Monday, November 25, 2013

Living Out Loud, Fueling the Fire

WARNING: This post is very rambly.
Each day we are presented with hundreds of choices. From whether or not we hit the snooze button to if we go out of our way for someone else.
I am discovering that my anxiety seems to come from the unknown... or from knowing I cannot control everything and I am totally powerless at times. I have a bad habit of setting expectations for things and being really hurt when life doesn't produce what I expect. I cannot control this world. Last night I was feeling really anxious, so I sent Abby a text saying I wasn't feeling well and to just keep me in her prayers. Not 2 minutes later, sometime after 1:00 in the morning, Abby is in my bed. "Don't you ever text me saying that and expect me to just sit in my room and pray for you when I am only floors away!"
She reminded me that while there is a lot I have no control over, there are things that I am master of. I can make my own decisions... I can control myself even if my anxiety makes me feel like I can't.
I know that God is in control. I do. But when suddenly nothing meets your expectations, it seems like everything is in a spiral.
It is no doubt that the passing of Adam triggered this recent anxiety. Something such as this serves as an ultimate reminder of God being in control in all ways. Losing Adam was obviously not at all part of my expectations for life right now. I knew him very little, but hurt so deeply for those who knew him well. Before I get to my overall point, I want to share my few interactions with this incredible man.
I first met him in 2010. In fact, he was my very first experience with this whole Christian community I have come to hold so dearly and the openness of hospitality that comes with it (other than those in my local church). I had never been to a gospel meeting, but had recently started attending my congregation at home. Adam's dad was preaching the meeting and they were both staying at the Buntings'. I was sitting on the couch upstairs waiting on Kristina when a very tall man walked up the stairs balancing a laptop on his head with mild support from his hands. He proceeded to walk around in circles in front of me. After a good two minutes I finally asked what he was doing. "Looking for a signal." he replied and continued pacing. Then, he stopped and introduced himself...and continued his search for Internet. The next day he declared he would be adding me on Facebook, and lo and behold, I had a request from Batman Rodriguez. "Tina, who the heck is Batman Rodriguez and why does he want to be my friend?" Kristina cracked up and informed me Batman was just Adam.
In the time in between then and last fall (or maybe it was this past spring..), I barely communicated with him. Mainly, it was just a "Party Arthur!" from him on my birthday. But, when he was visiting FC recently we both ended up at Pie Night. From across the Village Inn he began flailing his arms "Erin Wells! That's Erin Wells! We haven't talked in so long!". Honestly, I didn't expect him to remember me. Why would he? We met once, 2-3 years ago and hadn't really talked since. But he did...and he made it a point to come talk to me. How many people do that?
I am grieved for this world's loss of such a special soul...but so happy for Adam. He no longer has to live in this world of sin. How wonderful is it that we have that opportunity?

The whole ordeal has certainly spiked my anxiety...but it has also made me hungry. Hungry, that is, for life. I have let my anxiety control me for too long. I need to let go. I cannot control it all...what I can control is how I live. I can be quiet and live in the background, or I can be like Adam and live out loud, trusting God in every step. I can take every moment and make it worth something and that is my choice. There will be days that are hard and that don't go as planned, but it shouldn't keep me from really truly living out loud.  Every day is a day to glorify God and live for Him.

I want to live out loud. I want to see the joy in every breathe I breath, every step I take, every tear that graces my face. I know it is unreasonable to do that 100% of the time, but I can aim for 98% of the time, right?

I have this fire inside me to do so much. I want to experience it, I want to taste it. I want to CHANGE it. I feel an urgency within me to help this world spin a little smoother. That's why I have chosen to go into elementary education. Not because I love children (although I do love children), but because I want to give them a chance they may not get...a view they might not have seen without me. I want to show them how wonderful learning is, but more importantly, how wonderful this world can be if we make it. If we show love and kindness...if we give opportunities. If we show others how it's done. I have a fire that begs for change by my hand. Each day I am learning to fuel that fire with hard work and lots of prayer. I know this world is not my home and that I am working towards a higher place, but while I am here, I charge forward to improve lives of others. We are given such a great opportunity of just being that it is a shame not to strive to make a difference. I am building myself up for the job, one brick at a time. Until I am ready, I will suck every moment out of the experiences I am given to get me to my ultimate destination.

Daily Scavenge:

A full house at a devotion in memory of Adam.
(I believe Brian Harbor took this picture..I stole it from Facebook)
The rest of these are from Fall Banquet (11/23/13)
Ugly Sweater day (for some reason, we look like weird shrunken people...)



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