I keep thinking that I’d love to be Ariel (minus the skimpy clothing), but I saw this Disney princess personality test this morning, and I took it. I was surprised by the result, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. What do you think?
I’m trying to write down all my thoughts from moving and transitioning. I realize that there’s some details that I haven’t had a chance to blog about. Not sure that anyone’s following, but I want to write them down so I’ll remember later.
I met with Aaron one last time before I moved away. It was an interesting time of reflection for both of us. We first met about twelve months before, and we talked about how much our lives have changed in the last year and a half. We’ve both made changes that we never dreamed we would ever make, and we’ve also both been faced with decisions that we never imagined we’d have to deal with. (We just felt sad for other people who had to experience them & patted ourselves on the back that they didn’t happen to us.)
Aaron gave me two parting thoughts:
Live well with illness: Neither of us are sure what that means or even what it would look like. But at some point, God calls us to live well on the path He’s ordained for us. While that doesn’t preclude praying for deliverance, it does mean that we have a responsibility to endure. I think that’s one thing I’ve definitely learned by being around Timothy & Aaron. Learning to focus on living well & living Christ, period. Not to worry so much about the context. Or compare myself to other people. Because that’s all that God requires.
Live well spiritually: We talked about liturgy. We talked about having a communion centered life. We talked about a sacramental faith. Mostly we talked about following the peace in our spirit and not compromising.
Besides that, Aaron commented that I need to surround myself with friends who don’t just make me comfortable but aren’t afraid to ask hard questions. That was a hard comment for me to swallow, not because I’m afraid of that, but because it feels like that’s all that I ever do. In the past year, I’ve been in more Quality of Life conversations, more fertility/genetics/gynecological conversations, more purpose-of-your-life conversations than any girl my age should ever have to encounter, let alone all in a one year period. I had a lot of friendships come and go and made some fairly difficult decisions. So, isn’t a girl allowed to kick back and relax once in a while???
At the same time, it’s nice to have solid friends when those hard times come, even if I manage to stumble into those difficult questions all by myself. In that sense, Drs. Leo, Samuel, and Mark have been amazing rocks. Diana, Alana, and Tabitha have never been afraid to ask hard questions and to pray & support from afar. Bethany’s been pretty amazing as well. Timothy & Grace have had open ears, especially Grace, who’s shared with me things on her heart as well.
It’s a lot to think about moving toward the future. I’m not entirely sure what God has in store for me. But I know that my season with Timothy & Aaron & company was not in vain.
So after I posted my rant yesterday, Larissa posted something along the same lines. She mentions how difficult it is to hear people say that they complain about the things in their life until they remember how challenging her life is and are grateful that it isn’t so for them.
I think Larissa has a lot more graciousness than I do. Or maybe it’s my recent bout of swearing. Those kinds of comments are really insulting to me. It’s not even someone acknowledging that my life is awful. It’s more of a “isn’t my life great?” kind of comment.
This sentiment has a sister sentiment: “Well, it can’t be all that bad. Just remember the starving children in Africa.” or something like that.
I’m not sure where God fits into that mentality at all. It’s more of a patting myself on the back because I’m taller than you or at least I’m not a midget.
But I’m learning that God calls us to different paths. One is not better than another. They’re just different. In the same way that a guy might be a good guy but just not a good fit for you, not all trials are meant to be ours. It doesn’t mean that they’re invalid or necessarily lesser. They’re just not meant for us in particular.
So Larissa, I’m glad that I’m not alone. Thank you for your honesty. But I also want to say that these are things that I admire about you, things that inspire me to be better, purer, stronger:
I love your writing style. I love the way that you use things like punctuation and capitalization to convey the tone. I’ve found myself mimicking your style sometimes.
I love your sense of fashion, the way you incorporate the old and the simple with the modern. When I saw your wedding pictures and the bridesmaid dresses, I realized how much my concept of clothing and appropriate colors has been restricted and how much there’s a part of me that wants to experiment. I’ve become more open to the idea of putting together things that weren’t designed to be together, just because, putting a vintage hymnal with a seashell might create something new.
I love the way in which you (and Ian) draw attention to the little things. I wrote once how much our life is occupied and governed by the little things. I was focused on how the small things can be what tips us over the edge. But you’ve showed me how much that can go both ways: sometimes the smallest gesture or thought can bring joy and peace and rest into our tumultuous heart.
I admire the ways that you celebrate your life: not just with words, but with pictures, with music, with Scripture, with memories. I’m very much an aural and tactile learner (ironic for this homeschool grad!) and so sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine how to capture things using senses other than my sense of sound and of touch. Through your blog and twitter and instagram, I’ve discovered how much can be captured in a picture or by the crafting of words. You’ve made me more aware of the world around me, just by being Larissa.
I love your name. I never met anyone with the name Larissa before. I think Clarissa Barton is the closest. Now I’ve met other Larissas, and the name conjures up the thought of someone simple, kind, generous, devoted.
Larissa, I’m so grateful to be your friend. We haven’t met face-to-face, but in so many ways, your journey has become a part of mine. I don’t know how or whether my life can ever serve as an inspiration to you. But I’m grateful for that God placed you in my life and for the ways in which He’s worked in my life through His work in yours. I see God growing in you, and it gives me hope that He’s also growing in me through all these things that we pass through.
A short update because some of you expressed concern after my last post. (Thank you.)
So, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket or count my chickens before they hatch, but here are a few things I’m at peace about putting out in public:
I (temporarily) am back at my apartment. After breaking down in Mr. Eric‘s office, I concluded that not being in the house was more pertinent than I had thought. I’m just back for the weekend and then will figure things out from there.
I made some phone calls and started praying about moving back to my hometown.
I made definite plans to visit a good friend and her husband for a week in early July. In a totally different town.
I talked to Grace about what had happened and about the things that stressed me out about the community. She said, Us too. Her week has also been exceptionally stressful… but she said that the silver lining is that I may be able to move into her house immediately. And she said that it would help her a lot to have me closer to her.
A couple employers called me to discuss potential jobs, here, there, and everywhere (aka remote employment).
I have appointments/conversations scheduled with Drs. Leo & Samuel this coming week where we intend to discuss plan of care for the next six months and what to do if I stay or go.
A lot is up in the air. I am kind of confused as to what God’s doing and preparing in my life. But I’m trying to remain open to what He has in store. And keep praying.
Someone shared with me this week that FAITH stands for Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him. I’m trying to remember that. It’s better than swearing. Or pacing. Or wringing my hands. Plus, I’ve finally found some peace to sleep and heal.
Please pray. Pray for clarity. Pray for wisdom. Pray that the enemy would be bound. Pray that the right housing and employment opportunity would open up. And pray for conversations with the doctors, with Aaron and Timothy & Grace, and with friends. (I’m not sure what the secular equivalent is to praying, but as long as it doesn’t involve black magic, I appreciate all good thoughts and support and well wishes and whatever else seems appropriate.)
Growing in faith through faith in Christ,