Recently it was Jak's birthday. I can honestly say I have no idea what my life would be like without this sister. So many corners and avenues of my thus-far existance have had Jak rushing alongside me that she's wound into and wrapped around so many memories.
Although the age difference between us is only fourteen months, I feel her strength and see her determination and am a bit amazed. It's impossible as a little sister to not care what your big sister thinks of you and the fact that she knows so much about me - my annoying habits and tendencies, my stupid reactions and my ongoing struggles and sorrows - and still loves me... well, first it shows where she learned love* and second it makes me incredibly grateful (and yes, emotional. What else is new?).
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Everyone wants to be a success story.
I'm scared to write about when I struggle. First, because I sometimes think that I'll jinx myself and if I talk about my fears that they will come about. Second, because I am proud in all caps. PROUD.
Here's an honest fact.
I'm struggling. I have been struggling with depression for about the past ten months. It's not a new struggle in my life; I've been in these trenches before. However, combined with the major life change of finishing school, a variety of disappointments and disillusionments and me making some consistently poor choices, the rut of hopelessness and anger has dug deeper and stayed longer than ever before.
Part of the pain I feel emerges from my own failure. I've been incredibly disappointed with myself in so many areas, but especially for not keeping up my blog. I can't even tell you how much mental torture this has cost me.
I'm not sharing this to alert you to my need for empathy or companionship or encouragement, although those are all great things. The catalyst for me actually writing a post this morning is this question.
"Ruthiey, will you praise me in this storm? Even when it's seemingly endless and of your own making, can you still find reasons to give me praise?"
The selfish part of me wants to praise God when it's going well, when my life is on track and I'm heading in a right direction because maybe I can claim a bit of credit too.
Here's the thing - God is worthy of praise in every situation, at every time in my life, for my whole life, forever and ever, to infinite, unbreakable code.
Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty;
righteous and true are your ways*
Please notice (I'm begging myself) that it does not say:
Great and marvelous are your works when they make Ruthiey seem successful;
righteous and true are your ways when she's having a good day.
I'm sinning, I'm failing and sometimes I can't even honestly claim that I'm struggling because I give up and hole up. But here's something I know and this truth seems progressively more precious this time around:
I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.*
I've entrusted him with my life and my soul and he will not fail me. I can be open about my broken and bruised up soul because I know my story has a happy ending. It might take awhile, but there will come a time when I am completely happy and hopeful.
So even though it might not look it now, I am a success story. I know this because I know the Author of my story and when he promises a good ending, I know it will be the very best.
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In Other News -
-I went to Summit this summer. Ah-mazing.
-I just crocheted this hat yesterday in dark green yard. Super fun and easy pattern!
-I'm going to Europe in March with Jak
-I'm going to be an aunt in April! Yay Baby Dabbie! Yes, David and Abbie are mommy and daddy now! And their beautiful house they built is finished. :D
-I'm obsessed with Korean dramas and Lee Seung Gi. Is anyone else? Please tell me I'm not alone in this :D
-I was photographer/second shooter at three weddings this summer, including my very own marvelous Vicki. Here's one of my very favorite shots - a sneaky way of getting a couple picture without them seeing each other. :)
-I'm welcoming my favorite season with open arms and lots of scarves but missing summer, so here's a memorial to Summer 2012
So yeah. It's been awhile. Hope you're all well! Thanks for reading. <3>3>