Tracy’s Grand Adventure

Tracy’s Grand Adventure

Once upon there was a girl who wanted to move. Not too far away, close enough to go home for a weekend but far enough away for something new.

She went through life, grew up and then stayed and staying was hard. Staying was harder than leaving, but it’s what she did. She got a good job, had a wonderful apartment and fantastic friends.

Then – somewhat out of nowhere she decided to move after a conversation with her far-away best friend.

Seven months after that Skyped conversation with a packed car and tear-filled eyes and she finally moved – to Massachusetts; definitely not close enough to go home for a weekend but definitely somewhere new.


Now one day I will maybe blog about why I moved beyond the fact that was always my plan. I may talk about how moving without a job was never in the plan and nor was moving for the idea of something and not for a concrete plan. Maybe I’ll talk about the broken plans that led to me sitting in a Starbucks in the land of Dunkin’ Donuts and how I am living in a tiny apartment with my no long far-away best friend and how I am rather unemployed but trusting that won’t be the case for too long.

But for now – here is my cross-country move in pictures because I still refuse to get a Facebook.

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the story isn’t over

the story isn’t over

I think Good Friday should also be known as “the day in which everyone felt forsaken”

Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified.
The day Jesus, bloodied and hanging on a cross, cried out “my God, my God why have you forsaken me.”
The day the disciples saw what they thought was the end of their savior.

Imagine you had given up your life, your plans, your career, to follow a man. He said he would make you fishers of men. You believed him to be the Lord. He was going to be your savior.
And then after giving up you life to follow this man, he is dying.  Dying a slow, agonizing death. Crucified between two criminals.
They trusted him and then he died.
Death is supposed to be the end.

But the story wasn’t over. And it still isn’t.

 

I think in many ways we live in something of a perpetual Good Friday.
I see war. I see death. I see broken families. and I see hurting people. I don’t always see God.
And in that it is easy to feel forsaken by God.

But luckily the story isn’t over yet.

Am I Naïve?

Am I Naïve?

Probably. Maybe. No. I have no idea. Yes.

I feel naïve sometimes. Especially when I answer these sorts of questions.

“why did you decide to stay in Yakima.”
“ummmm, God.”

“Oh, so you live downtown?”
“well, kind of.”
“Why would you choose to live in that part of town?”
“I feel called to…”
“By?”
“ummm, Jesus”

“Why decide to become a vegetarian.”
“I felt convicted”

I get these questions quite a bit. If I am being 100% truthful I usually don’t answer the questions like this. My go to answer is “well, it’s kind of a long story.”  I am afraid how others might see me. I don’t want people to see me as being naïve or foolish.

Maybe I am naïve. But I don’t really think so. I mean I do what I believe it right. I don’t to it rashly and it is really what I believe I should do.
And really, if I’m wrong what the worst that will happen? Sure my car was stolen. That sucked, hardcore, but really that  isn’t even close to the worst.

I am blessed beyond compare with my family and friends that live here (I’m also blessed by my far-away friends… love you Kaitlin and PortlandSarah!) So I’m not concerned by what could happen. Which then leads me back to thinking I am far too naïve for my own good.

So naïve or not? Who knows.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle (one of my favorites.) I don’t know how well I really live this out. But I try and when I feel like I am succeeding it makes me feel naïve again…

"it means to live in such a way that one's
life would not make sense if God did not exist"
Reasons

Reasons

Often I find myself asking myself is this faith right? Do I still want to make the choice to follow Jesus? Why am I even a theist?

And always the answer is yes. because I have to. I have no deeply spiritual reasons and definitely no intellectual reasons. Simply, I need something to believe in

I cannot deal with the world as it is.

I read about the hate crimes, the gang crimes, the domestic violence. I see the horrible things done in the name of religion. I hear about the rape, the murder, the verbal, physical and sexual abuse, the human trafficking. I read about the violence that seems to fill every corner of the world. I read about the terrorism, the dead soldiers, the brokenness and hopelessness that war brings. I know of the divorce, the death, the lost children, the hunger, the self harm. And I cannot deal with it.

I cannot deal with it.

My heart is heavy.

I cannot believe that this world is all we have. There has to be something more.

My faith depends on the ideas of love, hope and redemption. And Jesus gives me these.
I have to believe that Jesus calls us to love because there is so much hate.
I so desperately cling to the promise of redemption because no matter where I volunteer or how much money I give there will always been a horrible brokenness finding its way into our lives. And our lives need to be redeemed.

As a fiercely independent single lady and a person who values having solid, intellectual reasoning, these are hard confessions for me.
I can’t save myself and because of this my reasons for Jesus are simple. I need to be saved. I need to be redeemed.I need to believe that this God that I follow is great.
I make the choice to believe this. Because that’s what faith is. A choice.

Quote

These were nothing but middle-class white girl’s tragedies. But I was a middle-class white girl, with a middle-class white girl faith. In fact, my middle-class white girl’s tragedies ceased to be the tragedy at all: the tragedy was God’s response—total silence. I couldn’t hear God or see God or sense God anywhere or in anything. Some people call this the Dark Night of the Soul. It was dark, all right. And silent. And I was alone.

Susan E. Isaacs, Angry Conversations with God

I base my life on this belief

I base my life on this belief

Often when I start talking about my faith, it sometimes (a lot of the time) veers towards my doubts, questions or those things about the church that make me angry.

Sometimes when I start to talk about them, my mind filter goes away and I start to say things. Then I start to get those “Oh snap, that girl is going to HELL” or “just wait until God smites you for that one” looks. (or maybe I don’t and they are all in my head.)

Now, before I go off on some tangent that sends my mother, pastor, best friend or whoever else that may be worried about my everlasting soul into cardiac arrest, I will clarify something.

I believe in Jesus. I believe in what He said He will do.
I choose to believe in these things. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when I’m having an awful day. Even when I am having an anxiety attack. Even when church makes me angry. I choose to believe.

As my favorite author, Madeleine L’Engle, says

“I really and truly believe in God with all kinds of doubts. But I base my life on this belief.”

I choose to face my doubts head on. I choose to question my faith. I choose to think about what I believe.
I refuse to follow blindly. 

(Another point of clarification, if I talk about the church, I am probably talking about the church as a whole. The group of people that claim to love, believe in and follow Jesus. Sometimes we suck at showing what this whole Jesus things is all about.
I do go to church, and I actually like my church.)

So, in the future, if I am posting things about my faith (and I most likely will) and I start talking about whatever great thing that may get you praying in tongues for my everlasting soul, just remember –

I know what I believe, I have doubts, but I base my life on this belief.