Category Archives: Confusion

Not What Was Expected – Trust Falls

After thinking about my reprieve from the past couple of weeks, I’ll save reflections for next week.

This week, I need to take a retrospective pause.

I don’t know what lies ahead for me.

So much is left up in the air and in God’s control. I don’t know when our house will sell, I don’t know where I’ll work after college and I don’t know when I’ll get married. I’m not sure where I’ll be in five years, or who I’ll be with or how I’ll be earning my day-to-day bread.

I don’t know where my friends or loved ones will be. I haven’t a clue if I’ll ever see some people again or meet others for the first time. I’m caught in such a void of uncertainty that some days, I’m not even quite sure what I was meant to do. I know the things I love and I know the people I love and I know where I’d like to be, but I don’t know any of these things in permanence.

All I’m looking for is a little security. Some sign that the future isn’t determined by Bob Dylan lyrics. I’m just asking for some sort of waystone that I can rest at, feeling the soft summer sun and knowing that some definite answers ahead of me. I don’t want all the answers, I don’t even want to see the future in all its Encarta Encyclopedia detail. I just want a glimmer that soon, things could be set. Things could be as they will be until I die. Most people wish this but they never see it. I doubt I will either.  The problem lies in that my future is held in the hands of my protector, my suitor, and our Creator. My future lies in the economy, the government, my college and my global neighbors. So much of my future lies in the hands of others, and I can only try and pry their fingers apart to see the sparkle of light within.

I have keys to my future. I can determine which jobs to look for and hobbies to take up. I can determine the foods that I eat and will continue to lose weight through Weight Watchers. I will go where my family goes until someday, hopefully sooner than my poor, longing mind can imagine, I have a family of my own. I can decide which movies to watch and when to go to bed – and I can also determine when to get up and walk and sit and speak.

I don’t need to be long-winded to know what I feel. And I know this isn’t what you expected. Maybe it’s because of my lack of sleep or my lack of food or the fact that I’ve been working at the same table in the Solon Panera for over four hours without moving. Whatever the cause may be, my heart just isn’t in my writing this week. It’s not fair to you to be trapped with my insecurities, but occasionally the blogger must make the judgement call about what should be shared and what wants to be shared.

I’m taking the initiative to share myself with you. I want to share my uncertainties, my desires, my hopes with you.

I want to trust you.

That’s what this all comes down to – trust. I trust my parents when they say they will love me and provide for me, regardless of where we may have to uproot to. I trust Matt when he tells me he wants to marry me and it waiting for the right time to ask me to be his forever. I trust my friends when they say they’ll be there, I trust my college to prepare me for the world beyond myself. Above all else, I trust God that He holds me, my future, my soul in His hands at all times, for eternity. I trust He knows what is best, and will convey that knowing to all those involved. In His times and in His hands, when all else fails, this I will still have for certain.

I know that trusting people can lead to pain and heartbreak. I know trust can be hard, painful and shaky. I know it can be gained and lost. Trust is like patience – both must be learned and had and will have consequences. Both hold great reward.

I find that when I confront my thoughts of trust, I am weak. I am impatient. I am selfish. It’s about me and the fact that I deserve to know. I deserve to have all the facts that you do, to be on the same. Doesn’t that defeat the very idea of trust? That we put our resources, our effort, or lives into the responsibility of others? We still must take responsibility, but we must trust if we ever want to find rest.

Trust includes forgiveness. Trust includes love. Trust means being prepared to make a leap without looking over the edge. Trust does not mean foolish or foolhardy agreement and surrender. But it does mean a sense of surrender – knowing and accepting that you can’t do this alone.

It means falling back into the arms of love and knowing they will catch you.
It means tripping into a blind darkness of uncertainty and knowing a light will be there to guide.

Lord, you have given me this opportunity for patience. Lord, help me to truly trust you and those you have put in my life.

I long so frantically for time to pass a little faster.
The deepest yearnings of my heart paint utopian images in my head of how I pray everything will be.
I’m walking multiple paths with multiple people, but only one sits in the middle with one other traveler walking  by my side.

I’m longing and hoping and praying, and over all of that, I trust.

Let me savor the time I have now rather than long for that which has not yet come.

But please, let it come soon.

I’ve never been very good at waiting.

Bottum Line – Selfish Acts

It’s a profession of conflict and ethical dilemma. If you’re not ready for it, pack your bags. No one is saying goodbye.

Joseph Bottum, editor of “First Things”, came to speak to us today. He was supposed to come last week and he ended up coming today because of a delay. For some reason, many people didn’t seem to understand what he was getting at when he told us he was going to convince us of why we shouldn’t go into this business. What a point to make to a bunch of students who have wasted away for three weeks trying to furiously fight our ways into a career in journalism field. Should we go home now?

“Writing, in essence, is masturbatory. You do it by yourself. Your family will hate you. What do you do when you write? It’s a selfish act. Writing is the self-elevation of the self’s point of view,” said Bottum.

It’s blunt and it’s harsh, but it’s never been more true. It may be done with intention aimed at other people’s enjoyment or understanding, but it’s like personal poetry. It’s selfish and closed off. I suppose I feel free to say this because I am a victim of a personal code in my writing. My poetry can be horribly selfish. I don’t do it intentionally. I just mindlessly focus in on my words and on the flow of the language. My heart is on paper, and no one except the surgeon who removed it is going to recognize it.

If you want to appear to be a selfless writer, with only the reader in mind, never put your name on anything. That’s not the world we live in. We live in the required world of accreditation and claim. We give our words to people so that we have our ideas in circulation. Even in news writing, you are jotting down your personal perspective and observations. There is no such thing as subjectivity. Even in pure factual writing, unless copied from another source, there is objectivity. We can’t escape it. We can avoid it and try and be purely neutral, but is there ever such a thing as pure neutrality? Is there ever an option to isolate completely from this horribly public thing? No. Or at least, I cannot find one.

What’s more moral: doing your job as a journalist and taking a photograph of a wounded and dying girl, or stopping to calm her from her screaming? You sign your own death warrant when you’ve committed to this work. I’m not saying to just dive fully into the work and silence all other influences. But how do we, as Christian journalists, have any right to argue that God placed another caregiver on the scene to deal with the hurting? Who are we to pinpoint God’s will? We could be the caregiver. In order to be a totally subjective Christian photographer, it feels like the subject must be silenced and we must make them objects.

If you are writing as a selfish act, it doesn’t mean you are selfish. It’s like stupidity. Someone can do a stupid thing, but it doesn’t make them stupid. Does the repeated act start to have its effects? If I repeatedly write, which is proven to be selfish, does it make me a selfish person? Who am I to write to change people? I have no right, in my equally created humanness, to write with the purpose of influencing people’s lives. My writing or my presence will have some influence of some kind. If I write with the intention of changing the world, I will fall in my pride and my expectations.

Moreover, if this is the end I am resigned to, how do I incorporate my Christian perspective? Am I a journalist or a Christian? Where do those lines meet? This has been the purpose of the course – to intertwine the two and recognize the symptoms of passiveness. Thus far, my solution is as follows. I do the task set before me, I go about it morally and pray that God forgives me.

This isn’t right. Why do we think this way? We’ve been told to be machines. We vomit what we know best onto everything around us, killing everything that grows. We need to get ahead and we need to stay the course. Does staying the course mean putting a cold camera lens in between myself and the starving child, or does it mean snapping a picture and handing the child a piece of bread?

We can’t separate ourselves from this idea either. We must either be truth-seekers through photos or missionaries. Missionaries take photographs, but photographers don’t usually minister. The act of the photo-taking is a ministry in that is offers truth in one of the most permanent ways possible.

This entry was a result of my immediate thoughts after Joseph Bottum’s talk this afternoon. I will add to it at a later time. Right now, I just need to take a deep breath and focus on my video.

I don’t need an ethics class to tell me where I ethically stand. It may help to focus that ethical thinking in one area or another, but who am I if I don’t know ethics? I shouldn’t touch this career with a ten-foot pole.

These Times We Speak Of

Too often I have seen relationships torn apart by a lack of humility. You will not listen to me speak, for though I am a few years behind you, and my experience not so extensive, I cannot be a fool when I look at how you treat each other. I surpass you in wisdom and maturity, and despite my lack of years, I see you dying. Your love cannot live on this way, you trials will only increase. My words go by the wayside as you kill for authority.

The day your love has died, you will scream at me and beg me to tell you why I didn’t try to stop it.

Oh, but I did, dear friends. You would not heed my words. Who is really to blame?

I am exhausted and to the point of falling face first forward into the floor just to get blessed rest. But no, it cannot happen, not this way. I must not give in to weakness. The depression that threatens to smother me until I gasp for mercy will not win. I am not a simple pawn of trial or of pain. I will run with blood and tears before I let it consume me.

I don’t understand the way people work anymore. They hope for better things but they constantly aim themselves at the edge of the cliff. They say it’s going to change but then they plop back down in their same old easy chair and swig back the same old self pity. They beg for help but then let their hand snap your head back when you offer words and consolation. You were there at their sick bed but then they swallowed the toxin you’d rescued them from. It was nothing to be proud of in the end.


Destroy me from the inside out

She doesn’t live here anymore
Tearing out the pages, one by one
ripping them to air between her hands

She doesn’t live here anymore

her walls falling inside
bricks and mortar crumbling on our heads

knocking me unconcious

bloody shards of wisdom at her bruised feet,
destroying her from the inside out.

It’s over
and she doesn’t live here anymore.

If 21 is the legal drinking age…

Then why are we pretending it’s 17?

Today at school, a mock accident is being staged by SADD to show the dangers of drinking and driving, especially around Prom time. I, who is not planning on drinking OR doing drugs before this event, feel as if I am being forced to go. I understand the depth of this issue, since students are naturally thick skulled and ignorant to the deep impact and damage of such a disaster. However, at least those raised in this school system, we have all been pumped full of these “skills for healthy life” since first grade. DARE, Health class, SADD… If people have not gotten the message from these warnings, how will seeing a bunch of their classmates playing dead make any more difference? We all watch movies. Even if you say you don’t, it cannot be avoided. Many movies have either an actual scene of a drunk driver smashing his vehicle or the discussion of one’s death by this theme. “Bad Boys II”, “Intolerable Cruelty” to name a few. If we have seen these portrayals of the dangers of drinking and driving, then h0w will viewing it outside make any difference? If anything, it will make less of an impact because we all know it is a “mock accident”.

People will probably read this and call me a heathenish cynic for attempting to drive away (no pun intended) the idea of trying to warn teenagers about the dangers of throwing back a few cold ones before sliding behind the wheel. But in actuality, all this does is give teens the impression that they are allowed to drink before age 21. By even suggesting that drinking and driving would occur, it’s like… unspoken permission to do that. While yes, it may be warning against it, many will only embrace that activity.

And for those of us clean and non-promming, what’s in it for us?
I get to miss ASL, my easiest class of the day. Boy, big incentive.

So really… if the legal age is far above what any of our high school ages, why are they acting as if it is now?

Once again, think what you will. The reason I am here is to give my opinion… nothing more.