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wrestling matches.

"...And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day..." Genesis 32:24

Lately I have been reading through Genesis and Exodus. I am enjoying it but I just cannot stop thinking about Jacob. I have always resonated with Jacob, even though he is sometimes a little bit of a punk. But this particular story, Jacob wrestling with God, has become especially close to my heart.

I have been wrestling a lot here. Before coming, I had ample warning about culture shock but not many people warned about the mental and spiritual shocks that come with totally new experiences. I suppose it is because people don't know how to talk about it. I think I understand why they don't--they're a little harder to navigate and work through.

With all of the shifts that have been going on with me, there has come a certain tension. This tension is the colliding of what I have learned and thought I understood my entire life and the reality that I can now count on none of that. I have found that these colliding realities require quite a bit of unlearning.

The idea of unlearning is something I have realized is a necessity for a while. I've had many meaningful, life-changing conversations about unlearning sitting on porches and while taking walks.

But, I am coming to a new understanding of unlearning and beginning to realize that this is where we are supposed to live. We are to live somewhere in the middle of remembering what we have been taught, unlearning some of those things and learning new things. That balance is delicate but I think it is where we are called to be.

In this place, this balanced, ebbing and flowing sort of reality, we realize that we are insufficient. Just when we again realize who is sufficient, this is when we hear Jesus say, "follow me." And because we are not relying on our understanding but wrestling with Him we can then, "[rise and follow Him]" (Matthew 9:9).

Let us remember the most important part of this wrestling match is that it is with God. The nearness that we have to Him in this time is invaluable and necessary.

May we never forget how good it is to be near to God even when it is as painful as wrestling.

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An ode to my wiser self

I've been thinking about blogging a lot lately. Well, writing, rather. I used to write a lot. It was therapeutic and life giving for me. It helped me to be in a constant state of process where I was not just taking in life but searching for and digging for meaning. It kept me grounded and real, for lack of better word.

I have been starting to write more lately and have several little bits I'm working on. In the process of digging out my blog from the depths of the internet, I found this jewel that I wrote years ago. Yes, that's right... years ago. I thought it was beautiful and worth sharing. So, in an attempt to revive this way of sharing my thoughts and processing...

Here is an ode to my younger (and probably wiser) self:


Welcome to The Chronicles of a Confused Citizen.

Here I am, residing in the country I was born in, living the life I knew from my birth to year 22.

It doesn't quite feel right, though.

Recently, as I found myself living in Mongolia, I started feelin…

bring it on, world.

October 26, 2011.

That is the day I last wrote a blog. That's not the day when my life changed but it is a day that I can recognize as one of the last ones when I knew who I was and what my purpose was.

I'm not generally a quitter. Sure, sometimes I quit on books or I quit on small projects but in life, nope. I  try hard at most things, usually right until the end. I won't say that quitting is not a thought that meanders through my being when something gets tough but I have come to learn that when I stick things out I come out having learned a thing or two.

But I did quit. I quit a big commitment. I said I would live in Washington, DC and I would do my best.

I tried. I also had my very first panic attack, too.

It was too much. I couldn't think or breathe. I couldn't cope with the devastation I felt for leaving Mongolia early that March morning. I couldn't cope with no one understanding what Mongolia had meant to me and how it had changed me right down to my bo…