Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gonna be a long week

I'm sitting on my bed right now, the pink, green, orange, blue and purple stripes beneath me. And I wonder how exactly I'm going to make it through my second day on crutches. Every joint, bone, muscle and inch of my body is in incredible pain. My wrists are swollen, and my underarms have nice black and purple bruises.
I spent all day Saturday and Sunday trying not to miss out on anything that was going on around me: the Gathering of Outcasts conference, playing Nintendo at Laura Jo's apartment, going to church, going to a small group meeting, etc. It was after dinner with my small group that the breaking point came for me. We were going down the stairs from the Caf and, I was refusing to use the elevator, as usual. So I was hopping down the stairs on my good foot and my knee buckled and I fell. Yes, Reader, I fell on my good ankle. The pain was only temporary, but my other ankle was still swollen and bruised. I finally decided to go to Student Health Center and have someone look at it. I didn't think it was anything more than a sprain, but they obviously thought there was a possibility it was fractured because I had to get it xrayed. That was pretty painful because they make you put your ankle in really awkward and painful positions.
They put me in an air cast and gave me a pair of crutches. So I traded in having one part of my body in pain for having every part of my body in extreme pain. I am not so graceful on crutches, and it takes me six times as long to get anywhere on campus.

In other news, It's HALLOWEEN!
IV is having a Halloween party tonight. I'm going as Pippi Longstocking On Crutches. I'm very excited. And tomorrow night, my small group is going Reverse-Trick-or-Treating. We're going into a low-income neighborhood to give the kids personalized goody bags with candy and other cool stuff. I'm very excited about that too, though I think I'll probably have to hang in the van the whole time, while every one else delivers the stuff. That's okay, I guess.

Friday, October 27, 2006

My ankle, the Cafeteria, and all sorts of fun stories

It's Friday night at 10pm as I lie on my bed typing this. It's dark, chilly and rainy outside, here in Greensboro. I was supposed to babysit tonight from 7:30 until about midnight. In fact, I was on my way, walking down a slippery sidewalk to where my car was parked. I didn't see a small hole in the sidewalk and my left foot went into it, turned over completely and I fell down, all my weight on my turned ankle. For a good three minutes, I just sat there, in a lot of pain, trying to figure out whether this was one of those times when you'll feel better if you just keep walking, or whether I had sprained it. Then I started crying, in pain, in fear, and because I was wet, cold and I didn't know what to do. I straightened up and got on my cell phone. I called my roommate and one of our hall mates and they came after about eight minutes to help me hop back to our room (not an easy feat). My foot is swollen and purplish, and it hurts, but it'll make a good story in a few months.

Last night, we had a "carnival" in the cafeteria, complete with popcorn, kareoke, candy apples, sno cones and cotton candy. Apparently we were celebrating Halloween...

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Friend

One day a man was walking along, when he fell into a huge hole. The man tried but was unable to get out. A doctor walked by and the man yelled to him: "Hey, mister! Can you help me?" The doctor wrote out a prescription, threw it down into the hole and kept walking. A preacher walked by and the man yelled up to him: "Hey, mister! Can you help me?" The preacher wrote out a prayer on a sheet of paper and threw it down into the hole and kept walking. Then the man's friend walked by. "Hey, buddy! Can you help me?" The friend looked down, and without hesitating, jumped into the hole. The man looked at his friend. "Are you crazy? Why did you jump into the hole with me? Now we're both stuck down here." His friend smiled and said, "Yeah, but I've been down here before, so I can show you the way out."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Carolinian

The Carolinian is the campus newspaper here at UNCG. A few weeks ago, I sent in a submission for the Life section of the paper, about Christian community. Every Tuesday (the day the new edition of the paper comes out) since, I've been checking the paper to see if my submission made it into the paper. And for three weeks, I've been disappointed every time. Today, I grabbed the paper, not expecting to see my article since it was so long ago that I submitted it. But low and behold! It was in there! I'm going to copy and paste the article for you below...

On Faith: Living in a Christian Community
Lindsay Widenhouse, Special to The Carolinian

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!" (Mark 2: 1-12)

What amazing friends! These friends worked tirelessly, arduously to carry their hurting friend to Jesus, and Jesus forgave this man's sins because He saw the faith of the man's friends. It was hotter than hot in Capernaum, so everyone was sweaty and smelly. There were bugs. The crowds were massive and the friends could have given up when they saw that it would be nearly impossible to get to Jesus. Instead, they managed to carry their paralyzed friend up to the roof, where they dug through a mud or thatched roof and lowered him into the house! Imagine if every time you were hurting, every time you felt broken, lonely, sad, or heartbroken, your friends would drop everything they were doing to help you feel better. They would comfort you, love on you, pray for you, cry with you. What an awesome community that would be.

UNCG InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, along with a few students from GTCC and Salem College, got the privilege to fellowship with one another and learn about God, evangelism and Christian community for an entire weekend in South Carolina.On Saturday evening our topic of discussion was Christian community. David Payne started off by sharing a little of his experience. He emphasized the difference between caring about someone and caring for someone.

InterVarsity Staff person Karen Gupton then continued the theme as she talked about her experiences with Christian community and read the above passage from the book of Mark.She said we find so often that we merely ask our friends about classes and stress levels, and go on about our own business. We don't feel as though we have the time to help them. We don't have the energy, the patience, whatever. But the blood of Jesus Christ, sacrificed for us on the cross, to atone for our sins, has bound us together in a community. Whether we choose to accept it or not, Karen told us, the community will continue to exist. We will continue to be one in the Body of Christ.

When we see brokenness, we must carry our friends to Jesus to be healed. And when we are broken, we must be willing to be carried as well. Both aspects are part of being a member of this community. To accomplish both of these things, we must be sensitive and receptive to the brokenness and hurting that exists, and we must not be ashamed or afraid to ask for help or support when we are the ones who are broken. When others are full of joy, we can and should rejoice with them. And when their hearts are broken and they weep, our tears ought to fall as we share in their sadness.

In his book How to Stay a Christian in College, J. Budziszewski writes, "Christian life is about being in love with God, and Christian social life is about letting that love break out into your relationships with other people? Christian fellowship is like a family in which we can bear the burdens of others and urge each other on? We can also hold each other accountable? and help each other confess [sins] to God and get back on our feet."

The Christian community that we are a part of should break out into our campus life as well. We should be excited to share Christ's love with others. Christian community is something to be celebrated and embraced, something that should be evident to others when they peer into our lives. It should be a place where we are comfortable and vulnerable, challenged to grow, loved, and supported, and where we are actively giving all of that back to other members as well.

After Karen's talk, we broke up into smaller groups, of maybe 15 to 20 students, divided by gender. And then we shared what we were struggling with - relationships with people, family issues, spiritual struggles. We prayed as a group for each person after they shared, but what amazed me was the way people reacted. People were not apathetic or displaying a small amount of sympathy. As someone shared, choking back tears, so did the others. The girls around the circle were crying for each other.

For the first time in my life, I felt I was part of a community that was truly acknowledging the bond Christ had placed on us when he died on the cross. People I barely knew, people I knew fairly well, and people I had just met that evening were crying with me. Their hearts broke because mine was broken. They were hurting because they saw me in pain. To be able to come to one another, vulnerable, hurting, sad, angry, ecstatic, frustrated, and to find a place of love, prayer, grace and support is what Christian community is about.

so...yeah...that's my very first appearance in The Carolinian. In our newspaper, there's a lot of articles about drugs, sex and other immoral type behavior. I really wanted something uplifting and something that spoke TRUTH into people's lives. I guess that's all for now.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. -C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No one warned me about this!!!

I went home this past weekend (Friday through Tuesday) for fall break. It was wonderful to get to spend time with my family and we did a lot of fun stuff. We had a yard sale, which started way too early on Saturday morning, but I finally got my 3-year-old laptop sold. I got some much-needed rest, and picked out my courses for next semester. On Sunday, we went to see The Lion King at Memorial Auditorium.

The costumes, props and set/scenery were amazing! The acting, singing and dancing were amazing as well, and I had goosebumps the entire time from the quality of performance.
On Monday, my sister forgot her bookbag when she drove to school, so she called and woke me up at home and I took her bookbag to her. This was frustrating, but it was also nice because I had an excuse to go back to my high school and say hello to my old teachers and my friends. Mom and I went out for Indian food for lunch and that afternoon, I babysat for baby Sofia, who is now a grand total of 6 weeks old! And what a good baby! After that, I got overly-productive (as is my problem sometimes) and did all my Spanish homework for the next month. That is one of the nice things about getting a syllabus-- you can do your work ahead of time. :)
Tuesday, today, Mom and Sherby left for the airport early this morning, and I sort of said goodbye from under the covers. Then I got up and played with the dogs. Then I had lunch with Jennie. Then I drove to C-H to visit with Dad for a while. Then I made the trek back to Gboro, half happy, half sad. I love it here, but when I go home, I realize that I miss it more than I allow myself to know while I'm at college.

N one warned me, however, that when I came back home after staying away for five weeks that I would feel different. When you're living out of a suitcase and your family has to fill you in on their everyday activities, you realize that the dynamics have changed some. It's not that they are treating me any different, but they have had to learn to exist without me around 24/7 just as I have had to learn to live without them. So when we're all back together, we have to re-learn how to co-exist and then we have to catch each other up on our lives. It's not exactly how I expected it, but I think that's a huge part of college, and certainly a part of growing up.

URBANA 2006! Very excited about this...more to come on it later.