Tuesday, May 19, 2009

long time coming

Well, I'm afraid I've been putting this off since Saturday. I had hoped when I left that I'd come back with all kinds of things to write about, and certainly there are things worth writing about, I just don't know what to write about. Rockbridge, as always, was wonderful. It was different this year, though, in ways that made it much more fun and much harder.

There were about 400 students there and I just kept running into people I know--in the first couple of hours I'd probably seen at least twenty friends from other schools. Which is weird for me, being introverted, and definitely not being one of those people who knows everyone. But it was nice to see people I know, and it was nice to feel so much a part of a/the group. Along with that, I feel like I'm so much more comfortable with the people in my chapter than I have been in previous years, just that I know them better and all that, and the whole experience wasn't really awkward like it normally is. So in that sense, it wasn't work like it's been before. It was just relaxing and being with people. And I also had some really great conversations, really got to know a few people better, and of course I love that.

All of that said, Rockbridge was not the, how would you say it, spiritual renewal that it's always been. I was in the coordinating team track which is basically the executive track--we do do a good deal of the coordinating and planning and work together to figure out the vision for our chapter, all of that good stuff.

And so the three of us girls on c-team--we didn't really know each other all that well coming in--spent the week in our tracks working and praying, and let me tell you, it was tough for all of us. We've all had a fair share of misgivings with this, all along the lines of what was I thinking? I don't want to be here (on c-team), I can't do this. For me, as evangelism coordinator--I remember praying about it and thinking how accidental it seemed. Of course it isn't, and God has put me here for some incomprehensible reason, he's put these things in my heart. But me? Of all people, me? It just feels so unlikely. So along with all that I was thinking about how I am one of those people who is much more comfortable following than leading. I'll lead, and do when I feel like I need to, but if there's someone who I think can do it better, then by all means they should. And so, as quiet as I am along with some other things, I really felt like I couldn't do it, that I wasn't a good enough leader, and so on.

The especially hard part about that was that I had to rely fully on God then. Well okay, I don't have a choice because if I don't let him do this, then it will fail. But for some reason it's still hard. We really gave it to him this week, and let me tell you, God is faithful. This past week we'd been praying about our chapter being real (you see this whole theme thing in my life? was I not just writing about that a few weeks ago?). About how we spend so much time together but don't really know each other at all, how there are chapters of 150 (we're about forty) who are closer. And during our chapter time this year, so many people opened up so much. Real stuff, hard stuff, half the chapter crying. It was amazing, and God showed up so much more than we had even thought to ask him, more than we hoped for.

And so I know this, that this full reliance on God is something I've got to keep working at because it's so good and when you really let God work, he really really does. What I'm afraid of doing is relying on him until we get off the ground with all this and then trying to do it on my own strength from there. I'm realizing how much control I like to have over certain things. As an INTP, I'm pretty amenable to most things, pretty chill in that sense, unless it goes against something I feel really strongly about (beliefs, morals, etc.) or--and here's where I'm realizing it--I'm not fully comfortable. I don't have this. I don't know this ground, this leading our chapter to become more missional. And of course I don't have it--it's God's. But I like to get a good hold on things when I don't understand them, I like to have control when I'm not really on solid ground. And even writing this I'm seeing lines draw back to very deep-rooted things in my family, experiences from growing up, from just a few years ago. I understand this (don't misunderstand me to be going psychology major on anyone, but that is a post in and of itself).

But what am I saying? Not on solid ground? Well what is God if not solid ground? I mean, it may not look like it and it certainly may not feel solid, but the end has already been won and God has got me. But letting go to (not just of) that is hard. I have to do this. And really it was never mine to have a hold of--this is God's, he's just using me, and I do want that. Another thing about INTPs: a lot of time spent second guessing ourselves. Which is only logical. For every one side, for every conclusion, it's logical that there could be another. If my neighbor and I are arguing and I think he's being stupid and is just out to get me, then chances are that he feels like I'm stubborn and refusing to understand. There's never just the one side. If I think I'm right--well, it's based on what I know, and what if I've overlooked something, what if there's something I don't know about? I could be wrong. This could fail. Maybe I can't do this.

And there's the catch--it isn't me, it isn't anything I could think through to the conclusion, it isn't anything at all except God. And he isn't fitting into equations, he doesn't have two sides like a coin. He's the the coin and the hands holding it and the resisting air. He's copper and silver and the light shining from 92,960,000 miles away just to reflect it back as it flips toward earth, and he's more than every law by which we understand gravity. Whether it lands on heads or tails or the absolutely arbitrary things those sides might represent--all of it's completely irrelevant. Those things are true, sure, but they have no effect on the outcome. The coin is still made of silver and copper, and it will still fall. And heck, it might even land on it's side, but it will land.

It's God. It's so much bigger than what's going on or whether I need it to land on heads or tails or what makes sense or what might be right and everything about the way I think. It is God, and I just need to let go to that.


  1. Love the next-to-last paragraph. Isn't that just it? God never fits into the equations we draw up for him. And then we get all mad when he doesn't live "up" to our expectations. It's insanity, is what it is, but oh how we cling to it, or at least I do.

    I was just talking about this with a good friend yesterday. We were talking about cancer, about how things should and should not work, from our perspective, and how God is so much bigger than our perspective, and maybe one day we'll understand why he did what he did--or maybe one day we'll finally get that we don't have to understand.

  2. you're right, it is insanity and i know it. i'm really good at knowing things without really getting them, i think, all while knowing i don't quite get them. it's tough cause i think this way. i know that, logically, God isn't logical (er.. not that he doesn't think logically. you know what i mean)--how could he be? he wouldn't much of a God if he were--i'm thinking about some c.s.lewis quote where he talks about how one of the reasons he believed christianity was that it was a religion you wouldn't guess, that you wouldn't expect. sometimes it's just a matter of turning my brain off and letting God be God, which is harder than i ever expect it to be. sometimes it's really nice knowing though, like you said, that we don't have to understand. definitely encouraging.

  3. Me too! Now, if I could just transfer that intellectual knowledge into "heart knowledge" (that's probably about the dumbest thing I've ever written, but I don't know how else to say it).

    I so relate to this: "I'm really good at knowing things without really getting them, I think, all while knowing I don't quite get them." Yes!

  4. Inspired.
    This post is full of things that I know are true but don't like thinking about because they push me out of my nice automatic INTJ operations. Thanks for writing this.