Category: Random Thoughts


10,000 Reasons

I have to read 30 pages of Contracts. And Torts… 20 pages, I think. Ok. I can do that by Contracts class at 10:25. Oh. I have to read Civ Pro too…”
In my mind, I recited my list of things to do before class, opened my eyes a minute before 5:20 AM, then began thinking of the research paper I had to edit sometime today.

I couldn’t do it. I knew I had to wake up, but I had no strength. My eyes refused to focus. They stung. Threatened to remain shut if I tried to open them. Eight times I tried to sit up and swing my feet off the bed onto the floor. Eight times I gave up and flopped helplessly back on my pillows.

Four hours later, I finally forced myself to stumble into the shower. After trying to pray for strength repeatedly, and falling asleep each time, I finally mumbled an eloquent “God, please get me through today” as I turned on the water. The squeal of the faucet knobs as I adjusted the water temperature reminded me that I was no longer asleep.

I never read for my first class today.

I haven’t been able to really read anything in a semester, it seems. Everything has been rushed, not fully absorbed.

I could list at least thirty reasons I feel overwhelmed, upset, hurt, inadequate, and as if I am both failing and a failure.

In fact, I think I’ve been indulging myself in coming up with way more than thirty reasons today.

But for those thirty reasons, though they are valid, and I’ve never felt so physically worn, mentally and emotionally worn out, there are at least one hundred more reasons to give thanks.

Give thanks in every circumstance.

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)

A certain song writer by the name of Matt Redman would say there are 10,000 reasons for praising God.

I don’t know if I will be able to finish law school. I don’t even know if I will be able to get up tomorrow, much less finish writing my paper tonight.

I know that I am on the brink. The abyss is waiting, eager to swallow me whole.

But I also know that my God is stronger than any powers, whether in heaven, earth, or hell; I know that my God calls me his child, regardless of whether I pass this semester; I know that nothing can separate me from His love. I have a million reasons to be thankful. Even if I lose everything, and there is a very real possibility that may happen, I will be found in Him. I will not be lost, for He will always hold me.


“Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before,
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name.”
-10,000 Reasons, Matt Redman

Worth

Yesterday, I formally rejected an offer of over $100,000 in an academic merit scholarship to St. Thomas University School of Law. That’s almost enough money to pay for half a house!

It has been hard to let it go. Ever since I applied to the school in December, it has been my last choice. I’ve always known there was a very slim chance that I would pass up my first choice school, Regent University School of Law, for St. Thomas…and hence, a slim chance that I would actually use the scholarship.

I know I’ve made the right choice, even though Regent is offering a slightly smaller scholarship than St. Thomas. I know Regent is where I need to be: it has better location, more international opportunities (internships, on-campus employment, the Center for Global Justice, and a chapter of International Justice Mission). But it is still hard to let it go. I keep thinking that I’ve passed up something I’ll never get back.

Then I remember to look at it the opposite way: St. Thomas saw me as worth over $100,000. They saw me as an investment. Someone actually thinks I am worth one hundred thousand dollars… and if THEY thought I was a good investment, and Regent does as well, doesn’t that indicate at least the promise of potential?!

All this thought of measuring one’s worth in material things such as money, setting a price on myself, in a sense, makes me remember what God has said about my worth to him: he loves me and will continue to love me even if I fail him; because of his Son’s death which ransomed my soul (the price of which is higher than anything we can imagine because it is not measured in material things such as gold or silver, but with things above that which money cannot purchase), I am an heir to royalty – I am a child of God; because of God giving me worth, not from any inherent worthiness in myself, I am of more worth to God than any price money could pay.

Have I done the right thing?

Yes.

Will it be easy to move halfway across the country, take out loans for the balance of tuition and living expenses, and start studying something new and unfamiliar?

Probably not.

So what? This is where God has led me, and this is where I am going to go. And I will just forget about the “could have had” attitude: after all, I just kissed $100K away! I have to let it go.

It Really Happened

I am still in shock.

Have I really just been accepted into law school? To an elite Honors Program at the school I thought I might not even be accepted to???

It is difficult not to be nervous about the upcoming year. Everyone loves to share their horrors of the first year of law school…the first year is the most intense, specifically geared towards weeding out students who are not serious about their studies. I shouldn’t be worried – I have always been a serious student. But what if I cannot keep up? What if I am lacking experience, ability, knowledge, “smartness,” or time? What if I snap?

One friend reminded me that the admissions committees on law schools see thousands of applicants, and they know what a successful applicant is like. They have chosen me and said that I have the potential they are looking for, so I should trust them and recognize that I have what it takes.

Part of that is true. The school, Regent University School of Law, has said that all graduating students have a bar passage rate of 89%. Students who scored 155 or above on the LSAT had a pass rate of 95%, while students who scored above 160 have a 100% pass rate. I scored 161, so I should, in theory be fine.

But it is so hard to let go of the “what ifs“. Maybe that is the part of me that will enable me to be a good lawyer. Or maybe it is the part of me that is unwilling to trust God.

This entire process of getting into law school has been a total confirmation that I am heading in the right direction, doing what God wants. It all seems so ridiculously hard, yet I made it. I chose law school completely on my own – no career advisor, no counselor was there to help me. I picked a terrific pre-law major without knowing I’d go to law school. I thought the LSAT would be like the GRE for me – I’d get an average score, not one good enough to earn scholarships. I studied completely on my own, and scored lower than I hoped. It was above average, but still lower than I was aiming for. Despite what I considered a “low” score, I was admitted and offered a killer scholarship. It was as if God was saying, “Stop limiting me! If I want you somewhere, I’ll put you there!”

For once, I am able to plan. I have vision, I know what I want to do and why I want to do it. This is of God. All of this is so much better than I could have ever hoped for.

Now, my dreams are about to become real. I have to make a choice: will I cower away from trust like Moses, stammering that I am not the one God wants to use, or will I humbly accept the chance He has given me and obey Him like Daniel did?

I’ve come this far, I’m not about to turn around now! Bring on the sleepless nights, bring on the endless research and reading, bring on the critics and the questions. I will focus on my God, I will choose to stop worrying about tomorrow!

Now to work through some Blackstone, American and Korean history, and economics texts…

The Awakening

Since the end of August, I haven’t thought about school. For this year, at least.
I have been so busy trying to heal, trying to study for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) that I’ll be taking in October, looking up potential law school choices, and getting back into the swing of working, that I feel like I’ve found my way into a wrinkle in time. A sort of time warp in which because I am still at home, working at my typical summer job, I feel like I am still at home, and that school will be starting soon.

Until today.

On Facebook, my cousin randomly asked me to help find a poem suitable for performing in one of her college classes. I quickly grabbed my Norton literature anthologies, my treasured Victorian poems, and scanned my collection of literature – textbooks accumulated over my three years of English Literature classes, novels bought on Amazon, a pale green Shakespeare collection with gold etching on the covers (I found this treasure at my first library sale). And, of course, I was frantically searching Google for online texts of my favorite authors and poets.

I was in college again, doing what I loved. Only this time, no one else expected anything, no one wanted to hear my interpretations on a theme of Tennyson.

When my cousin began describing her speech class reading assignment, I remembered my Performance of Literature class. I remembered learning how to create space, not simply abide in it. I remembered learning how to utilize subtlety, how to move without moving, cry without tears, fly without leaving.

How I miss it all.

And as suddenly and unexpectedly as it came, my awakening is suddenly and unexpectedly gone.

But it did wake me up. It reminded me of all the treasures I have on my shelves, just waiting to be read. It made me come alive. And now, there’s no going back.

Princes and Frogs

The frog you’ve got seems cute enough to kiss
And maybe frogs seem like that’s all there is
But just because you haven’t found your prince yet
Doesn’t mean you’re still not a princess

And what if your prince comes riding in
While you’re kissing a frog –
What’s he gonna think then?

“Princes and Frogs” by Superchick

I’m a Believer?

I know Love is
Only true in faery tales.
Meant for someone else
But never me.
Love is out to miss me.
That’s the way it seems.
Still, a Prince is always
In my dreams.

When men see my face,
They become leavers.
They take off without
A glance at my mind.
I’m not Love.
They have to leave me,
They couldn’t love me
If they tried.

I thought Love was
More (not less) a giving thing.
But the more I’ve got,
The less they want.
What’s the use of thinking?
It hardly gives me gain.
When I need some Shakespeare,
I get Paine.

When men see my face,
They become leavers.
They take off without
A glance at my mind.
I’m not “Love.”
They have to leave me,
They couldn’t love me
If they tried.

Life in a Moment

A thudding whack
Questions
Flash of fur

I look back,
See a bobcat
Rolling like a bowling pin
Down the roadside.

We keep driving,
Then turn back.

It’s lying there,
Unfairly dead.

We park.

It moves – snaps to its feet,
Slips – hind legs collapsing
Before a second is through.

It resiliently runs
Toward the woods.

We drive again.

One mistake.
That’s all he made.
One mistake.
But he’s not out yet.

Sucker

She wriggles along
Smoothly, with ease,
Her wet slimy skin
Impossible to seize.

Her words are like scratches
(they’re only skin deep)
I feel soothing caresses
(she’s playing for keeps).

She worms her way further
Under my skin,
Sucks out my life,
Endeavors to win.

I let her continue,
Don’t want her to stop.
I feel that she’ll cleanse me
But know that she’ll not.

When finally I surface
From warm, murky waters
I see her true colors:
The black bloody brown,
Her murderous mouth,
Each flattering word;
What I now see as poison,
My ears had misheard.

I try to untangle
The mess she has made,
But she just struggles harder,
Refuses to fade.

She wriggles along,
Slowly, with ease,
And I?
I wonder
why I’ve
Been such a blind

Sucker.

Shadow of a Princess

In the shadows, I am a princess

My shadow is my friend, my perfection

Dark, slender, graceful me
hiding my awkward shape, stiffness, blemishes

Fluidity and grace are all, confidently, softly floating along

I wonder why I cannot so lithely move

This is the me I want to see, the delicate shadow
of me wanting me to be.

Unlived potential, it stretches ever upward
mocking my attempts to
follow

This ebon profile is one of a sprite, a woman, a ruler

But I am no longer in the shadows

Never will be

I am simply

me.

Untitled

Yesterday afternoon, it stormed. Thunder, lightning, heavy rain, black clouds, ah! it was so delicious.

While standing atop a rock on a point of land jutting into Lake Bemidji, I was able to see the clouds behind me sweep across the sky. It was like a battle with no fight. The darkness just took over. Quickly.

It made me wonder if that is how easily I would surrender.

I love walking in rain. I think it is the complete abandon, the feeling that if I am to get wet, I might as well get soaked, that I enjoy. The spontaneity of storms or rain showers is also wonderful. 

The power that comes from feeling powerless is perhaps one of my favorite things about being in a storm. It is as if I become part of the wind and rain, a meaningless drop of water, yet I am somehow then more powerful than my normal self.

Hmmm.  I guess I just like puddle-jumping!

I want another storm