(originally posted december 29, 2008)

I would like to start off by saying the last few days, mainly since Christmas Eve, have been awesome. I haven’t really done too much. I have hung out with some people but nothing especially exciting. I have just felt really good. I went to a family Christmas thing in Statesville on Saturday night and coming home I got that stay out all night mood that I really haven’t had since high school. It was the mood where, if I had the friends to do it, I would’ve went out to Greene St or Burke St or something and just hung out most of the night having a good time. It was a feeling that felt like me. I was smiling for no reason. I was dancing and singing way too loud and way too bad while driving down the road. I wanted to go out and be the life of a party somewhere and be the guy that made everyone else have a good time. The people who have been around me the past five months probably don’t recognize that guy and really, not many people who have been around me the past year or two wouldn’t recognize him. It felt like me though, and it felt good.

So Jonathan, uh, what changed?

I’m glad you asked. It was two things really, and both of them were a change mentally and not because I met somebody new or got a job or anything like that. They were just a change in the way I look at things. (And, just a warning, this will be the church-iest thing I’ve ever written. Get over it.)

The first one I’m going to write about is actually the second change, but it’s the minor one so I wanted to knock it out first. On Christmas Eve, my grandma came up to me and said, and I quote, “Jonathan I’m worried about you. You’re not smiling.” The next morning, she let me borrow her copy of The Shack. I read a little of it that day but mainly knocked most of it out on Friday. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do, especially if you’re going through a rough patch and/or have been hurt in some way. For the longest time, I was mad at God. I always said that hey, for the first time in forever I’m finally doing exactly what I think you want me to do and now in return you take away my girlfriend and my job? That’s messed up. I was pissed that God would do that to me. After reading the book, there was a section that pretty much kicked me in the face and woke me up and made me realize I was an idiot. I was reminded that God doesn’t do that stuff. It wasn’t God that made my girlfriend break up with me and it was God that took away my job for four months. God let it happen, but He didn’t do it. He could’ve intervened and stopped both from happening but He didn’t. Instead, He let it happen and decided to use it to teach me something. The way that changed my outlook was to go from being angry to instead being eager, and that eagerness gets me to the other thing that changed.

(For the sake of everyone around you, courtesy flush now.)

I’ve written on here multiple times that my prayer for the longest time has been God show me what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I don’t have to get to that point right now, but just show me where I’m going. Sometime last week, after my laptop charger broke and I had nothing to do to pass the time, I was laying around and just kinda thinking about things like I do a lot. While laying there, something popped into my head. It was something Pastor Jon said in a message sometime over the past few months. And then I remembered something I had seen on tv a day or two earlier when watching one of those biographies of Jesus or whatever. Then things kinda clicked and I started connecting the dots. I was reminded that a lot of the times we’re not ready to know things. Either we won’t be able to comprehend it intellectually, we can’t handle it emotionally, or a multitude of other reasons. I’m not just talking about things with God. When we were younger, we weren’t ready to comprehend why people die or where babies come from (yeah, I know, way different ends of the spectrum there). At the same time, we’re not always ready for God to show us things either. Since all of this clicked in my head, I’ve changed my prayer. It’s no longer give me and idea of what I’m supposed to be doing, show me what’s going on. It’s instead changed to prepare me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally so that when the time comes, I’ll be ready for it and I’ll be able to understand everything fully. Build my motor so that when race day comes I can hit it full throttle and not be held back.

I said I went from angry to being eager, and I did. I’m eager to find out what it is I’m supposed to be learning or what it’s going to take for me to be ready to find out what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m going into what may be the hardest semester of school in my life. I’m going into a stretch where I’m hoping for a full time job but I don’t know if it’s going to be there. I’m no longer praying for God to send someone into my life that I could fall in love with like I was doing before her. I’m no longer praying to get over her now that it’s over. I’m not going into every day dreading what memory is going to come up to ruin my day. I’m like a little kid again. I smile at the thoughts of what’s about to come for me. I’m excited to make mistakes, screw up, be broke, write papers I don’t want to write, and all of that other stuff. I’ve never been able to say that. I’m smiling as I sit here and write this (and no, it’s not because I’m mentally dancing to the Mercy Mercedes playing in the background). I’ve dreaded growing up for so long and now I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to changing from a kid to, well, a more responsible, more mature kid (I refuse to say the a-word. I’m not there yet.)

Things are looking up. 2009 is going to kick the crap out of 2008. We’re gonna have some fun. With that being said, hopefully you got something out of this. Hopefully if you’re going through some of the stuff I was/am that this may change the way you go about it and the way you think about things. I know it was long and I really didn’t mean for it to but I kinda got on a roll. Thanks for reading.

Say your prayers and take your vitamins.

Have a nice day.