better now than they did when I wrote it, even]. Then, again before some things happened, I was talking to God and I sensed that He was telling me to let go and leave everything up to His perfect timing. I’d say that’s pretty clear 🙂 Not easy, but clear what He’s trying to tell me anyway.
I really, truly believe that it is the messy, imperfect times that make life beautiful. God makes them beautiful, even when all we see are the broken pieces, he sees beauty and he restores us and redeems us.
It’s late and I’m exhausted [I played volleyball for probably about 3 1/2 hours straight today after a long day of homework…] so I can think of nothing more of interest to say, so I’ll write some other time…when I next have the chance 🙂
I was always so frustrated in high school. It felt like every day was the same…such a routine! Now, maybe you love routines, but for me…that’s just stifling! I hated it. I was also frustrated that school took up literally all day (except for when I was at basketball, soccer, or volleyball practice or games) so I had no time to pursue anything that actually interested me because school did NOT interest me, of course. I wonder if smart people actually enjoy school? That’s something that I would know nothing about because I have never classified myself as smart. At least not in school. I don’t think
the only way of being smart is getting good grades in school, however. I don’t know…that’s just a random thought of mine. But anyway, I was (and still am) frustrated at high school in general. I mean…who decides that this stuff is good for us anyway? Who says we have to “learn” this stuff? I know that we need the basics of subjects to get by in life, but do we really need to go into as much depth as we do? Actually, college so far as been the same way…I wouldn’t advise taking all general education classes, because I hate it. It’s like high school all over again…but harder. Why can’t we start learning more about who we are (individually) when we are in, say, Junior High. Then we can start to figure out our God-given passions and talents and then by high school we can already start learning the things that really matter to us. Sure, we’d probably have to take basic courses in subjects that we don’t care about, but why can’t we take classes that we love so that we can actually become good at something and actually enjoy life? Because who really learns what we don’t care about anyway? You “learn” it for the test and then completely forget everything that you don’t use and everything that doesn’t have any meaning for your life. I mean, you can’t possibly remember everything that they throw at you anyway! I can’t wait until I actually find a direction for my passions and talents and, ultimately, my life. It will actually give everything meaning and it will help me to know that I am actually working towards something!
So, if you have ever felt the way that I have…just believe that God has made you for a reason and He has your future already planned out, even when you don’t have any idea what your next step should be…believe me, I’m there right now. I know it’s pretty dark frustrating that I didn’t have any time previously to discover what I love to do and to get good at it, I guess I can start now!
“Our style of relating to God is consistent with our style of relating to others. Our personalities influence our preferences in church and worship.” (Signature sins by Michael Mangis, p. 81)
Each one of us has a unique personality. I think that it is SO amazing how God has made each and every one of us unique. No two people are exactly alike. Everyone’s personalities differ, as well. In Signature sins, Mangis talks about the “seven deadly sins” and how those sins might look very different to different people. Different people might struggle with the same sin, but it will look different in their lives because that particular sin is unique to their life.
In that same book, in chapter 5, he starts talking about four spiritual temperament categories. I will spend some time talking about what he called the Franciscan Temperament because I think it sounds the most like me. I can talk about the others for ya’ll, if you want. Within these categories, however, it would be easy to pull parts and pieces from different categories, I think, because God made us each SO unique that it is hard to force people into categories like this. He starts off with:
“The Franciscan temperament…is characterized by a preference for the senses over intuition.”
In other words, I like to feel things and experience things rather than just rely on the facts. I live in the moment. He also says:
“Traditions become stifling for Franciscans because rigid structures do not leave room for God to do a new thing.”
I think that describes me pretty well. I have always hated ‘traditions’ for the most part. He also says something later about people in this spiritual temperament hate for their experiences to be the same every day. I completely agree, when I look at my own life. In high school I was constantly frustrated because every day seemed SO similar…like I was just living one longggg continuous day that would never end. The day was only paused for several hours so that I could sleep, then I continued on. I didn’t like that.
He also names the common ‘signature sin’ of the Franciscan temperament: It is being too easily swayed by passions and experiences. Whoever fits in this category, needs to be careful to not base our faith or spiritual heights on passions or our experiences. It is so easy for me to do this. We also hunger for passionate worship, which I can relate too.
It’s funny that he mentions this as well because I was literally just praying about this. I had read this chapter earlier today, but I didn’t remember that he said this until I looked back and re-read the highlighted parts. He said:
“Those of the Franciscan temperament have difficulty tolerating and appreciating times of God’s quiet.”
Like I already said, I was just praying about this. I asked God to help me listen to Him. It seems to me like I am so quick to ask requests of God, even if they are good things. Even if they are for other people. That isn’t wrong, in fact God wants us to ask for things and make requests of Him. But that should be the only reason that I pray. I need to be okay with the silence. I need to learn to just sit in silence and learn how to listen to God. Praying is really just a conversation. But most of the time it seems like I am doing most of the talking. I don’t think that’s what God intended.
“Franciscans benefit from the practice of silent, listening prayer that seeks to still the heart and sit silently in Jesus’ presence.”
That’s Franciscans in a nutshell and it seems to be the one that I related to the most. Sorry if I spent too much time talking about me and sorry if I made it seem uninteresting. If you want me to write about the other three temperaments, comment or something and I will try to make time for that 😀