Tag Archives: Christianity

not about me

Image by Nathan Dinkerson

Image by Nathan Gray*

The truth is: I don’t like writing posts like my last one — at all. Say what? you might ask. Why?

Why? Because this blog isn’t about me.

This blog isn’t about me just like life isn’t about me — just like it’s not about you or him or her or them or those. This life isn’t about any of us; rather, it’s about all of us. There is nothing I detest more than a braggart. People who are either too full of themselves or too insecure to acknowledge the strength and beauty in others make me sick. After all, it is the intrinsic value of all of us that makes this world a beautiful place. Without that . . .

And so if my last post came across at all boastful, my friends, please forgive me. Truth be told, I am anything but. I recognize my strengths but am acutely aware of my weaknesses — in every way. I think this life is about the collective — about each and every one of us pushing ourselves to be the best we can be, and about encouraging and helping others along the way — and not about placing people on pedestals. We are all of us human. Let’s keep it that way.

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“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”— Picasso

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*My friend Nathan shares his gift through photography. You can find more of his amazing work here.

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how to not die: the “real” missing piece

A few posts back, I talked about the missing piece from my rock-climbing story. I was raised Christian and went to small Christian schools all my life, including college. When I had my accident, the entire student body at the university I was attending prayed for me. Both people I knew and people I’d never met watched as I went from nearly dying to fully recovering—a miracle they attested to the power of prayer.

I’ve already talked about how this incident affected me—how I slept through it all and came out an incredibly sick girl on the other side.

But there certainly are spiritual implications to my story. I cannot deny that prayer is what brought me through (it certainly was no power of my own): to say otherwise would be a slap in the face to both God and my dear friends . . .  This is true even if I don’t really know what God looks like.

So . . . the missing piece is you. The people who were most impacted were you. The people who saw the miracle was you.

I asked a few friends if they’d write down their remembrances, so anyone interested could hear my story from a different perspective. Here are two of their stories. Chad Stuart and Hilda Thordarson-Scott, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

chad2

Chad Stuart was the student chaplain at Southern when I had my accident. Today, he is a pastor in Visalia, California. Here he is pictured with his wife and two of their three sons.

PRAYERS FOR JESSICA

It was late on Saturday night, January 25th when I first received news that one of our students had fallen while rock climbing. That was all I heard—no name, no details. Just that an accident had happened. I said a quick prayer, but other than that didn’t give it much thought. I was in Ohio visiting my parents for the weekend. There really wasn’t much I could do.

The next day, around noon, I turned on my phone and saw several messages. The messages were from the student deans and our secretary at school. They were all updating me about what I now realized was a very dire situation. Continue reading

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hello, my name is ___?

What I didn’t expect was the identity crisis. Some things aren’t supposed to change.

Perhaps you’ve been there, too.

When I was a child, life was simple. Decisions were easy. Choices, slim. And everyone around me was doing the same: college was the horizon.

Fast-forward five years.

Life’s still simple. Life’s still good. A desire previously unfulfilled has been achieved: At college, 3,000 miles from home, I have freedom. I have independence. I’ve left childhood behind and have thousands of years to go. The only trouble? What comes next?

An English degree, a couple of jobs, and a life-changing, three-year tenure in Asia—that’s what . . .  Not to mention the splitting of my home, my 28th birthday, and the poignant realization that, just as time passes, so does youth. No matter how hard I try, I am limited by my lifespan.

I can never see it all, travel it all, write it all, learn it all. I can’t fix it all, have it all, understand it all, or even love it all.

The horizon has become the horizon, and, by its infinity, shown me my limitations.

And, suddenly, I am wavering. Many things I believed to be true have proven to be false, and many things I thought would never be have, in fact, become reality.

And I find myself wondering at the mysteries of life and the way time passes . . . And the energy of youth and the wisdom of age . . . And the fact that I believe in God but have difficulty trusting Him . . .

Or knowing how I fit into His plan.

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