Posted by: LucidMystery | January 6, 2009

Oh the New Year, Oh the New Year

Happy New Year, folks! It’s almost a week into 2009 and I’m just now writing a post; but what can I say, life is busy!

I just looked back through my old posts from early January last year, and it’s craziness what a different place I’m now from then. At that point, I was still worrying–wait, not strong enough–I mean freaking out about what would happen when I graduated. My applications to grad school, the Navy, and that field herpetology thing might not have even been sent in yet! And, yes, in case you forgot, I did try to join the Navy. It was my fall back for if I didn’t get into grad scool. Can you just see me in Officer’s Candidate School? It would have been a long road to Marine Mammal Program, if I even made it all! So I’m glad that didn’t happen.

This time last year, I was also panicking about the fact that the lab I was working with at OSU still didn’t have their mass spectrometer up and running–ie, I couldn’t analyze any of my 284 samples for my senior research project. But at the time, I was still feverishly writing what I could of my thesis.

Outside of academia my head was swimming with crazy issues too. I had recently finished my no-dating-for-a-year deal, and I had plenty to think about on that front; not to mention I was having trust issues that God would show me what He had planned for my future (funny how I don’t let some things change.)

So where am I now? Well, I made it into grad school, so no Navy for me! I’m still settling into my department and next on my agenda is teaching, apparently. Ack! As long my students never find out how terrified I am, everything will be ok…right?

But another place I’m at…I still have those same trust issues with God and my future, so apparently I don’t consider forming the universe to be credentials enough to get Maria from point A to point B.

There is some light in the tunnel for that thought, though. I just got back from Christmas Conference, and if you’ve never heard of it….it’s the most amazing conference ever!!! It’s a 4-day conference put on every year by Campus Crusade for Christ. Now I will be the first to admit that I don’t always like the way Cru approaches some issues, but I think with CC, they have it down to an art!

Throughout the conference, we get to hear various speakers, have the option to attend multiple seminars, and worship to some awesome music, in addition to having some fun, of course 😉 The conference is mainly for undergraduate students from either Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan; but then you have the random folks like me who aren’t from any of those states and are no longer undergrads. I’m close enough, though, hehe. I went to it twice as an undergrad, I wasn’t ready to give it up just yet.

What I love best though is that in the four days I’m there, though, is that God never fails to meet where I’m at. This year, He really placed on my heart an attention to my sometimes unforgiving nature. I like to compare myself to Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, and quote him when he says “I find it difficult to forgive the follies and vices of others. My good opinion once lost is lost forever.” It takes a lot to tick me off, but once I get to that point, it’s a challenging road for me to ever forgive them again. For example, nearly eleven years had passsed, and I still couldn’t bring myself to even say hi to the now grown men who had once been the children that teased me about my weight. And we were in church! For heaven’s sake, the mom of one them even made a point to say hi to me and introduce me to the young adult leaders. So I’m just gonna say I hold grudges. Of course, this is something I’ve known about myself for a while now, but somehow the issue kept coming up during the meetings and seminars until one night I just lost it. Part of the problem was that in addition to holding onto the old hurts of people around me, I was blaming God for things I shouldn’t have been. Not a good combo. But on the night that it all blew up over my head, God had placed some folks around me who helped me keep it together.

But this makes Christmas Conference sound depressing! Yeah, go to CC and have your sins shoved in your face! No no no no no no! That’s not all it is! We have some mega-watt fun too! For instance, let’s just look at New Year’s Eve, you want a real party? Try dancing the night away with 2000 crazy college students/me all dressed in some sort of themed costumes–this year it was “I Love the 90’s.” I will say this, if you didn’t like any of the old sitcoms, gameshows, Spice Girls, movies, or plaid from that past era, then you wouldn’t have liked any of the stuff folks came up with.

But after the dance came the best part. This may sound like the most boring concept ever, but again, remember that you’re in a super-charged atmosphere with hundreds of other people. For the forty minutes before New Year’s, all of us break into little groups and pray about different topics that are either suggested or just something you wanted to say. I remember thinking the first time, how in the world am I supposed to pray for 40 minutes? But I’m telling you, somehow the time melts away. We count down to the big moment, and at midnight, the room just becomes a huge party all over again! Friends and new acquaintaces all hug and exclaim “Happy New Year” while cheering and still bouncing from the excited high energy level in the room. Next, we have some of the best worship time you could ever experience. This year, there were moments I felt like I couldn’t sing loud enough, couldn’t raise my arms high enough, and couldn’t make the time last long enough. I just wanted to keep singing and never stop. I’m still trying to think of adjectives to fit how perfectly happy I was.

The big quest now is to keep that burning joy lasting as long as I can. Too often we get back in the real world, and life just sinks into a dull monotony. I don’t want that to happen! I want to keep my life and my walk as exciting and super-charged as it was on New Year’s Eve! Let’s keep the New Year going strong!

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