16

And so if you have any loved ones reading this, trying to understand why it seems like you’re on and off, hot and cold, all the time. I wonder, even to this day. Last night I was yelling at God, asking him why he made me this way. Why couldn’t have just made me a normal human with a normal brain. I’d rather just be down all the time than have these annoying ups that just make me feel all the worse for falling.

15

And if you fall, my love, if you fall? It might feel like par for the course, or it might devastate you. Either way, remember, tomorrow is another day. Go to sleep, and wake up, and take it one day at a time. You don’t need to change the world right now, but your existence is putting ripples into the universe that are affecting the course of history, for better or for worse. You are necessary.

7

Do you see where I’m going with this story? Even though I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve conceived of every metaphor under the son to try and understand what’s going on in my head, maybe this is new to you – if you’ve got an emotional disability like depression, or anxiety, or something more complex like borderline or ADHD, you’re playing the game of life without emotional shoes.

6

We show up. We show up as much as we can for as long as we can, even when we’re in pain that others can’t even imagine, mostly because we don’t want them to see. So we struggle on, and slowly our symptoms wear away at our resolve to act “normal” until we’re too tired to keep up the front. And then, sometimes, the dam breaks, sometimes with disastrous results. And we’re left there, soaking wet, looking at the ruins, and wondering what the hell just happened.

8

I don’t know what demons you’re facing, whether seemingly insurmountable or mere inconveniences that make you falter from time to time. Either way, you’ve probably experienced some sort of cycle like this. For those of you for whom the fight seems impossible, maybe this resonates as strongly as it does for me.

Remembering The Why Part 4: Writing In Circles

I love those moments when something just clicks. I’ll write something for no reason other than to have something to say, and later I’ll get an amazing idea of how to connect it all together. Again, just walking through the world and seeing what I find that I want to show to others. It’s like I’ve got these dolls that I’m playing with, except that they talk to me and move on their own. Sometimes I give them a nudge or a drop them in a new setting, and then I record the simulation because of how fascinating I find it.

Believing is Not Believing

Moses loved his people a lot, despite the grief that they caused him. Sometimes he complained to God in the same way that they did, asking why He doesn’t just kill him. But despite those words, Moses’ actions still demonstrate the love he had for the Israelites. I was struck in this reading by how Moses apparently spent forty days praying for them so that God wouldn’t destroy them. Have you ever spent forty days praying non-stop? Has anything ever been that important to you, that you would drop everything just to pour out to God? Not me. Those are some actions I can’t even fathom.

Remembering The Why Part 3: Amateur for Life

Of course, even when I was a kid I had dreams of being a famous writer, of finishing my books one day and being discovered and being one of those teen authors whom everyone is so astounded by. But then I started writing for more than one or two adoring fans, and going much, much darker and experimenting with different styles and elements, and things got hairy. Even though I was still proud of what I wrote, I think it was beyond my target audience, and it was a blow to my confidence.

Remembering The Why Part 2: The Greats, Big and Small

Actually, I LIVED for Twilight back then. I was stalled on one of them, I think it was Eclipse, and when my mom got it for me, I never put it down, and I was chomping at the bit for the next one. There are so many book series I’ve read that are like that. I just need more and more. I need to be in that world. I HAVE to know what’s going to happen next. I can’t put it down, and I’ll finish it in a few days. So even though Twilight gets a lot of haters, especially for spawning things like Fifty Shades and 365 days, the book has enough people who “get it” and like it for it to be successful.

When Faith Calls

Maybe your family was a little more like Shameless and a little less like Good Luck Charlie. But when you’re part of the family of God, you know that you belong, forever.

Whenever I’ve seen someone get baptized, it’s been the same. Are you up there thinking some of the same things that I did? “Wow, their lives must be going so great.” “I could never do that – I’m a mess.” Or “I’m a Christian, sure, but it’s not like I want to make a big deal out of it.” Or maybe you’re even thinking: “When will this be over – breakfast is only served until 11:00 am.”

Generations of Marfan: Part 1

One thing I really hated was having my eyes dilated. Sometimes we had to do it days in advance, and I remember being about four in Quebec, staying at my aunt’s house in Montreal, being held down so that my mom could put the drops in my eyes. It was awful! I vaguely remember having braces and casts on my legs when I a preschooler as well, because my legs were so crooked. But other than that, I don’t have a lot of early memories of dealing with it – it was just a part of life. What will Obsidian remember? Being a YouTube star, of course!

Remembering The Why Part 1: Negative Feedback

Do you ever stop in the middle of a project and think: “What on earth am I doing here?” I get that a lot. Especially when I’ve been going round and round with a problem in my head and I don’t know where to turn. Especially when my self-esteem dips to below zero and I’m left wondering whether what I’m doing will really make a difference at all. But every now and then, I get this little nudge reminding me why I love writing and why I love books. Last, week, I got to have a nice long chat with some mentors from my church’s evangelism group, and I was left with that pilot light relit and the flames of my passion rekindled.

It’s so incredible how similar Marc and Michelle are to Ben and Lanie. I really think God put them into my life for a reason. I was in a bad mood (borderline anxiety) when I first met Michelle during my first official time at the evangelism meeting, but she was so loving and kind, explaining things to me and guiding me through. Still, though, I planned to go to a small group that involved sitting around the fire and getting warm, even though I felt the nudge to go with Michelle to serve outside one of the homeless shelters. But as I was waiting to leave with the group that would be warm and seated and singing songs, there was a call specifically for volunteers to go with Michelle’s group – and I knew I couldn’t ignore it. And ever since, it’s been an incredible journey, even if it’s frightening sometimes.

If you Have Faith Like a Mustard Seed….

A lot of people might say that was just a coincidence. Maybe I was putting calm vibes into the universe and manifested the third bus, and the kindness of the that bus driver. But there are a lot of little things in my life that I get so anxious over, and then things turn out okay in pretty unexpected ways. Not because of anything I did. And it’s things like that which I try to remember when I get confused about what I read in the Bible or what a trusted Christian leader tells me. I remember that Jesus’ light yoke is what helps me walk on the waters of these storms, and that I can trust in his small and big miracles, even if I have yet to defy the laws of physics. In today’s our Daily Bread reading, Jesus prayed in Matthew 26 for God not to let him drink from the cup and be crucified, if it was possible. Jesus knew what the plan was, even that he wouldn’t stay dead for long, but it didn’t make it any easier to handle.

Maybe Pharaoh Was On to Something….

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Following God is a Mistake, Don’t Do it

Jesus was perfect, and that perfection included questions and sadness and a wish that things could be different. But He still took God’s hand, crying and shaking though He was, and walked on.

Just like Peter. In Matthew 14, he sees Jesus walking on the water. Everyone else on the boat is like, “Wtf?” and Jesus is like, “Yo, it’s your homeboy. Stop stressin.” And Peter’s like, “Bro, you trippin. If it’s REALLY You, tell me to come roll with ya.” And Jesus is like, “Dude.” And Peter was like, “Dude!” And then he saw the waves, and was like, “dude….” And Jesus saved Him, and is like, “Dude. Seriously?”