teedbits of week two in Philly;

[luna] I feel blessed for the fact that I do not feel homesick. I don’t really miss anyone or anything, save for the moon and a clear view of the night sky. These are the things I miss most about living in the suburbs.

[autumn] It is just my luck that God would bless me with a colleague who enjoys hiking, a colleague who is generous and willing to take me to a park to walk around and enjoy the warm-colored autumn foliage in all its golden glory whilst getting to know one another. I’ve found another Sherlock fan, but more importantly, a Cumberbatch fan and it makes me inexplicably happy.

[weird] As the five of us slowly slip deeper and deeper into insanity, we talk more and more to pass the time. A couple of us share strange quirks of ours and admit that we’re weird. And then someone always offers a simple, “Psh, everyone’s weird,” and I find the freedom to be a little stranger and more like myself around them. They don’t seem to be creeped out yet and it’s a victory in my book.

[international] Momma calls while I’m asleep and calls again when I wake. We talk for a few minutes before the call drops due to faulty internet connection on her end. After four more attempted calls using Skype (which means free), she uses her cell to call me (which means international rates). We talk for ten more minutes before she urges us to hang up because the dollars are racking up. I acquiesce and then proceed to burst into tears. Ten minute long conversations with my ma is rare, almost nonexistent. For her to pay ten dollars to ask how I’m doing and ask me to go to Japan with her someday; inconceivable. Hence the tears.

[family] I am in desperate need of a spiritual family and I feel quite lost without one. It’s only been two weeks but I have already worked myself into a panicked frenzy agonizing over which church I should go to. With each passing week, I find myself mellowing out and slowing down as I wonder if I’ll ever find them. And then I proceed to mentally smack myself in the head and remind myself in prayer that God didn’t cold-heartedly boot me out of Delaware to wander around lost in the streets of Philly. He did it because He knows there’s something better here. And I’m just going to have faith that it will blow my mind because (what He did in Delaware already did).

[child] When all of them speak up and give profoundly insightful input during the Bible study, I lock up and shut down. For the life of me, I can’t think about the passage at all; I can only observe how mature everyone is in their faith and how very not I am in mine. I don’t just feel like a child in their presence, I feel like a baby. I am quite ashamed to be there and as I blush and fluster inwardly, I lament over what my three years of Christ-centered life was. Did I learn anything at all? Why do I have nothing to say? Why am I so intimidated by these people? And it is through this humiliation that God humbles me and reminds me that my worth as a person is not how eloquently I can voice or live out my faith (because by that formula, I would be worth nothing) but rather Jesus’s righteousness in me. If I’m going to live my life determining my worth as a Christian by comparing my faith to others, I’m always going to feel like crap. There will always be someone who is kinder than me, wiser than me, more compassionate than me, etc. I’m at the bottom end of the spectrum. Jesus looks at me and prays for me to return His gaze.

“If you would just look at me, you would realize how worthy you are.”

[LOTR] I don’t fare as well on my own as I did before; a few hours of watching HIMYM is enough alone time for me and by the next day, I am desperately craving some companionship. I don’t get what I want and with a defeated sigh, I busy myself meandering around the streets of Philly. I spot a bookstore that sells old books across the street and a make a beeline for it. I’m not looking for anything in particular but in my wanderings, I come across J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and nearly weep for joy. Without a second thought, I make my purchase and hurry out the door. My day is instantly made and I thank the Lord for the little things. (HALLELUJAH FOR SOMETHING MILDLY PRODUCTIVE TO DO ON MY OWN.) I thank the Lord that He has given me a more outgoing personality that enables me to interact more easily with others but I also thank Him for His grace when I don’t have anyone to interact with.

[EQ] Subsequently, I realized belatedly that I had just started reading the book Vivian gave me. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. I gather some self control and decide to forge ahead with the book before I start LOTR for fear that I won’t go to sleep before finishing it. In the first chapter of the book, Peter Scazzero writes:

Because people are having real, and helpful spiritual experiences in certain areas of their lives – such as worship, prayer, Bible studies, and fellowship – they mistakenly believe they are doing fine, even if their relational life and interior world is not in order. This apparent “progress” then provides a spiritual reason for not doing the hard work of maturing.

I relate whole heartedly and thank the Lord that He opens my eyes to my own laziness and unwillingness to deal with my own immaturity. And it gives me encouragement because I know I have much maturing to do but I can’t wait to see what it will look like.

[sunshower] As I step out the door, a myriad of raindroplets slap me in the face and I frown in displeasure. I check my iphone multiple times and shake my fist at the screen because it clearly says overcast NOT raining. I reach back in the apartment for my umbrella and continue on my way, refusing to be daunted by the sudden rain. I walk maybe a block before the rain stops and I look up and see white clouds and blue sky. I am reminded of the time that God moved the clouds and cleared the sky for me and I remember His faithfulness.

“I am faithful,” He tells me and I pray fervently in response, “Oh Father, help me believe You.”