0

Before God was an Atheist…

Before I was a Christian, there pulsed within my blood an innate desire to scrutinize those who were…or at least people who had these “ridiculous” beliefs about some master of our universe…and what about other universes? Maybe there was a different God assigned to that one. I always gave credit to myself for being too smart to be conned into a rigid belief system that I assumed denied science and rational thought. Plus, I was happy thinking that if God gave me a mind to think, why would he punish me for using mine to deny his existence and embrace wordly concepts?

I was fond of philosophy, humor and cussing – which I confess, has yet to change now that I know God.

I thought that pursuing a religion or faith meant I had to give up the reality I had created for myself and the control I thought I had. Now, I can look back and see how God was working in my life, even when I never knew of his existence. Sometimes a flood of gratitude sweeps over my body and I’m hurled into a sea of tears. My world was like an Alice in Wonderland playground. My curiosity led to disaster, unanswered illusions, and complete chaos.

Now that I am a Christian, I struggle every day to die to myself. Those years of compounded beliefs that denied my savior come up to haunt me still. It’s a constant battle with myself to let go of the reigns and let God guide my path.
Just because I believe in God, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in science.

Just because I believe in God, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in this world.

Just because I believe in God, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in myself.

I believe in God who created science, conquered this world, and gave me breath to live out His plan.

0

The Chronicles of Cancer

There are days we forget and let the ocean breeze take over

There are moments we remember, like the haze of October

We can ride our bikes all day long but we won’t ever escape

The change that it’s made in our life’s landscape

What was once uncharted mountains and glorious skies

Turned colder and darker – sometimes the sun didn’t rise

The rolling hills sunk and the soft willows wept

Hard pelts of rain crashed and our hearts quickly leapt

Echoes of fear washed over our flesh

In chilling triumphs, putting comfort to death

The fight was short and completely dreadful

Leaving as much faith to fill a measly hand full

Weaker in strength but stronger in will

The battle forfeited, it could not kill

Low in moral but high on life

The second time around we’ll do right

0

I’ve Been Watching Us Fray Away

We were entangled by our thoughts and cares

Together, united – you showed up without question, constantly there

You swept up my mess of pain and tears

That manifested from the darkness of the past two years

You allowed me to cry and heal every day

By just being you, like an angel sent my way

How do I repay this beautiful soul, this treasure of a friend?

Lately I’ve been aloof, each day from start to end

I’ve been watching us ravel away, slowly, thread by the thread

I feel helpless, and honestly, absolute dread

How can this be? Me? The one unthreading our strands?

Carelessly unwinding the tiny pieces woven together, with my own hands

Watching the clock tick away, I wish somehow you’ll stay

I feel so faded, tangled, alone, astray

I pray, I pray, some day the grace you’ve offered me

Will be sent back to you, more vast than any sea

Truly a sister, my friend, I miss you

The Tapatio and lime to my Mexican stew


This poem is dedicated to my best friend. Pretty sure she knows who she is. I love you.

~ Bethany

 

0

Random Tangents of a Broken Christ Follower

random

Sometimes I feel like redemption stories do more harm than good. Sure the Bible is all about redemption. The gospel is a story of how Jesus redeems his people from the pit and gives them new life and a new hope that is sealed. Yet, the Bible is also laden with stories that are difficult to stomach without that comforting theme of redemption woven in.

There are many stories in my own life that aren’t in a phase of redemption. Some chapters are barren and cold, and still in the dead of winter. I’d like to hear all kinds of stories from believers, not just the warm and fuzzies, much like I’d rather hear about the Bible in its entirety, not just a “verse of the day” to get my quick spiritual fix.

Testimonies might be warm and fuzzy, but likely it’s not that that person found Jesus and now their life is perfect. In fact, their life might be more difficult. But that’s WHY I think Jesus is so cool. He makes every moment worth it. The moments when we sing on hilltops and the scary, dark pits we fall into and wonder how we’ll climb out of.

Life is crazy and messy. It’s hard. And sometimes slapping a bible verse on complex questions just won’t do. I don’t really have a point to this random tangent. Just sharing some thoughts on a platform where I probably shouldn’t.

On a lighter note, I think most people will be excited to know that my new favorite acronym of the week is PTL (praise the Lord) which has quickly replaced my former one,”on fleek.” Thanks to my cute friend Kayleen for keeping me in the Christian acronym loop.

PTL,

bethany-signature

2

Match.com is Shocked by this Guy’s Crazy “About Me” Intro

So, I may be a little biased, because I think my brother is the coolest guy in the world. But I think you’ll end up in my same biased boat after you surf through this amazing piece of writing he composed.

My brother’s friend (anonymous) is a great guy. He has wanted to meet a great girl for quite awhile. So, he decided to join Match.com. But the infamous “about me” intro wouldn’t write itself. He took a stab at it, but it wasn’t quite right. It was just like all the other intros out there: trying to use catchy words to describe himself, somehow trying to sum up his awesomeness in just a few sentences.

Enter: brother.

Please read on to find the most interesing, crazy, unconventional Match.com profile intro ever written. (At least I think so.)

What the friend first wrote:

Insert cool profile intro here.

What my brother wrote:

When I was a small boy I became lost in the pines.  I went hunting for snails, skipping along a disheveled rock path away from the safety and warmth of my campsite.  In my youthful haste, I stumbled over a rotted log shaped like Italy (or maybe Argentina, I do not have great memory for log shapes any more these days).  This country-shaped log exaggerated my youthful forward momentum and dashed me headlong against the stones.  I could not bring my hands up quick enough.  The blood was instantaneous.  Where was it coming from?  It did not matter, all was grey, then black…

I awoke in an eyrie.  Mother, as I came to know her, was looking at me mawkishly.  I am certain, as I reflect back on things, that she thought I would die before I learned to fly.  But she did not give up on me.  Mother was an eagle.  Not in the figurative sense.  She picked me off the rocks like so much dead carrion, but when she saw I still had life in me she took me as her own.  Her strange featherless boy.  The years passed.  I will spare you the details.  My brothers and sisters grew large and took to the heavens.  I remained in the nest.  I was sure I would die on that cliff face, 1400 meters above wherever.  Mother became ill.  She could no longer forage for grubs and field mice.  I became emaciated and withered alongside Mother.  I awoke one morning with the wind blowing a gale unlike any before (the wind on that cliff always blew, was my constant friend, telling me stories and laughing as it tore through the cliff scrub and rock crags).  The wind spoke to me again that day.  It said “you must take flight, your Mother is dying, and you must take flight.”  I looked to Mother and saw she was crying.  I stood up and placed my foot over the edge of the nest onto the lip of the cliff, I took a deep breath, then another, tilted my head heavenward to feel the brilliant sun on my face, spread my arms, and leapt…     

And then I flew to Reno, and I’d really like to meet a nice girl so I hope you are her.  Let’s fly together, huh?  Sounds like fun.

What do you think? Would you date a guy with this story as his profile intro? 🙂

0

Why a Purposeness-less Life is So Valuable

It’s pulsing through my veins. I was born into it. Expected to be someone. To have a purpose.

I can’t tell whether it has taken form as my own voice or if it has always echoed in the world around me – “you must have a purpose.” Either way, it’s loud, and it lives.

Purpose, purpose, purpose. I am driven to fulfill it. Each time I miss the mark, I fall. I get bent and bruised. But I don’t break.

industrial

My last fall was a bad one. I’ve yet to recover. I’m floating in white space, hoping desperately for someone to connect the dots. I can’t even find the dots.

My feet know no route.

People ask me what I want to do with my life. I usually make up an answer I think they’ll want to hear.

Always searching for the next hero. Always seeking a new, extraordinary story. Our society just wants a savior. I have already found mine. And although I have no purpose and I’m not a hero, I’m learning that “real life” is not about creating our own empire, it’s about helping those in shacks. It’s not about storing up treasures, it’s about giving of ourselves even when we have nothing left to give.

I’m without purpose, and it has never been more valuable to me. It makes me appreciate the ordinary. It makes me rejoice in the simple. It forces me to be content with the present. That’s all we really have.