New Heights

It’s 1:50AM, and I can’t sleep.

You’d think that my insomnia was induced by the creeping realization that I have 3 weeks left in my undergraduate career, but that wasn’t it. This is one of those ill-timed-coffee-consumption situations. You see, we’ve come to the point in the year where no matter how well I manage my time, I will have to sacrifice either grades or sleep (my social life met with the prioritization guillotine long ago). I had a group meeting in my old dorm at 10:00pm, and Matt was kind enough to brew me some coffee at 9:50pm. Matt loves three things: Academia, bumper stickers, and strong coffee.

It was funny being back in my old dorm. I hadn’t really been in there all year, and it brought back a lot of “old” memories. I hadn’t realized it, but there is even a distinct Towers-Parking-Lot smell. All of my junior-year struggles seemed so distant and small: a perpetually full Towers parking lot, sharing a wall with the temperamental elevator, and the most awkwardly arranged bathrooms imaginable. Okay, I suppose there was also that one time that our shower flooded the bathroom. Still, I didn’t realize at the time just how small those issues were, how petty. Even with The Curse of the Angry Shower Drain, all I had to do was call DPS. Now, we have a dirty kitchen, a clogged canyon, and a water-logged garage. I’d like to say that these new issues are somehow more grown-up, but part of me realizes the distinct first-world flavor that these new, sophisticated issues still possess.

Speaking of canyons, did I mention I went to the Grand Canyon for the first time ever last weekend? It was, to put it quite simply, epic. As of late, I have been perpetually impressed with the beauty of God’s creation, and The Giant Hole in the Ground was quite a sight. It was a bit terrifying, standing on a tiny isthmus of rock in the middle of that vast expanse of nothingness, but it was the good kind of terrifying, the kind that makes me think about the Lord. Standing there, I couldn’t help but think about how small I am in relation to Him, how insignificant in comparison to His glory, and how blessed I am to be able to experience His power. Having s’mores for breakfast was pretty cool too.

I’m still a bit shocked that I spent a weekend roadtripping, given my impending graduation and joblessness. Basically, everything I do right now is internally narrated with the phrase “I’d rather rage be applying for jobs.” To be honest with you, I’ve been struggling a lot with worrying. Worrying about my grades. Worrying about my future. Worrying about finding a subleaser. Worrying, worrying, worrying. I mean, if you know me at all, you know that fretting is kind of my M.O. I don’t think it really hit me until one night when I was venting about my qualms to Sarah, and she laughed out loud (that’s “LOL’ed” for you young folk) and said, “Emma, you worry SO much.” (For a reenactment of this conversation between me and Sarah, click this link).

I think I always knew that I worried, but I rationalized it:

I just care a lot.

I have really high standards.

I am responsible for myself—I don’t have a safety net.

Seriously? What weaksauce excuses. Lately, I have felt very convicted about my worrying. I’ve finally come to realize that it displays a lack of faith and a lack of focus. If I truly believe God’s promises, I won’t stress about things I can’t control. If I truly care about what’s important, I won’t let myself get caught up on the little things.

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

There’s a picture of me, back before my vampire years, when I was still cute. I’m standing on a stump. It’s actually quite adorable. Anyway, the backstory to the picture is that I was apparently standing on this stump, and I was frozen in fear at the idea of jumping off of it. Terrified. My mom knew that it was not a dangerous situation, but her coaxing did no good. I didn’t trust her. The distance seemed too great. It was too risky. I’ve known that story for a while, but only recently did I realize that I was still that terrified two year old, not trusting her parent, peering down from a minuscule height, immobilized by my apprehension. I don’t want to be that toddler anymore. Nothing good comes from worrying. It doesn’t glorify God. It doesn’t help me improve things. It doesn’t let me enjoy the view.

God treats me like a timid child—he started me off with tree stumps, and he’s working me up to Grand Canyon. In His infinite wisdom, He helps me grow incrementally. And yet, somehow, each step is painful. At each level, my initial reaction is fear. How much more joyful it would be, if I could just skip that first stage of the climbing process. How much more purposeful it would be, if I could react with faith instead of fear.

So, that’s my goal for this next 3 weeks: faith over fear. I don’t know about the subleasers, the job market, or my future, but I do know that the Lord reigns, and that that’s really all that matters. If something is going to keep me up at night, best believe it’s going to be coffee, not worrying. I’m going to enjoy this view, until it’s time for me to move on to new heights.

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post before Andrea published hers. It’s great, check it out.

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4 thoughts on “New Heights

  1. Loved. this. post. So encouraging. So well-written. 🙂
    Oh, why is your blog named cannedjello? Is there a story behind that? Was everything else taken? Do you really like jello? or cans?

    • Thanks:) There’s really no good reason: My middle initial is C. So, C+Angelo= a life-long nickname of “Cannedjello” since middle school. I’m not particularly fond of jello or cans. I’ve thought about finding a more sophisticated title many times, but I just can’t come up with anything that I think will hold value over time. haha.

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