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In Standard

nothing much

There are a lot of things I need to write about.

I need to finish up the Boston trip. I need to write about how on Saturday (or Friday–it’s a blur) two weeks ago today I got the call that my grandma was dying. I need to write about the funeral. I need to write about coming back to school. I need to write about the graduate school I chose.

But every time I open a blog entry to write, I feel overwhelmed. I am tired. I have too many things that need saying, and I’d rather do homework.

Once I write about it, it’ll be true. It’s stupid, because I’m not in Boston anymore, and I’ve made my decision,…Continue Reading

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In Standard

The Mirror

“If you do not like the image in the mirror, do not break the mirror, break your face.” – Persian poem

I am increasingly convinced that I will not be happy if my life is about the American dream. To be honest, the thought of a white picket fence and a steady job is somewhat terrifying (not to mention a husband and kids with no desire to move beyond their city, much less their country, which is something that seems inevitably attached to the West’s perception of a stable, wealthy life). I knew this a bit before I studied abroad, but since I came back I’m struck again and again with the feeling that this is a…Continue Reading

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In Standard

The Meaning of Okay

I’ve been thinking for a while about the meaning of the word “okay.” It’s odd, because that word is fairly nonchalant, but in my experience can be the most comforting and appropriate thing to say to someone when they’re in pain.

When I was seeing a therapist last fall, one of the things she had to tell me almost every week was this: “Just take a deep breath and tell yourself, ‘It’s okay.'” I started walking around with that in my head like a playlist on repeat. It’s okay, it’s okay.

Of course, it wasn’t really (nonchalantly) okay. I was trying to cope with my Rheumatoid Arthritis, with surgeries and with some pretty serious depression. But saying that…Continue Reading

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In Standard

(GH) War and Bread

This is what I wrote last year around 9/11. It’s still on my heart. Originally posted on livejournal on 9/11/11.

I’ve shared my story in the past. So this isn’t a story directly related to 9/11, but it is a story that’s been on my heart all week. Three stories, actually.

We–my mom, sister and I–were sitting in a nice restaurant in Central Asia, with native people, and we had just finished a fantastic traditional meal. My sister asked our friends to share one bit of their culture that they would like Westerners to know. They thought for a few minutes, and then began to go around the table. Most of them talked about women’s rights and…Continue Reading

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In Standard

(GH) An Unsafe Love – 7: An Answer

(Originally posted on April 05, 2012)

A few weeks ago, I was attending Reading Family Church, which is my church-away-from-home. This particular service was unusual because the pastor had decided to split time between normal worship/sermon and a time for people to go up and be prayed over by various church leaders.

Like I mentioned in earlier posts, emotionally engaged has been incredibly exhausting for me for the past while. To cope with this (especially in an wonderfully engaging congregation like Reading Family), normally while I’m at church I have the Me and then I have the Me With Garbage At A Deeper Level We’ll Just Keep This Bit Locked Up. Not like pretending to worship, because…Continue Reading

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In Standard

(GH) An Unsafe Love – 6: Choosing to Believe

(Originally posted on April 04, 2012)

Before we go on: Who had less belief? The friends who could not comprehend God letting bad stuff happen, or Job, the man who questioned God outright? The man who lost everything and demands an answer, or the men who appear have all the answers?

God didn’t get on to Job about talking. I used to think that. But when I read it now, I really do think God was inviting a discussion. He never sounds upset or angry—if anything, he only gently rebukes Job by giving him a wider perspective. But he does outright call the friends idiots. So I’d say Job has more faith. Spoiler alert, but my theory…Continue Reading

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In Standard

(GH) An Unsafe Love – 5: The Conversation

(Originally posted on April 03, 2012)

“He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God,” reads the prelude to Elihu’s speech. Know what’s funny? When I first read the book, I liked Elihu the best. He seemed right on. But one of the few things we’re told about him is that he answered in anger, rather than love or compassion. We don’t get to hear anything else aside from him talk for a while after that because he lets no one butt in, but keeps telling people to shut their trap and listen to him. Very mature, Mr. Youngest-in-the-Group. But maybe I should give him grace. He did sit through Job and…Continue Reading

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