Monday, November 23, 2009

Left and Leaving

I'm breaking my long silence again, obviously. I thought I would let my subscribers/readers know what is going on in my life, albeit not completely. :)
From late August to the first week of November, I worked for Novo Ministries, a non-profit, non-denominational group in Oklahoma City that does amazing work for the inner city kids of that city through Bible Clubs during the school year and two weeks of camp in the summer. I graduated from high school in July, and headed down there less than two months later, leaving behind friends, family, school (yes!), and everything I had known. Without knowing it or thinking about it, I was taking the advice of Donald Miller, one of my favorite authors. In one of his books, Through Painted Deserts, he talks about the trip he took across the country, away from everything and everybody he had known. In the preface, this is what he says:

"It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed."

This summer, I found God, in a way I had never experienced before. And God wanted me to go to Oklahoma. I went, and saw God some more, and got to know some really amazing people and really needy kids, and made some mistakes, too. Because of those mistakes, I am back here. And it's true, what Donald Miller says, that I am changed, and everything else has stayed mostly the same. Everything is still here. I am different. Nobody really understands what was my life for months, and I can't and shouldn't expect them to, because they weren't there.

I'm thankful for the time I had there, really thankful. I think and hope I left everything with everybody down there on the best terms I could. I'd like to go back, but right now, I am back in Kansas City, and I know that God has plans for me here now too. I think a lot of His plan right now is for me to grow in serving and trusting. I don't have a job, and I'm not in school, so obviously I have a lot of down time. I am necessarily having to stick around my house and my family a lot, and there's not much for me to do other than serve them, so this is good for me.

I left, and ended up leaving what I went when I left.

Here's an amazing song by the Weakerthans of the same name.


My city's still breathing (but barely it's true)
through buildings gone missing like teeth.
The sidewalks are watching me think about you,
sparkled with broken glass.
I'm back with scars to show.
Back with the streets I know
Will never take me anywhere but here.
The stain in the carpet, this drink in my hand,
the strangers whose faces I know.
We meet here for our dress-rehearsal to say " I wanted it this way"
Wait for the year to drown.
Spring forward, fall back down.
I'm trying not to wonder where you are.
All this time lingers, undefined.
Someone choose who's left and who's leaving.
Memory will rust and erode into lists of all that you gave me:
a blanket, some matches, this pain in my chest,
the best parts of Lonely, duct-tape and soldered wires,
new words for old desires,
and every birthday card I threw away.
I wait in 4/4 time.
Count yellow highway lines that your relying on will lead you home.


  1. good post, thanks for writing. i really love that song, i posted about it when i moved away as well. (i moved back too. isn't that funny?)

    and i understand MORE THAN YOU KNOW what it feels like for people to not have a firm understanding (or any) of your life for months. for me, it was david's deployment, and our relationship in general. i remember feeling so completely alone in relating to my friends during those nine months. none of them, not one of them understood it, and what's sadder, most didn't bother to try.

    something that God really showed me during david's deployment even more and more was that He is ultimately my best friend and comforter, and that when i seriously have no one else in the world, i always have Him. He has understands my feelings completely and perfectly and i'll i have to do is sit in His lap and let Him hold me. i'm never ever alone. that all seems really obvious, but it's something that really has to be felt/experienced, and not just said to be sincerely understood.
    in other words, people really suck sometimes. but God never does. :)
    i'm not really peer dependent.

    and obviously people are never gonna understand completely. i'm never gonna fully get your oklahoma experience, and you'll never fully understand what it's like to be in a relationship with someone in the military. the very best thing people can do is honor each other with quality time, open ears, and prayers. one of the best things, anyway. :)

    oh, and i think saying that you've changed but you've come back to the same thing is kind of unfair. there has been change here. maybe not in big ways, maybe not in ways visible to you, but things do change. i believe that you can come home and pick up where you left off, but that doesn't mean life in kc is a dvd you pushed pause on when you were away. i'm not meaning to accuse you of implying or saying any of those things, i'm just thinking aloud. don't mind me. :)

    sigh. i talk so much. sorry peter.

    elise johnson once wrote on her blog: "It’s not just big events in stories that are nothing like real life. It’s the little things too. The artificial dialogue and the moments when the small things come together like they’re supposed to and that makes a blossom of content that lasts."

    i tend to agree with her.

    isn't that fabulous writing on her part? personally, i kinda believe that our lives are not composed primarily of big moments. but that's just me, and who cares what i think.

    Nobody really understands what was my life for months, and I can't and shouldn't expect them to, because they weren't there.

  2. oh my word there are sooo many typos in the 3rd paragraph.


  3. okay, so there are a TON of typos on here.

    it's thanksgiving week at pielady, i worked 10 hours today...can you blame me? but seriously, i feel like a moron. :(

  4. i sort of feel like at first i thought i changed and everything was exactly like i remembered it when i came back.. but i started to feel this disconnect.. and as time went by it was like...
    the whole WORLD was changing and passing me by and nothing i remembered was there anymore.
    and i was still me.. i was changing to, but i was still me... im just not a part of what was again. in other words ive grown apart from the whole world i knew, and its grown apart from me. and now i live my life in my world.