Friday, August 28, 2009

VIRGINIA BEACH, HERE I COME!

Sand...sun....ocean...no jellyfish...no sharks...sailors....
BRING IT ON!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

it's about time...


Something will grow from all of this...
and it will be me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

the thing about Rachel

The thing about Rachel is that she gets me.

Like, she REALLY gets me.

I think she might be the only person that knows exactly what I'm thinking without telling her. She might be the only person that knows I need her without me asking for her. And vice versa. We are strangely there for each other whenever anything has happened in either of our lives.

Take, for instance, when Phil died. (Just a disclaimer: Rachel is one of the best people to talk about Phil too--and she didn't even know him! But she gets it. She was there with me when he died--which I'm going to tell you about--but she also works at SAVE, a non-profit suicide awareness organization. So she understands why I feel the way I do. She deals with this stuff on an every day basis. Not to mention she's getting a masters degree in psychology and will probably be the best psychologist ever to roam the Earth. Add the fact that she's one of my best friends on top of that and you see why I love her so much! Ok, I'll stop bragging about how cool my friends are and get back to what I was going to write...) The day that Phil died, I woke up with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was something I couldn't explain. I just knew it meant something bad had happened. When I heard that there were cop cars outside of his house, I knew what had happened. Before that day, Phil and suicide would have never crossed my mind as an option. But somehow, I just knew that morning.

Well...Rae and I were pretty much siamese twins during our freshman year of college. We spent the majority of our day together, ate almost every meal together, hung out pretty much every night. The only time we were apart (typically) was when we had class (provided it wasn't a class we had, ya know, together haha). Sophomore year, we were both RA's so we obviously saw each other a ton but not as much--because we were RA's, we both had more responsibility and needed to spend more time on our own floor. Since we weren't constantly with each other that year, it wasn't unusual to come home from class and see a message from Rae saying "hey, come here" or for her to get the same message from me (usually we just missed each other and wanted to say hi! haha). Well, of course, whenever either one of us would see that message, we would send one back saying "what's up?" Pretty typical, right? We ALWAYS wanted to know what we were getting into before we came to each others room! Well, the day that Phil died, I sent Rachel a message that said "come here"...she was walking in my door within 30 seconds.

I kid you not.

No response back asking what I needed. No question of "what's up?" Nothing. Just a friend who, somehow, realized that I needed her. To this day, when we talk about it, she has NO idea why she didn't respond the way she normally did. She has no idea what made her rush upstairs. That day, she just knew that was what she needed to do. And that wasn't the first time something like that had happened. And it certainly wasn't the last.

To this day, it still happens. Rachel might be having a horrible day and she'll come home from work to a message that says "thanks for being my friend"...and 2 minutes later, I'll get a message saying "how did you know I needed that?" I'll be having a rough day and Rachel will send me a text saying "JOEY DOESN'T SHARE FOOD!" (friends reference, anyone?) and I'll send one back saying "how did you know I needed that?" It's strange. It's unexplainable. But it's familiar. And that's the best part.

So when I say that Rachel gets me...I really mean it. The girl gets me.


All of that was to preface the following conversation that Rachel and I just had...and, with her permission, want to share...because it is us. To a T.



Melanie
I would give anything for phil to be one of the people to have survived and be telling his story :(

Rachel
that is what Nikki said about her husband

everyone feels that way

Melanie
yeah, i bet

Rachel
you are a survivor of suicide Mel....you lost a loved one. it is hard, and it isnt a group you asked to be a part of, or wanted to be a part of. its good to be at events and be around people that have gone through the same pain as you it helps in the grieving process and also to see an org that is raising awareness so we can stop the next suicide from happening

suicide sucks....
Melanie
wow, way to make a girl cry rae
haha
Rachel
i am sorry mel!!!!
i didnt mean to make you cry!!!!
Melanie
haha no it's ok! good tears
Rachel
good

well not good, but glad they arent sad tears

i am crying too damnit
Melanie
haha we're a pair, aren't we?
Rachel
TBA!
Melanie
forever!
Rachel
AND THEN SOME!
Melanie
you know it!
Rachel
:D
:D
Melanie
can we be neighbors in Heaven? i think that would be pretty cool...
Rachel
ummm we are going to be attached at the hip in heaven yo!


I hope everyone has a friend like Rachel

Sunday, August 9, 2009

saved by grace

You know those people you hear about that claim to be saved by Jesus and they just "know", they feel it...it's something they can't explain?

And then you know those other people who think the first set of people are just crazy because there's really no way to tell and they think it's never going to happen to them...they just don't get it?

Well. Turns out I used to be a part of that second group. Now, I consider myself incredibly blessed to be a part of that first group. A year ago, 6 months ago, heck, a month ago...if you told me I would be writing this post, I would have told you that you were crazy and that either there's no way to tell if you've been "saved" or that it just wasn't going to happen to me. I just didn't. get. it.

And I know this whole post will probably seem entirely crazy to a lot of people out there but you know what? I don't care! I can feel the love of Jesus. I can feel His arms around me even as I type this. I can see the change in myself--I can feel the change in myself. And I'm happy to say that I'm going to keep changing. I'm going to keep growing. And no one can bring me down.

I digress. I should probably back up a little bit. I've always read about these people who are comfortable talking about Jesus. They're comfortable raising their hands in church. They are comfortable using the phrase "Praise Jesus"...in front of people. So not me. I always wished I could profess my love like that. But the first issue was that I wasn't sure Jesus loved me. Crazy right? When I finally convinced myself that Jesus did, indeed, love me...I wasn't sure I deserved that love. Do you follow? I had all these insecurities. I've had them (about everything) my entire life. And as I'm growing up and growing more comfortable in my own skin, I've slowly let them go. But this was one I just couldn't give up. I really did not think Jesus could love me--despite everything I'd done. Every horrible thing I'd ever said to anyone. Every dirty look I gave. Every time I talked behind someone's back. Even just every time I had a mean thought about someone. Why would Jesus love me? Honestly, why me? What have I ever done to deserve the love of someone for no reason at all?

And then I thought "well, you pretty much have to be perfect to deserve Jesus' love." And, let's be honest, nobody is perfect. The thing is...Jesus knows I'm not perfect. He knows I never will be. And that's why He loves me. That doesn't mean I won't make mistakes. That doesn't mean I won't say something I would regret--but the point is, I'm more aware of what I do and what I say. I'm more conscious about what I'm putting out there into the world He created. I know I'll make mistakes. Jesus knows I'll make mistakes. But the best feeling in the world is that I know He'll forgive me. In fact, He's already forgiven me before I even make those mistakes.

And you know those crazy people I talked about who don't know how they really got saved? That's me. I don't know how. I don't know why. I don't even know when. Obviously, I have a time frame but I could not point to a single day and say "oh yeah..that's when it happened."

This whole subject has been something that's been pressing on my heart for a long time. I had a lot of thoughts that didn't make sense. I wasn't sure what to make of the things that people were saying or the things I was feeling. But over the past few weeks, I've just hit a turning point. Maybe it's all that Christian music I've been listening to nonstop (ha!) or the fact that I'm comfortable talking about Jesus all the time to anyone. Maybe it was just me deciding that, ya know what? I'm worth it...I don't know! And, to be honest, I don't care! I am just enjoying this feeling of knowing that, if anything, Jesus is ALWAYS there for me. If I feel like I can't count on anyone else, He is always there. Ready to listen. Willing and wanting to be there for me. I think the culmination of the past few weeks was when I finally went to Phil's grave (more on that later)...it was just pure happiness. And I know that sounds strange--to be happy going to your best friend's grave..but hopefully when I get around to verbalizing my thoughts, it will make sense.

The point is...I know I'll be joining Phil in Heaven someday. A month ago, I couldn't say that and be certain about it. I hoped for it but I wasn't sure it would happen. Today, I'm positive that he will be waiting for me with open arms. And that's a really great--no--a really blessed feeling!

Padre Ramblings

me: dad, sometime before we die, we should go down to Lake City and actually go waterskiing
dad: well I just did that
me: no you didn't...
dad: yes I did! I called and told you about it!
me: no...you called me FROM lake city to TELL me about people waterskiing
dad: well it's the same thing
me: it's not even remotely close to the same thing...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009