Day 24: A Very Short Poem

Our Father’s

I love her

the way you wait for Heaven to descend.

Day 23: 80% (By Kelsey Gamel)

Hey, today we are at the 76% mark of this project and I have been eagerly waiting for a week to share this essay by my friend Kelsey who I am about to introduce to you. She gave me the choice of 3 essays and I felt the one youa re about to read most aligned with this blog, but also left me extremely encouraged. I both had a beaming smile and cried as I read her beautifully written reflection. You are going to love and be amazed by it.

Kelsey is a faith-filled, funny and extremely intelligent adventurer. I think what makes Kelsey so amazing is how she has allowed her adventures to shape her to have a huge heart for others. I’m impressed by how her sense of humor seems void of cynicism. I think in being smart, she also maintains a high value for walking in humility, and in all these things she reflects Christ through her life. Furthermore, she has a knack for storytelling and I’m excited for you to be able to glean from her reflection here:

80%

I love to read and lose myself in a good story. Reading a book is the perfect hobby because I cannot multitask. I have to pay full attention to the book and it quiets my brain in a way few things do. I primarily read on my kindle and there’s something I noticed that I don’t think I would have realized just by reading physical books. Almost every book falls apart at the 80% mark. The story that you were invested in and had watched build towards something gets unraveled around 80% before it’s put back together again. This especially drives me crazy when it’s a rom-com book and the couple breaks up over a little miscommunication. They always get back together in the end, but there needs to be that last tension point in the plot. It still annoys me when I get to it, but at least now I expect it and so don’t feel it as deeply.

I’ve started to notice the same thing happens in real life. Makes sense since common plot structures have to come from somewhere. The story we’ve been building toward falls apart at 80%. But in real life, you don’t know that you’re only 20% from the end. So there isn’t the urgency to keep going and just push through to get to the resolution. It’s easy to think you just got it wrong and were building a storyline that wasn’t tenable. But if we could see the whole story, we’d know to put our heads down and keep moving forward.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we read the Bible from the perspective of knowing how the story ends. We can’t really see how messy the people feel in the middle because we know how it ends. It’s hard to really feel the weight and doubt of that moment. This is especially evident in the story of Joseph. He is thrown in prison and then God enables him to interpret the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. The latter is killed and the former returns to Pharaoh’s court. The cupbearer completely forgets about Joseph though and Genesis 41 starts with “When two full years had passed…” Those six words are painful if I really think about them. Joseph had no clue how the story was going to shake out. He had dreams from God when he was younger, but he had a million false starts and was quite literally forgotten in a dungeon. And it seemed like there might be some forward movement with interpreting the dreams, but then nothing for two full years. Now that I can resonate with. That is an extremely painful and lonely place to be. The story we’d been building towards seems to fall apart at 80%.

Several years ago, a shelf in my parent’s garage broke and the boxes that were up there fell down and spilled their contents everywhere. My siblings and I were tasked with cleaning it up and repacking the boxes. My mom later regretted that because we found a couple of her letters from college. One was from her guy friend that said he wished Keith (my dad) would stop playing his little games. I don’t know the frat guy version of my dad. Playing little games? Dad, rude. And the other letter was one my mom wrote my dad after he broke up with her seemingly out of the blue. My parents met in high school and went on their first date when they were sixteen. My mom followed my dad to Baylor and then after they’d been together for three years, he broke up with her. My mom was devastated and wrote this letter to my dad with no intent to ever send it. I’ve done the same and written letters to guys that I will never, ever send. It’s helpful to get it all out of your head.

This spring, I was devastated when something didn’t work out the way I thought it was heading. And I remembered that I had taken pictures of the letter my mom wrote my dad after he dumped her. I went back through my photos and found the letter. And I read it and finally fully felt how my mom was feeling. She was blindsided and felt lied to and led on. She was despondent and couldn’t picture her life without my dad and had no clue how the story was going to play out. And as I read the letter, I kept thinking about how if only 19-year-old Laurie could get a glimpse of her life now, she wouldn’t have despaired so much. When I read the letter, this is what my mom’s life looked like: she had been married to my dad for over forty years and raised six kids. The entire family was meeting up in a week in Durham to celebrate their youngest kid graduating from Duke. They were about to pass a major milestone of putting all six kids through college. Their five oldest kids went to Baylor and Trent, our black sheep/blue devil, went to Duke. Half of their kids had graduate degrees. Their first grandchild was on the way and two kids were engaged and planning weddings. Their kids are each other’s best friends and choose to travel the world together. If my mom could see a glimpse of her 2022 when she wrote the letter in 1978, she would not have been so utterly dejected. Obviously, it’s good and right to be present and feel the pain of the moment. But the story is not over. And it will work out. And hope is a beautiful thing to hold onto.

I know I shouldn’t have this letter my mom wrote my dad, but I do. It’s gutsy and honest and raw. It’s painful to read, but I can only read it through the lens of being their daughter and knowing how the story worked out. I’m smack dab in the messy middle of my own life. I have no clue how it’s all going to work out. It’s painful and raw and I’m upset. But I see all those same emotions in my mom’s letter and I also see how the story was redeemed and resolved. I’m at the 80% mark where it feels like it’s all fallen apart. But the only option is to trust and keep going. The messy middle implies an ending and a resolution. And I fully believe that God writes the best stories. And in my life, I have found over and over that redemption is so much better than perfection.

Day 21: Song of Solomon Chapter 4 Did You Marry Your Sister?

The great irony of this entire experiment is the first day I had an official day off from work is the day that I did not remember or was too busy to post, so now I have to post twice today. Perhaps even more annoying is I have plenty of drafts in the cue to post, even a guest post that is entirely complete. I think I got caught up in what I actually wanted my final 10 entries to be about and felt I needed a few really profound ones. But sometimes you can’t force things. So for yesterday’s post I missed, I’m going to do the easy work of continuing to make comments on Song of Solomon. So here we go with chapter 4

V. 1 The bridgegroom beholds his brides beauty and he sees her singularly devoted eyes behind her veil. He compares her hair to goats which if I’m honest would be one of the last things I’d compare hair to. But I guess in an agrarian society where you get amusement from goats leaping down slopes perhaps it conjures up a similar feeling. All that to say, it would seem like Solomon is beholding his bride for the first time on their wedding day.

V. 2 comparing her white teeth to sheep is perhaps a little less of a stretch and he emphasizes that she has them all. It is a non-hillbilly bride in a society without dentists.

V. 3 scarlet threaded lips and cheeks like halves of pomegranates are entirely reasonable descriptors. But I like the simplicity of him saying your mouth is lovely to sum up the lips and teeth piece.

V. 4 a neck like a tower holding a thousand shields is a delightful detail, really in an effort to slowly see her from her head to her toes. Now I’ve consulted some commentaries here because I think he actually is using metaphors to symbolize chracteristics as much as appearance.

V. 5 we circle back to breasts like twin fawns grazing among lillies and the commentaries on this verse are less than PG, so I’m going to bypass it for the sake of all the children that come in droves to read this blog. (That is a joke)

V. 6 I find it interesting that after we get to the breasts we get a break from the descriptor of her features and now move on to the cover of night and him going away to the mountain which I’m sure is a metaphor for something sensual/sexual.

V. 7 He returns to complementing her beauty, he can’t get enough and why should he. I’m sure the complements are welcome and he appeals to her having no flaw. And I think this is an accurate depiction of love. Even if there are flaws, we are optimistic that they can be refined to create a person that we find flawless as they are being sanctified.

V. 8 Now if I did my due diligence I would go back and check, but it seems in this invitation it is the first time he refers to her as his bride. Prior to this a lot of talk of the beloved, but now he is calling her to come with him to where he is. It is an invitation to leave home.

V. 9 Now we have even more references to the bride yet also his sister and he being captivated by her. He loves having all his attention on her.

V. 10 Now he moves from features to celebrating her love, the reciprocated love she willingly gives. This is the beauty of love, the consistent giving like the taste of a good wine or the smell of fragrant oils.

V. 11 Now he is complementing her words, that she too is sweet and kind with her words, yet also contains elements of acknowledging a make out session or something more. Who knows?

V. 12 we return to the garden metaphors, most commentators assume this is talking about virginity and it might be but it would also seem confusing when pointing back to the idea in chapter 1 referencing her tending to her mother’s sons garden but neglecting her own. Perhaps more than virginity it is a reference still to sexaulity being reserved for her spouse which has less to say about virginity and more to say about faithful sexuality in the context of marrriage. In other words she was becoming more concerned about her own marriage than that of her siblings from chapter 1.

V. 13 With the above in mind (it is less funny to talk about sexuality than I thought), he now describes the fruit of sexual intercourse or sexuality in general as being fruitful and fragrant.

V. 14 literally a list of fragrances

V. 15 compared to living water, in other words life in many forms has great potential to flow out of sexual relations.

V. 16 And finally it concludes with an invitation that one can draw their own conclusions about. Is it metaphor for lifegiving nourishment or something more explicit. There is a reason this poetry came with an age limit and wasn’t used in a traditional worship context.

It is after all love poetry. It is intimate and vulnerable and naked. It would very much seem to indicate at this stage that the couple is married and enjoying the fruit of marriage. What is interesting in the remaining chapters of the Song is, if they are have already reached the consummation of marriage, what else is there to say? I guess we will see

Day 20: Excerpt from Love Doesn’t: Kind Regards

*Author’s Note: This is the second to last excerpt I will be sharing from something longer I have written. This is from chapter 2 of a book I began to write on a commentary of 1 Corinthians 13 about all the things that love does not do, the withholding aspects of love. I hope it helps you reflect on the kindess of love. As always, thanks for reading.

The second descriptor of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is “Love is kind.” By its strictest Greek definition this is perhaps the closest thing we typically think of when we consider love. Kindness is being full of service to others while maintaining gentleness. In other words, love is gently doing good for others.

It’s interesting to place this second instead of first, but position is important. It is easy to be kind to people you have great affection for. It is hard to be kind to people who try your patience, who you have very little affection for. Yet, for love to be love it must be of the same substance for lover and enemy. (notice I said substance not measure). Love qualitatively is different than love quantatively.

This dispositionally is also a lot harder to fake than patience. Patience requires mostly restraint while kind love requires movement and action, yet with a tenderness of restraint. It requires one to do something not hurriedly or out of frustration because they can do it more efficiently or better. It requires a helping hand and willingness to pick up after the gallon of milk tumbles onto the floor or after a glass is broken or coloring on the walls or out of the lines. Kindness is willing to compensate and cover over the mistakes even if it involves more work and whats more kind love somehow delights in being able to help.

In some ways this love feels impossible. And in all ways it is impossible without the merciful tender love of God the Father residing and experienced in the heart of His children. People who demonstrate this love are marked, separated by their kindness. Their gentleness is evident to all.

And more often than not, they are the ones people want to be around. They are the ones who you can watch in their labor and stand in awe at their treatment and ease of navigating the soul of another human being.

Why Kindness Exists

Kindness exists as a complement to justice which prevents us not only from receiving our judgment but also bestows on us gifts we often do not expect. It exists as evidence that God is indeed good. God is good because none of us reading this are dead and those of us reading who believe in Jesus live forever with God. It exists to change our mind. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Roman church writes “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant you to repentance?” Paul says kindness exists to turn us or change us, but he also warns us of becoming presumptuous of kindness. We cannot take kindness for granted or treat it as something that we are entitled to. When we do that we nullify its existence. The action may be kind, but when one presumes it or feels like they are owed it they have resisted the change they were meant to experience. Kindness received rightly changes things for the better.

Day 16: 5 Favorite Jesus Moments

These top 5’s are really something. Not sure how they are hitting, but this one should be delightful for the purpose of reflection on the preeminent relationship in my life and the reason for existence. It also will serve as an interesting exercise in what I consider to be moments in markers in my relationship with Christ, God Himself.

5. When I was in high school I was at Taco Bell with my friend Andy Hoehn. We were on the wrestling team together and we were having a conversation about God. I wish I could describe the details but suffice it to say it was a conversation about why I believed that Jesus was my Savior. I remember being so delighted to share my faith that I immediately prayed that the conversation would be fruitful. It wasn’t long after pulling onto Quakerbridge Road that I was overcome by the presence of the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. I remember feeling chills and not really knowing what happened at the time and later learned to appreciate my experience and the value of speaking in tongues.

4. My freshman year of college I went to a two night concert featuring a worship artist named Jason Upton. It was particularly powerful because he ministered through the Scripture from Malachi about turning hearts of the father to their children and hearts of children to their fathers. I remember this being a moment of healing in my own heart where I felt like I could begin to see and heal aspects of my relationship with my own dad. I remember those worship services softening my heart in ways I did not imagine possible.

3. My last semester of grad school I had this crisis of what to do and where to go after I finished. I remember being parked on a hill on Mulberry Street in Scranton, PA with a milkshake or ice cream cone in my hand. I said to myself, “I have no idea what I’m doing and I have no idea what I’m becoming.” And in what felt like an instantaneous response to my spirit, I felt I heard the voice of God whisper to my mind, “I love who you are becoming.” I remember feeling both broken and encouraged to keep going which I believe sustained me in my next season of life on the farm and obtaining ministerial credentials.

2. My entire season of chaplaincy residency was an intense season of God stretching my faith and understanding new dimensions how God is faithful and sustaining even in death. I don’t think I fully understood how much death is connected to life and how important grief is in our ability to keep going. I also learned how delaying grief can keep one stuck. As a whole I don’t know if I daily felt tangible grace to do difficult things as much as I experienced as a hospital chaplain.

1. Valentine’s Day of my freshman year of college, my best friend Ben and I had a conversation until 2 am where at the end of it we had prayed for him to accept the Jesus as Lord and Savior. I have had a few other experiences in which I have been with people as they professed belief or confessed for the first time. I also connect this experience to baptism, the public declaration of faith. I believe there is a tangible joy to be experienced when I see people meet and choose to follow Jesus.

Day 14: Song of Solomon 3- Crunchwrap Crowns

Back and dreaming dreams in the song of songs in the blog of blogs in the November of Novembers.

V. 1 She dreams that she is looking for her lover, (the bed, the place where we think and drift and hopefully find rest or we spend our time being restless).

V. 2 In her dream presumably she goes out into the city searching, like a large scale game of hide and seek. But she does not find him which is sad face.

V. 3 She encounters the watchmen of the city, the ones that are on guard and she asks them for help. Surely they would have seen her lover.

V. 4 In this dream she finds her lovely shortly after encountering the watchmen. She clings to him, won’t let him go and brings him to her mother’s house. She shares him with her family or perhaps just brings her into a bedroom in their house. Interesting?

V. 5 And then the second refrain to not stir or awaken love until the right time. This comes up again later as if heeding this advice is an option.

V. 6 I don’t know if we are still in a dream or post dream now but we have an entrance the likes of a WWE wrestling superstar at Wrestlemania, columns of smoke, smells and powders!

V. 7 Don’t know what the litter of Solomon is? Domesticated Jackals? and an entourage

V.8 they have swords, are warriors and they are leading the way like groomsmen for….

V.9 Da da Ta Da King Solomon in a carriage that he made out of wood, not sure if he commissioned it or put some sweat into it. (Kings don’t do wood work or do they? Looking at you Jesus)

V. 10 describes what the carriage looks like and then we find out the upholstery is made by the daughters of Jerusalem, made with love like something you’d find at hallmark or etsy or one of those charming boutiques.

V. 11 a call to come watch the King Solomon parade while he wears a crown given him by his mother. I too should consider wearing a crown on my wedding day, the day of the gladness of my heart.

Summary of first 3 chapters: At this point, I still don’t think these two are married. I’m not sure if she was dreaming of marriage or she awoke from the dream and now we in chapter 3 have arrived at the wedding day or if she is already married and having a past dream about their wedding day. Maybe it’s not important at all. If I were to guess chapter 4 will not clear that up but we will see.

Day 8: Song of Songs Chapter 2: Lillies Galore

Today we have round 2 of walking through Song of Solomon. Day 8 of blogging. I’ll admit it is more of a challenge than I thought. But some days writing is simply discipline. Break out the book and song and lets go for a quick walk.

V. 1 she compares herself to a flower. Whenever I read the name Sharon, its hard for me to not hear it in the voice of Ozzie Ozbourne.

V. 2 He affirms this a lily among thorns which is a beautiful expression, among other women. It is an acknowledgment of choosing one out of the many and having been enamored by this person.

V. 3 she reciprocates with forest and tree imagery, shade and nourishment, the depiction of wanting to care for someone through food and shelter.

V.4 And it only gets better, a banquet table and another of my favorite expressions, “his banner over me is love.” I imagine a flag or one of those happy birthday banners or the balloons withe numbers except it is love.

V. 5 a plea to be fed with fruit and an admission that she is sick with love. It is a wonderful depiciton of yearning, perhaps it is one of the greatest delights of life to be lost in thought about love and like and wonder over a person with whom you are romanced by and considering romance.

V. 6 the description of a normal embrace posture before they are about to kiss

V.7 Then a familiar refrain or oath to not stir or awaken love until it pleases. This is the most repeated line in the song. And each time she gives this piece of wisdom to the Daugthers of Jerusalem her beloved comes to her.

V.8 she hears her beloved voice as he comes a leaping

V.9 He leaps and then he looks through the lattice, it would be creepy if it were not welcome

V.10 He waits by her window and calls her to come away with him. Lots of romance happens outside someones window. Maybe not as much in modern times. Now it is DM’s right? Who has time to go to someone’s window and potentially get arrested for trespassing?

V.11 changing of seasons, goodbye winter (yet the winter is coming, the cruel cold)

V. 12 more flowers, this is an interesting catch “the time for singing has come” is also translated “the time for pruning has come” both the noun zamir in Hebrew *note to self, do a deeper dive on that interesting word.

and the singing of turtle doves, between the turtle doves and the leaping, we got some of the 12 days of Christmas popping up.

V. 13 fig trees, Jesus curses one of those in the gospels, but this fig tree is ripe and smells nice, the beloved is still calling her to arise and come away.

V. 14 more interesting imagery, reminds me of Moses calling out from the rock to see God’s glory, Elijah on the mountain hoping to hear God’s voice, here the beloved calling to his dove in the rock to let him ee her face and hear her voice.

V. 15 And then a call to catch the foxes that ruin the vineyard, a call to take captive the things or thoughts or circumstances that prevent their love and romance from being fruitful.

V. 16 We come full circle in this chapter back to lillies but also to the recognition of the claim that both of the lovers have on each other. They are for each other. They are involved

V. 17 It seems like their is an implication that stayed together until day break, until the shadows flee and then he is off. And so are we today. We are off, it’s election day. Go out and vote. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.

Day 6: A Talk With My Father We Never Had (Audio Reading)

The only time we ever talked about love

Was the month following my heartbreak

Around Thanksgiving of my 24th year.

I did not think I could keep going quietly, honestly

And you did not have much advice to give.

In the wake of that winter you visited once 

And I had very little left to run on.

What followed was a decade

Of no progressing news of romance. 

I never even really mentioned to you my relationships

because I was ashamed of myself. 

At my age you had one child

And did not necessarily want me, who was to come, 4 years later. 

Maybe not so much me, as want the whole packaged

Uncharmed American dream. 

A wife and two kids did not mean you made something.

And for me I’m teetering on the precipice 

Of whether or not I can make something

I’d ask you now:

How do you configure the controls of love?

Is romance something you nurtured?

Did you fall in with the same fervor in which you fell out?

How do you make time for cherishing and being cherished?

I don’t know if you would have offered answers.

I should have given you the chance though, no?

Ultimately, I was just afraid these questions would scare you

Or worse yet it would sadden you

That the thoughts that gnaw at the deep caverns of my soul

Would continue to eat me alive

leaving me unable to exist contentedly enough to be happy for a moment.

Day 4: Excerpt from The Cheesebringer

One of the things I’m doing over the next month is sharing excerpts from long form writings I have written that I hope to one day potentially publish. There will be 4 more posts like this so if you see the word excerpt, it is going to be from something I have written that is much longer in nature that I have not shared on this blog.

This excerpt is from my first completed novella 30,000 words roughly 120 pages. This is from Chapter 3 of the Cheesebringer. The main character David has just come home from work after being confronted by a beauracratic compliance auditor at the cheese production house.

From Chapter 3 Innovation and Interruptions of The CheeseBringer:

David pulled up to his grandmother’s house greeted by a familiar face looking inquisitively at him from the front step. It was Rickles, David’s gray and white outdoor cat. As he walked up the sidewalk Rickles met him half-way and rubbed against David’s calf. 

“Aw, Little Rickles, you’re so happy to see me.” David bent down to pet Rickles who rolled onto his side pivoting on his back.

“Meow,” said Rickles.

“Are you hungry?” David asked.

Rickles quickly got back on his feet. “Meeooooowwww.”

“Okay, okay, you wait here, and I’ll get you some delicacies.” David twiddled Rickles ears and unlocked the door. 

He did not realize he was being followed and upon opening the door, out of nowhere, Rickles leapt into the house saying, “Meow.”

“Rickles! No get out! You can’t be in the house. How many times!”

Rickles jumped on the green chair in the living room, laid down and began licking his paws, proud and content until David’s grandmother spotted him. 

“Get off! Get off that chair,” Grandma said.

Rickles descended from the chair and ran to the nearest stairwell which led to the bedrooms. This, along with a brief lecture about not letting the cat in the house made David sigh several times. He also ascended the stairs and closed the door to his room. Lying down on the bed next to a pretending to sleep Rickles David drifted into a daydream:

“David, you are the most ruggedly handsome, gentle, full of joy and life, with a faith that moves mountains kind of man, and I am madly in love with you in such a way that will never lead to heartbreak,” said the girl whom David always dreams about spending the rest of his life with. She approached him after he scored an amazing goal during a pick up soccer game in the park. 

“Would you like to make music and cook together this evening?” David asked quite literally (making music and cooking not being euphemisms).

She obliged but not before challenging him one on one to a game of besting each other in dribbling the soccer ball. David let her get by him when she was on the offensive and used it as an excuse for a playful tackle that sent them tumbling to the ground laughing. When the giggles subsided they looked into the clouds, the sun shining through, while a calm, cool breeze was blowing on them. David was lying still, at peace and she on her side leaning her face towards his cheek moving in for a…*lick* and a soft paw pad on his chin.

Rickles was ready for dinner.

Though he was capable of scavenging for his own food, he had grown accustomed to his mid-evening treat from a can. Unmoved by David’s frustration from being awakened from his fantasy, Rickles maneuvered his body so that his tail would flail about David’s face.

“Meow ow,” Rickles insisted.

David attempted to assert his dominance. “Fine, but then you have to go back outside, and no more sneaky stuff.”

Rickles licked his front paw with indifference.

Day 2: Am I Still There? (Unpublished from Aug. 2020)

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes…

So whoever knows the right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 4:14-17

Have I been vanishing?

I feel it when people ask me what I am doing.

I start my sentences with a plan and slowly drift into uncertainty until I say, “I don’t know” 3 or 4 times. Then I see their look wondering how to change the conversation.

I hate that I do that. Sometimes I do it and maintain a smile or laugh at myself. Other times I do it and look around and begin to ask myself “What just happened?”

A few days ago I sat in my truck for a while and just stared listlessly waiting for a divine interruption.

Then yesterday I saw some pictures from my childhood. And I read into them, that I looked lost. Maybe all children have moments where they photograph with expressions of curiosity and inquisitiveness or appear to be trying too hard to achieve some simple task.

Tasks, like staying at a job or not moving so much or staying content.

When I look at pictures from when I was 5 or 6 I feel like I am looking in a mirror at someone more familiar to me than the person I see now.

23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

James 1:23-24

If I have vanished then where have I gone?

Life is seemingly so short and moves so fast.

If you know the right thing to do and fail to do it, it is sin or feels like death.

There have been times this last year that I have been confident of what the right thing is and have barely done it.

There have been times when I have been certain of what the wrong thing is and sadly but confidently done it. I have sinned boldly and reaped boldly of the awful reward.

I have spun my wheels in the mud, while oxycodone sits in my medicine cabinet on the other side of the mirror looking like the least of all evils.

But all vices wage war with the Spirit and make you feel lost if you sow to numb the flesh.

If I have gone, then where am I now?

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 

For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

James 1:6, 1:11

My quarantine started in October when I moved to Margate and lived on an empty street working six days a week.

From September until February contained some of the most depressed moments I’ve experienced for a long time. That was all pre-pandemic and while I have had moments and stretches of depression in the last few months, I also have had some of my very exciting moments from February-now.

And as much as I don’t understand how or why I feel the way I do, I feel like I’m living in two places. And every time I try to take the next step I become the version of myself that wants to be fiercely loyal to friends and family, be around them and enjoy them, while being completely uncertain/unsure of myself. And I want to hide.

Whether I am here or there, what am I waiting for?

See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

James 5:7-8

I’m waiting for what we are all waiting for, fulfillment of perceived promises, a sense of purpose, a sense of God’s pleasure and delight (1 Timothy 6:6), sanctification in Christ, abundant life.

  • Authors Note- This blog was started in August of 2020 and was unpublished. I was reflecting on how I ended up working back in construction, was post knee surgery and figuring out if I would move back to Charleston. I was reading heavily in the book of James. Life is short so I was and still am determined to live and love well.