Saturday, March 31, 2012

Time For a New Perspective

Having the right perspective is crucial to being happy and content with our lives. If you're not happy, if you don't like yourself, if you're too critical of everyone around you, and if your expectations are too high for your family and friends, then change your perspective. Unless you like being discontent with everything, then don't. But if you're ready for a change and if you want to be happy, put on some different glasses and view the world and your life in a new light.

It is time for me to get a new perspective on my life. I'm tired of hating myself for the unfortunate circumstances that have taken place in my life. I'm tired of letting other humans have more control over who I am and how I react than I do. Do I get a kick out of being miserable? Am I tickled pink by the fact that I allow the mulitple failed relationships that have happened in my life to define how I view myself, and the worth that I have? No, no. Time to stop playing this stupid game, and maybe you should too if you're like me.

I so desperately desire to view the world and my life differently. I want to have what I call a "heavenly perspective" on my life. I have never considered myself to be a very "wordly person" before because I try not be super materialistic and shallow, but I realized recently that I am SO worldly. But I don't want to be. I am a Follower of Christ, and therefore I am told this:
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect" Romans 12:2
A heavenly perspective. I want to view my life apart from everything physical in this world. I do not want to view myself as being defined by the men who do or do not love me. I want to view myself apart from my physical appearance and how good I look. I want my new perspective to be solely on the Lord  my God, my Father and my King. I want to be so focused on the only thing that truly matters in my life, which is glorifying God and preaching the gospel, that NOTHING else matters very much to me.

I am here on earth in this world to serve God. To glorify Him. To praise Him. To love others like Jesus loved. That's it. I am not entitled to anything else! I'm not living in this world so that I can fall in love, get married, have a happily ever after. I'm not here to make a bunch of money and live a comfortable life full of luxury. I'm not here to be a famous National Geographic photographer. I'm not here to please others.

I don't need anything other than the Lord, and I shouldn't expect anything else. Americans are brought up to believe that we are ENTITLED to so much. "You deserve it!" "You're an American, entitled to the American Dream." Perfect house, perfect car, perfect marriage, perfect health, and perfect appearance.  But that is so very false. So untrue. But because our God is so good, He gives us things that are good and extra. A straight up blessing from the Lord. I don't deserve anything. But he has given me a family who is good, parents with financial stability, friends who love me, a car, shelter, my health, and lots of clothes and shoes. Wow. Thanks! So unnecessary, but so good, and I am grateful.

Try not to worry about your future. Whether you're stressed about not having secured plans for this summer or the fall, or if you're worried about coming years. Don't. It is so unnecessary, and worrying gets you no where. Trust the Lord with your future, and remember what your calling is as a Child of God. Even if you just gain a small view of this heavenly perspective, it will be so helpful and so good. Focus on things of the Lord, heavenly things. Not on things of this world. This world will fail you.
God will not.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pain of the Heart

The unfortunate scene that we behold seems to be muted. Silence fills the room like a heavy smoke that is choking her; threatening the girl from breathing the contaminated air. Her body collapses into a fit a tremors on the bed. Her face contorts into one of despair. Her shoulders keep shaking as she lays there, holding her face in her hands. Finally we hear her breath. That awful gasping noise where you can hear the saliva caught in her throat and the snot in her nose. She snorts, gasps, and begins to wail. We begin to wish the scene had stayed muted.
Pain is an interesting thing. It goes far beyond the physical aspect of its nature. Emotional pain, while it seems so metaphorical, is quite literally the same type of hurt, in my opinion. The scene described above is about me; a scene that I have seen myself collapse into on more than one occasion, and I'm sure I will continue to experience such despair as time goes on.
There is something so intense about emotional pain. Something so, raw, and different. Physical pain can be measured and the injury can be understood by observing the body, the blood flow of the wound. But emotional pain, that's something quite different. It cannot be measured, and it cannot be understood by anyone except maybe the person experiencing it. And yet, emotional pain can feel just as present as a stab wound in your leg.
The aching, the stabbing pain in my stomach and chest, and the tightness of my throat. Sometimes I literally cannot breath. Or, I think I can't. Isn't it interesting?  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Weighted Down

Every now and then I write in my actual journal what I call "poetry", or songs that I never make music to. Me writing poetry usually only happens on either extreme end of the emotional spectrum. I always write my poetry in pen in any one of my multiple unfinished journals. Here it is. I don't expect you to love it. and I don't mind if you hate it. I'm only expressing a strange feeling I have been having the past couple weeks; an odd heaviness that quite literally I can feel in my body.

Sometimes I feel like I can't move. 
I feel so heavy...
Even as I lift my hand to touch the pen to this page, I feel its weight. 
Weighted down.

I think it's my heart. 
There's something in my heart, 
Some disease that is spreading
Through the blood that my heart is pumping in and out. 

In and out, in and out,
And each time it circulates, 
the blood is getting sicker and sicker.

Heavier and heavier I feel.
My heavy, lifted arm is tired,
As if the blood running through my veins were weighted...
Weighted down. 

I feel so heavy!
I really cannot move. 
I think I may be paralyzed.
My body is tense and my muscles so tight. 

I don't think I could even scream,
if cared enough to try.
My throat is tight and I can hardly breath. 

Am I breathing? 
Am I even awake, 
Or is this some strange stream of semi-conscience thought,
That I am only aware of in my dreams?

Why won't this heaviness leave me?
I can't even cry; 
Not one single tear.
But oh how I long to cry.

Now I'm scared.
I want to cry, I want to scream. 
I want to kick, pound, and tear at the ground
That I cannot leave. 

But all I do is stare.
With my body on the ground curled up
In the fetal position,
Blankly at the wall I stare

I stare, and I think about my blood. 
It is still so heavy. 
It must be my heart. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I was angry.
So, so angry. Rage thumped in my heart towards you. Yes, you. My friends, my family, maybe even God. I have felt very alone for such a long, long time. Ever since my plans were changed, since my life fell apart, since I left San Marcos I have felt alone. One person consistently cared for me. He was the one who checked up on me, chatted with me about unimportant things, encouraged me, and said the really hard things that I needed to hear during those 6 months when I was away from the place I called my home, San Marcos. He was there. I depended on him heavily. It was wrong, and I knew it, but I felt I had no choice. No one else was there for me, except God and him. Anger and frustration has been building up inside of me for the past 5 months, unbeknownst to me, until today. Today it all spilled out. I hadn't really cared that this one person was the only one who kept up with me when I was away from San Marcos. At least I had him. However, now that I don't have him anymore, it has become heavily apparent how alone I feel, how far away I feel, and how angry I have been at the other people in my life. Today that anger destroyed me.
Aggression. Rage. Frustration. Alone. Fear. Depression. Giving up. Death.
These thoughts ran through my head today. Yes, even the last one. Death. Why the hell must my thoughts go to such an extreme place? Yeah, I am unhappy right now. Yeah, I'm not where I want to be in life. Yeah, things have happened recently that have completely destroyed what I knew for certain was my future. So what? Oh poor Catherine... she has such a hard life! Living a hard life with suffering and sadness is not worthy of living, clearly. It would be easy to give up.
In a world without hope, yes. I would give up. But this world is far from without hope.
I am so completely and totally selfish. Honestly, it disgusts me. I'm so sorry to all of you. It is so easy to throw a pity party and hate the people around me for not loving me well, but really... Let's be real, Catherine. Are you loving them perfectly? Haha, no way. I am not. I am a ridiculous human being that cares mostly only for herself. How awful is that? There is little that saddens me more than the selfishness of humanity. Selfishness is the driving force of all sin. Murder, rape, greed, lies, injustice, jealousy, hate, adultery. It is our downfall. Tragic. And when it comes down to it, I am no better than the rest of the world. I may like to think that I am a saint because of the sacrifices I have made for others, because I open doors, because I love Africans more than you do, because I care about your hunger more than my own sometimes, but that is complete bull. I am sorry. I wish I were a better friend.All I can do is hope and pray to the God of all things and ask Him to help me change my heart... My wicked, disgusting heart.
Good thing our Lord is so Holy. Isn't it grand that the Creator of all is my friend, my Father, and my Savior? And He has saved me. I am righteous. I am redeemed. Thank God.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Too Passionate?

Can a person be too passionate? Can a person care about too many things and want to make a difference in too many different areas of need? I feel like I am one of those people. There are so many things that I am so passionate about. Okay.... maybe not so passionate about so many things. I don't sit around all day thinking about how I could bring good change to the world in 20 different ways. I wish I did.
Scratch that. No I don't wish that. That might mean that I was an incredibly selfless person who was more motivated to do good than most human beings, but, that would also mean that I wouldn't be able to devote enough attention and time and resources to one, big, important cause.
Anyway. The point of this post is actually to complain about how many things I care about. I feel distracted, unable to focus. Maybe I need to narrow down or prioritize my passions; that way I could make sure I was actually dedicating enough of my attention to one or two things. Or maybe, I'm over-thinking this entirely too much.
List of things I wish I could make an impact or change in, donate to, serve the cause:

  1. Africa (top priority being medical needs/water sanitation/education)
  2. Sex-trafficking (all over the world. this issue in and of itself is huge. maybe start in the U.S.)
  3. Food and Nutrition (holistic nutrition, whole/real foods, traditional eating, EDUCATION)
  4. Children/Youth ministry (so many kids/teens EVERYWHERE are in need of love, support, Jesus)
  5. Drug/Alcohol abuse in youth (I've been in this scene a lot... I so wish I could educate parents or work with youth in this area)
  6. Drunk Driving (irritates me so much... gosh) 
  7. Educating myself more
  8. Photography
  9. Other "selfish" things I wish I could spend time on
But how the heck do I do it all? I can't. I guess I have to choose. Oh, and pretty much ABOVE ALL I would like to a wife and mother. Goodness. I'm super passionate (most passionate) about that. Dumb. I'm silly. Too many things to care about.

Monday, March 5, 2012

In Regards to the Previous Post

You must know this. In my heart I will always desire a husband. I will always want to be some man's wife. To love and support a great man of God who's heart burns for ministry would bring me such joy. I want nothing more than to glorify God by being one in marriage. However, because of past experience, fear of more pain and broken hearts, and because I have peace of mind even in knowing that I may never have the privilege of being a wife and mother, I find myself prone to say things that I said in my previous blog post. I know I will survive without a husband if I have to. In fact, I will thrive. God has huge things for me in this life on earth. He has made me more passionate than any one human being should be able to be. Husband or no husband, I will be joyful and serve the Lord.
 You say you remember when you first met me. "You were so different than who I know you to be now", you say. You recall me being a lot "tougher" than how I am now. I seemed to be harder, more bitter, not romantic, and, well, just "tough". I remember it too, to be honest. I was tough. Actually, I was pretending to be tough. Truth be told, I was very broken and very bitter.
 How could you expect me to have been otherwise? Do you not know what I had gone through? Maybe not. I was pretending to not care, pretending to be strong and tough because I had to. It was a survival tactic. I had to act as though I couldn't care less about love, relationships, marriage, and all other sweet and lovely things in life because I could not believe in them or trust them. To protect myself from getting my heart ripped out of my chest and shredded into pieces again, I told myself that love was not real; at least not the love that humans were capable (or in my mind, incapable) of. I told myself that I would never marry. I told myself that my chances with love and happiness with a man were over. Even if someone else came along and tried to persuade me to be with them, I was going to say no. Why? This is why.

 Because people fall out of love, that is why. And if people fall out of love, how could I ever trust someone enough to date them, much less commit my life to someone and marry them. Whenever I had experienced romantic love with a boy or a man, it never lasted. They loved me one day, but for some reason, the next day they did not. Was something wrong with me? Why did it never work? Even in the marriages that I witnessed around me, I was not impressed with human kind's ability to commit to each other and love each other well. I was heart broken for the last time, I swore to myself. "No more of this love stuff!" I thought. Please, no more hurt, no more tears, no more sleepless nights, cramping stomachs, and empty trust. I couldn't do it anymore! Clearly romantic love was just, ephemeral. Short lived. It never lasted, and maybe, it was never even real. It was never even there. This is why I was "tough". Because I HAD to be. I could not allow myself to believe in it. If I did, and I eventually trusted another man with my heart, was vulnerable with him, and if he became my best friend and also the love of my life, then it would very dangerous. There is so much risk in it. I couldn't do it. What if, again, the love did not last? What if I lost him?

Well, believe it or not, someone convinced me to believe otherwise. He somehow got me to give it a try. I was pursued, persuaded once, and then after I backed out, was persuaded a second time to date him. Can you believe it? I gave love another try! I gave human kind a third chance to prove me otherwise; to prove to me that my bitterness and fear towards love was wrong. Maybe a man could love me well and continue to love me, and stay with me. Maybe it would last!

I can't help but have this slight feeling of, well, irony in this situation as I sit here writing these things, and as I remember my bitterness and how I overcame it. I suppose maybe ironic isn't the right word. Maybe the right word is just, sad. I suppose I find it sad, that as I sit here and recall who I used to be more than one year ago, who I have been within the last year, and then how I am feeling now. I bet that sentence didn't really make sense to you. Here is what has happened: 1. broken-hearted and very bitter towards love 2. convinced it might be real after all, and then fell desperately in love completely and totally 3. and now broken-hearted once again, and feeling a certain bitterness and lack of faith in romance return.

I'm fighting earnestly against bitterness. I don't want to be bitter. I realize that love, romance, relationships, and marriages sometimes work out for some people, and I am so glad for that. Also, note that I am speaking prematurely perhaps, as I do not actually know the ending of this love story that I am still sort of a part of, but I cannot help having this intense fear that it is done... over, for good. And if it is, oh the bitterness. However, if this is indeed the ending of yet another epic love tale of Catherine Marchand, I know that this will end much differently than any of the previous tales. Why? Just because of the Lord, and how He is healing my heart and taking care of me. He gives me more hope than any man could. I can always trust in Him, fortunately. So, I think the bitterness won't be as much of problem this time. I will be sad. I will be sad for a very long time if this is the ending, and I may not choose this time ("this time" being hypothetical for now) to say yes or to be convinced by another man. Unless the Lord really wants me to marry some other guy, and unless He makes it very evident to me, then I think this was/is my last go. I know, I know. I sounds just like the "tough" Catherine that I used to pretend to be. But, is it okay if I mean it this time? It's going to be too hard to put my heart into another man's hands. Dating and relationships have caused me so much pain. I'm just not sure I want another try. Would I be giving up a huge, huge dream that I have had since I was a little girl? Yes. But maybe that's okay. I love children, and I love babies. I would love to have my own, but I don't need my own. I can love on any baby or kid out there. There are lots of children around this world that need to be loved and nourished. Men can take care of themselves, I suppose.