Let's see... something notable... I went to my first Passover Seder yesterday. It was pretty awesome. Ever since I read somewhere about Seders, I've wanted to go to one. I put it on my bucket list of things to do before I die. And it just so happened that this year...there was a Passover Seder at the young adult group. The last time they did one was 5 years ago. I feel pretty much like it was meant to be. I was meant to leave my other church at the time that I did and I was meant to go to young adult group on that particular week and I was meant to go to this Seder. Sometimes when things like this happen, I wonder if I'm going to die soon because it seems like God grants me every desire of my heart and I didn't even have to try for this one. :)
I'm still processing all the things I learned, but all in all, the Seder was awesome. If I ever have a household of my own... I wanna have Seders. Maybe it doesn't have to be exceptionally traditional, but I do want to go through the cups and spend time remembering. Oh. For those of you who don't know what a Seder is, it's a Jewish dinner thing... kinda like a special family dinner that they do... where they eat certain things in a certain order... it's kinda like our Lord's Supper thing but... there's a little bit more involved to remember the events of the Passover... I'm not going to go and try to explain it... I wouldn't do it justice... but I do remember a few things that really impacted me... and one of those things that I remember was dipping the Karpas in the salt water.
The greens represent the life the God gives and sustains and the salt water represents tears. When the guy leading the Seder dipped the parsley in the salt water and lifted it... I watched the salt water fall from the parsley... and saw the tears that have dripped from my eyes these past few weeks. The tears are supposed to remind Israelites of the tears shed during their bondage in Egypt. That day... and today... I felt those tears... falling from the parsley like the tears my heart has been crying even when my eyes were dry these past few months.
I cried out for Anderson last night for the first time in a very long time. I had insomnia and I... just wanted someone to talk to about all the things floating around in my head. I wanted to just snuggle in his arms and cry myself to sleep... I settle for burying myself in my pillows and crying until I feel like stopping. He always knew what to say... to make me feel better... to remind me not to freak out... and I know it's completely unrelated... but to make me feel pretty and loved no matter what. I missed that. I missed him.
This has been a really rough Lenten season for me... emotionally, physically, mentally... I've felt an onslaught of guilt, exhaustion, emotional instability, lack of confidence in my work, lack of confidence in my schoolwork... a lack of confidence in general. God has taken pains to remind me that He is always by my side... I've had really awesome moments here and there, but the general baseline that I keep coming back to is... a sad face.
Have you ever just caught yourself... like when your mind is empty... maybe when you're driving... or when you just wake up in the morning... I think we used to call it a "normal face" when we were kids... it's just... baseline... when you're not really thinking... just... existing. I'm used to having my baseline face being a smile or something bubbly... like when I'm walking down the hall, I'd just... be happy and cheery for absolutely no reason whatsoever. The past few months I've caught myself and I've been like... sad... or depressed... or exhausted... or irritable. I thought about it after catching myself and I really have no reason to be sad or depressed... so I just try to live based on truths and not on how I feel. I have to remind myself of truths repeatedly. And I constantly ask myself whether or not my sad feelings have any grounds. I honestly can't find anything real to pinpoint it to.
Feelings of loneliness and emptiness have been hitting me particularly hard. Facebook updates about babies, weddings, engagements... I'm really happy for all of my friends... but I also wonder... if I got my shot already... or if there is still something left for my future in this realm.
And then... I think about... what the Israelites would say... when they were wandering around the wilderness and found themselves without water. They'd be all dramatic and say something like, "OH that we had DIED in Egypt... where there was fruits and meat and blah blah blah..." or "OH WHY oh WHY did you bring us out here to DIE of THIRST and STARVATION..." and I kinda felt like... dang that's passive aggressive. Wishing for something that I used to have was a little bit pointless... and it's also the way that desire of the heart/body was expressed. If I feel the desire to be in a relationship like I would feel hunger or thirst... I should simply... ask God explicitly for it and then wait for the answer. Why should I be such an ingrate and forget all the wondrous things God has done for me and brought me through... the miraculous transformation of my heart... providing for my every need... why wouldn't God provide for this area of my life as well? He has proven Himself faithful to me... to His people... time and time again across centuries... I don't see why He would stop now.
No, no... it must be that I just can't see the answer yet. Or maybe singleness is the answer in the future... but for sure, it's the answer right now.
So Anderson used to do this thing... where he would text me really early in the morning or maybe before I came over... but before he even saw what I looked like or knew what I was wearing... he'd text me "you look pretty today" or "I love that outfit on you" and "can't wait to see you". Sometimes, I'd be out shopping and I'd text him that I bought him something and right away he'd say, "I love it! Thank you". And it really wasn't that he said those things in response to what I looked like or because of the gift itself. First thing in the morning, of course I looked terrible... but he did those things because he loved ME... more than the way I looked... more than the clothes I wore... He loved me for me and he didn't need to see me (or any gift) to know that. He loved my choices before he knew them because he loved me.
In the same way... I want to love the choices God makes for me... even before I see them or before they arrive. I absolutely know that whatever God has planned for me has been chosen precisely and with wisdom... for me. He knows me inside and out... and loves me with an undying, super deep, super passionate kind of love... where He would not dare withhold anything if it weren't for my best interest. He is incapable of being vindictive or withholding things for His amusement. There is a darn good reason why things are the way they are and it's to teach me something important... to train me for something... or to teach me an invaluable lesson that I would not have learned any other way. It's all good stuff.
So I'll love my invisible future... my invisible mate... because I'm in love with God and I love His choices for me even before I know what they are. It's only a matter of time before I'll get to see more and that joy will be more complete. In the meantime, I'll just wait with anticipation.
And I think sometime after the dipping of the Karpas in the salt water... there was a part where we ate matzo with horseraddish... the bitter root... to remind the Israelites of their bitter slavery in Egypt. The guy said that normally they eat a teaspoon of it. The girl next to me decided to try it. Except that she thought she heard Tablespoon... so while I ate a tiny bit which made my nose sting and made me cry... she ate an entire Tablespoon of it and if I suffered a little with the tiny bit I ate... she was SUFFERING. I thought her head might explode. We laughed but I tried to imagine amplifying my pain by 10X and I just couldn't fathom it. After that... there was this sweet apple mixture that kinda takes away the pain of the bitter root... it's supposed to represent hope and the sweetness of redemption. So I dunno if I'm still crying from my Karpas or if my sinuses are throbbing and aching from the horseraddish...but...I have hope...in the sweetness that I already have... and the sweetness to come and I'm glad I went to this dinner to remind me... with food...one of the greatest joys of my life... of the hope that I have in Christ. Karpas and Tears are just a part of it and not the whole of it. My life WILL end with sweetness. It is guaranteed. If God said it... if God promised it... it's as good as gold... as good as done.
And maybe I'll also have this song to remind me whose hands I rest in...whose hands cover me...whose hands will never let me go... when my Karpas is dripping with tears.
And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life (By your Side. Tenth Avenue North)
OK. I've procrastinated my homework long enough. Until next time...