stitched up

Do you know those days when you feel like you are made of glass?

it's those moments when you think that if the world throws one more thing at you, you will shatter into pieces. it's when you get bad news. it's when you have to add yet another commitment to your calendar. it's when the future suddenly looms at you, gray and uncertain. it's when you let someone down. it's when sadness is heavier than joy.

it's when you feel fragile and on the verge of breaking. and you are not sure of what it will take for you to just keep it together.

I felt that even tonight, after a house meeting when a roommate and I talked about that overwhelming feeling we're experiencing, of the busyness of school attacking us and life coming at full speed. It makes you feel in want of composure, or stability, or something just to glue you up and keep you from dissolving.

And of course, as I've been thinking these things, the Lord decided it would be good to comfort me with his word. I guess he's dependable that way.

This morning I got stuck on a verse in Colossians 1, v17 that says: He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Most times that I've read that, I think of Jesus as uniting the Church of believers. And that is true. He does. But today, all I can think about is that little phrase, in him all things hold together.

And I couldn't stop thinking - he's talking about me, too.

He's talking about holding together my life. He's talking about fortifying my spirit. He's talking about being the one thing I can rely on to stitch me back together again when I feel broken by the world. He is stabilizing me. He is threading love for me throughout my body, that I might be made whole because of him. That I might be safe and complete and all put into place.

It is such a beautiful image and truth to sit with for awhile - that Jesus is holding it together for you when you can't.

I'm not ready for it

but fourth-year has come for me anyway.

It is a pain in my stomach each time I think that I already signed up for my last semester of classes at UVA (which, to look at it, is obviously the schedule of a fourth-year english major who is graduating in classes are about Jane Austen, discovering poetic voice, and hand drumming). It is enough to take my breath away, the thought that my life a year from this day is utterly foreign to me. What will I be doing? Where will I be? Both of those questions are complete unknowns.

I'm the overly-sentimental type. I grieve at the end of television episodes. You can only imagine how I'll be grieving to end this college section of my life. I feel underprepared for it. As soon as I got the hang of this thing, it's being taken from me.

But you know that saying that college is the best four years of your life? I don't think that's true. Sure, it's a unique and incredible time. You live with your best friends. You can do incredibly dumb things and get away with them. You don't have many of the concerns "real" adults have. But I like to be optimistic and think that there could be even bigger and better times out there for me. Even though I can't really imagine them at the moment.

So for now I will hold on to the joy of living with nine girls. and of drinking coffee at midnight to stay up writing a paper. and of all the other small things that come with being a college girl. and then, once college ends and the world opens up to me, I get to go and be anything that I could ever dream of being. Or that God could dream of me being. and that's an even bigger and more colorful thing to imagine.

back when I was a little first-year and enjoyed going to football games. and picking my nose.

kenny introduced me to this

and on our road trip to richmond this afternoon, we couldn't get enough of it.
you're gonna love it.

again and again and again

This morning, the ocean outside my window was as calm as glass. It was smooth and soft looking, so much so that I wished I could dive from my porch right into it and float parallel to the clouds.

And after a walk (during which three dolphins seemed to follow me step for step) and a quick swim, I'm sitting here on the porch with a cup of coffee and staring at it still - this vast sea that has never failed to haunt and delight me. Not once.

I could ask myself why that is a million times over. I could write stanza after stanza of verse to try to explain it, the complexities of the water or why I love it so much. But I think what I come back to time and again is the easiest answer and the one that holds the most truth.

It is beautiful because it is the Lord.

I've learned a lot about the Lord's love from the sea. Or maybe, I should say that I've learned a lot about the mystery of that love. I've learned that it is utterly beyond my capacity to grasp at the height and depth of it. I've learned that it reaches into the far corners of my heart, the places I dare not explore. I've learned to simply marvel at it, everything I can't understand about it, and to just be glad that it exists and that it is beautiful beyond measure.

More recently, I've been learning that it is consistent. Where my faithfulness fails, and when my own capacity for love is tossed back and forth with each gust of wind, His love for me endures. It is strong and powerful and steady and eternal. I was snuggled in bed last night listening to the waves and the thought came into my head - "it never stops, does it?". And His love doesn't. It's the steady rhythm of the waves, and it is for me.

Sometimes we move our hearts into cities far from the shore, and cover up the roar of sea with traffic and blaring radios and the chatter of our busy lives, and we forget that it is consistent. We forget that it is there on the horizon of our souls - an ocean screaming with love. And it falls down upon us. Again and again and again.

And again.