Monthly Archives: March 2020

Life Goes On

I’ve had two weeks to write something. Anything. I’ve made three different outlines for blog posts about dealing with the grief of losing the last two months of a normal college experience, handling depressive episodes or how it’s okay to be sad when life gets turned upside down. But I couldn’t get anything to work. Processing has been brutal and I feel as if I am just now getting some stability in a severely unstable world. 

Everyone is dealing with this temporary normal differently. For some, it’s a major disruption that is causing a lot of anxiety. For others, it’s a much needed reset time. For me, it’s a bit of both. I love planning for future events. Having the knowledge of what is coming makes me feel more at peace with my busy life. I was so excited for the four different shows I was working on at school and in Kansas City. Within 48 hours, they were all canceled. On top of this, the wonderful things I had planned for the last few weeks of school is gone. While friendships remain, the chapter of my life as an on-campus college student is done. I was preparing myself to say goodbye, but having to leave the way we all had to was not the way I wanted it all to end. On the flip side though, being home has given me time to reconnect with myself. I was flirting with the line of burn out but when everything came to an abrupt end, so did the burn out. I have gotten time to rest, recharge and reassess. There are countless blessings in this insane time of life. 

I’ve done my best to take care of myself, and the best way I know to do that is having structure. I was offered a job at Walmart which now has me working 32 hours a week serving my community. I’m able to reconnect with old music students as well as new ones as I explore the amazing world of Zoom teaching. Side bar: I literally had three Zoom meetings within five hours of each other yesterday and it was the trippiest thing ever. I have time to work with the social media team of my department to make our Theatre, Cinema and Dance pages engaging for everyone stuck in their homes. I’ve made exercising a high priority and I can tell that my body very much appreciates it. While this is not how I would have liked my last semester of college to go, life still goes on, and life is good. 

My biggest pro-tip for this season (or any season): allow yourself to feel. If you need to cry, do it. If you need to laugh, find some funny youtube videos. If you need to be angry, call a friend you trust. However, do not buy into the lie that you shouldn’t feel a certain way. Your feelings are valid and you need to allow yourself to process them. 

Life is uncertain and that’s okay. We’re all in this together and no matter how scary things seem, we will make it through.

 

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

Pray Specifically

One of my biggest pet peeves is the preaching of the “Prosperity Gospel.” To summarize, prosperity gospel boils down to this: if you believe in God, He will bless you and give you everything you pray for. Here’s the kicker with that: what if the answer to your prayer is, “no.” What happens if your faith is based on the idea that God is a genie who is going to grant your every wish? What happens when you pray for a giant house and nice cars and you never get them? Does that mean that God isn’t real? You can see how damaging this mindset can be, however, there are hundreds of churches in America perpetuating this idea. 

*deep breath* But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. For the longest time, I struggled with my prayer life because I felt guilty for asking for things from God. When I prayed, I didn’t want God to think I was only talking to Him because I wanted Him to give me stuff I wanted. Due to this mind set, I stopped praying all together for a while. Looking back, I think to myself, “Wow, that was a super bonkers way of dealing with this issue.” But y’all, it was a struggle, especially during my early years of high school. 

Fast forward to the year before I transferred to Missouri Western. I was at a loss. The plans I had been holding onto with an iron grip had dissolved completely. I was back to square one and needed to figure out where I was going to school. I remember having a conversation with a friend about my dilemma and they asked about how I was praying about the situation. I answered, “I mean, I’m praying about it.” Their response was, “But how are you praying?” It was here that I realized that while I had begun asking for things in my prayers again, I was being very passive about it. I began to pray specifically. I prayed for clarity, peace and understanding for the future. Sure enough, as I began to pray this way, the decision making process became so much easier. Yes, I still had to make difficult choices, but the more I was in tune with asking God for insight as to what is the best option the more clear things became. 

I very recently went to visit a potential grad school with Sweet Ben. It was a trip that we have been planning for months and over the last few weeks, I began to try and scare myself out of going through with it. As the time came closer to make the huge trek down to Texas, I prayed, “Lord, give us obvious ‘yeses’ or ‘nos’ on this trip. If this is not where we are supposed to be headed, put up a gigantic road block for us.” Over the course of the beautiful day of visiting the school, we were encouraged by several faculty members and two grad students who were assigned to get to know us. We discovered that the two students were Christians and were able to find out about the fairly large faith-based population in the department. On top of all of this, Ben and I stayed with one of my mom’s cousins and her family, which was an absolute joy. Knowing that there is a community of family and soon-to-be friends at a school that has the sort of education we are looking for was a huge answer to prayer. There was a huge sense of peace driving back to Kansas City. Before heading out of town, we stopped at a local coffee shop and I sat there with an overwhelming feeling of being at home. While we haven’t been accepted to the grad program yet and there is still some fogginess about the future, I was confident that our prayers had been answered. 

Shocker to Past Abby: it is totally acceptable to pray for what you want! James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows.” God wants to bless us. He has a huge desire to lavish His love over us. He is a good Father who is waiting to hear from us. Now, is he just a wish-granting factory? No. However, He’s the Dad that wants to give His kids the best He has to offer. This is why sometimes the answer is “no.” There was a time a few semesters ago that I was praying desperately for a job that would help relieve a huge financial burden that I ended up not getting. I was upset for a while, until I realized that the job would have taken up a lot of physical and mental energy that I did not have to spare. I am now grateful that I was protected from that job, even though it seemed like a great thing at the time that I was applying for. I write this to encourage you to pray specifically for what is on your heart. Pray with boldness and humility. Pray with the knowledge that God will answer, and pray for the wisdom to hear His response with an open heart. 

 

Until Next Time, 

Abby