It’s the Patient’s Fault

It’s been three years since cancer took my mother’s life. She battled with cancer for ten years. She went in and out of remission. She sought God. She prayed for healing. She prayed for wisdom. She prayed for guidance. She got treatment. It worked. But cancer is a bitch. It’s pretty good at finding its way back, even when a person is so good fighting it.

Right when I graduated with college my mom was re-diagnosed. I remember sitting in our living room and she asked me what I believed about what God and healing and doctors. Should someone skip treatment and just believe that God will heal them? People in her church were telling her to just believe. They were telling her not to seek treatment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I full believe in healing. I’ve seen people healed. I watched a blind woman get her sight back. God can heal. On his own. But you know what else God can do? He can use people. He created all of these people with all of these abilities and all this knowledge. He uses doctors to heal people all the time. It’s not one or the other. It’s both and. My mother did believe for healing. But she also got treatment. She believed God wanted her to get treatment. I believe God wanted her to get treatment. And she did go into remission again, for a little bit.

So it really hurts when I hear that people who knew my mother, people who studied the Bible with my mother, people who prayed with my mother, people who got words from my mother, are saying that cancer patients don’t stay in remission because they got treatment rather than believing for healing. It hurts that they’re spouting their conspiracy theories to people that I know and love, saying that cancer patients deserve to die, because they didn’t believe enough. That’s along the lines of the Old Testament, saying that people were blinded or developed leprosy because of their sins or the sins of their parents. It’s small minded and stupid.

I’m still hurt. I’m still angry. God is good. His people are not.

Blogging Everyday in July|A Poem for Allie

My friends here have honed in on a particular talent of mine.   I can write poems quickly, pretty much about anything.  And a lot of times, if the mood is right and if my heart is right and if I’m hearing right, I can write prophetic poems about people.  A few weeks ago I was at a Bible study and my friend, Hannah, asked me to write a poem about her, and I did, and now I get asked to do it for other people.  But only on occasion.  This would be one of these.  But this girl, when she asked me to write a poem about her, didn’t realize that I had already been formulating one in my mind.  So this a poem about Allie Simmons, for Allie Simmons.  If you know her, you are blessed.

 

Royal
Queen
Commanding attention without saying a word
Silently ruling in peace
Atmospheres shifting
Try not to hold your breath

Harmonies resonate through the room
Melodies take souls and shake them
There is joy
There is peace
There is love

Every step has purpose
Every word has thought
Nothing careless
Nothing meaningless
Coming alongside with authority

Set aside for a reason
Not fully realized
Created for preservation
Re-birthing royalty
Renewing a line of peace

Casualty

Even as the price has been paid
I cannot bring myself
To be like the rest of these
Whole people
Asking me to dance in freedom
Before a loving God

Why cannot I
Just sit at the feet
Of my loving God?

In the quiet
Basking in a glory unknown
Though they cannot see my freedom
As it has not been fully realized
Does not negate its reality

I am free
Just feeling caged in
By the warriors around me
Not their prisoner
Not ready to be another casualty
Please let me be

Shaken

I was shaken
Today
The hills reached out and grabbed me
Tried to strangle me
And I felt it

I could have stayed there
Frozen in time
Forgetting my purpose
Yet only for a moment
As I was drawn in

Yet I escaped
I believe
So I’m here now
Not myself
But someone, still

So I pray
Finding something else
As I’m lost in a new adventure
Hearing stories
Losing my own

Tara

An irreverent clash of old and new
Near rolling mounds that will catch you
Up in their broken crow cries
Seated in truth, standing on lies
Entering a calm that is not peace
Not an emotion I’d like to keep
Filling my heart with some inner turmoil
I can’t understand as my feet walk this soil
“God take back this land,” is all I can pray
I have nothing left, no words to say.

Through Deep Waters

He could carry me through deep waters
But would I still be afraid of drowning?
Because I know he’ll keep me safe, and in him I am strong
I have every reason to trust him, no reason to fear I am wrong

So why then, do I fear?
What is it that grips me so tight that I can hardly breathe
Is it my own hand clasped ’round my throat?
Or someone else entirely?

I know full well that nothing can hold me down
But it feels like something is holding me down
I could be lifted so much higher
My feet could leave the ground

Yet I just hold his hand
Making sure the earth won’t disappear from beneath me
Like I have some desire to stay here
Instead of finding myself somewhere so much greater

So I will take a deeper breath
And I will break these chains that bind me
He made me to breathe
And gave me strength to overcome

There is no fear left in me
No worry that the sun won’t rise
My heart will not stop beating
I will carry on forcefully

As I walk into this ocean of endless possibilities
He will carry me through deepest waters
There is no risk of drowning
Finding my own island

Snowy Sleeplessness

It seems I have forgotten how to sleep.  And it would be so easy to blame in on the snow, because the white blanket outside makes it seem like there’s light out forever.  Maybe I need darkness.  But really, when I shut it all out, there is darkness.  So why am I still awake?

My life is pretty great right now.  Even with all the bad in it, I am content.  Because there is so much good in it as well, so much to be thankful for.
Yet I still feel that prickle in the back of my mind.  And maybe it will always be there.  It’s not something I’m going to act on, because I am so much stronger than this, but it’s still there, as if it’s waiting for me.
My heart aches for it, even with all the harm it could cause.  So let’s talk.
Sometimes I wish I could slice myself open and disappear.  Maybe because that would be so much easier.  I wouldn’t have to worry about making it then, because I would have already made it.  I would have already arrived.
I thought my life would be so much more than this.  I thought I would have my book written, or some spoken word recorded, or maybe I would be living in England pursuing my Masters.  I hoped so much for simplicity and success.  But in all honesty, maybe I’m not ready for that.
I’m here because, after all my striving, I am finally learning vulnerability.  I try so hard to push everyone away when they get too close.  I can’t ever let anyone know what’s going on inside.  I am so out of touch with my feelings, that whenever I feel anything at all, I bolt so that I don’t get hurt.  I hate getting hurt.

I feel like I have been lied to.  I feel like I am being constantly misunderstood.  I feel like I’m being taught all these things that I have already learned and developed my opinions on.  And then I am being talked down to like I know nothing at all.
Intruders come into my life and touch all my things.  And I’m paying them to be there.  And being lied to about the price.
I am being asked to simplify my faith, and then given examples that make it more complicated with extra details.
I am given lessons in theology like it’s not something I went over my freshman year of college.
I’m saying I’m better than any of this or smarter than any of this, I just want to be heard.  I just want to be understood.  I just want to be asked what I really think, and then not told that I am wrong, because I’m not wrong.  How can any of us even be right if none of the answers we can know for certain?
How did I end up here?

There is someone I could so easily go back to.  Someone who doesn’t need to talk or ask questions or know me.  Someone who just wants me to be there.  But they are so bad for me.  And there could be someone new.  But I’d never let that happen, because having real feelings could cause real hurt, and I’ve never been good enough for a Christian guy before.
Because even with all my knowledge, with my studies and my writing and my music, there’s just something wrong.  I spend too much time putting someone else’s supposed projections onto my identity, that I never stop to ask or believe what anyone else thinks.  Because every time I get my hopes up, they get let down before they can be crushed.

This isn’t who I am though.  This isn’t where my identity lives, I just let it rest here for a while.  I want so much to be someone different, someone better, the best possible version of myself.  But instead I’m stuck here, being forced into some box and expected to play the part of someone I’m not.  I was never even given a script.

So come find me here, because I’m waiting.

My Morning

You are my morning
But morning comes so often that I sometimes forget to stop.
And notice you
Because even as you light everything I do
I still take for granted that you’re my sun and my moon

You are the star that guides me home
And you’re there waiting for me still
But sometimes I let myself get lost along the way
Not quite sure what home is anymore
But I know you’ll still find me

You are the glue that holds me together
Which is why I don’t always fall apart anymore
Yet I still try to hit things like they’ll break me
I am completely whole
But I act like I’m something so broken I’ll never be fixed

Even with all of this though
You forgive me still
You’ll take me back every single time
But I do take this lightly?

You could be my everything
And I’d still find a way to say I’m not enough
Why will I never believe that I’m good enough?
How many times do you have to say it?

Am I really in love with you?
Is this really what love is?
Even in your love, I find myself wanting
So I’m asking you to take me away
I’m asking you to fill me up.

Feeling Appreciative

The thing about life is, growing up, you don’t realize how easy you have it.  I mean, yes, a lot of kids grow up with rough lives, but I was blessed to be born into a middle class American family.  I always had everything I needed, and some of what I wanted.  I wasn’t overly spoiled, but I had toys to play with and a bike and a yard.  We had dogs and guinea pigs and birds and mice and snakes and tarantulas and bunnies and fish (not all at the same time).  I had friends and an imagination.  I got a cell phone when I was 13, even though I didn’t use it too much when I first got it.  I had my own car when I got my license, and my parents paid for my gas.  They bought me all my clothes and cooked all my food.  I was thoroughly taken care of, even when we didn’t always get along.

When I got into college, it took me more than a semester to find a job.  My parents helped me out until then.  Even more so, they paid for almost half of my schooling, while the rest was covered by loans, so I never really paid anything out of pocket.  When I had my own job I started paying for gas and such, but my parents still pay my cell phone bill.

As an adult, especially with school loans about to kick in, I’m thinking about how blessed I am.  I am so thankful that I was born where I was born into the family I was born into, even though I don’t always appreciate it.  I’m thankful that I can always go to them if I have problems, and if I crash and burn, they’ll still be there for me.

Life is tough and paying bills and cooking your own food and doing your own laundry sucks sometimes.  Being an adult isn’t always the best.  But I am free.  Thank God for freedom.  Thank God for fun hotel jobs and dope camp jobs and the best roommates anyone could ask for.  Thank God for Finland and the people who come from there (Anu).  Thank God for provision and joy and happiness and creativity.

I moved back to the area because my mom has cancer.  I felt God calling me to be closer to her.  But He has brought me back here for so much more than just that.  If you’re a pray-er, it would be so awesome if you could pray for health for my mom.  But if you’re just here to read, that’s cool too.  Just remember where you came from, and maybe count your blessings.

Two Weddings, Two Days

I went to two weddings this weekend; one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  One in Mammoth, the other in LA area.  It was a lot.  But this isn’t so much about the wedding as it is about my thought process and laughing at myself and realizing that things can change, and that they probably need to.

Before I moved to Mammoth instead of staying in Nevada City, I had kind of written off attending the wedding in Mammoth because I already knew I would be driving in order to go the wedding in LA, and I was closer with those people.  However, seeing as I was living in Mammoth and the wedding happened to be taking place on the property I currently live on, there was almost no saying “no” to going.  And I went.  The weird thing is, even though I grew up in this area, I don’t have many friends here.  I left them all behind when I left this place behind, and most of them have moved on with their lives as well.  Now that I’m older, I don’t even remember how I used to make friends.

So I went to the Mammoth wedding on my own, and sat with someone that I kinda knew from high school.  I changed into something more comfortable for driving, and then I went to the reception, committing to one hour.  But the reception was in a small church, and it was packed full with people.  I was getting claustrophobic and my social anxiety was acting up, and I was also anxious to get on the road.  One of my roommates was standing with some people I know, and they all knew I was uncomfortable.  Because they thought it would be funny, they all crowded around me, which was funny, but also made me have a minor panic attack.  I started crying, but I was laughing at the same time.  It was ridiculous.  Then I went and stood by another one of my roommates who was supposed to film the entrance of the bride and groom.  However, when the bridal party came in, they had nowhere to go except right where I was standing, which put me in the center of everything.  I backed out and hid in the plants.  This whole experience was rather traumatic, but later gave me a reason to laugh at myself.  What are you if you can’t laugh at yourself, really?

At the LA wedding, I was completely comfortable and content, and I had all of my old friends around me, but there was so much catching up to do that it was draining and almost overwhelming.  Everyone commented on how tan I have suddenly become, and I had to explain the whole story of moving to Mammoth and postponing Portland far too many times.  I’m glad I went, but I am so tired and weddinged out, I almost never want to go to another one, even though I have two more this year at least.

In all this driving and wedding traveling, I had a lot of time to think.  I laughed at myself for the ridiculous situations I put myself in, and I realized I have been accepting my anxiety as a part of me that cannot be changed.  I laugh at myself over it sometimes, but in reality it is nearly crippling.  I should be able to go to crowded places or parties where I don’t know anyone and not feel like I’m falling apart.  Why have not been trying to fix this?  Why have I not asked God to take it away?  Why have I simply accepted my disabilities as something God made me with?  I think it’s time that I grow up, because things should probably change.