Connecting the Dots.

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Sometimes life just seems like this series of disconnected, unrelated moments. Often these experiences are ones we gather simply out of necessity or convenience. I need money, so I get a part-time retail job. My college roommate is attending this event, and I have nothing better to do. Creating a blog sounds like a fun hobby, let’s try it out. But when we take a step back, each one seems to have somehow led to another and a deeper interconnectedness reveals itself. In the grand scheme of things, there is a general theme that runs throughout many of our experiences. It’s all about connecting those dots.

Now, I should probably mention I didn’t come up with this idea. Steve Jobs did in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. But what he forgot to mention was the driving force behind the stringing together of our experiences. He forgot to identify the being that draws the dots that create our life pictures. I believe the Lord had decided on His dots for me long before I entered this world.

Recently, a dramatic, yet very gradual shift that happened in my career path – given I’m nearly 20 and my career path is still very much in its developing stages. But one day, I looked around at all of the experiences and the various opportunities that have fallen on my lap during the past several months. And on that day, things began to make sense through the noticeable pattern that seemed to magically appear. All the closed doors, the ones that slammed in my face and the ones I pounded on for days, seemed to make sense. Though I may not ever fully understand what the Lord had in mind when he created me, I’m beginning to get a grasp on some of the great things I know He believed I could do.

Having plans and goals is great. Having an extensive list of things you want to do and places you want to go is great. There is nothing wrong with working for something and seeking an end result. But I think it is also important to remember who is in control. To remember that, while you may have these desires so established in your heart, He will be the one who will guide you to the finish line – whether it looks the way you thought it would or it’s something a little different. I graduated high school wanting to be a journalist (the Rory Gilmore type), but I now see myself pursuing a career in restoring human dignity to the homeless and the helpless. All because a series of moments changed my world.  My picture arose out of an internship, a few volunteer experiences, and a Christian ethics class. So connect the dots, my friends. Find your picture.

Lindsey

 

My Unrealistic Hopes for “Young Love.”

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

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Now my experience in the relationship department is limited – in fact, we won’t explain in any further depth quite how limited because it might just undermine any value in the words that follow. But I do know one thing for certain: the ideas of young love and the way these feelings are being pursued are nothing more than a perfect testament to the brokenness of this world.

I go to a university with what is often described as a hook-up culture. Let’s sit on that for a second. A culture is simply the behaviors and beliefs of a specific group. Now, hooking up is a little more vague; it could mean a number of different things to a number of different people. Though, in it’s simplest interpretation it means interacting, often physically, with someone of the desired sex to some degree. There are behaviors and beliefs at these institutions built hundreds of years ago with the pure intention to produce better, more educated members of society that focus much attention on interactions of “hooking up.” And I’m beginning to believe there is no wrong in questioning how in the world we got here.

At what point did we decide it was not only socially acceptable but socially encouraged to begin these relationships and these actions of affection at such a young age. When did abstinence become synonymous with prudish and sexual activity become a measure of success. How did high school boys start convincing high school girls that they will feel worthier when they send photos of their uncovered bodies for the world to see. At what point did working towards a relationship become more appealing than working towards a college degree or a world-changing business venture. When did parents start allowing their children to believe their fulfillment can and should come from the opposite sex, and at what point did sex come to mean just about as much as a hand shake. How did we override the desire of God for us to “be holy and pure and to keep clear of all sexual sin so that each of you will marry in holiness and honor” (Thessalonians 4:3-4).

Really, the best answer and the only answer I can give you to this never-ending list is that we live in a broken world. And as much as I wish I could move mountains and convince every 15 year old girl that they are worthy of so much more, all I can do is pray. And write.

So here I present some words in a half-hearted attempt to savage the most broken of individuals. To the girl who can’t exit a relationship without a new one lined up, know that your happiness is not defined by a relationship status, rather it is by the comfort in knowing that the Lord knows the deepest desires of your heart and will open up the doors to help you achieve your greatest goals (Psalm 37:4). To the boy who flips through girls, using each one simply to get some sense of pleasure, know that females are not your toys to play with and none can provide a permanence of pleasure like a relationship with Christ. To the girl who wants nothing more than to be in a relationship and is willing to do anything to get there, know that there is Someone who wants a relationship with you more than any boy ever will. So be confident in your love for the Lord and find your delight in him, my friends. Work really really hard and serve the Kingdom to your greatest ability, because, in its due time, He will bring the right people to come knocking on that university dorm door – or at least that’s what I’m betting on.

Lindsey

Broken.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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I’m inspired and uninspired. I’ve been loved and I’ve been hurt. I feel like I’ve found my purpose, yet I still feel lost.

I’m broken.

But we’re all a little bit broken. We’re all built with a need to grow and to change. We’re programmed to be faced with the worst of times, only to discover we are far stronger than those small adversities. And we’re never supposed to reach a moment when we know exactly who we are and why we were placed on this Earth because, then, what would be the point of living if not to be continuously searching to cure our confusion. So I’ve simply come to the conclusion that God created me to write a broken story.

This semester has been filled with ‘I made it’ moments. Walking down Michigan Avenue, feeling at home in city that once terrified me. Being able to stand up to rejection and being content with my quiet moments. Finding the little things that make me feel alive. Because, truly, getting to read every article submitted to Little City Mag, getting to intern for an incredible company, and getting to sit in classrooms and learn about the passions that burn most brightly within me never fails to bring my life back into focus. Simply knowing the things that make me feel the most like me has changed every single one of my days.

But a year ago today, I scribbled in the lines of my journal – “I’m in one of those situations where just one more bad thing could send me over the edge, and I could wind up in a puddle of tears. It’s not even real things, just little things.”

I was trying to maneuver my way through my first semester at college. I was trying to figure out what it meant to be a Christian in college – planning my course to avoid the hookup culture and the party scene, these incredibly foreign concepts. I was more alone than I have ever felt in all of my time on this planet, nor did my personality type permit me to making a change. I was coming up on my first college finals week. I was trying to figure out how to deal with wounds that I thought were long gone. I was trying to deny the pains that needed tending to.

It’s funny. Though, I can hardly recognize the girl who thought those words, she faced the same things I do. Though, I have grown into a person I certainly wasn’t a year ago, I’m no less confused and hurt and near “the edge” than I was a year ago. And though my good moments may be a little more plentiful than she was given, my change has not subsided the brokenness glued to my existence.

Our stories are filled with many of the same things – with highs and lows, hopefulness and discouragement, joy and trials. Because, at the end of the day, we’re all broken people.

God created us as broken people. He left a void in our creation so our thirst for Him will never be fulfilled by something that is not Him. And that’s the thing I will take away from this year, most of all. Not trying to deny every possible cause for my suffering, not resisting an existence that is overflowing with imperfect moments. It’s accepting my broken story and turning to a God who never fails to fill in the cracks.

Lindsey


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