in a neat package

Looking through my last post was fun.

After that post, I had this overwhelming feeling of feeling everything.

The art of eucharisteo is so beautiful. It made me see how much God cares for me and how BIG he is. How the word BIG is not even a word that will describe Him.

I felt how small I am. And how someone so BIG and so beautiful can crawl down to the smallness of this world and voluntarily die for me, an insignificant dot from the vast heavens.

But we are all significant to HIM. That’s what blows my mind.

I am trying to instill the attitude of gratitude in my life, consistently. But I am doing so in my personal journal. There are some things that are just between me and Christ.

I realize that the narrative in this blog has been choppy. The last real blog I wrote was about the climactic essence of taking a licensing exam and the possibility of grieving my dying grandmother.

So here are the updates in a beautiful one entry package.

1. I passed my licensing exam, huzzah!

  • My career has now progressed and I have a license as a clinical social worker. This opens up the vast amount of opportunity. I am waiting patiently to see what opportunities God is sending my way. It was a monumental achievement.

2. My grandmother’s health has maintained and she is doing well.

  • I was prepared, emotionally. I was prepared to say goodbye. I was prepared for the cave. I was prepared to mourn. I arrived there, with this beauty of a woman excited to see me. And I spent all my ten days by her side. Except one day where I went to the market to buy groceries for the day. And two months later, she is doing well. I do not know the plans that the Lord has laid out for her. But the Lord continues to grace us with time. I love his timing. It may be the last time I see her, it may not be. But I left there with the assurance that we would see each other again. Her love for Christ shines in everything she does.

3. Getting a tattoo changed my perspective of..well me.

  • I got a tattoo. It looks like this:

tat

I had prayed about a tattoo for awhile. Probably 2 years or so. Three months ago, I decided to get an anchor. After I arrived from the Philippines, I decided to get it. The reactions that I have received were two fold. People either said, “Oh I love it.” or “You? A tattoo? Why?” It showed me two things. First, it showed me that I cared entirely too much about people’s opinions. (working on it, y’all). Two, it showed me that there were two versions of me floating around. Pre-Jesus Marianne and Post-Jesus Marianne.

This, really could be an entire blog on it’s own. But after processing, I realized that the people that loved it, knew that this was something I had been praying on for awhile. They were not surprised at my capacity to get one. They were not surprised at my desire for one. They were simply excited that I finally got one.

But the people that were shocked, were shocked because they knew Marianne from a post-Jesus life. A dear friend of mine told me that he was surprised because his opinion of me is this girl who is sweet and loves Christ, never having thought that getting a tattoo would be something I would do.

Then I realized the separation. And I realized the necessity of the separation.

When I fully accepted Christ in my heart and started having community with believers, it was a shell shock of an experience. I was not like the people I now surrounded myself around. And truly, I’m so grateful for that, Because I needed to know what it was like to live in a way that was pleasing to Christ. But because of that, I lost a part of my identity. And didn’t even realize that I was putting myself in a box.

This tattoo was not a surprise to me. But it was a surprise to others who did not know that side of me.

After a lot of processing, I realized that putting pre-Jesus Marianne and post Jesus Marianne, together, is a pretty beautiful individual. And please don’t misconstrue this as boasting, because it took every ounce of me to type those words. But I’m trying to be comfortable in my own skin, which after almost 30 years, is a victory.

4. Turning 30 in less than a month is a sweet privilege.

  • One of the sweet women I volunteered with today, Ms. Sheryl, told me that she could not believe I was turning 30. Me either. But I have accomplished a lot leading up to this decade change. And I think I want to change the face of what 30 looks like. 30 has such a bad rap. 30 does not have to mean your life is over, especially if you’re single. I have never been more content with my singleness the way I have been this season. And I can’t wait to see what the Lord does with it. I want to surrender my heart to him. It was his from the beginning of time. I get the privilege of peering into what married life and motherhood looks like through my friends and my nieces and nephews. And…that’s more than enough. And I never will ask God why I’m in the season I’m in. His reasons will always overcome my flesh.

So that is the surface level layer of what is going on in life. I could not be more content with where the Lord is taking me. He has purposed such a walk that is so intentional that even the roommates I am living with were planned so long ago.

Here’s to the deeper levels.

Here’s to 30.

Here’s to complete surrender.

PS I met this life changer today. Lee Strobel’s A Case for Christ has helped me in my early walk.

lee

PPS I’m thinking of dabbling with 35 mm again. We’ll see.

photog

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