Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's Been A While

Well, I said it. I said I loved her. And I meant it. It felt like a breath of fresh air. It took her breath away. And I still love saying it. She is my dream girl. Amanda is terrific. She loves me for who I am. She accepts me completely and reminds me of it whenever I feel like I've disappointed her, myself or both. She knows how to handle me and can even be sly with me. We also just really enjoy being with each other and talking with each other. God has immensely blessed me with a wonderful woman to share me with. She makes me happy and I know that I make her happy, too. I love her for her as well. And no matter how much I say, I don't know if I can really describe just what I feel for her. We also had a great devotional yesterday. It's exciting to be in love. I long to see her again and to kiss her and to hold her right next to me.

In other news :), Ryan pitched today on JV. And I'm starting to see that patience does pay off and perhaps I jumped to quick conclusions about this coach. The coach noticed a rule that says pretty much from here on out that in JV/V doubleheaders, he has to play one or the other. Why? When both the JV and V play, he can play a maximum of 40 games for both. Ryan's at 32. So, from now on Ryan's playing varsity :) in those circumstances. He even got a hit last night, a single, in a varsity game. Granted that it was when we were up 17-1, but he still got to bat and he got a hit. Today, he played in the second game of a JV double header against Van Meter. He played CF for 4 of the 5 innings, but then he was called in to pitch the 5th (the last inning in a double header game). We were down by 1 at this point. He comes in and strikes out the side 1-2-3. The first two were looking. I had no idea that he had that kind of command! He only threw three balls (as in balls and strikes). Now he's going to be pitching more. In the bottom of the inning, he was due up 3rd in the order. The first two guys got on by being hit by pitches (one on the foot and the other on the thigh) before Ryan came up. Being again 1 run down, we needed 1 to tie, 2 to win. Ryan worked the count a bit (and fouled one off over the fence, which I caught barehanded! The umpire said he was mesmorized by my catch :) ) and got a pitch he wanted. He drove it into the gap in right center field, a game-winning 2-RBI walk-off triple. His pitching record is now 1-0 this year :) on JV.

Great day though I had to get up early. And it's going to get better because soon I'm gonna call my girl. I love you, Amanda! (And thanks for the e-mail :) )

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Forgiveness, Patience & Hope

If there is anything God is teaching me lately, it is about patience and forgiveness. My sweetheart, Amanda, is going through a difficult trial regarding her former church. My brother, Ryan, is being unfairly treated by his coach. One of my friends became suicidal recently and committed himself into a treatment facility. He's doing better now from the sounds of it though not out of the woods obviously. I've struggled to find a job. I thought I got one recently after a good interview only to find out my 87 hours of availability was not enough for them.
This has recently turned me into a somewhat bitter and angry person lately. I can only listen to Amanda as she tells me what she's going through. She tells me this is enough for her and that my support for her helps her a lot. But, I feel helpless and frustrated that I can't comfort her in person. I want to tell Ryan that working hard and playing by the rules will help you keep what was given to you. But, that's not true either, not even in a Christian environment. Injustice happens even within the Christian community. Christians behave badly towards other Christians (in both Amanda's and Ryan's cases). Regarding my depressed friend, I was upset that I haven't been there for him lately. I actually admittedly just forgot about him. And when I heard about this, I was first upset that I wasn't part of the process to help him. But, when I thought about it, I wondered to myself, "Why should I have been? How long has it been since I've talked to him?" And with my job situation: I am in debt, with no job, and little in sight of one.

Here's a crazy question though: Why am I bitter and angry? Amanda is so forgiving, loving and patient towards the people that hurt her so. The only ones she is not really happy with are the ones that confuse the people that hurt her so. And she has been ever so patient, loving, kind, hopeful, and forgiving of me. It's her attitude towards others and me especially that makes me want to tell her those ever-so-important three little words to her. Ryan has become more of a man about the situation he's in than me. He's bitter and angry, yes. But, he's handled it so much better than me. At his age, I would have walked out on that team and said, "Forget you!" But, he said something very mature, "Everyone's got to face adversity sometimes. I just have to right now." This is from a 17-year-old who just received unfair treatment. So, while he still goes to his games for DMCS (his school), I'm here writing this blogpost because I cannot forgive the coach yet nor the people involved in the politics of this institution. My friend is learning that people do care about him and want him to be well. He knows that we're praying for him. So, hopefully he can now have some direction in his life.
What can I learn from these people close to me? Amanda shows me that I need to be quick to forgive and be patient with those who may anger me. Unfairness and poor treatment happen. We're human. We need to exude God's love towards others even when they tell you through actions, words, etc. that they despise you and/or those you love and care about. Anger happens. It's alright to have anger. She has anger about the situation and about what some people write. But, she forgives those that hurt her. She is patient with people who disagree. And that includes when I may do things that hurt her. Ryan shows me that patience is a virtue. No, he has not forgiven his coach. But, his attitude is one of hard work and patient fortitude. He knows that he lost his spot through no fault of his own. However, he wants it back and he'll do whatever. I admire him so much for what he is doing. He is a bigger person than me right now. Through my friend, I can see that hope is a very important aspect of life. We need hope on this side of life. We need hope in something and to feel loved.

How am I able to start showing these characters? Through listening to God and trusting more in Him. I need to be more faithful. I need to be more enveloped in His love, to allow Him to love me and then for me to love myself because I am loved. I then can love others and forgive those who hurt me and my loved ones. And through this love, I can be more patient with others. I need to stay in touch with God and have my own personal prayer time. What do you do with those you love and want to love? You communicate with them. You communicate with them deeply. And who better to spend time with than the One who will love you no matter what you say to Him? I can see now that God has been showing me through all this mess that He wants me to be a better man, a man that is more after His own heart. And that very phrase makes more sense to me now than it has ever before. If I am to be a minister of His Word (in the general sense of minister, but in every sense of Word) and to be a loving son, brother, and future husband & father, I have to love. And through love, I have to be patient and wait on things that I may need because I know not God's timing; I have to forgive those who hurt; and, I have to hope for the things to come that God has laid out for me. Everything I go through, that my loved ones go through, is for a purpose. They are to teach my close ones and they are to teach me. And I think it is a good start that I was blessed by God to be able to listen to this lesson from above.