Where Was God?

For those of you who don’t know, I lost one of my very best friends in a motorcycle accident last Friday morning, one week ago exactly.  Even though we hadn’t gotten close until this past summer, Tyler changed my life. … Continue reading

Internal Struggle: What It Was Like Dating An Atheist

{I wrote this post in late August/early September last year, we aren’t dating anymore, but I wanted to share what I felt at the time. I should have known then this would be the reason things changed.}

He looked over and told me the three words that completely changed me: “I’m an atheist.” My world went into slow motion as I tried to comprehend what I just heard. God is the most important person, concept, believe, everything in my life; how was I supposed to accept the fact that one of the people I’m closest to doesn’t even believe that He exists? Thousands of questions and comments filled my head….How do you explain babies? What happens when you die? What’s the point of life? How do you explain the beauty in the sky right this very second? You don’t have God moments every single day? I wanted to ask them. Every single one of them. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t open my judgement, I couldn’t scare him away from opening up to me for the first time ever. Other than the repeated “wow” as I thought, the one solid phrase I knew was true was that I was so sorry. I didn’t know how to respond to anything, but I knew I was sorry. Sorry that he doesn’t feel like he is loved SO MUCH by God every single day. Sorry that he doesn’t know that God grants even his littlest desires – like the surprise tomatoes in his garden that satisfied the craving he didn’t even know was there. I am sorry that he didn’t have something he could really believe in, someone to comfort him when no one else could. I am sorry that he didn’t think life really had a purpose and that it just seemed so sad.
He feels like his questions don’t have answers that can be explained. He doesn’t think people have souls. He thinks that when you die, the world goes black and it’s all over, there’s no point in anything. You were dead before you were born, and you are dead afterwards. Emotions are just different nerves and chemicals inside of your body and the colors in the sunset are just gases and pollution in the sky. It just sounds like an awful way to view the world, and it’s so hard to try to see his perspective on things.

Everyday is a battle for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to argue until her point is proven, but I know I can’t do that with him. I’m not sure why, but there is a reason this is all happening. I struggle to avoid topics I know will make me upset and I try to not come off as too strong in my faith. I would be lying if I said there weren’t days where I find myself deep in thought about him and struggle not to cry while thinking about it all. I just wish he could see. I wish he didn’t think that his doubts about some things completely shut him off from everything else.

Occasionally, he goes to church with me on Sundays. He’ll ask questions and really challenge me in my faith. I know that I’m the only really religious person he has in his life right now, but I can only do so much. I never want to force him into doing something he doesn’t want to do, but I wish that I could at least plant the seed. Sometimes people can’t physically do anything to help others, but I’m slowly learning that prayer is so powerful. This is a constant burden on my heart, but I do know that God is looking out for me.

Prayers are always appreciated.
~E

Do You Know How Much You Are Loved?

Yesterday I realized that I probably tell my roommate I love her more times a day than I tell my own mother. Love is a word that’s just thrown around now, but at the same time, it’s just so powerful. Sure, I love Katie and would do anything for her. And yes, I’m going to tell her that even if I’m leaving the room for .4 seconds to go and pee and come back. My point is, we typically let the people who mean the most to us know that they do.
But I have a question: Most people don’t “see” God everyday and don’t always feel like He is there with them in their struggles, so how should we always know that He is? God’s love for us is hard to understand. We’re all taught that He loved us so much that He sent His only son to die for us. Yes, I can spit that back out at you any time of any day, but how well does that transfer over to life outside of mass? Can you just walk outside and smile because you just know God loves you so so so much? Or when the sun hits your face do you take a second to thank God for His love? On sunny days I try to, but over the past few days it’s been raining and storming. How do I know God is there for me during those storms?
Once upon a time someone told me something that really made me realize His love for me . . . do you know the feeling you get when your favorite song comes on the radio? That new one that’s hardly ever played? The dance party you throw for yourself in your car because of it? The happiness it gives you? Yeah, God’s love for you is greater than that. Take that in . . . isn’t it crazy?
Last night I was in tears watching videos of Taylor Swift’s fans meeting her in the 1989 Secret Sessions she’s been hosting. Each fan was hand picked and invited to her house for cookies and a preview the new album. As they entered her house one by one, she knew each one by name even though she’s never actually met any of them. I cried and cried watching these fans because I was just. that. happy. And you want to know what’s insane? What made me cry even more? Knowing that the love I felt for each of those people, a love so strong it came in tears of happiness, the complete love I felt for each of those strangers, was nothing compared to God’s love for me. That’s so crazy. No matter what, God loves you that much. You can turn your back and deny Him, but He’s always waiting to bring you back home, because that’s what love is, forever.
~E

Long Time No See!

Hello everyone! I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything! So many crazy things have been happening and it’s been getting harder and harder to find time to write about anything, but I decided that I was going to make time today….so here I am!  Since my last post a few things have happened….

1) Single. This happened a little less than a month ago and even though I went through the typical breakup symptoms (anger, confusion, stopping by his house unannounced wait, did I really do that??, the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Number blocking and stalking) I’m over it and don’t know why I would even want to be in a relationship right now anyways! I really want to only date to marry and I couldn’t imagine crossing paths with my future husband at this point in my life so right now I’m just trying to embrace being me.  God blesses people with periods of being single so that they can use them to find out who they are as a person and what they need when looking for someone else to spend their life with.  Even though I feel as if I know myself and what I want out of life, I thought I knew myself yesterday but somehow always learn something new.  If I don’t know myself completely yet, how is someone else going to get to know the real me at the same time? I know, I don’t know how to answer it either!

2.) Wisdom Teeth!  This happened the morning after item number one happened.  Wisdom teeth are crazy.  I don’t drink or do drugs or any of that crazy stuff so whatever they put me under to get my teeth out hit me hard.  I don’t really remember much of that day other than crying because the friends that I was Facetiming were laughing at me and crying again because I couldn’t feel my mouth so I dumped a glass of water in my lap instead of in my stomach.  But other than that, it’s all pretty fuzzy.  Oh yeah.  Lots of snapchat conversations happened and I don’t really remember them….but I was told I was pretty funny!

3) End of freshman year.  It was crazy. It was stressful. It was quite the experience.  But most of all, it helped me make memories that I will never forget.  From knocking on absolutely everyone’s door to find a can opener the first week of the semester to switching roommates after Christmas break to late night talks about running into Mr. Perfect at a hospital while painting a little girl’s nails for volunteer hours, I have some great memories that I will cherish forever.  I’ll post more about my freshman year in general later, but overall it was fantastic and I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen in any other way!

4) Photography! I don’t know if I’ve written about this before, but besides going into physical therapy after I graduate I really want to go into photography.  I’ve taken a few family photos and have been asked to do some weddings (but of course I said no, that’s such a scary responsibility!) but two weeks ago I took my brother and sister’s senior pictures because they’re graduating this year! I’ll post some shots from their session later because I’m super proud of them……I even went to pick up an 8X10 from Walgreens today and the lady helping me asked me to sign a release form because she thought I was picking them up for a professional/printing them without permission….isn’t that crazy?? Imagine the smile that put on my face!

5) Work!  A few months ago I got a job at an amusement park near my house but after thinking about it I decided I didn’t really want to work there this summer, so I quit (well I didn’t really “quit” if I didn’t actually have my first day, right?)  I ended up getting a job at a sporting goods store that is going to open here in a few weeks, so I get to not only work there, but also help set up the store before it opens.  It’s actually pretty great because I can leave my house to get to work with the same amount of time that I leave from my dorm room to walk across campus to my morning class.  So that’s nice.  These past few days have been the first time we’ve all been in there and it’s so neat! We all build shelves and set up displays and completely transform something that looks like an abandoned hardware store to an actual, nice looking sporting goods store.  I really like it and think I’ll like it even more when we open for business!  I enjoy my co-workers and think we’ll all get along pretty well, and I’m just so excited to be able to get to know them over the next couple of months!

I forgot how much I liked this. I should probably start at it more often again 😉

That’s all, lovelies!

~E

Lent Letters

“Dear ________,

This year for Lent I’ve decided that instead of giving up something like food or apps on my phone, I’ve decided to give up my time. I’m writing 40 letters to 40 different people who have influenced my life in a positive way, and you’re one of them! I just wanted to say thank you for…..”

This is how each one typically starts, an explanation as to why they received a random letter from me in their mail that day.  Some people I’ve sent them to have been completely overjoyed, contacting me back and thanking me for making their day.  Others, however, ignore my note and never get back to me.  Writing letters to tell people how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate everything that they’ve done for you is actually way stranger than I thought it would be.  When I have to hand deliver a letter to someone who had smiled at me on campus and made my day, it’s actually kind of awkward if you’ve never really talked to them.  But for some reason, this is my favorite thing that I’ve ever done for lent.  You would think it would be pretty easy because it can take as little as five minutes a day (I usually take about 30 minutes most days though) but it’s actually not!  I really don’t have that many close friends who I feel comfortable writing my feelings to, so finding a new person to write to everyday is actually pretty challenging.  Surprisingly, every single letter I’ve written has been different.  Not only differently written, but a different message.  Before writing a letter, I typically pray and ask God to tell me who to write to that day, and pray that He speaks through me to tell whoever I’m writing to what they need to hear from Him.  I think that this part has been extremely beneficial for me.  Not only have a prayed more, but I feel like I’m putting more of an effort towards listening to God.  Writing these letters has also helped me appreciate each person in my life.  I’ve never realized that so many people have done so much for me, and I typically don’t tell them that I am truly thankful for them.  Today is day 31, so I was really excited that I only had 9 more letters to write, but it turns out I actually have 14 because I’m writing on Sundays too! I’m so excited to see how God continues to use me to do His will!

~Elizabeth