Monday, November 18, 2013

Whatever Means Possible

I love AMC's The Walking Dead. I have ever since day one, when it premiered on Halloween night three years ago. What's not to love? Zombies, Norman Reedus, and the gorgeous Georgia landscape?

Last night, after the newest episode of The Walking Dead, I watched Talking Dead. At the end of the episode, a very emotional Chris Hardwick spoke that he had just lost his father the night before, completely unexpectedly. Turns out, he passed from a heart-attack. I could tell something was wrong with Hardwick, as he is usually well put together (I would even say he's the under-appreciated Ryan Gosling) looked like he hadn't slept in days.

(Chris Hardwick's tweet on Saturday evening about his father.)

But it all made sense when Hardwick, at the end of the episode, explained the tragedy that hit his family just the night before. I saw myself suddenly. While my suffering wasn't public in comparison to Hardwick's, while I am a 20 year-old college girl from nowhere, Kansas, and Hardwick is a 41 year-old celebrity who lives in Los Angeles, CA (i.e., nothing in common), I saw myself. Seeing his face, so emotionally distraught, but trying to pick up and carry on and perform admirably, I knew what I looked like, heck, even what I still look like, now, almost 6 weeks later. How he got back on the horse not even 24 hours later is completely beyond me.

But God is funny sometimes. I am a huge believer that Lord speaks to His people in whatever way He sees fit, especially when we're in a dark place. Usually, I think, He'll meet us in prayer or while reading the Word. But because God loves us so much, He also meets us where we are, and wants nothing more than to have a relationship with His people.

Lately, I've been stuck in a rut. I'm not mad at God. I'm not really mad at anyone. I'm mostly just numb, at everyone, and everything, and I hate to admit this, but that includes God. I'm still wandering around in a state of sheer disbelief, and kind of going through the motions of putting my life back together.

But Chris Hardwick's tearful speech to the audience wasn't the only thing that tripped me up. During the episode, The Governor slept on a couch. And on that couch, a pillow. And embroidered on that pillow were the words my father gives me always as a piece of advice: "This too shall pass."

It's funny how no matter how many times man can say it, but it doesn't make sense until the Holy Spirit says it to you. You, an imperfect immortal, can struggle to put the pieces together all day, but until you're ready for divine help, it'll never come together.

Today was a very emotional day for me. I ended up crying in my car for an obscene amount of time after class, which I am ashamed to admit was the first time I've cried since my mother's funeral. I've been trying to do this all by myself up here, with no emotional support from a physical presence, as my dad, step-mom and brother are all two and a half hours away. I hadn't had the opportunity to make friends yet before mom's passing. I hadn't even found a church body that I could really attach myself to. But why I thought I was still alone is completely beyond me.

God will get your attention by whatever means possible. Through prayer, through the Word, and if you've been walking around deaf, blind and dumb for a month and a half, even through The Walking Dead. It might seem silly, but then again, what couldn't the God of the universe do?

(To read Harwick's exact word to the viewers, you can read the article here: )

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Women: Date Your Father

I know. Me, giving dating advice? Kind of like the blind leading the blind, right? Me-- a girl who is 20 (and a half tomorrow!), who has never been on date (or even asked to prom) and who's idea of flirting is saying "Hey... so do you like Lord of the Rings?"

But listen. This is important. I was always raised under the idea that women grow up and marry their fathers. Someone who acts just like them, has their same ideals and same flaws. Which makes sense, because every guy I've ever had a crush on resembles my father in some way, shape, or form. (Or sometimes, it's scary uncanny.)

And this isn't wrong! And I'm not saying it is. But there's something else to be learned here, too. (As if our fathers didn't teach us enough.)

Tonight, my dad took me out to see the new Thor movie. (Which was absolutely incredible, but I won't get into a full-fledged movie review.) He put on a nice shirt, he drove us to the theater. He held the door for me. He bought our tickets. He bought our popcorn. He even bought me pink lemonade because we couldn't share one because he loves Pepsi and I don't drink soda. He was even so punctual we got the perfect seats. He let me have the inside armrest. He laughed at all the commentary I made while watching the movie (and he had plenty of his own.) And come to find out, when I thought I was alone laughing, he was the only one laughing with me. He was a perfect gentleman.

Ladies-- what does that sound like? Doesn't that sound ideal? Isn't that what all (most) girls say that they always want? Well, you deserve nothing less.

Most people are completely befuddled at my 20 year (and a half tomorrow) singlehood. (I'm not. I mean, I still count my age by  halves.) They say "Autumn you're so pretty" (hah), "Autumn you're such a beauty" (hah) and "Autumn you have the best personality" (I know, right?!). But to be honest, it's because I know I deserve better. Yeah, guys have knocked on my door, but I've sent them away, even if they were nice enough guys. But you don't deserve "nice enough". Or "good enough". You deserve the best for YOU! Now those guys will be some other girl's dream guy, just not yours. And settling isn't fair for anyone.

And I know, that some people aren't fortunate enough to have a dad like mine, who sets this Godly, concrete example of how a husband should be to his wife and to his children. My dad wasn't always that person, either. And if this is you, think instead of what you know you deserve from your boyfriend/fiance/husband. I know that due to the materialistic and superficial society we live in today, we accredit our self worth to the opinion of others, especially that of the opposite gender, but we have got to stop doing that! We'll never get anywhere. We'll never move forward and we'll forever live under the oppression of the falsehood of body image, self-esteem and values. The vicious cycle will rage on and on.

Date your father. Date the man who hold the door for you. Who will buy your ticket and your popcorn and even your pink lemonade. Who will be selfless and let you have the middle armrest without asking or even bringing it up. Someone who doesn't mind when you laugh at inappropriate times during a film because he's laughing, too. Marry the person who treats you the way your father would (or should) treat you-- with love, respect, honor, selflessness, Godliness, and righteousness. Someone who lifts you up because he is lifted by the Creator. Don't settle, ladies. Don't degrade yourself. The cycle can stop here.