Apr 18, 2010

Forfeiting to Win

Life is full of power struggles. Some are purposeful; others we may not even realize. If you're like me, you worry...a lot. A quick way to alleviate that worry? Take the reigns and hold a death-grip for dear life! lol Don't we all do that from time to time? But more often than not, it's that very "warrior" mentality that can ultimately cause us to fail. We do everything in our power to avoid painful situations or to hurry things along. As humans, it's an almost unavoidable, natural response to the things around us that may seem so out of control (and I stress "seem"). We can become so impatient with our circumstances...this isn't happening fast enough, or we don't want "this" to happen so we do "this" to make sure it doesn't happen...yada, yada, yada. I could go on and on...but I won't ;)

I learned the power of letting go...lifting up and surrendering my life to the only One who can make it right....only to take it back just a few weeks later...and, boy what a serious boo-boo that was! At first it seemed harmless, but oh, the heartache that followed. Lesson learned? If something is not right for you, no amount of love can make it right. Everyone has different capacities to love.

"Just because someone does not love you the way you want them to, does not mean they don't love you with all that they have".

I've never liked that saying. When you get right down to the point, that "all that they have" love is still not enough. To me, it sounds like a cop-out; a weak and useless way to justify what is undoubtedly behavior that is painful to another person. I could almost gaurantee that one person in that scenario is laxidasical and the other person, as a result, is undoubtedly left with a horrible void in their heart. In short, at the end of the day, that "love" is not where it is supposed to be.

Yes, I am aware that there are people out there who have ridiculous demands and diminish love down to nothing more than a series of intricate hoops to jump through... and I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about Love in its purest form; the real and true definition. When Love is real, there is no room left for question. It is as evident as night and day; tangible. You need not search for the actions beyond the words...not because the actions are unnecessary...rather because they will stare you in the face. You will trip over them. Accept no immitations...true Love walks the line!

Love is not a toy; it is not a game. "Love" is not a word to be taken lightly or to be said in passing. Love is not a power struggle; not something with which to beat another person into submission. Love is not meant to be used as a trinket to dangle over another person's hopeful head. Love is not neglectful, conniving, or fruitless. And most definitely, love is not manipulation. Love is a precious gift; and when used correctly, it has the power to transform a person's life. Love can build a person up or send them crashing to the ground. No doubt, love is powerful and it is a critical responsibility to use it wisely.

When "love" falls short, it's not mature or it's not right altogether. This is not God's best for us. We need to trust Him...obviously he knows what He's doing! lol

God reaches His hands out to us; not so that we can take back what we have already given to Him, but rather that we may take His outstretched hands and let Him gently lead us away from what is harmful to us and towards where we are meant to be. It's so easy to forget that His plans are perfect and anything that I may try to create or accomplish, in my own power, pales greatly in comparison. It is only when we truly and honestly relinquish that power, that we become more powerful than we ever could have imagined.

Apr 11, 2010

From Biting the Big Apple to Roasting Little Buckeyes

I missed my "One Year Back in Ohio" anniversary! Why? Because I was deathly ill and puking my guts out from a lovely little thing called dehydration. Not fun! (Although, a little ironic as puking is what I felt like doing a year ago to the day when I realized I'd crossed over the Hudson into the oblivion...go figure! lol). Ok, so now when you read this blog, you're going to pretend it's the 8th of April. Why?...Because I was meant to write this on Thursday, which would have been the 8th, which coincidentally is the one year anniversary of "the move". I was going to blog about it then so, if you don't pretend, it won't be chronologically true, so just hush up and do it, lol.

:) Ok, so now we're pretending it's the 8th of April...la, la, la...fade into....WOW! This year has flown by! I seriously cannot believe it's been a year already and yet I cannot believe how full this past year has been at the same time. From a new job, to picking up where old friendships had left off, newly formed friendships, getting back in touch with my roots, and (cue the drama)...facing family. I've most definitely been blessed and I've probably learned more in this year and grown more in my relationship with God than I ever have before. Why? Because I'm finally freaking paying attention! lol

"Jesus Bootcamp"-that's what I said it was going to be before I even left the city. A varitable Jesus Buffet, if you will. I was determined to make this a time to pay attention and learn as much as I could from everything that was going on around me. And, gosh darn it all, if that isn't what it's cracked up to have been, than my name isn't Sarah Lynn...Ha! That rhymed :) But seriously, that day was special and I can't help but take some time and reflect as I look back on that last day...

6am: I woke up, stretched, and thought, "this is the day!". Sleepily squinting one eye, I took a look around my apartment...Boxes everywhere! Not nearly the comforting little apartment I'd taken so much time to personalize so that I could call it "home". Funny how every single noise you make can resonate that much louder just by moving all your stuff to the center of the room. The only thing left standing was the mattress I was sleeping on; I'd taken the box frame apart the night before to the sound of my lovely neighbor banging in protest on her ceiling/my floor. Seriously, lady! It's rod iron meets hardwood floors, sorry I couldn't make it sound like an ant walking on feathers! Also, New York is noisy and why do you live here if you don't like noise? Consider it just-cause for having to listen to you practice for your many off-broadway productions....loudly...but I digress. The guys were going to be here soon and I needed to be up and ready with coffee, breakfast treats, and the truck.

I'd taken some time to reflect...Man! It just seemed so surreal to me that this was the last day I'd be waking up in my apartment that I loved so much; in a city, which I'd learned a lifetime of valuable lessons. One thing I remember vividly was, that it was the first day in 5 years that I had woken up and didn't feel instant pressure the minute I opened my eyes. I knew by that night, I'd be back in a truely safe place and all the hard work and stress of the past month's preparations would be over. I loved the city, but after 5 years, I was burned out, worn out, and desperately needed a break...anyone who ever asked "why?" has clearly never lived there before! lol

I step out the door and am greeted with a beautiful cloudless, sunny spring morning! I savor every step as I walked for the last time that long block from 3rd Avenue to Lexington to my favorite neighborhood treasure and daily coffee stop - SpaHa Cafe. Only, this time, I wouldn't be getting on the train afterwards.

Tika and Ty are busy with their usual early morning rush, but stop to wish me well and give hugs before arming me with enough coffee and danishes to feed an army...or 5 people, lol.

Ok, now all I need is the truck! I'd been lucky enough to happen upon a Budget Rental literally right around the corner from my building. Woo-hoo! I didn't even have to cross the street to get to it...bonus! Imagine the looks on the guys faces when this little lady goes walking in to ask for her 10' truck reservation. They were looking at me like, "Really? You are going to drive this big honkin' thing??".. (Needless, to say, I bought the insurance). Seriously, though, I hadn't driven in 5 years. My modes of transporation had been the train (subway), bus, taxis, and my own two feet. A pinto would have been intimidating, let alone a 10' truck! (If you don't believe me, hey, just watch me try to park my SUV!)

5 minutes, 10 confused and disturbed Spanish Harlem natives, and one seriously frazzled Sarah later, I am parked in front of the apartment waiting for the guys from church to graciously travel their long journies from Jersey and Brooklyn at 7:30 in the morning to come and help me load the truck. They are so wonderful and I would have been a mess without them there to support.

After all is said and done, I take some time to walk the length of my now empty apartment. The tears are flowing...I don't know what's to come, but I know (for now) I have to leave. So many memories, but I know that many more are still to be made. This is only the close of a chapter.

Back downstairs, we stand in a circle, pray, and say our goodbyes. The next 10 minutes are a blur of traffic and mapquest, until I'm over the bridge and into Jersey. "Route 80! I made it!". My only company is a lone wild turkey who delightfully pranced right across the highway in absolutely no particular hurry to clear the way of the large truck barreling towards it. Keep it mind, it had been a while since I'd seen wild life that wasn't surrounded by a bed of arugula, so, to me, this was hysterical!

The rest of that 8-hour drive was beautiful, clear, sunny, and blue. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life. When I finally rounded the corner onto my friend's street and pulled into the drive, I knew whatever was coming, was going to be big!

Here's to you, New York...