Saturday, May 4, 2013

And I'm preparing every part for you

So it has kind of been a while. I have had so much going as of late that I have not been able to update as frequently as I would like. That is probably for the better though. The past few weeks have been some crazy hills and valleys. As most of you know, I struggle with depression and anxiety. Now I can add insomnia to the mix. I have not been sleeping very well or very much. It makes for an even more caffeine-dependent Athena. God has shown Himself in ways that I could have never imagine and I am incredibly grateful for this. I have been learning more and more how to rely on Him and His strength, but I still see myself fighting for control.

I was talking with Dr. Blutinger on Facebook and told him things out of my anger with God. As I result, Dr. B became concerned, which resulted in me having to talk with the department chair. Dr. Quam-Wickham is so incredibly awesome and so encouraging. She understood where I was coming from and even though she might not have understood how my faith plays into these things, she helped me out a lot. Since then I have been trying to regularly get time with God. I have not been consistent with it this semester and can feel it. I started a study a week ago that I am calling "Who am I?: My Identity in Jesus Christ." It takes a list of different things that God specifically calls us and the verses that go along with these identities. I look at the definition of the word and then read through the verse to see what God has to say about me. It is amazing how I feel after these things. I am still struggling with giving God full control in my life but I am working on the foundation. Last year I told everyone that I did not want to live in the identity of depression. I did not want to label myself as someone with depression. I want to know what God sees in me, and what He finds is beauty.

The title of this post comes from a Sufjan Stevens song called "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands." Sufjan gets the title for the song from Isaiah 55:12 which states, 
"You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands."
The song and verse have been very relevant to me lately. They both talk about how we have to surrender to the knowledge that we cannot be everything for ourselves. I know this is not a popular notion. The fact is I cannot heal my broken mind; I am not capable of stopping my depression; I cannot control everything in my life. God is everything and is more than capable for everything.

 God has also shown me so much encouragement and love through others. I went to the History Department Awards Night last night and received the Chinski Award for excellence in Holocaust scholarship. Dr. Blutinger introduced me and the words he said made me cry. It is incredibly hard to see these things within myself and for another person to remind of my identity, I am stunned. The things He pointed out are a direct result of Christ working in my life. He may not agree but it is true. I had professors congratulating me which felt awesome. I had one professor, Dr. Kelleher, come up to me and tell me that she felt my paper was exactly what the donors would have envisioned when they established this award. I was so shocked by the kindness. I walked back to my car praising God for these sweet gifts that reminded me of my true identity. 

I have so much to learn. Thankfully, I serve a God who never tires of my progress for He knows that I will be in progress as long as I am on this earth. I am still broken--mentally, spiritually, physically--but He is healing me. He is showing me more and more how He is responsible for the plan and the result, I just have to try. Thank you for stopping by to read this post!