disclaimer: super ranty
 I either dropped my wallet or got pick pocketed – long story short; I lost everything (debit card, credit card, driver’s license, cash – meaning absolutely no way to withdraw money unless I make a trip back home and grab my passport) and then got my wallet returned to me via a decent human being who found it and returned to the front desk of my office. When the front desk alerts me to the fact that someone turned in my wallet, I waltz down with glee, mentally clicking my tongue at God – “God, I see you.” He always does this type of stuff to me – I lose things and then the minute I stop looking for it, He gives it back to me. When I pick up my wallet (oh sweet leathery orange box with my initials engraved upon it I missed you), I open it and find that everything is still there – minus the 60 dollars of cash I had recently withdrawn from the ATM.
It is baffling and incredibly disappointing to me how quickly my expression fell and how much I ruminated the whole day over the lost $60. Sixty dollars. Was Jesus’s death on the cross not enough to purchase my joy and satisfaction? Is He not worth more than three twenty dollar bills? What in the world is wrong with my heart that I would let sixty dollars lost outweigh what I got back – on top of the provision of God?
Help me, Father, to see that you are so much more than any currency on earth – help me, Father, to count everything else as loss if I would just have you.
 My father and I debate the goodness and sovereignty of God at M Kee over lunch as my mother tries her best to pretend like she does not know us. I recite what I had recently heard in Pastor Dwight’s sermon to my dad (we learned about the parable of the wicked tenants) and for the third time in my life, I render my dad speechless on the topic of Christianity. He has no valid point to retaliate with so he reverts to chuckling sheepishly like he’s done something wrong and tells me that I’m brainwashed. As I push my points and continue, his face turns redder and his expression sours. “How can you say that God is good?” he says with anger in his voice, as if it was blasphemy to say it, as if it were a crime to say it, and it scares me and confuses me. My mom, sensing where the conversation is going, pushes us to take our leave and I let it go.
Part of me joys – because only two other times have I been able to present arguments to my intellectual, logical, unbelieving father with such validity that he could not say anything back (oh my God, You are fighting for Yourself, You’re making him think, thank you, thank you, thank you.) Only two other times have I seen him reveal his true heart – bitterness and frustration, as he talks about God. “What happened to you, to make you hate the idea of God so much?” I want to ask him. But, I refrain, because in the moment I am suddenly afraid – I don’t want him to lash out at me and I don’t want to feel his displeasure. So I let it go.
 I come across an article about the bombings in Egypt and feel my heart twist. I scroll through the article on my phone and feel anger. I’m so mad. I’m so mad. And then I’m frustrated and so unbelievably disappointed in myself because people are dying, people are dying, people are losing their lives as followers of Christ and I am too much of a coward to ask my companions at the coffee table to pray together with me, right there in the middle of Starbucks, for Egypt because I think they’re going to find me too intense, too into it, too much and I’m too busy trying to decipher my heart intentions (do I just want to seem super faithful or do I actually care about what’s happening – do I just want praise of man or do I truly want to glorify the Lord – well better just refrain from asking because I’m too chicken to do so anyhow) and I’m so confused because I don’t know anymore what it means to be a follower of Christ because it seems like so much is required of us and the church doesn’t seem to be doing it but then I’m a hypocrite because I don’t do it either and maybe we’re all in the same boat and that’s why the church is so unlike Jesus because inherently, we cannot be like Him.
Because, Jesus was hated. He was despised. And I want nothing more than to be loved, to be accepted, to be praised. I don’t want to look like a Jesus freak. I don’t want to stand out in a way that is not socially acceptable to others. I don’t want to spend my free time helping others and then defer all the glory to God. I want to just zone out at home to Friends, I want to just relax with my friends, I want to spend money however I please and buy myself nice things. I don’t want to have to think out how I’m going to be intentional in my conversations (my goodness, can you believe the foresight and thought and energy we have to put into evangelizing relationally?? It requires a HECK ton of planning and I do not vibe well with that), I don’t want to wake up an hour earlier every morning to read the bible and pray, I don’t want to have to commit every thought and action to God – living my own life is hard enough, God, but you want me to do all this on top of that??
Oh, Father God, I cannot do the things you ask of me because I am full of sin. I am rotten to the core and my heart beats every day in rebellion against you. But, would you make me fall in love with you. Would you show me that you fill me up more than food ever could – and you taste so much sweeter. Would you show me that the adornment of Christ’s righteousness is so much more pleasing to the eye than any clothes I could buy. Would you show me that your companionship provides so much more intimacy, love, and even adventure than any sort of gallivanting around with my friends. Would you show me that Christ Himself is so much more glorious and radiant than any sort of praise I could garner for myself.
Oh, Father God, I want to be that woman of faith who cannot wait to go home so she can spend uninterrupted alone time with you. I want to be the one who bursts out weeping out of nowhere because the Gospel has enough power to move one to tears. I want to be the crazy one who waves her arms about with no rhyme or reason during worship, clapping like there’s no tomorrow, not giving a crap what other people think of her (attention seeking, fake, weird, etc) because God, you deserve worship that carefree and pure and devoid of double intentions. I want to be a woman so in love with Jesus that she can’t stop talking about Him all the time, that she annoys the crap out of everyone she talks to because she has to bring Him up in every conversation topic because she’s that much in love, she’s that head over heels for Him.
I cannot do these things apart from you, Jesus, so would you help me. Help me, help me, help me.
 goals I subsequently set up for myself after ruminating over how to get closer to the Lord this season of Lent:
- setting aside half an hour every night before I sleep to talk to Him – be it praise or thanks or petition – by God if I love the Lord, then I darn well am going to say goodnight to Him before I sleep
- memorizing a passage a week and using it to counteract the temptation to trust myself by trusting in the promises of God instead
- (this one’s going to be the hardest for me) reading up on current events and committing two minutes of prayer every day to praying for the world
 There was a period of time during the past month where God had me crying every single night – just bawling my eyes out, trying desperately to regulate my breathing. Oftentimes, it was from utter self hatred (you would not believe how much I love and despise myself at the same time), other times it was out of fear and anxiety, and then a few times, it was out of grief over what I’d lost. “You know how much I loved […],” I cry out to the Lord, as if that was a compelling enough case for Him to give back to me what He’d taken away.
I would not describe it as displeasure that I felt from the Lord in response to my cry – but it was as close to the word as it could get without actually being displeasure. I felt Him glare at me, I felt Him stare at me with jealous burning and heard Him grumble, “Yes, I know exactly how much you loved […]” and my heart trembled as I realized the implications of what He was saying: “You are mine.”
And I stopped crying and laughed and laughed because to realize that the God of the Universe loves you with such jealous intensity (to grumble, in patient and tender long suffering, when you look to other things) makes you feel like you’re the most precious thing in the whole wide world.
Oh, God, help me to love you like you love me.