Across Many Mountains

I'd like to take a few minutes and tell a story of what is going on with one of my very dear friends. I will call her K.

K and I have known each other for awhile. In college, we were friends, but we were a little different. She has always been very strong in her faith and very great at showing it to other people. I, on the other hand, went through phases in college that I'm not proud of...needless to say, I didn't really "let my light shine" like I should have. Well, that is neither here nor there.

I get to see K once a month. She is a fellow dietitian like I am and I love getting to see her when I travel for work. About a year and a half ago, K and her boyfriend at the time became very serious. They had met while we were in college - he was an exchange student from Nigeria. Their personalities are so aligned. He is so strong in his faith as she is, and together, they will truly be followers of God. They truly love each other and together have an honest love for God and His teachings.

In the summer of 2007, K and her boyfriend took a trip to Africa to spend time with his family. It just so happens that he had been accepted into a doctorate program at Texas A & M and was needing to renew his Visa in order to finish his education. While in Africa, he proposed to K. They rejoiced with his family and enjoyed their time together.

When it came time for his interview to renew his Visa, the unthinkable happened - he was denied. Apparently, it was concluded that since he was engaged to an American woman, they believed that he would not return to Nigeria, which is not favorable to them. And so, K left Africa without him. Originally, their wedding plans were scheduled for December 2007.

It's been over a year and K is still here without him. Together, they have spent thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, filling out numerous applications, etc., in order to get him approved to come over. They are at the end of the process now. The Embassy has their application, and they are just waiting to hear back. However, each day holds a promise but so far has ended in disappointment.

I tell this story because every month when I see K, I am awakened by her spirit. God has obviously dealt her a very hard hand. I can't imagine being kept away from my fiance for over a year, waiting patiently and trying not to question God. But her faith is always so strong. She refuses to let sadness sweep over her (for the most part). Last month, K told me that her fiance almost died a few weeks ago. He was one of few that survived a very bad bus wreck, and his family believed that he was dead. God had other plans for him.

I just ask that everyone keep K and her fiance in their prayers. Although they are hopefully drawing this process to a close, it is still unsure. I just pray that soon I will hear the news that he is back in America and they are planning their wedding (which I assume will be very quickly planned!). I know that this process has really worn on them - however, you would never be able to tell by talking with K. She is someone that I greatly admire, and even though she may not know it, watching her go through this and watching her continue loving and having faith in God has strengthened my own faith immeasurably.

Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


Wrong Direction

Today I realized that fatigue comes in many forms and fashions.

The first and most obvious form is physical. Your feet start to hurt. Your lower back hurts. Your legs ache. You feel like you can't sit down long enough to relieve the stress in your body. You just want to lay your head down and close your eyes. The thought of a hot bath makes you somewhat salivate. When physical exhaustion takes form, my head starts to hurt and often - thanks to years of piano playing and waitressing that resulted in carpal tunnel - my hands hurt badly. This is the beginning.

The next form, for me, is emotional. I get so upset about the situation. I feel like yelling, crying, moping, and then laughing all in a rotating pattern. This is when I have to be careful who I talk to because I'm likely to vent all my feelings to the wrong person and it ends up biting me in the backside. Shortly after the emotional form comes mental fatigue. At this point, the mixture of physical and emotional fatigue have done me in. I start to forget things easily and can't seem to remember the small details. Although impairing, this step is minor in the steps of the fatigue process.

The final step in fatigue comes in a spiritual sense. This is a combination of all of the above. With the emotional rollar coaster and mental exhaustion comes questioning. My attitude suffers. I question the major things in my life and question what God has in store for me and why He has led me to the place I am.

I have been through this feeling a few times in the past couple of months. Each time I go through the same process. The other day, I was starting to feel down when I remembered something that I wrote a long time ago. When I was younger, I wrote constantly - usually short stories and poetry. I remembered something I wrote when I was around 14 and finally found it tonight.

Today I was at the point of questioning my life. I questioned why God was putting me in a situation, and I think He directed me to this for a reason. Reading over it tonight was eye opening. I can't believe at 14 I understood so much about life. I realized by reading this - again, after many years - that we will always question and we will always go through these situations. They are only obstacles that God has set before us in order to become the bigger and better person that we are - more like Christ, more like the people we are meant to be.

It seems like lately life has got me down
I get ahead only to be spun around
The realistic views I held so dear
are all of the sudden not so clear
Each step that I take down this long road
only makes me tired with its overbearing load
The happiness is there but how to achieve
when each day it gets so much harder to believe
Just when things seem to be going my way
something new comes to change the day
I pray to God to reveal my strength
to keep me going when the water gets deep
I know it don't come easy, just like they say
so I close my eyes and try to pray
For a better time, to bring me peace
to show me that happiness isn't totally out of reach
So I'll keep on going and try to hold my faith
Because I know in the end God will show me the way..

Even when we are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually tired and feel alone and lost, God is there for us. When we feel our attitudes and our lives are going in the wrong direction, He is there to steer us in the right way, if we pay attention to Him and His plan. I can only hope that in the next few weeks as I keep going through these trying situations, I can remember this poem that I wrote at such a young age, and see all that God has done and is doing in my life.

Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.



I have been asked many times today how I am doing, and the word that can only describe it is


I started back to work on Monday, which was hard after being off for two weeks. I would have normally been excited to start out the new year and to start getting work done, except our cook quit right before Christmas. We haven't hired anyone so I am having to train and fill in in the kitchen until we get permanent help. It is exhausting. The job in itself is not necessarily *hard*. What is hard is doing my job and cooking for 80 children as well. I have had no time to do anything that I need to do, which has been very trying. And it is only Tuesday.

I had The Dream last night. Not the screaming dream that I talked about in an earlier post, but another. I have had two recurring dreams in recent years. The first one is the one I spoke of earlier in which I am screaming at someone. But this one is much more exhausting.

This dream started when I waited tables at Tia's. I worked at Tia's for 4 years, and during that time, I experienced everything to do with the restaurant business. The most trying part of waiting tables is what servers call being "in the weeds" which is when you are so over your head and busy and behind that you feel like you'll lose your mind. In this dream, I am always waiting tables and I am so behind. I have a restaurant full of tables that I am waiting on. People are staring at me because they have no drinks yet or I have forgotten they were my table. They are angry. Some people leave. Meanwhile, the servers around me are laughing and joking around. I am overwhelmed in this dream, sweaty, and my heart is pulsing.

This dream always hits me when I feel overwhelmed in my life and the hardest part about the dream is that I wake up feeling so tired. I am mentally spent because in my mind I have been waiting tables all night long.

There are so many things that are going on in my life right now and I feel like I'm grasping a slippery rope. I have made a solid effort so far in reading my Bible readings daily. Last year, I read them until August. In August we went to Mexico for vacation, and I didn't take my Bible because I didn't want it to get messed up. Interesting enough, August was when I was baptised. I wasn't very good the rest of the year regarding my Bible readings. However, when I started this year I remembered how much it impacts my life. I pray more. I have a better attitude. I try to take things in stride. I feel closer to God.

The second portion of the Bible readings have been in Psalms. The Psalms is so powerful to me, because David is so weary and burdened and crying out constantly for God to relieve him from his pain and suffering. What I find most powerful is that no matter how much lamenting David does, he never gives up on God. He keeps praying, knowing that God will give him the rest he needs, in HIS time, not in Davids. I am praying right now for God to guide me through this trying time and help me see the end of the tunnel soon as well.

Psalm 119:28
"My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word."