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I will draw my strength from the Lord.

The first day of classes are over and I am exhausted. I don’t mind too much; already I’ve settled into that familiar routine of being exhausted to the core but still refusing to sleep.

Around 3:30pm, a mini panic attack hits. It is in the middle of class; I clutch my chest and remember Jesus and sit stubbornly still in my seat until the anxiety goes away. The professors drone on and on about how much work is required for the class and I narrow my eyes at them. [Fine, bring it on] The pain in my chest never disappears but it doesn’t matter.

At worship practice, I feel the soreness in my chest and half keel over. My mind is racing [is it physical suffering You intend for me, Lord?] It doesn’t matter; I stand back up and continue playing. It is the longest worship practice I have ever endured (I did it joyfully this time; thank the Lord for a patient worship leader and one who caters to his team members) and I feel the weariness in my bones. For once, I don’t complain. I feel like I belong here; even though I can’t play the guitar; even though my throat is scratchy from my cold and I cannot sing; even though I’m faking half the strum patterns; etc. My heart was for the Lord, I’m almost sure, and perhaps that is why I was able to walk out three hours later with a smile on my face and make it back to my apartment without collapsing.

The Lord is merciful indeed; I planned to tow him yet if I had parked there any earlier, I would have been towed. Yet, the Lord provided despite my mean streak and found me a parking spot for the night.

Going to the reservoir in the morning was probably stupid and brilliant. I may have made myself sicker, walking in the drizzle and cold. But, I walked with the Lord.

I asked Him for more. More suffering and strangely it was easy to pray such a thing. I was closest to Him in my most broken state and even being okay now; I feel that I have lost something.

Him.

I feel off when He does not speak to me; I feel off when I don’t feel His hand on me.

Before, I used to foolishly wonder about a day where God would not be present; I would not have to listen to His command; I would have my life for myself, as my own. [I secretly wanted just one, to see what it would be like]

But, today, I know. It would be hell, not having Him there.

I will never choose a world that is devoid of such a loving God; if it means I have to live in a broken and sad world filled with suffering to experience Him, then so be it.

I want Him, consequences be damned. I want Him; having Him is enough.

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