Tuesday, 28 May 2013

When Love Sees You


I don't have a lot of time to put together a big post. Though, trust me, I would way rather be doing a post than doing the math I have to do. Unfortunately, my teachers insist that my schoolwork must be done. So, instead I'm posting the lyric video for one of my favorite songs. While I was struggling, it was one of the songs that got me through. I hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Great Expectations

Before I even get into this post (which is not about the novel Great Expectations—seriously, I will never, ever talk about classic literature. Ick!), I just want to say thank you to all the people who have been sending me messages and comments with encouragement. It really means so much to me. Which also brings me to my second point. If anyone has any feedback, positive or negative, I would be happy to hear it. I’m new to the blogging world, and I’ll take all the help I can get!

Now, here’s a little bit more of my story.

Near the end of summer 2012, I thought I was finally getting over some stuff. I felt stronger. It also helped that I knew I would be gone from that city soon. In retrospect, I can see that I hadn’t really made a full recovery. My hope and happiness was purely built on the fact that I would be gone soon. I hadn’t really dealt with anything in my heart. Nonetheless, I was happier and my family enjoyed being around me a little bit more.

Then my dad dropped the bomb. I was going to go to a summer camp with my old school and attend that school for about a month until we moved.

I. Was. Mad.

So I definitely wasn’t over everything. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. It was just taking some time. A few hours after my dad had told me the news, I was finally calmed down. And I made a decision. I decided that I was going to have fun at this summer camp and during that first month of school. It had been a whole summer. A lot can happen in a summer. I knew that much. I believed that things would be different between me and my friends. Looking back now, I guess I actually had made some progress. I would never have been able to make that kind of a decision before.

I started packing for the summer camp. I was actually excited to see my friends who truly did mean a lot to me. When I got to camp, everything was great. For the first two days. The camp ran from Sunday night to the following Friday night. On that Friday, I crawled into my mom’s car crying really hard. Nothing had changed. I was still treated the same way. And I think it hurt more because I had expected things to be different. I was expecting too much.

The camp had included tryouts for our school volleyball team, and the coach was willing to let me play for the month that I was actually at school. Initially I had been excited about this, but after that week at camp, I told my parents that there was no way I was going to play volleyball with the team. I would go to school for the month, but after that, I was never going back. In the hours that followed that declaration, I thought it through and decided that I would play volleyball because it was the right thing to do. I knew that if I quit the team, it wouldn’t be in good conscience. As it turned out, packing for a crazy big move consumed all of our time, and I wasn’t able to play.

So, school came and again I made the decision to be happy. That stuck for about the first week. Again, I went in expecting way too much. I figured that because all my friends knew I was leaving, they would at least be willing to sit with me at lunch. Nope. The whole cycle started all over again. I would put my lunch down, and everyone else would go two tables over. Nothing had changed since last school year. Finally, I didn’t think I could take the isolation anymore. I put in a lot of extra hours of homework just so I could finish all my schoolwork and leave the school early.

On my last day, I was actually hoping to sneak out. I would just leave at lunch, and no one would know (or care, so I thought). But, my teacher (who was an awesome teacher) announced my departure to the class. To my surprise, I actually got a lot of tearful hugs and goodbyes. I was so shocked. And I actually cried. So maybe this school and the people did still have a place in my heart. Under my sadness.

For as long as I can remember, my dad has been hammering into me not to have super high expectations on anyone. Because you will be disappointed. He says that expectations are relationship killers. People are people. I’m not perfect; they’re not perfect. Other people’s expectations might differ from yours, and they can’t live up to your expectations if they don’t even know what you want! A lot of the hurt I experienced was due to my expectations. One of the first things my counselor told me was “Accept; don’t expect.” I can’t change anyone except myself. If I could go back in time and re-do everything, I would accept people for who they are. It would have saved me a lot of stress and heartache. Yeah, it’s really hard to not expect, but the pain from the disappointment is definitely much harder.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Never Alone

After my grandpa died, it was a whirlwind. Trying to plan funerals and all that stuff really doesn’t give you any time to grieve. The day after he died, my parents had to have a bunch of meetings with lawyers and funeral planners. I had an appointment with the orthodontist (and I hate the orthodontist!). After my appointment, I went shopping because my parents couldn’t pick me up. I can remember everything I bought that day and where I ate. Needless to say, it was not a very fun shopping trip. Then came my grandpa’s funeral and all that jazz. After that, I was sort of able to start sorting out what had happened. I cried. I ate a lot of junk food. I tried to kinda talk to God, but honestly, I had no desire to. I wasn’t mad at Him, but when you’re hurting, you push away the ones that care the most about you. I was a whole mess of emotions, and I just didn’t think that God wanted to deal with that.

                Soon, my dad went back to his job in the new city, and the rest of us started packing and getting ready to move. I tried to move on, and I pushed aside the pain that I was feeling. I became numb to any feelings except one. Anger. I was so angry about the way everything had gone down before my grandpa died. I lashed out at everyone. I hated the city that I was living in. I wanted to get out so bad. The only thing that really kept me going was knowing that in a couple months, I could leave all the crap of that city behind.

                Beginning of July, I started trying to get my life back together. I got a puppy, which helped me to take my eyes off myself and focus on taking care of a young life. I tried to talk to God again. I started reading The Purpose Driven Life, which was really good. For all of July and August, I was up and down a lot. There were definitely more bad days than good though. I cried myself to sleep a lot. During those nights, though, as I was crying, those were the times when I heard God speak. Even if I didn’t want to listen. Even if I told Him to get lost. 

                Summer of 2012 was a really rough summer. As I writing this, almost a year later, I’m getting tears in my eyes because I still remember how hard it was. And how much harder things became. Maybe what hurt the most that summer was how I tried to change but constantly messed up. Every time I messed up, I got angrier and angrier at myself and at the world around me. I couldn’t forgive myself or others, and I thought that surely God couldn’t either.

                But I was wrong. Honestly, when I was really, really low, I couldn’t see God. But He was there. And He is there for you.

For He (God) Himself has said, “I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax my hold on you)! Assuredly not!”                                                                                      Hebrews 13:5 (Amp)


Sunday, 5 May 2013

When Hell Gets Hotter


You know in movies when the character says “Things can’t get any worse,” and then their car explodes or something? Why do you think we all find that so funny? Maybe because we can all relate to it. I know I relate to it.

                So, the school year was finally done and we were going to move. I thought my problems were over, and things would never get as bad as they were. I forgot two things though. One, I was still me. I still had to deal with the things that were wrong in my own heart otherwise my problems would never go away. Two, I forgot about one problem that didn’t involve me, but would affect me.  I forgot about my grandpa who was having a tough time of his own.  As you could probably guess, I was about to get jolted back to that reality.

                School got out on around June 8. On June 14, I was out working in one of our rental houses with two extended family members. Actually, that whole week, I had been out with them. And I was really not enjoying any of it. That whole week, they had been talking about my grandpa, and not saying the nicest things about him. Here’s the thing. No one is perfect—not even my grandpa. I’ve hurt people, and I regret it. Apparently, my grandpa had made some people angry about fifty—fifty!—years ago, and one of my extended family members wasn’t about to let it go.  Hearing all this, I got pretty ticked at my relatives, not my grandpa. How could they be so bitter toward my dying grandpa?  So, on June 14 we got a call from the care home he was staying at. He had really taken a turn for the worse, and they didn’t think he would make it through the night. Not cool.

 We left and headed to see him. It was about a thirty minute drive to see him. And the whole way, I listened to those relatives talk about what a horrible person my grandpa was. I was livid, but I didn’t show it. I just kept thinking I hope you guys have someone to say nice things about you on your deathbed, because I sure won’t. We finally got to the care home, and when I saw my grandpa, I broke down. He looked dead already. He saw us when he came in, he said, “I’m sorry; I’m sorry.” My heart  broke. He was a Christian, and he knew that he was going to heaven. Still, he couldn’t forgive himself, even though God already had.  I sat with him and held his hand.

I was so angry and hurt. And scared! No one close to me had ever died.

My relatives soon left, because they had other stuff to do, my mom was coming with my brother, and my dad was still on his way from the new city he was working at. Soon, it was just me and my dying grandpa. I watched his breaths get slower and slower. He held my hand, and I talked to him. As his breaths got slower and slower, he lifted his hands to heaven like he was reaching for Jesus.  I wanted someone to come be with me. I had never seen anyone die. I was all by myself for a while until my grandpa’s brother came, but I really didn’t know them. Finally, my grandpa’s next breath didn’t come. I checked for a pulse and found nothing. The nurse came and confirmed it. My grandpa had gone to be with Jesus.

Shortly afterwards, my dad, mom, and brother all arrived. I was still stunned and angry. I didn’t let anyone get close to me. I physically pushed people away. The only comfort I found was that my grandpa was in a better place.

Losing my grandpa was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. It sent me on a spiral downward, lower than I ever thought was possible. At the same time, I saw God in a way I never thought possible. I know he was right there, with my grandpa and with me. The image of my grandpa lifting his hands to God, who forgives and comforts, is an image that stayed with me as I struggled in the months to come. I saw God in a bigger light. I hope that if you too are struggling, you will see the God that I saw and that you will know that even when it seems like God is so far away, He’s really right there.