peace, love, and having a mind of your own


















i refuse to look at life through the lens of tradition.
i refuse to believe everything i am told.
i refuse to live a life that doesn't promote peace, love, and having a mind of your own.

26 February 2011

the gentle hum of anxiety.

maybe it's not such a gentle hum. maybe it's more of a panic-alarm somewhere inside me that's slowly getting louder and keeping me from a good nights sleep, keeping me up at 3am reading On the Road -again- and wondering if God has forgotten about me because I've been sitting at home anxious for three months and this is way too long to be stuck in one place and when the hell is God going to tell me what to do??
[deep breath]
Okay.
I've been trying to write a blog for eleven days and honestly I can't get anything out. I'm too busy sitting around the house in my tie-dye pants, eating apple slices and having imaginary conversations in my head because there's no one to talk to. [Because I'm ignoring my phone calls.]
It's like I'm in a weird cloudy dream.
I make these great to-do lists at night and ignore them the next day. I feign enthusiasm the best I can, but it probably comes off as nothing more than a casual awareness of whatever is going on around me.

Clearly something is wrong.
I'm freaking the hell out and not trusting God.

Tonight I had the terrible idea of reading all my old blogs to remind myself how lame my life is compared to last February when I was jumping off waterfalls in Australia and hanging out with Albert, who has the most amazing laugh in the world.
Terrible idea.
Actually, though, something good came of reading these old blogs. One year ago, I posted about faith. [The opposite of anxiety.] The blog was centered around Dustin Kensrue's Consider the Ravens.


I thought I understood this idea last year when I wrote about it, but apparently I've forgotten everything I learned about trusting God. Here's what I wrote, a year ago:
[2010] Faith and anxiety do not coexist. If I say I'm trusting God, I can't worry, I can't be afraid of the future, I can't try and manipulate situations because I don't see results fast enough.
[2011] Okay, but like, I've been home for three months now, God must have forgotten about me because I still have no idea what I'm supposed to do. Time is flying by, I'm almost twenty-four, and I don't have jack to show for it.
[2010] I know that God has more planned for me than I could ever plan for myself. The fact that he hasn't yet let me in on these plans shouldn't worry me. It should excite me because that means it's probably beyond my imagination!
[2011] I want to throw a slushie in her face. Who does she think she is, all jolly and optimistic? I bet she didn't know God's plan was for me to sit here, paralyzed by indecision, unable to discern his voice from all the other madness in my head.
[2010] When it comes down to it, my purpose in life is to be everything that God created me to be. Without carrying around my anxiety and fear, I'm free to explore, laugh, appreciate, challenge, discover, love.
[2011] Maybe I have something to learn from 2010-me. Maybe my stupid anxiety is keeping me from believing God when he says, "Wait, I have something good coming up for you." Maybe Dustin is right... how can we ever be great until we're free?

Let me digress, for a moment, into a different train of thought.

I've been praying [a lot] about what it means to be fully myself. Like, what was God thinking when he made me? Last night I thought about the word individuality: the distinguishing quality or characteristic of a person. What makes me an individual? As I was picturing it in my head it split up into two words:
indivi + duality   
I know "indivi" is not a word but it made me think of "indivisible."
in-di-vis-i-ble [adj.] incapable of being divided or separated.
...and duality...
du-al-i-ty [noun] the quality of being twofold; having two natures.
So according to this bizarre definition that materialized on the videotape of my mind in the pre-dawn hours, I am only authentically me when I consider the indivisible duality that constitutes who I am: the two clashing entangled natures within me.
I am a part of God. He has endowed me with certain characteristics of himself, and Me-without-God is false.

So maybe I've been suppressing the God-part of me. When I'm anxious about my future and scared that I'll still be sitting on my parents couch in ten years wearing the same pants and reading the same books and not doing shit with my life, I am obviously not acknowledging the divine holy mysterious brilliance of my nature. Instead, I'm ignoring God and thinking I can figure things out on my own- which of course I can't- and getting stressed every time I lie to myself.

So, why all this self-sabotage?
Because trusting God is hard when you're surrounded by people who are convinced they don't need him.

I miss the communal, exotic, multi-cultural, heartbreaking reality that I lived last year. As I move forward it's hard to get excited about regular life, things like resting, and working a 9-to-5, and putting things into machines to get cleaned, and taking them out to put them away again. Everything seems trivial.

I know that if I expect God to come and save my sorry ass from this trite existence, I need to start seeing that he is bigger than me. 

God, I need you so much bigger.

13 comments:

  1. what a powerful post. i feel the exact same way most days (except i don't have any mind-blowing, God-sized awesome past experiences to look back on in the first place). it's so encouraging when you can look back and learn from yourself. undoubtedly you'll eventually look back to this time and learn something else :)

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  2. Keet, wow. So I wish I had this awesome revelation of something amazing God told me to tell you... but I don't (or at the moment, ha!). But to say that your sitting around doing absolutely nothing is a bit of an exaggeration... your words are reaching people as we speak. I do not know how much traffic you have but you can count on at least one person being touched in a positive sense. So whatever it is worth, thank you. Remember too that even last year when surrounded by epic events there were times that many of us questioned and/or had moments of anxiety and the result was that God always had something on the other side. Something is around this.

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  3. Hello! I don't know you, but I stumbled upon your blog through a search I did on Google which took me to one of your old posts, unintentionally. In any case, I read it and have really enjoyed following your blog. I find your writing to be a refreshing encouragement! I relate to much of what you write and think that you have a true gift of insight. We all struggle with the many facets of our faith, and I love the way you "talk it out" through your writing. I hope me following your blog isn't "creepy," and I just wanted you to know that reading it has been a blessing in my life.

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  4. Hey, thanks for your comment on my blog! How long were you in Australia for? I also am surrounded by people who are convinced they don't need God. You're right, it's hard.

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  5. "I want to throw a slushie in her face!" - That part made me laugh out loud.

    I'm with you Keet - It's tough in some of these seasons.

    Keep pursuing relationship, intimacy and let Him mold you because even when you get finally live out those big plans/dreams none of it will matter if you don't really know who you are and if your missing out on deep, thriving intimacy with Him.

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  6. oh i love this so much. and remember sitting on the floor at my parent's house thinking these same thoughts. would love to pray with you sometime - look me up on skype (johnston.allison) or just ring my cell 859-806-6008. you are soooo not alone in this thing. love ya!

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  7. Great song.

    And great post, Keturah.

    I'm going to have to check in here more often!

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  8. @Auston, @Nate, and @Allison- I appreciate that you follow my blog and always have something encouraging to say! Love you guys.

    @Yolanda- of course you following my blog isn't creepy! It's meant to be read, it's public information on the Internet! Thanks for the kind words.

    @Chris- Thanks. And I do believe we met after seeing Dustin Kensrue lead worship in Irvine :)

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  9. Keturah, this entry literally brought tears to my eyes. You touched on so many things that I've been going through over the years. I've gone through times when I have brought out my old sketchbooks and read every page, looked at every drawing, absorbed every side note I've made.

    Sometimes I have been reminded of how wise I used to be. Ashamed at who I am now, wondering why God still puts up with me.

    Last year I had the strong realization that I had been doing Christianity "wrong". This came about by realizing that for years I had been suppressing and ignoring who I was and the things I liked because I shouldn't act like I used to and I shouldn't enjoy the things I used to.

    Then for whatever reason, that snapped and I realized that there is only one me. If I am not me, who am I?

    "Individuality is to be preserved and respected everywhere, as the root of everything good."

    Jean Paul Richter

    I also share this heart felt opinion that I need to trust God and realize how big He is- which seems like an easy thing on the surface but so much harder in practice.

    I know He is HUGE for other people, but is he HUGE for me?

    Appropriation.

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  10. Keet! I love reading your blogs. They are so thoughtful and uncensored. It is awesome.

    Well I could encourage you all day with the you have a destiny, you just have to wait, there is something so much bigger, trust trust trust, God will take care of things and all that crap. But I know you know that....you get it.

    All I can say is I totally understand. I waited until I got home to make a "what's next" decision. And it sucks because there are all these choices and we have to pick just one. And while we wait trust God at the same time.

    How do we live like we did on the race in a totally completely different and the same lifestyle?

    a day at a time.....i guess

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  11. "I don't have to fear anything. I don't have to fear anything. Because your love makes it worth it all. And I can so willingly lay everything down at Your feet because Your love makes it worth it . . . This is what we're made for. This is what we're born for, Your love. Your LOVE. YOUR LOVE. YOUR LOVE. I wanna know it more. I wanna feel it more. I wanna see it more. O God, take us in to the Holy Place, where we see You face to face and behold your love, O behold Your LOVE. OH BEHOLD HIS LOVE. OH BEHOLD HIS LOVE. Behold His love. It's shining brighter than any sun, any star. Your love is strong than anything God, Your love is bigger, greater, Oh your Love, your love, your love, your love. . . . look straight into the eyes of love tonight . . . oh do you dare, do you dare, oh do you dare, do you dare, look into the eyes of love tonight. leaving everything else behind. leaving everything else behind. . . . " -Kim Walker.

    singing this song over you today. LOVE YOU.

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  12. ps. I love this new look. it is awesome. love the green. love the banner with the books. Did you write on the binding of the books for real or did you photoshop that mess.

    pss. SUPER JEALOUS you, Lauren and Leisa will be together in GA without me!

    psss. wanna start praying about moving to Cambodia in the fall to start a coffee shop/business. I need a team. :D

    LOVE YOU.

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  13. Keet,

    What in the world?!? This writing of yours has just totally blessed the crap out of me tonight! THANK YOU-- AND, THAT IS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH... I LOVE IT & LOVE THE TRANSPARENCY... the world needs more REAL WRITERS LIKE YOU... the exposure you have with words is beautiful! I thought you were in my head while reading this. You couldn't have said this any better... so glad I came across this tonight! And, GOD HAS BIG THINGS IN STORE FOR YOU... being patient sucks... but, it is on HIS TIMELINE! He will blow your face off when the time is right!
    Keep on writing... can't wait to read more:)

    Love, Emily S

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