I get most of my work done in the shower. I process the plays of Susan Glaspell and Eugene O’Neill in the shower. I compose poetry in the shower. I organize my students’ lives in the shower. But last night while I was in the shower, I began remembering this past weekend, and I remembered how much I have to be thankful for.
This past weekend was the culmination of my assistant-directing process on the production Sense and Sensibility. Every show has its ups and downs, but this show beats all. From snow days to broken limbs, this two-hour production only had seventeen rehearsals. Some people have poo-pooed the director and me by pointing out how well the show went–obviously we had enough time. But as every director knows, you always want more time. When I stop and think of the relationships formed through this production, of the countless hours the director spent working (instead of sleeping), of the incarnational process I witnessed in each of the characters, all I can say is God is good.
As if that blessing weren’t enough, I went to church on Sunday morning. My pastor is going through a series from 1 Peter called “A Living Hope.” I’m not trying to be overly dramatic when I state: my family has had a rough time these last five years. Rebellion, broken hearts, chronic illness, countless moves–we have felt the pain of being citizens of another country. I can’t speak for my family, but I can speak for myself when I say that I can’t remember the last time I got through a day without being overwhelmed by discouragement–whether it be discouragement over my own sin, stress about school, or fear for someone I love. And I sat in church on Sunday morning and listened to my pastor tell me with tears in his eyes that for whatever reason, the trials I’m going through are necessary. For whatever reason, I have a lesson to learn that I can only learn by going through these trials. And they seem endless, but they are only temporary.
I went into my counseling session yesterday afternoon thinking that I was happy. I finally had my life together, even if it was only for one day. Ironically, I began crying not ten minutes into it. Somehow my biggest fears welled up to the surface, and I couldn’t wipe them away. And then my counselor spoke to me words I have heard my entire life and never before found very beautiful, but when she told me that God made me fearfully and wonderfully, somehow the truth of that verse sunk in for the first time. No matter how much hair is on my head, no matter how many pills I have to take, no matter the side effects of the medication, no matter how many friends I have, no matter how lonely I am, I am fearful and wonderful because God made me.
Last night I began a week-long study of the Gospel of Mark. I only got through chapters one and two last night, but my notebook is already several pages full. I’m making note of all the people who came to Jesus. In my study from yesterday, sick people (overwhelmingly) were the ones who came to Jesus. Well, that’s me. People who were skeptical of Jesus’ power came to ask questions. Sadly, a lot of the time, that’s me too. But, regardless of why I might come to Jesus, the fact remains that I can come.
I compare myself to others far too often. Why does she get more roles in plays? Is her writing better than mine? Why did he look at me like that–is it because he’s cool and I’m not? What if I’m annoying him? She’s prettier than me–is that why she’s dating and I’m not? Am I not godly enough? Should I work out as much as she does–maybe then I’ll be pretty? And then I remember that I wasn’t made to be anyone else. My journey is going to be different from everyone else’s. As a result, I may not have time to read books, listen to music, study, have friends, watch movies. (Not that any of those things are bad; they are good things.) But there is something better. Something I can only say by faith because I haven’t felt its truth in a LONG time. I have to get to know my God better so that I can believe that He loves me, believe that He wants what’s best for me, believe that He is good–no matter how I feel.
My mom always comes up with a word to define her year. Now that it’s halfway through February, I have my word: fruitful. I want to be fruitful.