Sunday, April 29, 2012

a failure.

i am, basically, done with college in 2 days. i dont technically graduate till august, but my time here in auburn is done in 2 days. when i think back to THIS time, it is crazy that i am sitting here talking about actually being done.

i remember SO distinctly this one day sophomore year... i was at southern union and had just talked with some of my friends up at Wofford. they were telling me about a super fun night they had had a few nights before and how they missed me and wished i could have been there. then i went back to that HORRIBLE place, Cambridge (my first apt), and lost it. i cried and cried and cried. i mean, snot-nosed, fetal position, wailing type of cry. and i will never forget thinking 'no one here misses me. no one here even really knows im here. and if they do, unless they've had to leave a school and group of friends that they love, they will never be able to understand what is going on in my life. i am NEVER going to get out of here....' i remember it like it was yesterday.

and now... im here. im done. im leaving.

but... thats where the conflict inside sets in.

my whole life i have longed for this day to get here. i never have to do school again! i finally get to move on to what i have wanted to do my whole life! and i never have to take an pointless tests or do stupid projects or anything ever. again.

this point of my life though is not how i pictured it....

no one thinks of graduating college and then.... moving back home.

[now before i go any further, i want to be very clear on this - i only think this way in terms of me. i have a number of friends... MANY... who, after graduation moved back home. i think that is AWESOME for them. but this whole post is in terms of me, and strictly me. so please dont anyone read into anything or assume that i am speaking indirectly to people. im not. i am talking strictly in terms of me.]

my whole life i have dreamed about getting done with college so that i could finally be free to do whatever it is i wanted to do. if i wanted to be a movie star, i could. if i wanted to start a free camp for inner-city kids to come to and possibly board at, i could. if i wanted to move to India to labor among the Hindi there, i could. if i wanted to get married, i could. if i wanted to move to New York and pursue my obsession with all things hair, makeup, and fashion, then i could. but im finally to this idolized point in my life and i am doing none of those. i am simply moving back home.
and to me, i see myself as a failure.

in my eyes, i have let myself down. i have not made the most of my life. i have settled and copped-out and not been able to make it on my own.

i love my home. i absolutely adore my parents and each of my siblings. i want to be near home so i can be everyones favorite aunt. i want to KNOW my siblings and what is going on in their lives. i want to have my parents near me so that they can continue teaching me, guiding me, and pouring into me in all the incredible ways that they have. NONE of this has anything to do with my physical, biological, actual home. my home is literally my favorite place in this entire world. i could talk all day about the sounds i couldn't live without, the smell of it, the peace i feel the second i walk in the door, the life that those walls have seen... i could literally write for FOREVER about how much i love my home and how much i love being home.

i dont want to move back home because i dont want to move back to birmingham. i dont want to move back to the pressures that are at home. i dont want to move back somewhere that i feel constantly watched. always scrutinized under a magnifying glass. i dont want to move back to birmingham because there is SO MUCH PRESSURE. not from my family, but from what i like to call "the stands". you know... the people that sit in the stands at sporting events and every person that walks by they have a comment about? thats what birmingham is to me. me on a playing field and a multitude of "stands" around me, silently commenting on my every move.

so when i say "home" i mean birmingham, not my home.

that all being said, when you are a college graduate there is a MASSIVE difference in going at home and moving home.

this weekend, i went home. tuesday, i move home.

what happened to my dreams? what happened to taking the world by storm the second i get my degree? what happened to changing and saving lives? what happened to taking the Gospel to the people that have almost NO MEANS OF HEARING IT?! what happened? how did i get here?

did i misread part of Gods plan? did i make a wrong decision? where did i go wrong? where did i screw something up? where did i start messing up how awesome my life was supposed to be?

...isnt satan good at feeding lies?

this whole semester those feelings have been pushed down, ignored, deflected... and i finally decided to face them. why do i feel that way? i know its not true, so why am i believing them?

as i have tried to sort through all of this and why i am feeling this way, it has been almost funny. almost.

there is this sermon that Tim Keller preached called "The Blessed Self-Forgetfulness". if you have never listened to it- stop reading. RIGHT NOW. and go listen to it. it WILL change your walk with the Lord.

anyways, in it he askes (my paraphrasing) why when we close our eyes to imagine, that we only image things for ourselves in the way that glorifies our own selves the most... and its true. if yall got inside my head when i day dreamed... oh. my. gosh.

i save the world, i cure cancer, i adopt every orphan in the entire world, i am a famous movie star that is an amazing role model for girls all over the globe that has time to radically change the fashion industry in just 1 week....

those aren't really what i want to do. obviously. but i have always had this weird but VERY consistent and urging feeling that the Lord has something strangely perfect in store for me... but what i have realized is that i had began to idolize that feeling into a worldly understanding. I began thinking of that strangely perfect things in tangible terms instead of kingdom terms. i realized that i  want to go do big great things because i want people to think highly of me. i want people to think 'wow, she is doing big things! her family must be so proud!'. approval of man instead of God. why, abby, are you letting something as fleeting as a human dictate your joy?

and i have seen so. much. sin. in my thinking.

i KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord has me at home this summer... and probably this fall. i know that the Lord has so much in store to teach me. i know that i have already learned so much about humility and i am sure there is alot more on that subject to come. i KNOW that the Lord is for me and that he has plans of a HOPE and of a FUTURE!

i had allowed satan to feed me lies for too long. i allowed him to seep in and train my brain to think failure. failure. failure. you are nothing but a failure. HDFS? whats that? thats not a doctor. thats not a teacher. thats not even a a real major. thats just a stupid MRS degree that you dont even want. failure. you are nothing but a failure.

well, im done. im done allowing him to tell me that. im done being manipulated and i am done allowing myself to think that my Heavenly Father does not have a GOOD and PERFECT plan for my life.

will it be a fight? hell yes. it might be that i have to wake up every morning this summer and pound my head into my pillow and yell - GOD. IS. FOR. YOU. - but if so, then thats what ill do.

that blog post i referenced at the beginning is EXACTLY why i started blogging. because in that post, these were my same thoughts. people are going to think that i couldn't handle being that far from home, people are going to think that i couldn't make it at Wofford... mans approval... i have failed.

what i have learned from when i wrote all that till now is that God is faithful. there has yet to be a time in my life where i faced something hard and did not see the Lord use it for good. there has never. not once. been a time in my life when i could have questioned the Lords sovereignty.

so. to satan, to the silent commentators, to the pressures that i feel from the birmingham world, screw you.

like many of my posts end, i am fighting for joy during this time. i am choosing to fix my eyes on Jesus and his promises and begging Him to not allow my heart to wander.

i am SO looking forward to spending all this time with my two knuckle-heads of little brothers, i am pumped about getting alot of time with my niece and nephew, i am so excited about being around my parents wisdom for a solid 3 more months at the least, i am SO PUMPED to intern with Nations Outfitters and get to work under a woman as wise, godly, and driven as Mrs. Lisa-Ann, i am excited to be near Lindsey and Colby and learn from their marriage, I am excited about the possibility of going to visit Will, Christine and Baby Cunningham as they start the next chapter of their lives, I am really excited about finally being in the same city as Jake... I am genuinely excited about alot of things. and i am fianally at peace about moving back to birmingham. and i am so looking forward to all that the Lord will teach me....

"My foes are many
They rise against me
But I will hold my ground
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

Oh, my God
He will not delay
My refuge and strength always
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through always

Trouble surrounds me
Chaos abounding
My soul will rest in You
I will not fear the war
I will not fear the storm
My help is on the way
My help is on the way

I lift my eyes up
My help comes from the Lord"
      -Always , Passion City Band


1 comment:

  1. There is a huge temptation in our generation to long for the things that "seem right to long for," i.e. saving children in India, loving the hopeless, sharing the Gospel in the middle east, adopting all the orphans, etc. and to the world these things are "right" and the world would never stop you from doing these things, but Jesus never rescued the lost for the sake of the lost. He rescued the lost for the sake of God's glory. It's like that John Piper quote, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." He said, "let thy Kingdom come, and thy will be done." And we long for the very touch and presence of our God, our Father. We can't have the full thing here but He lets us taste it. He allows us to have a few glimpses into eternity, but we long for more, because we long for His eternal presence. Truth is, you can feel His presence here in Birmingham. And when people are looking at you wondering why you are at home again, remember the Lord has called you here, and that is good. "the Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save, He will rejoice over you with gladness. With His love He will calm all your fears, he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17

    It means more to the Lord that you are obeying His will for you to be here in birmingham, then it would mean for you to disobey His will and create your own will to go and save orphans in Bulgaria.

    Obedience brings eternal blessings beyond belief, not for you to enjoy and keep to yourself, but to offer back to the Lord for His glory.

    And yes, we do not know each other but I have heard about you from so many of my friends that I feel like I know you, and so sister, I must encourage when the Lord calls me to encourage, whether it is to a "stranger" or not!

    In Christ, we labor in Birmingham,
    Lauren Bond