Light in the Dark

All aboard the Inspiration Hornblower! Just kidding, that was the name of a luxury cruiser or some kind of fancy boat I saw in the San Diego harbor, and its sort of a joke between my Mexico peeps. Anyway, last week I had said I wanted it to be more lighthearted and that didn’t actually happen. Unfortunately, it won’t happen this time either. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that a lot of my posts were getting repetitive and whiny, which isn’t why I do this. I’m not a complete negative Nelly, and I do have my more positive posts, but I’d like to add to that repertoire. And look at that, I spelled repertoire right on my first try. Cool. Now I said it won’t be lighthearted, but it will be positive. Like my wonderfully corny opening line, I’d like to share a little inspiration with ya’ll, show you all what keeps me ticking when my batteries run low. I’m only 17, but I’m about to drop some wisdom from 17 bajillion years ago all over you. At least, those are my intentions.

Where do I begin? Well, I guess I’ll start it off a bit dark. For those who read my depression posts, or any of my others, you probably already know my troubles and some of what keeps me going, but I’ll go ahead and condense it. My single greatest worldly factor is quite simple. Hope. “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”-Emily Dickinson. Even in my darkest times, I had to tell myself that self harm is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I am young, and I have a lot to live for. No matter how crappy life seems right now, it can only get better in time. I won’t accept the answer that it won’t, because the only reason it won’t is because whoever tells themselves that it can’t get better is only enabling that reality. Check out the song “Up!” by Shania Twain. I mentioned this song in my post, “Music to My Ears”. Martin Luther once said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” Not to sound cliche, but every cloud has a silver lining. It’s easy to get lost in the cloud, heck, planes do it all the time. But the point is to not let that consume you. God works wonders by turning sorrows into triumphs. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Strength to the weak, rest to the weary, all of that. It all depends on how you choose to see things, so I urge everyone to look at things through a hopeful lens, and never lose that hope. I can’t tell you all my problems have been solved by being hopeful. On the contrary, I might have more problems now than ever. But what keeps my chin up is having faith that God has a better plan for me, and hoping for the best. In fact, my hope my get in the way sometimes and cause me more pain, but hope also alleviates the pain. It’s sort of like a flu medicine that doesn’t necessarily cure the flu, but it takes care of the symptoms until the flu goes away.

I look for hope in a lot of places. My first go-to is to music. To look more in depth, look at my previous post, “Music to My Ears”. But to summarize that post quickly, my main artist was Carrie Underwood, which is why she is my favorite. I really believe God touched me through Carrie, who despite what other people may think, I do believe that she is a Christian. I can see it in her demeanor and her song lyrics (not all of them, but the ones I listen to most often). I can see God’s love in her, and maybe I’m being fooled, but the only one who TRULY knows, aside from God, about her heart, is herself. That is my judgement on her. And even if she isn’t the Jewel of God for me, if most of her is just a facade, then I believe God gave me the wisdom to see the good, the gold amidst the mud if you will. I went on a nice rabbit trail that I didn’t intend to go on. I didn’t start this to defend Carrie, but honestly, I feel God through her, whether he is in her or not, because I believe God can use anybody, Christian or not, to show his love. Anyway, to finish this rabbit trail, Carrie’s music was a huge blessing to me. Recently, in the past ten months, God has increasingly played a bigger, or at least more open, part in my life. I know he was always there, but now that I’m actually looking, it’s a lot easier to see that. He’s shown up a number of times for me, some of which include Dare2Share and the Mexico trip. But I think he blessed me by leading me to my youth group. It isn’t always the most positive experience, but during the lessons I try to block out negative surroundings to focus on his word, and that’s what counts. His word is always positive, and that gives me hope. Many people in the group, primarily leaders, but also a few students, have been God’s sturdy shoulder at work. He’s been my crutch through a lot of these people, and I am very grateful for them. My advice would be to find those people in your own life who God placed there to help you weather the storms, and cling to them. I can’t stress enough how valuable other humans are. In my case, and I am probably not alone, but in my case, other people help me grow and learn. I can’t do it completely on my own, and I need the other people to help me.

Speaking of other people, I’ve mentioned him before, but I found him via internets. Don’t undervalue the internet! I understand there is a lot of stupid and sometimes harmful stuff on the internet, but there is also a lot of very good and valuable things that can be obtained from the internet. My entire life I’d wanted a twin or an older brother, and I practically found them both in one person. Repetitive, but I feel necessary, is saying that he had the same impact on me as my youth group friends, while I haven’t ever met him in person. And still, it’s my most cherished human relationship at the moment. This person really proves my point that you don’t need to be Christian to show God’s love, because he isn’t Christian, but I don’t know if I’ve felt more loved by another person before. I speak strictly of HUMANS, because I firmly believe, like I said earlier that God can show his love through his children who don’t follow him as well. The only way that is possible is if he has more love than that person. So don’t assume that I mean his love is somehow greater than God’s. But anyway, that mutual love, which is either storge or philia in Greek, meaning familial and friendship love respectively. Having that person to talk to about the little things as well as the big things prevents build-up, which in turn causes me not to explode from keeping everything in. It’s changed me having someone in my life like that when I couldn’t find it from any other person. It’s training wheels for my eventual need to have that with God. The thing is though I won’t get rid of those training wheels. God is there for me in the literal and the spiritual, which is kind of like a double whammy. Isn’t that cool? Sure it has its limitations physically, but boy does it help.

To move on to a more materialistic view, I’ve always had views of how I wanted to spend my life, and I certainly can’t attain those without hope. I have to hope and strive to reach them. I want to be a writer of everything and a producer/director of films. I want a wife in the future with four children, two boys and two girls, named Emmett, Caleb, Stephanie, and Mikaela. I love those names. My backup names are Ethan and Chelsea. I started planning what I wanted my house to look like, such as having a big deck, granite counter tops, trees, etc. I started planning a bucket list of sorts, like sky diving, meet Carrie Underwood, etc. All of this is to serve two functions. A) Give me something to look forward to and it makes me happy. B) A sense of loss if I can’t achieve them, like a, “How can I leave this world without having done—?”. The specifics help a lot too, especially for keeping myself happy. Just writing about it makes me happier, how cool my life will be. I even think sometimes about what I’ll teach my kids, or if I were a teacher, how would I run my class? I was tempted to write about my dream wedding. If I were to get married right now, who would be invited, where would it be, what music would play, etc. By the way, my slow dance song at my wedding will be “Endless Love” performed by Lionel Richie and Shania Twain. He redid it with her, and Shania NAILS it. But then I think about all the dance songs that would play. Maybe Gangnam Style and the Cupid Shuffle song and stuff like that. It’s actually a nice way to pass time. Fun and distracting without being harmful, while setting you up for success. Very few people get what they don’t try to get. So in other words, if you work for it and believe in yourself, your imagination can become reality. I am very determined to some day meet Carrie Underwood face to face. I won’t take no for an answer.

I might come back and add to this later, but for now this is it. A quick recap though. Find solace in music, friends, future, whatever it is that makes you happy, as long as those things are Godly. Trust in God and you will be rewarded in your lifetime. Be hopeful and positive. Have faith in yourself and God and the sky is your limit. I hope this post was inspirational. Thanks for reading. Below is the “Endless Love” song, I’ll leave the rest to you all.

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