Below is an excerpt from my personal journal from earlier in the summer. I took some time today to read over my journal and relived some of these moments and emotions. When journaling, I try to articulate the rawest form of honesty because I spend most of my life lying to myself (even if small, minuscule white lies). Sometimes this results in some pretty disconcerting insight. For some reason, although the strong-willed introvert within me disapproves, I felt the overwhelming need to post some of my journal entries publicly…or for my 8 followers haha. So enjoy, everything you see below is taken out of my journal verbatim, so excuse the grammatical errors and awful informal writing.
May 23, 2012
"He wandered in loneliness, weeping a little for the hardness of the world, and he journeyed up the River, til he came to a stream that flowed down from the mountains, and he went that way. He caught fish in deep pools with invisible fingers and ate them raw. One day it was very hot, and as he was bending over a pool, he felt a burning on the back of his head, and a dazzling light from the water pained his wet eyes. He wondered at it, for he had almost forgotten about the sun. Then for the last time he looked up and shook his fist at her." - J.R.R. Tolkien (Fellowship of the Ring)
It’s funny how often I relate to the villains of stories. I’m starting to sense a pattern.
But maybe it says something about villains. Maybe they are just as lost as the hero, in his/her time of tribulation. Maybe the villain is even more courageous than the hero because he doesn’t romanticize things, he doesn’t pretend. Or maybe it just says something about me…
May 24, 2012
I’m beginning to understand what it means to be lonely. The smallest things remind me of home…and regret. The chapstick ******* got me…I am so encouraged every time I use it. It makes me feel special again. And it also makes me feel so ashamed at how I treated ******* the past few months. I have not been a good friend, and an even worse sister in Christ. And I’m seeing that now.
Maybe this is why I’m here in Seattle. Maybe this is why God wanted me here so badly. Maybe He understood and started seeing what kind of “spoiled Christian” I was becoming. I was using so many people, things, circumstances as props. And they determined my happiness. And God loves me enough to yank me out of that. To remind me that I’m no ordinary human being.
I am a child of God. That should radically change everything about how I live, how I spend my time, how I think.
I’m grateful that God cares about me so much to be constantly and incessantly saving me from myself.
June 1, 2012
ARIEL + job + school + friends + stuff = ARIEL
(who I was at JMU vs. who I am presently)
- job - school - friends - stuff (Subtract from both sides, present Ariel is left in the negative.)
I felt like everything I had built my identity around was being subtracted from me. It left me feeling empty, lonely, isolated, abandoned. There were mornings I woke up and felt worthless. I never felt like that before. Worthless? I know in my head I’m not, but do I know in my heart?
I was bitter, angry, frustrated at myself mostly but I managed to take it out on my sister after she came home from work. She didn’t deserve any of it, but I didn’t care. I was unhappy, so I had to show it. And is that what it boils down to? Without a job, school, friends, stuff, I’m just this nasty person who is constantly unhappy? Mathematically speaking, that means all of my happiness was contingent on whether or not I had friends close to me, whether I was doing well in school. I was tethering my worth to all this stuff. So the second all of it vanished, I questioned my worth, I questioned my sanity, I questioned everything!
God is obviously trying to get my attention through all of this havoc. He is not withholding opportunities from me, He is not being spiteful. But out of LOVE, He wants to reassure me that I am whole, complete in Him and Him alone. Not made whole by stuff, not made whole by others, but by Him and Him alone. And what a beautiful thing! He saw my heart and saw all the bitterness and anger that was hidden under all this “happiness” and wanted me to face it and fight it! And He did what He had to do to keep me from being a slave to myself. And I am so thankful. And in such shock.
"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:12-13